Riding in the Trossachs

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
scoot
Posts: 139
Joined: 6 Oct 2014, 9:07pm
Location: Near Colchester

Riding in the Trossachs

Postby scoot » 19 May 2016, 8:40am

Hi,

Sorry I haven't been on for a while; usual reasons including work, family life, training for Ride London 100 :), decorating, new motorbike etc

My wife and I are off to Scotland in a month and are staying in the Trossachs, we will take our bikes and been looking at the internet for rides around Lochs etc. Some of the rides I saw said Mountain Bike or "rugged" hybrid ??

My wife has 2 bikes and would like to use her old MTB but it is old, it isn't that good and will take some fettling.
Would you consider a £700 ladies Boardman Hybrid "rugged"? It has tyres suitable for gravel / light dirt and cable disks so I'm tempted to say its OK. Option 2 is an old(must be 15 to 20 years old) Raleigh dakota that is made of scaffolding bars :)

Thanks for your opinions.

Cheers,

Paul
Two wheels good, 4 wheels bad

scoot
Posts: 139
Joined: 6 Oct 2014, 9:07pm
Location: Near Colchester

Re: Riding in the Trossachs

Postby scoot » 19 May 2016, 9:13am

Hi,

Probably should have said I've been looking at riding round some Lochs. I have routes around loch Earn and Rannoch amongst others, normally about 20 miles and look more road than off road.

There is lots on proper off road but most I will want is soft road.

Cheers,

Paul
Two wheels good, 4 wheels bad

LollyKat
Posts: 3009
Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Riding in the Trossachs

Postby LollyKat » 19 May 2016, 10:26am

I think she'd be fine with the Boardman. All the tracks / off-road stuff that I've ridden there have been like forestry commission tracks or soft earth / cinder, which I've managed fine with light-ish touring bikes with 28mm or 32mm tyres. There are also full-blown mountain bike single tracks available, but if you really want to try those you could easily hire a suitable bike for a day.

lowrider
Posts: 135
Joined: 21 Mar 2009, 2:25pm

Re: Riding in the Trossachs

Postby lowrider » 19 May 2016, 10:53am

Not too much Idea about the bikes your using for sustrans routes thee I have used 32mm tyres (measuing 30mm) these are fine however some spots can be very rough and I take the speeds right down 6 mph or less in places. You could take something with 28mm tyres through these sections with care but not a lot of fun. These are isolated though one example is on NCR7 about a mile south of Strathyre there is a 0.5 km section of forest track with large loose stones and potholes not very comfortable. There are similar (much longer) sections from Aberfoyle to loch Venacher with variable forest track. It should be mostly ok for larger tyre hybrid with a risk of the odd realy bad spot.

To summarise the sustrans routes may have a few of these bad spots a would be ok ie 32mm tyres or larger with care, 28mm tyres are not suitable for the realy bad sections. Mostly the paths are rough but passable at reasonable speed there are even large off road sections that are tarmac so not all bad, however you can get all types on the same route. They are improving the paths all the time a lotl of tarmac has been put down in recent past.

There is a large amount of forest tracks too numerous to recall however the surface on these vary greatly while a hybrid with 35mm or 40mm tyres would be ok over many but in places it might not be too great. Over much of the forest I would use 50mm to be comfortable and safe you can find yourself decending at speed on good surface and suddenly it can become very rough with lots of ruts and large loose stones. That is not to say a largeish tyred hybrid would not be ok over most of them but care may be needed and old or unused tracks or where there are forest operations going on might be mtb territory.

There are many miles of routes on and off road which are ok for narrower tyres such as Aberfoyle to Inversnaid, Loch katrine, Balqhuidder glen along Loch Voil and many sustrans paths which are a must IMO on any bike so if you do decide to take narrow tyred bikes you will find some great routes.

scoot
Posts: 139
Joined: 6 Oct 2014, 9:07pm
Location: Near Colchester

Re: Riding in the Trossachs

Postby scoot » 19 May 2016, 1:49pm

Hi Lowrider and LollyKat,

Thanks for the info: I will check tonight but I think the Boardman has 28mm tyres. I am going to encourage the wife to use this bike and maybe look at removing the mudguards and fitting 32mm tyres. My Gary Fisher has 2" slicks at present so time to get some more suitable tyres for our Scotland rides.

