Is it OK to ride a road bike on gravel? Specifically, if you pick up the capital crescent trail from Jones Mill Road heading towards Bethesda, the trail surface is primarily gravel, some might call it rocky, for awhile. Will this wreck my tires/wheels? Thanks.
my guess would be probably not.
is there a possibility that the rims might go slightly out of true if you ride on it for mile and miles and hit some good sized rocks and holes? of course nothing is indestructible.
but as far as doing damage to your frame or tires, unless you hit something sharp liek a rock or something the chance of a flat will obviously be more than just on smooth road.
in genereal i woudln't worry too much the bigger issue is that the road style tread may not give you as much traction on the gravel surface as would something more agressive like a mtb tread.
WABA's Full Moon Ride goes through there. The main concern: going off the bumpy trail in the dark, not wrecking one's wheels.
The Vasa Ride also went through that part of the trail. I was worried about that surface too but it went better than I expected. Of course, back in March, we had to deal with downed bamboo trees, piles of frozen slush and big mud patches. I rode on that trail on my tri bike. Well, sort of. There was so much slush and ice that I had to walk and carry my bike most of the time on the trail.
I think it would be OK for occasional rides in warmer weather but I might go a little slower than normal. And I would try not to ride there every day.
Two words: Paris-Roubaix.
Or is that one? Hmmm