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tire size

opedaler from Ne nerbraska on 12/1/2021 11:36:38 AM:
I have to eat a little crow from a post I made earlier. It deals with tire size on the cowboy trail. While it is true that we have ridden the trail many times with smaller tires, an experience has led me to believe the best AND SAFEST way to enjoy the trail is with wider tires. This year we have enjoyed the trail primarily with our gravel bikes (40 mm tires), but I wanted to try out a new seat that I installed on another bike that I was going to use on a road ride. The tires I use on this bike are not thin (32mm) but the bike which my wife rides when I use this bike are 30mm wide. We were near Battle Creek and I was slightly ahead of my wife so I didn't see the incident, but she got caught on the side of the trail in some soft gravel. Long story short she ended up with a concussion (still can't remember what happened), a broken collarbone (requiring a plate), and a short stint in the hospital. So if anyone took notice of my suggestion that narrower tires are alright on the cowboy trail, I'd suggest you forget it. Also wear a helmet (which my wife had), and don't be lulled into false security because you're on a limestone trail. Safer than hard surface, but not hazard free.

Dougt from Onawa, Ia on 12/1/2021 1:22:31 PM:
This could happen to anyone on any trail, but it speaks to an issue that I've noticed every time I ride the trail(4x out and back for a total of 8x) and that is trail maintenance. I'll continue to ride it each year because it's an adventure, but when people talk about it being a big draw like the Katy Trail that's a pipe dream until Ne. steps up its game and maintains the trail. I realize that flooding is an issue and some problems are unavoidable. I rode it in '11 when it got something like 11" of rain over 2 nights and not only was the trail flooded in entire areas but the highway was as well. That's unavoidable. What I would think could be done, however it to step up mowing, spraying, and packing of the trail. There are always sections of trail that are overgrown with weeds, and if that's happening you're going to have goat heads in there. I've seem goatheads growing inside city limits which should be the last place that you see them. I rode the Katy Trail out and back last year and there is no comparison. And you can see the equipment that they use parked in places, something like a big roller to compact the surface when they add rock, which would be a big help on the Cowboy. We read about the trail being finished to Chadron at some point. That would be awesome, but perhaps more effort at doing a decent job of maintaining what is already there would be a good start. I've run into people on more than one occasion from Omaha that came out to ride and were quiting because they were expecting something well maintained like the Wabash and weren't prepared for the Cowboy. Just my two cents.....

opedaler from Ne nerbraska on 12/1/2021 2:24:35 PM:
You make a good point Dougt. We have ridden several trails this year (Katy, Hiawatha, Cour d'Alene, Centennial, Mickelson, among others). On every single one I've been asked about the Cowboy, and I don't really know how to answer. I would like for people to use it, but I'm hesitant to recommend it for fear once they use it, they won't like it and will fail to return.

Pepzilla from Omaha on 1/22/2022 11:50:22 AM:
Contemplating a trip this spring, but concerned I might need a different bike. I have 700x28c currently and no problem riding the MOPAC from Omaha all the way down to Platte River State Park. The gravel can get pretty loose on that trail, and I've seen a few comparisons on these forums to the MOPAC. What say you all, would I be crazy going on 28s?

Alex from Lincoln on 1/24/2022 8:32:56 AM:
I would not recommend using that narrow of a tire on Cowboy Trail. A 38c or wider tire is recommended to have the best experience. I think you would end up riding the highway if you ride the trail on 28c tires.

Alex from Lincoln on 1/24/2022 8:32:57 AM:
I would not recommend using that narrow of a tire on Cowboy Trail. A 38c or wider tire is recommended to have the best experience. I think you would end up riding the highway if you ride the trail on 28c tires.

Bikenfrank from Cedar falls Iowa on 2/1/2022 10:46:54 AM:
I used the 700c x37 gravel king. Tubeless tires filled with slime. The goat heads on the Cowboy trail can be frightful. I didn’t have a problem but my buddy from Council Bluffs had 8 patches the first day. That was riding the stretch from Valentine east. That first 46 miles had UNpacked loose pee gravel, potholes, flooding, and four wheelers tracks. I wouldn’t ride that again till it’s repaired!!!!

BurritoFAN from Tn on 3/9/2022 11:20:44 AM:
8 patches in one day... was that while riding with you?? Just wondering as I am planning to ride the trail in april?