Author Topic: Iron Horse Trail conditions?  (Read 8724 times)

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Offline Pat Lamb

Iron Horse Trail conditions?
« on: January 14, 2016, 09:48:10 am »
I was reading a bicycle review / trip report in Bicycle Quarterly last night.  Jan Heine (the author/publisher) spent a quarter of the article extolling the virtues of a mountain bike width (48) tire on the Iron Horse, implying that ordinary road tires ridden by mere mortals would be in a heap of trouble on this trail.

Is the trail surface really that bad?  What's the minimum width tire that could be comfortably ridden, say from North Bend to Cle Elum?  I was thinking about trying it with 28s.

Offline Itinerant Harper

Re: Iron Horse Trail conditions?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2016, 11:24:17 am »
I rode North Bend to Cle Elum on 38s. There is at least one section where it's pretty soft but I just took it slower. Personally I wouldn't ride it on 28s, but I wouldn't ride pavement on 28s either, but I'm sure you could make do. It'd be more pleasant on something 35 and up though.

Offline photogTM

Re: Iron Horse Trail conditions?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2016, 05:19:54 pm »
I rode from Seattle to past Ellensburg, including the entirety of that section, on a MTB. Main concern for you would be getting flats. One road bike rider leaving Snoqualmie tunnel got one. I got a flat on the MTB miles east of Snoqualmie Tunnel.

My MTB tires were around 26 x 2.1. I would discourage riding road or hybrid bike tires. It would not be comfortable.

Offline CoreyBurger

Re: Iron Horse Trail conditions?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2016, 05:48:54 pm »
My brother and I both rode it last year with 700c x 32 hybrid tires (Schwalbe Marathons). It was a little bit soupy in places with the new gravel, but fairly easy. Both of us had loaded touring bikes, as we came out of Seattle.

Offline scottb

Re: Iron Horse Trail conditions?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2016, 11:26:48 pm »
I've done North Bend to Cle Elum on 28's. Wider tires are nicer, but it was totally doable. I have wider tires now, but if I still had the 28's I'd still do it again.