Going off road on a road bike?

Trips, adventures, bikes, equipment, etc.
peetee
Posts: 1206
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm

Re: Going off road on a road bike?

Postby peetee » 25 Jan 2019, 10:59pm

Don't get me wrong. I wasn't expecting it to be a light frame, I just thought that a more sophisticated, contemporary tubeset burdened with extra braze one would be near to comparable to a 40 year old, benchmark, quality tubeset, not considerably heavier.
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.

MikeF
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Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: Going off road on a road bike?

Postby MikeF » 8 Feb 2019, 2:20pm

maxglide wrote:I dislike taking my tourer unintentionally 'off road' on 32c tyres. I feel it's cruel & unusual punishment on the rims.
:? :? What happens to the rims?
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

colin54
Posts: 1008
Joined: 24 Sep 2013, 4:34pm

Re: Going off road on a road bike?

Postby colin54 » 10 Feb 2019, 12:01pm

drossall wrote:When I was a student, I went out on a run with the University's Cycling Club, and they suddenly headed over Ilkley Moor...


drossal, this picture should take you back, off the moor towards Ilkley.
P1020476.JPG


jashn (OP), If it's muddy, mudguards getting clogged (if fitted) to a road bike with tight guard clearances
and lack of grip on the slithery stuff with road tyres are the main drawbacks I should think.
Most bikes will take you most places with a bit of care (and possibly pushing).

You could always put an all round tyre like Schwalbe Marathon Greenguard on your Trek which would
speed you up on the road and are good enough for a bit of off-road.

I assume you don't want to own two bikes.
Last edited by colin54 on 11 Feb 2019, 10:54pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Going off road on a road bike?

Postby drossall » 10 Feb 2019, 2:49pm

colin54 wrote:drossal, this picture should take you back, off the moor towards Ilkley.

Brilliant, thank you. It was just such a great area to ride in - one of the real benefits of studying at Leeds (and it helped that I was an exiled Yorkshireman anyway).

I'm still in touch with a friend from those days. He was never in the University Union CC, but he went off on geography field trips to the north of Scotland by on a 3-speed (of course, these days, when you need the ideal machine for the job, he'd never have made it :lol: :lol: although he did later upgrade to a Viscount 10-speed). We met up some years ago at a reunion of the Anglican-Methodist Society, and for old times' sake got up early and did a loop. I think we went out through Menston and down the Cow and Calf, then back via Askwith and Otley, changed since our day by the A660 bypass.

Some years after that, he hired a holiday cottage, and I was one of various friends and family each visiting for a day or two as time allowed, as we rediscovered such well-remembered places as Kettlewell and Hawes. Back on topic, that time I took my totally-suitable Mercian with triple rings. For the Ilkley ride, I took my remaining bike from student days, an Aende road machine. Not really suited to the terrain at all - the bike's fine, but the rider is getting a bit dilapidated for racing gears on 1:6 hills. But that was the bike I used on my last expedition as a student, joining the Ang-Meth Soc on a trip up to Marske, west of Richmond. I'd been racing that day in the Harrogate Festival of Cycling, and there I was on my unsuitably-geared bike, pushing one of the other riders up a 1:8 or something. We stayed overnight and rode back; I remember I had to dash off eventually, to get back just in time to meet my father, who was collecting me as I left student life for good.

</rambling memories>

colin54
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Joined: 24 Sep 2013, 4:34pm

Re: Going off road on a road bike?

Postby colin54 » 10 Feb 2019, 6:28pm

Glad you liked it.

Bmblbzzz
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Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Going off road on a road bike?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 15 Feb 2019, 5:58pm

On the point of all steels having the same weight; is that right? Surely they are different alloys so must have different specific densities according to the non-ferrous elements they do or don't contain (nickel, chrome, molybdenum, whatever). Whether these differences are noticeable on the scale of a bike frame is another matter.

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

Re: Going off road on a road bike?

Postby drossall » 15 Feb 2019, 9:52pm

I understand that, for practical purposes, there's no difference. It's the strength and therefore the amount of material you need, that varies. Heavy bikes are heavy because they're made of weak stuff and you need a lot of it.

peetee
Posts: 1206
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm

Re: Going off road on a road bike?

