Road bike on cobbled ground

BeautyandtheBeast

New Member
Location
Spain
Hi
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new cyclist, looking for some advice.

I've got a road bike, and I do mostly ride on roads/cycle paths... However I fully underestimated how tough it would be to ride on.... well, anything other than totally flat!
I recently went on some cobbled/gravel path and (apart from being very uncomfortable) my tyres slip and I nearly fell a few times.

My questions are:
  • Am I going to damage my tyres if I keep riding on rough ground like this?
  • Would it help to switch to mountain bike tyres, or something with more grip?
I don't know how much of the discomfort is from the tyres, and how much from having no suspension

THANK YOU in advance :smile:
 

Hicky

Veteran
You’re limited to what your bike will accept width wise. I ride on the canal often which has cobbled sections, I just take it easy over them. I’m on 25c Luganos.
 

si_c

Veteran
Location
Wirral
Road bike on cobbles is fine, if your wheel is slipping then dropping the tyre pressure can help, but speed is generally your friend as it smooths things out a bit.

Same goes for gravel, in either case you are unlikely to damage your tyres.

You said you are a new cyclist so I'm thinking that part of your trouble is that you don't know how the bike handles on that sort of terrain, so you don't intuitively know how to ride it. The best way to learn is to ride it and ride it and ride it... You'll be surprised how quickly you will find it doesn't bother you anymore.
 
OP
BeautyandtheBeast

BeautyandtheBeast

New Member
Location
Spain
What road bike, what tyres, what pressure?
Hi, man I'm sorry but I don't have the answer to any of those questions! I bought the bike second hand and it has no brand or anything on it, but looks pretty old. Michelin tyres, and pressure I just have no idea... Sorry!
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Different tyres won't give any more grip but as suggested above lower pressures will make a difference.
If you have clearance for bigger tyres they will also make a difference. What bike did you have?
 
OP
BeautyandtheBeast

BeautyandtheBeast

New Member
Location
Spain
Road bike on cobbles is fine, if your wheel is slipping then dropping the tyre pressure can help, but speed is generally your friend as it smooths things out a bit.

Same goes for gravel, in either case you are unlikely to damage your tyres.

You said you are a new cyclist so I'm thinking that part of your trouble is that you don't know how the bike handles on that sort of terrain, so you don't intuitively know how to ride it. The best way to learn is to ride it and ride it and ride it... You'll be surprised how quickly you will find it doesn't bother you anymore.
Hi :smile:
Thank you, I hope that will be the case!
Yes I'm pretty new, and this is my first road bike, I always had hybrid/mountain bike previously.... I love how light it is, but I'm worried I made a mistake by switching to be honest :/
Yes, I've found fast to be useful! I was worried speed and the terrain was going to hurt the tyres somehow... haha... maybe that's daft but I really know nothing!
You don't think it's worth looking for more grip-y tyres then?
 
OP
BeautyandtheBeast

BeautyandtheBeast

New Member
Location
Spain
And :welcome:, by the way!
Thank you! ^_^
 
OP
BeautyandtheBeast

BeautyandtheBeast

New Member
Location
Spain
Different tyres won't give any more grip but as suggested above lower pressures will make a difference.
If you have clearance for bigger tyres they will also make a difference. What bike did you have?
Thank you :smile:

Regarding the pressure, if I go to a shop to have the tyres inflated, what should I ask for? Sorry, I really do have zero knowledge here!
Also, I'm a Brit living in Spain... So I want to be as clear as possible of what I'm asking for... Before I go and try to navigate the situation in Spanish.. haha
 

Grant Fondo

Oswalds legs look strangely human?
Location
Cheshire
28c Duranos on an endurance road bike fine on the cobbled bits of the Shropshire Union towpath. Not exactly comfortable but actually better than my old alu Cannondale MTB. Plenty of concentration always works.
 

PapaZita

Veteran
Location
St. Albans
Thank you :smile:

Regarding the pressure, if I go to a shop to have the tyres inflated, what should I ask for? Sorry, I really do have zero knowledge here!
Rather than asking them to inflate the tyres for you, ask them to sell you a pump. It’s really the simplest bit of maintenance you can do, and it’s something that needs regular checking and adjusting, so best not to rely on someone else to do it for you.

Once you have a pump you can experiment with pressures. If your pump has a pressure gauge then you can put a number to the pressures you try. Otherwise, just try “a bit harder” and “a bit softer” until you get a feel for it.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
The problem with cobbles is when a narrow tyre drops into gaps and upsets your steering.

Why do you need to ride on cobbles anyway?
 
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