Scottish union canal. OK for road bike?


Über Member
Im doing Pedal for Scotland and thinking of cycling back via the union canal & forth & clyde canals. (This will make a nice even 100mile round trip.)
I cycle parts of the F&C canal everyday no problem but I've heard the union canal is different (poorer) and on the canals website it says "suitable for hybrids and mountain bikes"....

Can anyone confirm if this is a good idea or not on a road bike?


Legendary Member
There may have been a recent thread on this subject ?

twentysix by twentyfive

Clinging on tightly
Over the Hill
TBH I find I can ride most stuff on a "road" bike. I suspect you'll be fine on a canal tow path. If concerned put 25mm tyres on rather that 23's or whatever size tyre the clearance your bike will allow. Only stuff I wouldn't do on a "road" bike would be very very soft or very technical MTB stuff (downhill).

Pat "5mph"

A kilogrammicaly challenged woman
thinking of cycling back via the union canal & forth & clyde canals. (This will make a nice even 100mile round trip.)
I did that, on a hybrid.
Watch out not to tilly tally about in Embra, because the tunnel/bridge bit that goes from the Union to the Forth and Clyde at the Falkirk Wheel goes in lock down (they lock the gates) at a certain time, I remember I just made it through.
Also, if you're planning to go through Kelvingrove, that one locks at sundown.
I missed it, had to follow the 75 to town because I didn't know the way from Maryhill :laugh:


I wouldn't fancy the Union on skinny tyres.
Done it last year on a CX with 35mm on it.
Not a great route and nowhere near as good as F & C.
I'm planning on cycling back to Glasgow that day as well, just not sure of best way to go.
Advice greatly appreciated.

Sunny Portrush

Über Member
Yeah, I`ve cycled along the Union Canal path many times but would never dream of doing it on "road" tyres. In fact, they tried to improve the surface along a stretch near Hermiston a few years ago and I ended up with two punctures within 100 metres on mtb tyres - one front one back btw


My wife and I cycled from Bowling Basin on the outskirts of Glasgow to Edinburgh in May.
All along the Canals. We rode on our Bromptons and it went well.

Only dodgy bits were the cobbled aqua ducts and the narrow cobbled surfaces under the various bridges where we got off and walked and the long wet tunnel just past Falkirk.
I kept expecting the path to deteriorate but it was mostly OK.
Ive never been beyond Fawkirk from Edinburgh but that section is OK if you are not too precious about your bike.
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