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Lydia on 6/14/2022 7:48:39 PM:
Hi, all. I have a Public C7 commuter upright bike and am wondering if it might be able to handle a long distance like this given that it’s pretty flat. Thoughts? Do I need to invest in a more expensive road/gravel bike to do this kind of mileage?

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 6/15/2022 8:21:56 AM:
A little more information about you, your bike and trip itinerary would be helpful in offering a more informed opinion about the suitability of using your Public C7 Dutch, stepthrough commuter bike to ride the GAP Trail and/or C&O Towpath. Here are some observations however. The Public's steel frame, caliper rim brakes, 1X7-speed drive train and 35mm tires should be fine for such a trip so long as they are in good condition before departing. Depending on your condition as well you could find the gear ratio challenging if riding east to west up the hill on the GAP Trail from Cumberland to the Eastern Continental Divide. If riding the other direction down the hill you should be fine. There are some hills on the detour between mileposts 88 and 89 of the C&O that could be a challenge in either direction. Then there is the Paw Paw Tunnel detour on the C&O which presents a different challenge regardless what type of bike you ride. Based on past experience, my only concern might be the wheels themselves. The 32-hole rims should be ok for most loads including the weight of the rider and gear. If you are not carrying a lot of gear, i.e. more than you might carry around town when commuting, you should be fine. However, if you are planning a self-supported ride with lots of camping gear, clothes and food then I'd be a little concerned about the wheels. I'd be cautious to check that all the spokes are properly and uniformly tensioned before starting and check them each day. The good news is that there are bike shops along the way that could remedy most problems so long as you recognize them which is true for any bike. The fenders on the C7 would be very useful if you encounter any rain along the way. These are just my thoughts. Others may have different opinions and experiences.