Postby peetee » 16 Feb 2019, 8:40am

Bmblbzzz wrote:On the point of all steels having the same weight; is that right? Surely they are different alloys so must have different specific densities according to the non-ferrous elements they do or don't contain (nickel, chrome, molybdenum, whatever). Whether these differences are noticeable on the scale of a bike frame is another matter.


I very much doubt that they are noticeable. The variations in weight caused by dimensions and fixture differences from different frameset would far exceed that. I wouldn't be surprised if the elements mentioned formed such a low percentage of constituent material as to represent a difference in mass equivalent to a couple of strokes of a file or a splash of brass solder.
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2432
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Going off road on a road bike?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 16 Feb 2019, 12:38pm

:thumbsup:

mattsccm
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Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: Going off road on a road bike?

Postby mattsccm » 25 Feb 2019, 6:15pm

My practical experience is that comparing old and new steel frames is not really like for like. Gas pipe jobs aside anything sporty but older with something like a 531 frame was generally build with weight to be a major consideration.
Modern mass produced bikes are significantly over engineered, usually to meet excessive safety standards. Even a frame badged as something like 725 almost certainly have all the tubes made of this thinnish tubing and thus the weight creeps up. My full 531c Raleigh frame from the early 80's is nearly a pound lighter than a slightly smaller modern bike with a 525 frame and fork. Equally I have a Columbus tubed frame that's even light but by gum its fragile.
To the, long gone, OP. If your tyres survive the rest of the bike will. Just watch the Paris Roubaix.

landsurfer
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Location: Rotherham

Re: Going off road on a road bike?

Postby landsurfer » 25 Feb 2019, 7:11pm

Audax67 wrote:Or get yourself an old hard-tail MTB and put old/el-cheapo drops and road/off-road tyres on it:

Image
(cake-shop not included)

1994 MTB with 1999 Shim 105 3x9 transmission & XT mech. Maybe better with bar-end shifters these days, Shim have rendered their MTB mechs incompatible with road ones.


Top Gravel Bike ... must have cost £thousands ..... lol ....sell it to a MAMIL as a bespoke gravel bike, ... :D
Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.

The road goes on forever.

hercule
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Joined: 5 Feb 2011, 5:18pm

Re: Going off road on a road bike?

Postby hercule » 25 Feb 2019, 10:08pm

Back in the late 1980s I used my Saracen Triathlon for everything - it's basically what would be called an Audax machine nowadays with 531 frame and forks, 28mm tyres, side pull brakes. Every ride seemed inevitably to end up off-tarmac at some point, I think I was deeply influenced by Ian Hibell's accounts of his exploits. One of my more epic and unforgettable rides was out from Glasgow into the Trossachs, off road from the Trossachs Pier along the south side of Loch Katrine to Stronlachlachar. Apart from a farm access track for the last few miles, it was truly off road, following a very faint path up and over the hills. I rode part of it and shouldered the bike the rest. For an encore I rode (tarmac) over to Inversnaid and off road down the West Highland Way to Rowardennan... again, lots of shouldering. Photo below is just above the eastern end of Loch Katrine. I'd toe-strapped a T shirt to the top/seat tube to give some padding for the shouldering bits...

Trossachs rough stuff 1990 [2].jpeg


No reason why you can't use a "road bike" off road, just go slowly and be mechanically sympathetic. Probably it will be lighter than an MTB if you do have to carry!


PS the bike is still going strong even if its rider can't hope to emulate past exploits on it :roll:

gregoryoftours
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Joined: 22 May 2011, 7:14pm

Re: Going off road on a road bike?

Postby gregoryoftours » 1 Mar 2019, 11:11pm

hercule wrote:
No reason why you can't use a "road bike" off road, just go slowly and be mechanically sympathetic. Probably it will be lighter than an MTB if you do have to carry!



I agree with this. Obviously if it gets very rough you have to slow right down and ride compliantly to not trash your bike, but it is quite fun!

If you want to go slightly faster or with slightly less care then you can look into the whole gamut of touring bikes, cyclocross, gravel and adventure bikes, and take your pick. There are reasonably significant differences between them despite what many people say.