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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Condition of trail between Leeton and Chilhowee


We rode the trail Wednesday, and I had 2 flat tires on my bike. We had to walk our bikes at least 2 miles. The trail is littered with twigs of thorn trees, rocks, and large pieces of wood. If the workers insist on cutting the brush on the sides of the trail, they need to brush the litter off the trail when they do this. We also had to stop repeatedly and take the twigs out of our bike spokes.
posted Feb 3 2018 9:39AM - D

I ran into the same issue on the Katy Trail last Friday (a beautiful day) between Windsor and Bryson--mowing the berms left tons of twigs (some with thorns) and other debris on the Trail. I was lucky not to have gotten a flat, but it would be great if the state or contractor doing the mower took the time to blow or rake off the debris they leave on the trail.
posted Apr 3 2018 6:15PM - Steve Plattner, Cincinnati

A key here is to use tires that have good puncture resistance. I've got 1500+ miles on the RIT and hundreds more on the Katy, very few flats. Can probably count them on one hand in the past 3 or 4 years. Schwalbe, Panaracer, and others make tires where flat resistance is a priority. Most of my flats have happened when running the Clement MSO tires I now have on my bike. They are the most flat prone tires I've ever run. Before them, hardly ever a problem.

If you're going to do a lot of trail riding, choose tires wisely. It makes a huge difference.
posted Apr 30 2018 12:58AM - Matt, LS

Tires that in my experience are very resistant to puncture on the RIT and Katy, many miles on them personally with little to no flats:

Panaracer Tour Guard Plus
Specialized Infinity Armadillo
Schwalbe Marathon Plus and Marathon GT

Very puncture prone:

Clement XPLOR MSO


The Infinity Armadillos in particular are darn near thorn proof
posted Apr 30 2018 1:10AM - Matt, LS

I'll second the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires being puncture resistant. I've never had a flat with them. Ironically I had a flat from a thorn yesterday near, but not on, the Katy Trail. It was on the roads near Portage de Sioux on my road bike using Continental GP 4000 tires. They are usually very resistant to punctures, but not as well as the Conti Gatorskins.

In a nutshell, flats happen. Be prepared for them with a good pump and/or CO2, patch kit, and a spare tube. Puncture resistant tires are a plus.
posted Apr 30 2018 7:37AM - Jerry Whittle, Belleville Il

Like all of you, I hate flats. So last week, when I needed a new back tire for my hybrid, and I stopped in at the Cyclery store nearby and went over my options. When they showed me the sample cross-sections of the tires, it was obvious that the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires should be the most thorn-resistant (quite a bit thicker than my old tire). The guy said that I would give up a little on the weight, but I really could not tell that much difference. They are not cheap, but I figure if I am spending $hundreds or $thousands on my RIT-Katy ride, the last thing I want to do is experience a flat because I cheaped out a little on a tire.
posted Apr 30 2018 11:13AM - BikerBoy, Maryville, IL

There is another theory that a lower pressure supple sidewall tire is less prone to puncture. Since it is softer it rolls over sharp items rather than forcing the object into the tire.
posted Apr 30 2018 4:41PM - Anonymous

Tags: Rock Island Trail, Chilhowee, Leeton, Hiking, Tires Modify Tags
         




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