Author Topic: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims  (Read 2141 times)

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Offline johnwilldo

Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« on: July 25, 2013, 06:20:45 pm »
My 52 cm Surly Disc Trucker will be needing fenders for the 26 inch rims.  The Trucker will be sporting Surly Nice front and rear racks with Ortleib Front Roller and Back Roller Classic panniers.  The Disc Trucker currently has the stock Continental tires which are 1.5's.  Is is better to go a little wider, if so by how much? I looked at the Bike Planet Hybrid/touring fenders at Performance Bikes, but the front fender looks a tad short and I am not convinced that the fit would be right on my smaller wheel set.  I just received shipment of the Surly Nice front pannier rack and it looks pretty beefy but not that heavy...perhaps I was expecting a boat anchor?

Offline mmounties

Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2013, 12:40:46 pm »
Hi, I just got a 52cm frame with 26" rims.  I put on flexible fenders for a 700 wheel and it works and looks great (because the fenders are a little off the wheel and that absorbs the extra radius).  If I ever put on wider tires it'll still be good.  Mine is as it comes out of the box except for the handlebars, fenders, racks and saddle.  Regarding the tire width, I think it depends mostly on what kind of surfaces you plan to ride.  If you plan to ride on compacted gravel and dirt, wider tires are generally better.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 12:49:00 pm by mmounties »
-- Tina

Offline johnwilldo

Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2013, 04:38:35 pm »
Looks pretty good!  What type of fenders are they?  There does not seem to be too many choices.    The SKS Longboards seem to be the leading candidate, but I think I will have to trim the from fender after removing the mud flap, trimming back the fender and reinstalling the mudflap.  I am hoping to do the C & O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage in the fall or spring.  I hear that the C & O portion is a tad rough so wider tires than the 1.5's that came with the bike may be in the future.  I ride the local Delaware and Lehigh trails just fine with the 1.5's but am not loaded down with gear.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2013, 05:49:58 pm »
1.5 inch tires are fine for paved roads.  That is roughly 38mm in metric.  Ample for a loaded touring bike.  Going narrower or wider does not really get you much extra.  Narrower might possibly be a little faster.  Maybe.  Wider might be a little more comfortable.  Maybe.  But 1.5 inch width is a great tire size for all roads.  Paved and unpaved.

As for fenders, look online for some designed for 26 inch tires.  I'm sure they are out there.  Make sure the front fender goes as low as possible and has a flap.  You don't want water spraying on your shoes.  And try to get the rear fender to go down as far as possible and has a flap.  To keep water off anyone following you.  You may have to bolt on flaps yourself.  You can buy them online I am sure.  Or make them out of pieces of rubber or milk jugs.  Cutting up a wide mountain bike tire would probably work as a flap.  Bolt on with screws and washers.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 11:54:39 am by RussSeaton »

Offline johnwilldo

Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2013, 03:19:58 am »
Thanks Russ,

I have been comfortably riding roads, cinder paths and dirt tow paths comfortably with the stock 1.5 tires on the Disc Trucker.  The first long loaded ride that I am planning is the C & O Canal path and I am reading blogs about the rough surface.  I cannot believe that the C & O would be much different from the Delaware and Lehigh tow path trail which I have been riding weekly in different sections unloaded.

So far the SKS Longboard for fenders seem to be the leading candidate.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2013, 11:59:04 am »
If you know you are riding the C&O Canal Path, and it is rock/gravel/dirt, then by all means get wider tires.  Assuming the price is right.  Wider tires are better for unpaved surfaces.  You should be able to find some tires around 2 inches wide with a fairly smooth tread.  You want smooth tread, not knobbies.  For all around riding, paved, unpaved, whatever, the 1.5 inch Continental tires you currently have are great all purpose tires.  Nothing is better for all riding.  But specifically for unpaved trails, wider is better.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2013, 01:27:19 pm »
FWIW, the parts of the C&O I've been on were a little rough on 700Cx32s, I think they would have been fine on 38s (1.5 in.).  Anybody who takes a road bike with 23 or 25 tires is going to think it's terrible.  Surface ranges from sandy clay, to finely crushed rock, and back to mud.

Offline johnwilldo

Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2013, 01:57:32 pm »
My stock 1.5's seem to do fine on the rougher parts of the local tow paths of the Delaware and Lehigh towpath trails.  The parts of the trail that are rail conversions are generally cinder (screenings) over normal rail road bed crushed stone.  (Off Topic) It is a wonderful ride especially on hot summer days where much of the trail is shaded.  It should be a real treat riding in the fall.

Offline DaveB

Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2013, 06:21:36 am »
The C&O trail is rough when dry and dreadful when wet.

Offline johnwilldo

Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2013, 01:32:23 pm »
I am ordering dry weather for this fall and also have the option of laying over for a day or two if the trail conditions are as poor as you have experienced.  How much experience have you had on the trail?  Do you ride the C & O often and is you comment from personal experience?

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2013, 01:53:46 pm »
Near Georgetown, the C & O Trail is beautifully maintained. Further down the road, it's not so good. Be prepared for some rough times. Not impossible, but rough.

Offline DaveB

Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2013, 04:22:46 pm »
I am ordering dry weather for this fall and also have the option of laying over for a day or two if the trail conditions are as poor as you have experienced.  How much experience have you had on the trail?  Do you ride the C & O often and is you comment from personal experience?
I have personally never ridden the C&O trail but I have at least a half dozen friends and acquaintances who have and have seen several article about it in Adventure Cycling and other bike magazines.   They universally agree with my capsule summary above.  Rough when dry and dreadful when wet.

I have ridden several segments of the GAP trail that connects from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD and to the C&O trail.  The GAP is a decent ride and not too rough or soft. 

Offline johnwilldo

Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2013, 04:15:11 am »
Good input, thanks.

I think I will go slightly wider than the stock tires on my Surly.  I see that I can get the Schwalbe Marathon Plus HS 348 in a 26 X 1.75.  I may go with that in view of the trail conditions that I may encounter on C & O.

Any thoughts on that choice for a touring tire?

Offline Greg in MO

Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2013, 10:05:22 am »
John,

I'm sure the Schwalbes would work fine for the C&O.  I used to ride it all the time when I lived in MD, but I never rode the whole trail.  It can be a mess when wet.  Back then I rode a MTN bike with 2.1" tires, but that was before my touring days.

I rode Conti Travel Contacts in 26 x 1.75 for my Katy Trail trip and they were fantastic.  The trails are similar but the Katy is probably better maintained.  Of course, I haven't ridden the C&O in 10 years so my info may be dated.  I don't think I would have a big problem on the Katy riding my "road" touring bike which has 38mm tires on it, and when I ride it again I will probably take that bike.  You would probably be fine with the 1.5" tires too, but the 1.75"s will definitely work.

You will want fenders if you have to ride that trail in the wet or damp, and previous posters have given you good advice there.

Greg

Offline johnwilldo

Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2013, 11:13:36 am »
Thanks Greg,

I am on the fence about the tire size.  The stock tires seem to be working just great on tow path trails, and very good on paved surfaces.  I run them at 70 pounds and they ride well on multiple surfaces.  While I am researching gear, I also have to decide the direction since I don't plan to do an up and back.  I know that on Adventure Cycling tours they seem to travel northward.  Perhaps they want to get the C & O out of the way first.  Either end is not very far from my northeastern Pennsylvania location.