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Lon las cymru tyre choice

fattywilliamsfattywilliams Posts: 37
edited April 2019 in Tour & expedition
Hi guys doing the lon las cymru from Cardiff we'll from Bristol via Cardiff to holyhead in July.

We have gravel/Cross bikes but can't seem to find too much info on specific tyres. I don't really wanna do the off road parts if I can including the ones I read about by snowdonia I currently have spezilized roubaix 32mm tyres on my gravel bike but also have a set of maxxis pace on a 650b rims that I can use but are a kilo heavier.

So what tyres have people use successfully want to do route in 4 days starting from Bristol so do people think the maxxis tyres be overkill and make the mileage hard work?

Posts

  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,441
    If you start from Chepstow, you can probably use very basic tyres... much of it is paved
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,406
    I did the northern section of the route quite a few years ago shortly after its official opening. I was on a touring bike with mudguards and carrying camping gear in four panniers. I rode to Builth Wells from my home in Shropshire before heading north to Holyhead along Lon Las Cymru.

    My bike was fitted with regular lightly treaded road touring tyres in 32mm size and, from memory, were probably Continental Top Touring or Panaracer Pasela. The tyres coped fine with the off-road bits. I had to push the bike along a couple of the steepest off-road stretches but it's not like riding some technical mountain bike route. You certainly don't need a specific gravel/cross bike or knobbly tyres. As most of the route is on-road, you would be best with relatively light faster rolling wheels and tyres to make the riding more pleasurable.

    Having said that, I took the coastal road route via Barmouth rather than the off-road alternative.
  • We wanna start in Cardiff and to the taff trail ideally we done Chepstow to Rhayader before so will be something different but just wanna know what sort of tryes are required for these off road sections really is something like a schwalbe g one or a panaracer gravelking sk in 35mm good enough as these will still roll okay on road?
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,406
    We wanna start in Cardiff and to the taff trail ideally we done Chepstow to Rhayader before so will be something different but just wanna know what sort of tryes are required for these off road sections really is something like a schwalbe g one or a panaracer gravelking sk in 35mm good enough as these will still roll okay on road?

    You'll be fine on those tyres. Just checked Lon Las Cymru discussions on cyclechat and cyclinguk forums and people have been happy doing it on road bikes, touring bikes, folders and tandems on 23, 25, 28 and 32mm road tyres.
  • redjeepǃredjeepǃ Posts: 517
    Mercia Man wrote:
    We wanna start in Cardiff and to the taff trail ideally we done Chepstow to Rhayader before so will be something different but just wanna know what sort of tryes are required for these off road sections really is something like a schwalbe g one or a panaracer gravelking sk in 35mm good enough as these will still roll okay on road?

    You'll be fine on those tyres. Just checked Lon Las Cymru discussions on cyclechat and cyclinguk forums and people have been happy doing it on road bikes, touring bikes, folders and tandems on 23, 25, 28 and 32mm road tyres.

    Hmmm, not sure if they did the same route as me then. When i did it two years ago parts of it were really thick, gloopy mud up to about 6 inches deep and other parts were large gravel lumps that were difficult to cycle over. I did it on a 'cross bike (Planet X Dirty Disco) with, I think, 28mm tyres. There were times when I would have given a kidney for 32 or 35 mm tyres. I wouldn't fancy it on anything narrower.

    I wouldn't be too worried about the rolling capability on roads.
  • Redjeep! wrote:
    Mercia Man wrote:
    We wanna start in Cardiff and to the taff trail ideally we done Chepstow to Rhayader before so will be something different but just wanna know what sort of tryes are required for these off road sections really is something like a schwalbe g one or a panaracer gravelking sk in 35mm good enough as these will still roll okay on road?

    You'll be fine on those tyres. Just checked Lon Las Cymru discussions on cyclechat and cyclinguk forums and people have been happy doing it on road bikes, touring bikes, folders and tandems on 23, 25, 28 and 32mm road tyres.

    Hmmm, not sure if they did the same route as me then. When i did it two years ago parts of it were really thick, gloopy mud up to about 6 inches deep and other parts were large gravel lumps that were difficult to cycle over. I did it on a 'cross bike (Planet X Dirty Disco) with, I think, 28mm tyres. There were times when I would have given a kidney for 32 or 35 mm tyres. I wouldn't fancy it on anything narrower.

    I wouldn't be too worried about the rolling capability on roads.


    Thanks for info do you think a 32 or 35 slick be okay or you reckon a slightly treaded option needed really I don't really wanna have to divert or get off and walk but just trying to work out best balance of grip vs rolling
  • redjeepǃredjeepǃ Posts: 517
    i'd go for something with some grip, but not full on MTB knobblies. Don't get me wrong, long parts of it are on road, but presuming you're not trying to set a record, the grip will be handy and won't cost you much on the roads.

    To give you an idea, I did a slightly hybrid version of it where i started near Haverfordwest, cycled north to Aberystwth and then south east down to Cardiff. I did this in three days. A total of around 210 miles. The first day was up to Aberystwth and wasn't really part of the LLC, but it was the next two days when the going got tough !

    I remember the last day being hard. There was a village with a big old watermill and some of the tracks coming out were really muddy. Later in the day I went past an army training ground near a reservoir near Aber and there was a long uphill climb on soft gravel that nearly killed me. I was actually wondering if I was meant to be there, but a couple of platoons of soldiers went past me in the opposite direction at a fast jogging speed, and didn't wrestle me from my bike or anything , so I reckoned I was okay. Funnily enough I saw them all again in a lovely little cafe at the end of that stretch. I don't know what else they were being drilled on, but their manners in the cafe were impeccable (they even tidied away their dirty plates into the kitchen).
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,406
    I still say you will be fine on the Schwalbe G One or Panaracer Gravel King SK in 35mm that you mentioned above. I can’t comment on the southern section but you have already done it so know what to expect. I rode the whole northern section of the official route from Builth Wells to Holyhead and the vast majority is on roads and hardpack/tarmac cycle tracks. I had no trouble with my touring bike with touring road tyres and full camping gear on the off-road sections even though my trip was in heavy rain and wind. The official website says road and hybrid bikes with sturdy tyres are suitable.

    There were only two shortish off-road tricky sections that I encountered. You go along a grassy field north of Newbridge on Wye, followed by a steep stony/muddy track and up a very steep stony/muddy track from Aberllefenni and down a more grassy track to Dolgellau. The main NCN8 route takes the flat hardpack old railway line from Dolgellau to Barmouth and then up the coast. There is an alternative largely off-road section via the Coed y Brenin mountain bike park where your two highlighted tyres would give some extra grip and comfort.

    I would suggest gearing should be carefully considered. The northern section of Lon Las Cymru is very hilly. A 34 or 36x28 bottom gear would make for hard going. I was glad of my 24/28.
  • redjeepǃredjeepǃ Posts: 517
    I totally agree about the tyres you mention. They seem perfect and would be exactly what I'd look for if I was to do it again, probably in 32 or 35 mm. My comments were purely related to the comments about doing on a road bike with 23mm road tyres.
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