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Old 08-04-2019, 03:09 PM
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metalheart metalheart is offline
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Wisconsin Limestone Trails and Tires

Early September flying into Minneapolis on the way for some real estate scouting in northern Wisconsin. Plan is to get across the River and head toward SW Wisconsin ending up in Madison and then onto Wausau and Lake Tomahawk.. I'm cycling, my wife is driving and antiquing.

I have not settled on a route yet for the early part of the trip, but tentatively looking at starting in La Crosse and going to Madison via Reedsburg. It looks as if there are 3 different bike trails between La Crosse and Reedsburg but they and some other Wisconsin bike trails are described as compacted limestone. I think of that as rocky stuff.

The bike I am taking has HED Belgium Plus rims with 28mm Continental 5000 tires. I am not sure these are the appropriate tires for these types of trails. I may just prefer to ride on the rural roads , but if I do choose some of the trails, what tires would you suggest for "compacted limestone."

I might just take a road only route from La Crosse or thereabouts southwest to new Glarus and then to Madison. Any other route suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 08-04-2019, 03:15 PM
Cicli Cicli is offline
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Gravelkings. I rode those all over Wisconsin and Illinois dirt roads. No issues.
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Old 08-04-2019, 03:54 PM
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charliedid charliedid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metalheart View Post
Early September flying into Minneapolis on the way for some real estate scouting in northern Wisconsin. Plan is to get across the River and head toward SW Wisconsin ending up in Madison and then onto Wausau and Lake Tomahawk.. I'm cycling, my wife is driving and antiquing.

I have not settled on a route yet for the early part of the trip, but tentatively looking at starting in La Crosse and going to Madison via Reedsburg. It looks as if there are 3 different bike trails between La Crosse and Reedsburg but they and some other Wisconsin bike trails are described as compacted limestone. I think of that as rocky stuff.

The bike I am taking has HED Belgium Plus rims with 28mm Continental 5000 tires. I am not sure these are the appropriate tires for these types of trails. I may just prefer to ride on the rural roads , but if I do choose some of the trails, what tires would you suggest for "compacted limestone."

I might just take a road only route from La Crosse or thereabouts southwest to new Glarus and then to Madison. Any other route suggestions are appreciated.
The 28mm GP5000 will be just fine

Have fun
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:02 PM
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thwart thwart is online now
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Originally Posted by charliedid View Post
The 28mm GP5000 will be just fine

Have fun
Agree. You're certainly not talking big gravel here. Although the GravelKings would be an even better choice.

As long as you're in SW Wisco, in the glorious driftless area, you may want to do a bit of on-road riding... around Mt. Horeb, Dodgeville, Spring Green.

Trails are very nice, but they're mostly converted railways, so no more than 3-4% grade.
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:12 PM
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metalheart metalheart is offline
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Agree. You're certainly not talking big gravel here. Although the GravelKings would be an even better choice.

As long as you're in SW Wisco, in the glorious driftless area, you may want to do a bit of on-road riding... around Mt. Horeb, Dodgeville, Spring Green.

Trails are very nice, but they're mostly converted railways, so no more than 3-4% grade.
I prefer on-road riding, so that is what I hope to do as long as traffic is reasonable. County roads look to be the best routes in the area you describe and not the major 151/18 route. I'm using Google Maps and Ride With GPS to look at routes and road condition (street view with Google Maps).
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Old 08-04-2019, 09:16 PM
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rccardr rccardr is offline
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Have ridden a bunch there, both trails and paved. 23's worked great, 25's are better. My tire of choice last time was Vittoria Rubino Pro III. This time will be Vittoria Control G (graphene), both size 25.

You'll be fine. It's not like you'll be riding the C&O Canal Towpath...
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Old 08-04-2019, 09:49 PM
Plum Hill Plum Hill is offline
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Your tires will be just fine.
I’ve recommended the state bike map before: https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/trave...aps/state.aspx .
Stop in at The Grumpy Troll in Mt. Horeb.
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Old 08-05-2019, 11:22 AM
jfranci3 jfranci3 is offline
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I'm not sure what your bike can handle, but get the widest recommended tire. Don't squeeze it in there, because the sand will eat your paint. Once you get even a bit off pavement, width matters more. 28mm tires will roll rather than sink, but it won't be fun. If you hit a muddy patch, it's over. The wider tires will keep you floating above any soft material. Even on a groomed, smooth, hard trail, you'll go a lot faster on a 45psi 35mm tire than a 28mm 65psi setup.




