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St Charles bike rentals


Is the Touring Cyclist in St. Charles the only place near the eastern end of the trail that rents bikes? Wen to their web site and the available rentals sound quite, shall we say, family-oriented. I am looking for something quite quick since we will be riding the whole trail from E to W. Can you help?
posted May 23 2005 9:42AM - Dave, Carrollton, TX

You'll find that the bike rental options along the Katy Trail are heavily weighted toward "comfort bikes" and hybrids, because these are the most popular types of bikes for the trail. Sounds like you're looking for a road bike, which can be used on the trail but the trail is not ideally suited to skinny tires. But if you call around, you may find that some of the renters have a road bike or two in stock (I'm really not sure about this). Here's a list of bike rentals along the trail, in east-to-west order.
posted May 23 2005 10:40AM - Ray (webmaster)

No...I am not looking for a road bike. I know my 23c road bike wont work well !!. I am looking for a trail/hybrid bike, with about a 1 1/2 inch tire, maybe 35c or so. I called one shop and the only bike they rent in the hybrid range has a 1.95" tire. That's a mountain bike tire. Thanks for the help you are giving.
posted May 23 2005 4:53PM - Dave, Carrollton, TX

I did not realize that hybrids would be hard to find for rental. It seems that the "cruiser" style is most popular at the rental places, but I would think there would be a demand for hybrids (that's what I prefer to use on the Katy Trail). If Touring Cyclist in St Charles doesn't have what you need, you might try Katy Bike Rental in Defiance, which is 20 miles down the trail - their website says they offer "hybrid mountain bikes". Hopefully their definition of hybrid matches your definition.
posted May 23 2005 5:06PM - Ray (webmaster)

If you want to go end-to-end and have any concern about rolling resistance, use your road bike. However, put on some 700x25 Kevlar belted tires. Those tires will be cheaper than any rental bike you'll find.

Last year, we rode a TANDEM road bike on 700x28s from Sedalia to St. Charles and had 3 rear flats. All between Clifton City and Huntsdale. This weekend, we're doing the same ride, but we'll have Kevlar belts and puncture resistant tubes. I'm hoping for 0 flats. I'll report Monday on our results.
posted May 24 2005 1:06PM - Nails

Just curious, were your flats the result of rough trail conditions, nails on the trail, or something similar? I will be starting out on almost new 700x38 Kenda tires, and am feeling pretty confident. However, I just want to be prepared for whatever trail conditions I might find!
posted May 25 2005 10:23PM - Jim, Dallas

The first flat was something on the trail. I don't know if it was a glass, thorn, rock, nail, or gremlins.

The second flat was in the trailhead parking lot on Highway 87 near New Franklin. This parking lot is not the crushed limestone of the trail, but made up of rough rocks over 1 inch in diameter. We'll carry the bike through the parking lot this time.

The third flat was from a very small, flat, triangular rock that stuck in the tire.
posted May 26 2005 8:02AM - Nails

I'm pleased to report that we did not get any flats on our 700x28 Kevlar belted tires between Sedalia and St. Charles. Certainly, there were a number of places the bumps were unpleasant and I always had to keep an eye on the trail to pick a smooth line. The worst of it was that between mile markers 118 and 119, there was a section about 1/4 mile long that is not packed down. I stand by my original recommendation.
posted May 30 2005 9:17AM - Nails

We just finished the ride from Sedalia to St Charles, rear panniers only, on Binachi and Windsor road bikes. Before I left we also questioned what type of bike we would need so I emailed and called a few people and bike shops along the trail. After talking to them I put Spinskins and, as added protection (and a LOT of weight), we used the Thorn Proof tubes in our Conti Top Touring 700x32s. We did NOT have any flats. Maybe the Thorn Proof tubes were overkill but even if they are VERY heavy (I have removed them since returning home and will keep them for future trips) the weight is not really an issue at Katy Trail speeds. We also had three rainy days. The first day, out of Sedalia, we were caught in a torrential downpour for hours, and the bikes handled fine on the soaked trail. IN fact, the only riding issues we ever had were "washed out" rivulets across the trail in only a few spots. East to avoid in bright sunlight but a bit harder to see in the canopied sections on the overcast, rainy days.

Now I would not take my carbon fiber Kestrel but a good road bike with the right tires is a great and easy ride for the trip. Hope this helps.
posted Jun 26 2005 12:57PM - Doug & Victoria, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tags: Windsor, St Charles, New Franklin, Defiance, Huntsdale, Franklin, Clifton City, Sedalia, Bike Shops, Bike Rentals, Parking, Trail Conditions, Weather, BikeKatyTrail.com, Bikes and gear, Tires Modify Tags
         




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