Thanks for the mention of Loch Katrine, that's one of the ones I'm interested in :) I'll have a look at the others this evening all being well.

TBH at 61 I'd prefer to be on a single track but not sure the body agrees :D I'm one of the took up a roady to get fitter for MTBing and not really been back since :(

I think we are gonna love cycling in :mrgreen:

Thank you very much,

Paul
Two wheels good, 4 wheels bad

Eyebrox
Posts: 345
Joined: 5 Aug 2015, 8:56pm
Location: Ayrshire

Re: Riding in the Trossachs

Postby Eyebrox » 20 May 2016, 12:40am

Hi Paul, I have cycled all the routes up there - both on and off road (mostly paths with a good, sound base). Let me know where you're thinking about and I'll give you a rundown on each route/location. Here's a great off road circular with a bit of everything that can be done on a wide tyred road bike.
http://www.trossachs-scotland.co.uk/cyc ... inglas.htm

scoot
Posts: 139
Joined: 6 Oct 2014, 9:07pm
Location: Near Colchester

Re: Riding in the Trossachs

Postby scoot » 20 May 2016, 9:15am

Hi Eybrox,

That looks superb. I'll be in touch about the routes I have looked at probably over the weekend.

I checked and my Wife's Boardman has 32 mm Schwalbe Marathons which look good for some light off-road and have a flat central section for on road and minimal rolling resistance.

We are both really looking forward to this trip :)If the weather is good I don't think we will have enough time to do everything we want. It its bad we will be so disappointed not to ride all the routes we have found.

Thanks to all,

Paul
Two wheels good, 4 wheels bad

drossall
Posts: 5028
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Riding in the Trossachs

Postby drossall » 20 May 2016, 10:41pm

I'm up there with Scouts in August - we have a base at Loch Earn. I've been up once before, and also round Loch Katrine with a friend, but I'm not an expert on the area. Should be lots of good cycling though. I've got loads of routes that I've put by to look at.

And there's always the old railway lines!

LollyKat
Posts: 3009
Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Riding in the Trossachs

Postby LollyKat » 21 May 2016, 2:30pm

Make sure you visit the Wee Blether Tea Room at Kinlochard. Fantastic food including gluten- and nut-free, idyllic location, friendly staff.... A nice 30-mile circuit is to park at Loch Katrine, cycle along the north shore of the loch, continue to Stronachlachar, on to Kinlochard where we stoke up (and how!) at the cafe, ready for the Duke's Pass and return to Loch Katrine.

scoot
Posts: 139
Joined: 6 Oct 2014, 9:07pm
Location: Near Colchester

Re: Riding in the Trossachs

Postby scoot » 22 May 2016, 8:27pm

Hi Lollykat,

Thanks for the suggestion.

The only routes I have so far are around Lochs Rannoch, Earn and Tay.

Looks like easy enough riding, some towns so hopefully tea and cake available:)

We are staying near St Fillans.

Cheers,

Paul
Two wheels good, 4 wheels bad

LollyKat
Posts: 3009
Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Riding in the Trossachs

Postby LollyKat » 22 May 2016, 10:06pm

Nice - just watch out for the fairies!
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/scot ... -2005.html

drossall
Posts: 5028
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Riding in the Trossachs

Postby drossall » 22 May 2016, 11:55pm

Some bookmarks I've made while researching. Some are too challenging for the age group I'm dealing with, and as we haven't been there yet I have little or no local knowledge; make your own decisions. Let me know if you find out what any of these are like.

Edit: just re-read your OP and some of these will definitely be too wild for you (and for us).

Aberfoyle Bike Park

Loch Katrine (cycle most of the way round, then get the boat back)

Cycling in the Trossachs

Queen Elizabeth Forest Park

Glen Kundrum (bit more challenging)

Railway trail

Kirkton Glen (more challenging again)

Rides around Killin

Trossachs cycling routes and maps

Glen Finglas trail - looks great fun

scoot
Posts: 139
Joined: 6 Oct 2014, 9:07pm
Location: Near Colchester

Re: Riding in the Trossachs

Postby scoot » 24 May 2016, 3:51pm

Hi Drossal,

Thanks for the information, I will spend some time looking later in the week.

It looks like a superb place to ride and walk.

Paul
Two wheels good, 4 wheels bad