As for the specific tire, you can go with a slick for sure. You want a fast rolling fatter travel tire? I've had good luck with Schwalbe G-One Speed (these are only 30c?),which are just as fast as my 25c GP5K tubeless. The G-One AllAround is a good tire too. My GravelKing 42c are roughly 1mph slower on the road till about 20mph, then a bit more. Vittoria has a nice mixed road tire too.
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Old 08-05-2019, 06:33 PM
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charliedid charliedid is offline
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Originally Posted by jfranci3 View Post
I'm not sure what your bike can handle, but get the widest recommended tire. Don't squeeze it in there, because the sand will eat your paint. Once you get even a bit off pavement, width matters more. 28mm tires will roll rather than sink, but it won't be fun. If you hit a muddy patch, it's over. The wider tires will keep you floating above any soft material. Even on a groomed, smooth, hard trail, you'll go a lot faster on a 45psi 35mm tire than a 28mm 65psi setup.




As for the specific tire, you can go with a slick for sure. You want a fast rolling fatter travel tire? I've had good luck with Schwalbe G-One Speed (these are only 30c?),which are just as fast as my 25c GP5K tubeless. The G-One AllAround is a good tire too. My GravelKing 42c are roughly 1mph slower on the road till about 20mph, then a bit more. Vittoria has a nice mixed road tire too.
I can only assume you are speaking from experience and all opinions are valid but I have ridden all those trails on a road bike for many many years. I think 28's are perfect to jump between roads and CL paths. Just still my opinion.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:07 PM
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metalheart metalheart is offline
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Thanks for the additional replies. I think I will stick with the Conti. 5000s in 28mm for this trip, since I will probably be riding more roads than trails.

I have been looking at the State DOT county maps looking for road options for riding between La Close and New Glarus via Spring Green and Mount Horeb, including a stop at the Grumpy Troll (the Uff Da Pretzel --image below -- looks interesting).

One option is just to use the River Trail along the Mississippi and then turn east at Bridgeport and go along the Wisconsin River to Spring Green and then on to New Glarus via Mt. Horeb, if I survive the Uff Da Pretzel).

A Second option is to leave La Crosse going toward Viroqua and then onto Spring Green. This is shorter, would take us mostly on State Route 14 and some county roads that are more bike friendly according to the DOT County Maps.

The trip is evolving as I look at the details. The plan is to stop riding in New Glarus and then drive on to Madison to meet relatives after a Brewer Game, then drive on to Wausau the next day and cycle from there to Lake Tomahawk.
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  #11  
Old 08-05-2019, 07:22 PM
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charliedid charliedid is offline
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"A Second option is to leave La Crosse going toward Viroqua and then onto Spring Green. This is shorter, would take us mostly on State Route 14 and some county roads that are more bike friendly according to the DOT County Maps."

This is what I was gonna say but you can't go too wrong, really. Grumpy troll is nice and I think the Driftless museum worth a look see.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:33 PM
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charliedid charliedid is offline
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Although 14 is rideable all the fun roads are in between those state roads. All the hills you want. I'd ride 35 to 56 from LaCross through Viroqua on down to Richland Center. Or even the county roads but you'll find less access to services etc but so beautiful. Are you just doing this as day rides and meeting your wife at night?
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:19 PM
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So many possibilities, and almost all of them great.

Here are a few hilly challenge rides in the driftless areas you will be traveling through... if you don't mind hills, stitch a few of these together and you'll have a wonderful time. Stay off 14 and the major roads.

https://www.horriblyhilly.com/wp-con...H-Map-2019.pdf (don't miss Mounds Park Rd and turning to climb to the top of Blue Mounds Park)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/5419886 (the Kickapoo Kicker route... Wildcat Mountain is a must)

https://ridewithgps.com/trips/353353 (Dairyland Dare)
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:59 AM
Plum Hill Plum Hill is offline
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You might search for GRABAAWR routes. Ride follows the Wisconsin River from Eagle River to Prairie du Chien.
I rode a trail between Mt. Horeb and Verona last summer. Trail continued to Madison. I used Open Corsa 25s; only hairy when I got into some sandy soil.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:03 AM
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metalheart metalheart is offline
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The 35 and 56 from La Crosse to Viroqua looks like a reasonable route then county roads and as little of of 14 as possible south to Spring Green/RIchland Center looks like a nice ride. And, yes, my wife will meet me at night and we will stay in some comfy accommodations that will make her happy.

This is more of a point-to-point trip rather than stay in one place and explore, other than our time around Harshaw where I can ride some of the trails Plum Hill mentions. On past trips I have seen portions of the Bear Skin Trail and some others up north and those look like nice rides.

I haven't sorted out if I will do any riding between Madison and Wausau, but using the DOT maps and Ride With GPS, if I do, those are good resources for route planning.

Thanks again.
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