Is a Trek Crossrip with 700x32mm tyres @80psi suitable for offroad trails?

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Is a Trek Crossrip with 700x32mm tyres @80psi suitable for offroad trails?

Postby johngwheeler » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:03 pm


I've recently bought my first bike, a Trek Crossrip Elite, which although marketed as a Cyclocross bike, is probably more accurately described as a "rugged road-bike / commuter with some off-road capability".

I attempted to follow a local single-track route shown on Google Maps as a cycle path, but ended up abandoning the route because it had a lot more rocks, tree roots and other obstacles than I felt comfortable with on this bike.

My Trek has 700x32mm Bontrager HD5 tyres with some grip, but not the knobbly MTB type. It also seems to have quite high tyre pressures - I'm not sure exactly how much because I don't yet have a floor pump with a gauge, but the tyres are rated at 80psi - quite high for offroad use I think.

I found the ride pretty bumpy over uneven terrain (with twigs, gravel etc.), although it's bearable if I get out of the saddle and don't go too fast.

So my question is whether the Trek Crossrip is not really a Cyclocross bike capable of serious offroad use, and whether I would be better off keeping it as a rugged road-bike that is OK of relatively smooth off-road tracks or grass?

My current feeling is that if I want to pursue more serious off-road pursuits with a drop-bar bike, that I will eventually need to upgrade to a more serious dedicated Cyclocross bike, that has the spec to take more punishment.

Any thoughts?



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Re: Is a Trek Crossrip with 700x32mm tyres @80psi suitable for offroad trails?

Postby RonK » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:34 am

It doesn't much matter whether you have an entry cross bike or a pro cross bike, they are intended for riding around the park, not for "serious off road pursuits".

Certainly you can ride them on gravel roads, fire trails and smooth single track, but a bike on 32mm tyres is never going to be comfortable on the trail conditions you described - for that you need an MTB.
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Re: Is a Trek Crossrip with 700x32mm tyres @80psi suitable for offroad trails?

Postby vindlecrag » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:30 am

Yes 80psi is high. That is the maximum. For someone 130kg that doesn't unweight the rear wheel when they bang into a gutter/pothole.

I'm 70kg, ride fairly 'light' in that I'd lift the rear wheel over square edges. I'd get away with 35-40 psi in those tyres. The average would probably be 50psi.

That's not going to change a heap for rough trails though. It's still a rigid bike with a low air volume tyre. Lowering the pressure will make riding smooth unsealed trails nicer. But rough trails will still be horrible and you'll probably puncture lots. It's not a mountain bike.

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Re: Is a Trek Crossrip with 700x32mm tyres @80psi suitable for offroad trails?

Postby Thoglette » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:43 pm

First, get a floor pump or a tyre gauge
Second, work out how big a tyre you can fit. (About45mm w/out fenders, if the reviews are to be believed)
Third, decide if you want to do "serious off-road pursuits" or ride a "serious dedicated Cyclocross bike"
as such a bike will be designed for the UCI's 33mm width limit.

Then you can start to make serious decisions: a set of 45mm tyres should allow 30psi (or lower with ghetto tubeless) . A whole different ball game to 32mm (AT) 80psi. And for not much money

Ultimately, some forms of "serious off road" do mean suspension and flat bars.
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Re: Is a Trek Crossrip with 700x32mm tyres @80psi suitable for offroad trails?

Postby Warin » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:35 pm

Humm terms :?:

Forestry roads = rally cars = cyclocross
serious off-road = 4WD = MTB
rock steps, mud holes, etc :shock: = Rock crawlers = trials bike

Depends on what you mean by "serious off-road". There are many varieties. Bikes do have advantages over cars - lighter so you can hop, carry or simply push and they are narrower .. so they can get to places where cars cannot go.

At 70psi I don't get enough traction to climb dirt hills on my MTB ... hills = 20% grade of more. Paved hills are no trouble at even higher pressures.

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Re: Is a Trek Crossrip with 700x32mm tyres @80psi suitable for offroad trails?

Postby trailgumby » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:03 pm

YOu can ride a cross bike on mountain bike trails, but it will beat you up a lot more than a built-for-purpose mountain bike.

I've seen a few cross bikes on our local "beginner friendly" fire trails at Terrey Hills, but unless they are experienced skilled riders deliberately looking for more of a challenge, we tend to leave them behind fairly quickly.

I was initially quite surprised by how quickly, but after riding 93 or so kilometres at the Mont 24 with essentially a rigid fork I figured it it out. :oops: I needed physio on my wrists and shoulders afterwards. :oops:

Now, that's not to say it can't be done. You just need to run the biggest tyres your frame will safely fit, convert to tubeless and run lower pressures as has been suggested above. Then you need to learn how to unweight and float your bike over the tree roots and rocks.

Smoother dirt and gravel roads suitable for normal 2WD passenger cars, and groomed trails are more suited to this style of bike, though.

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Re: Is a Trek Crossrip with 700x32mm tyres @80psi suitable for offroad trails?

Postby lone rider » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:18 pm

I ride my CX at 40-50psi with 33mm tyres on gravel roads, horse trails, fire roads. I once took it Lysterfield to mostly ride the fire trails and then decided I'd try some easy single track, yeah it was great through the twisty stuff provided there was minimal obstacles but as soon as I hit some tree roots I realised its a waste of time. On the weekend i came across a guy trying to descend the state mtb course on a CX and was ridiculous to see some body trying to get through rock gardens and switchback corners on a bike that was just not built for that. Maybe people watch a Peter Sagan video and think they can do the same thing, 99% of people cant. I can have a lot of fun on a CX on forest roads and getting off the beaten track but if want to ride obstacles and such and are considering a new bike, get a mtb.

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