would my bike be ok on very VERY light off road track?

andy46 Posts: 1,666
edited February 2011 in Road beginners
Hi guys, I am asking this as on my commute to work I can take a much nicer traffic friendly route.

It starts off as a tarmac cycle lane on the road, then turns off to go to the industrial estate. This is where the surface changes from tarmac to a (fairly smooth) dirt track with a covering of very small stones/chippings.

This lasts for only a quarter of a mile if that, then it's back onto the road.

Just wondering if my bike would be ok with this, i know it's not designed for this but to be honest the track in question is in better condition than some of the roads round here.

Thanks for any replies, I just want my mind putting at ease.

2019 Ribble CGR SL

2015 Specialized Roubaix Sport sl4

2014 Specialized Allez Sport


  • danowat
    danowat Posts: 2,877
    Probably be ok, might want to make sure you have decent, puncture resistant tyres though.

    The final 800metres of my commute is on our works driveway, aka the gaza strip, and my allez is ok down that.
  • Sounds very similar to my commute. I use Schwalbe Marathon tyres which are more than adequate for the 'off road' part.
  • thel33ter
    thel33ter Posts: 2,684
    It'll be fine, as above though, stick some fatter touring style tires on if you want, but I've done the odd bridleway on my roadie with lightweight 23c tires, never had a puncture on that bike,
    And now you know, and knowing is half the battle
    05 Spesh Enduro Expert
    05 Trek 1000 Custom build
    Speedily Singular Thingy
  • Get some good rubber and you'll be fine, no worries.
    "That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college! " - Homer
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,873
    as above

    only other thing is that if the chippings are loose you may get a bit thrown up against the frame, esp. the downtube, might cause some scratches
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • ColinJ
    ColinJ Posts: 2,218
    You should be okay.

    I sometimes ride my road bike on parts of the Calder Valley Cycleway to avoid heavy traffic on the A646.

    The cycleway has sections of compacted soil, some gravelly bits, 200 yards of potholed gravel-strewn road to some industrial units, and so on.

    So far, I haven't damaged my bike or punctured on it.
  • Peddle Up!
    Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    As above, but watch out for loose surface material which could have you off. Also, the thinner tyres tend to track more in uneven stretches of track.
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Your bike will be fine. I've seen slick tyred road bikes doing really well on proper off road courses.
  • andy46
    andy46 Posts: 1,666
    thanks everyone, seems my bike is stronger than i think and i'm worrying over nothing :D
    2019 Ribble CGR SL

    2015 Specialized Roubaix Sport sl4

    2014 Specialized Allez Sport
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,470
    The bike will certainly be fine. As long as you feel comfortable and safe give it as much welly as you want. Just be aware of the skid potential when braking / cornering.