Will my bike cope?

mr_eddy Posts: 830
edited October 2017 in MTB general
So decided I wanted to start riding some local fireroads and trail centers again. Its been a while since I last did any MTB'ing however it occurred to me that maybe my current gravel/road bike would do ok for the sort of stuff I want to do.

So basically I have a 2017 CrMo Holdsworth Elan Disc steel road bike (fork is also CrMo) currently fitted with 32c Conti Sport Contact tyres - with the current 32c there is about 5mm clearance at the back and about 8mm at the front. The wheels are fairly robust Rodi 32h 19mm trekking disc wheels so should be able to take some punishment.

With the above in mind I reckon there is enough room to fit some CX tyres into the frame so I was thinking that swapping out the current 32c commuter tyres to some WTB Crosswolf TCS 32c or maybe Schwalbe CX Comp 30c , Both these tyres offer up knobbly tread pattern. I thought running these at around 70psi (instead of my usual 85psi) I should get some extra grip and avoid pinching.

The rest of the bike is standard so it has Shimano Sora R3000 - 50/34 up front and 11-32 out back. It has Avid BB5 mechanical discs upgraded with compression-less Ripcord cabling and sintered pads with 160 mm rotors at each end. On tarmac the brakes are very effective and I can stop very quickly (its actually scarily easy to lock up either wheel). I can't believe how much difference the upgraded cabling made! Seem very nearly as powerful/well modulated as my mates Deore Hydro's

So with a tyre swap would it be dangerous to take it on some simple trails?

I am thinking stuff like the Kitchener trail at Sherwood Pines and blue runs at Cannock Chase etc. I am not a fast rider (too unfit and fat).

Thoughts ?


  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Depends on the conditions. Fire roads should be fine but muddy trails could be a bit trickier with narrower tyres.

    Give it a go and see how you go. What works for one person won't work for the next. If you aren't fast then the bikes not taking as much abuse as under a faster rider.
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,189
    The bike will cope, it won't be very comfortable and grip will be less than it would be on a mountain bike with bouncy forks and fatter rubber. I'd look at dropping the pressure even lower, cross racers drop down to 30psi. Take a look at the cyclocross bit of the forum.
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    Don't forget the CX tyre size is for the carcass, the knobbles stick out further and you may not get the tyres in your frame.
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • mr_eddy
    mr_eddy Posts: 830
    Thanks for the advice - With ref to the extra width of the knobbly bits I reckon if I go for a CX Comp 30c then I should be easily enough room to allow for the extra tread. This below pic is my bike with 32c tyres on:


    Re the pressures I don't think I could get away with 30 psi (Being 82kg) maybe 50 psi

    So basically the bike will be fine - i.e I am not going to snap anything just need to be careful in mud or corners - would that be fair to say?
  • mr_eddy
    mr_eddy Posts: 830
    Taking into account the narrower 30c comp I reckon I should have 5mm each side and 11mm at the top (based on a slick 30c) so unless the knobbles are more than say 4mm high I should be ok?

    The CX comp looks essentially like a semi slick with a flat central tread and knobbles at the side.

    I will give it a go and report back.

    Thanks for the advice.