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Scott from SE MN on 3/9/2021 7:19:42 PM:
Planning a trip with friends for May, and wondering about the trail surface. We all primarily ride road bikes on asphalt and are set up for that, mostly running 25mm tires. Short of purchasing gravel bikes, what would folks think best if we just want to put on wider tires? My wife and I rode the Katy Trail in MO and found that trail surface very coarse and loose in places, really slow going w/o mt. Bike style setup. On the other hand, some crushed limestone trails in nearby WI are easily managed on road bikes with no change in tires. We’d appreciate any advice, thanks!

 
Scott from in SE MN on 3/12/2021 9:33:43 PM:
Let's try it as multiple choice: (a) hard-packed soil, (b) fine crushed limestone, (c) loose gravel, pea/bean size, (d) loose gravel, walnut size, (e) railroad ballast... Could anyone who's ridden the trail comment on the trail surface they've experienced? Thanks!

 
Dandy Don from Fairfield on 3/13/2021 9:41:38 AM:
I have done Katy, Mickelson, C&O, Gap, Cowboy, etc. Used 35 and 38mm on a hybrid, towing a Bob Trailer. Zero problems and good grip. Have also seen 25-28s bog down.

 
Bill from Central Illinois on 3/14/2021 5:36:29 PM:
Hi Scott, my family stayed in Hill City two years ago and we started thinking about riding the trail then. I asked around wanting to know if my 700x25 tires would work. Virtually, everyone we met while we walked the trail were on 35-40 or higher. All said they didn't think a 700x25 set up would work. So I purchased a gravel bike with 700x40 tires and I'm looking forward to making the trip in May also. Of course, I guess anything is possible, but in May the trail could still be a little sloppy making 25s that much harder. Good luck!

 
Tim from Bismarck on 3/22/2021 10:01:35 AM:
I would not advise 25's. The conditions are pretty variable. Most of the trail is pretty finely crushed rock, but there are some wet areas and the stretch on the north is no longer railroad grade and can be muddy and likewise is not "flat." I personally would not do anything less than 40's.

 
Anonymous on 4/18/2021 12:13:33 PM:
May 2021 on Mickelson will have patches & areas of wet, mud and very soft gravel stretches. The tire needs to maneuver in that.

 
Chuckie from Denver on 9/15/2021 6:31:18 PM:
I just rode from Edgemont to Custer on 32s. Cyclo-cross bike with loaded panniers. I fishtailed on numerous occasions. I wouldn't suggest anything smaller than a 32.