AUSTIN – The tire/rim combination of Surly Extra Terrestrial 26 x 2.5 mounted tubeless to a 50mm Surly Rabbit Hole rim has proven itself as smooth and capable on several paved, hard-pack and moderately loose surfaces – wet and dry.
I decided to kick it up a notch with my testing of not only the tire and rim combination, but this whole new world of having multiple gears, by heading to one of my favorite local places, Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park in east Austin.
As a rear tire, at 2 bars, I was able to keep up momentum and, in more shallow sand, get the Troll rolling. I think lower pressure – 1 bar? – would help this.
It wasn’t something I would want to do all day, but it’s doable.
The front was a different story. It performed worse as a front. You could get by if patches of sand were in your route (like in the Baja Divide) but it’s not ideal.
Where the rear tire can keep enough friction if the rider can maintain some sort of constant motion, the Extra Terrestrial as a front tire has no such work-around.
Guerrero Park has wide walking trails with a decomposed granite surface; varying singletrack; a hobo shed, complete with dirty sleeping bags and porno magazines; sandy, dry creek beds (except when they flood, which is often) and Secret Beach. The expansive park has sportsball fields, disc golf and good views of the Longhorn Dam, which creates Ladybird Lake from the Colorado River (no, not THAT Colorado River, this is a different one wholly within Texas).
As tempting as the dirty sleeping bags were, this time I was there for the sandy creek beds.
The park used to connect to the Butler Trail via a bridge that was destroyed by flood water (a few times over) ages ago.
Currently, after the episodes of flooding, if one wants to ride a bike or walk to the park from the Butler Trail, their route will circumvent the long-gone bridge by a route through the Country Club Creek Greenway and the adjacent disc golf course.