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    Commuter tires

    I found a tire I really like, and thought I'd start a thread to share it, and see what tires other street riders like.
    I'm using the Schwalbe Big Ben Plus 26x2.15, I was using the Big Apple Plus which was pretty good. But now that I've actually got the Big Ben+ in my possession I like them much better.
    The basics for me are high volume, low pressure tires, reflective sidewalls, good flat protection, and a smooth running tread pattern.
    The Big Apples had all of those, but the Big Ben+ adds a softer tread compound for high speed handling, an E bike 50kph (30mph) speed rating which is probably a legal requirement in EU.
    The tread pattern (HS439) is about twice as deep as the Big Apple (HS430), so should give decent life, and much better traction in muddy situations (I tested this recently). It will also take a bigger piece of glass to get into the flat protection layers. Another difference is the BA+ is a grooved slick, while the tread blocks on the BB+ are textured. This wears away on the center but remains on the sidewall to help out if you have to lay the bike over in a turn. I haven't noticed a big hit on speed, or range with these. These are all heavy tires. The soft compound and deep tread seem more confidence inspiring on traffic circles. Just be aware that when brand new these tires will have a slick mold release compound on them and will be slippery at first. So break them in a little before speed testing them. I ride some tight circles to scuff in the sides. The diameter is the same but the BA+ is about 2mm wider overall. I did run the BB+ as a drive, and the BA+ as steer at first, but went with BB+ at both ends when I could get a 2nd tire.
    These tires are almost always on back order so plan ahead if you want try them or have a spare.
    https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_t...s/big_ben_plus

    This tire has also been called the Supermoto X on other diameters and widths like 29"x2.75"
    https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_t...s/super-moto-x
    Last edited by Retrorockit; 01-11-2021, 11:08 AM.

    #2
    Interesting. I considered BB's this summer when I was having trouble finding the BA's that had been recommended to me by several people. One of the things I was looking for was ride quality since I have a fully rigid setup and everyone told be BA's were the way to go so I searched and found a set in my size. Do you think the ride quality is more or less the same?

    Comment


    • Retrorockit
      Retrorockit commented
      Editing a comment
      I would say the same or better. The deeper tread and softer compound give a little extra cushion.But not a big deal.

    #3
    I've also been using the Marathon and Road Cruiser (in 700C), Big Bens (in 26), Super Moto X (in 20 and 27.5), and for a splash of color the Fat Franks (in 26) - with the reflector strip when available.

    I think they're particularly good for e-bike use and speeds, but for a pedal-only bike I'd pick lighter and more supple models.

    Like for many bicycle components these days pricing for the same tire vary wildly, along with availability. My last tire pair came overseas via Chain Reaction Cycles - otherwise I use Amazon and eBay.

    Recommended
    Last edited by ncmired; 01-11-2021, 12:06 PM.
    BBSHD / BBS02 IGH Builds: Nexus / Alfine 8: 1 2 3 4 5 6, Rohloff: 1

    Comment


    • Retrorockit
      Retrorockit commented
      Editing a comment
      I had to go overseas to get my 2nd BB+. The tire was $28 but with $15 shipping I didn't save any money really.

    #4
    I guess when I was shopping I wasn't looking that much at price as much as who actually had them in stock. Lucky for me I was looking for 29's and found em, apparently not that many people doing slickish tires on 29's. I don't think I saw any 26's in stock anywhere all summer.

    I was in the bike industry in the late 80's and early 90's there wasn't that much 'mail order' going on back then. I think Nashbar was about it, most people seemed to buy at their local shops because every town had one. 100% markup was the norm on some bikes and for sure all parts and accessories. Getting sort of back into it this summer I am amazed that with all the online shopping options worldwide that with like 75% of the major brands they are still holding a minimum advertised price and its still 100% markup. Can't be many industries where online is an option that have been able to maintain that. I guess the reason is is there are only a couple major distributors and one of them owns several popular brands so you make them mad not only do you loose the biggest and likely most reliable distributor you loose direct access to all their brands which could be a big deal depending on what sort of stuff your customers are looking for.

    Comment


      #5
      I guess I'm going to put something I've found about inner tubes in here. Due to the hassle of fixing a flat on an IGH bike I tried some of the self sealing tubes. Also someone gave me a bottle of Slime tire sealer so I tried that too. Both items failed in a similar way. I did see some small leaks that had been sealed by the Slime, but when a large piece of glass cut the tube what a mess I had to clean up. The sealant is also not good for the inside of the tires. It dissolved the Sidewall of a Hutchinson Acrobat tire I used to run before going to Schwalbe.
      The other 2 issues I found are that the valve stem core can get sealed up and be hard to remove for repairs, and even worse sometimes the sealant dissolves the bond between the metal tire stem and the tube itself. I've had the stem come out of the tube just from inflating the tire, and also from trying to remove the valve core. I'm over it with these things..

      Comment


      • AZguy
        AZguy commented
        Editing a comment
        I've got >9000mi using stans with outstanding results

        Nothing is going to handle a big enough slice though

        If I make sure to turn the wheel so the valve stem is at the 5 or 7o'clock and sit for a minute or two before checking or airing have had very little issues with clogging

        The stuff is super thin, not like slime

        Clearly YMMV

      #6
      I've fixed big slices by the side of the road with a large tire patch glued inside the tire itself. It would have been easier without tire slime sprayed all over the place. I actually rode it for a long time that way. Filled the open crack in the tread with black RTV silicone.

      Comment


      • AZguy
        AZguy commented
        Editing a comment
        I meant no sealant will fix a slice for the most part, patching can work if the slice isn't too large

        I don't even carry patches anymore... maybe I might consider it if going deep into the boonies... the stans takes care of pretty much everything short of big damage so no way I'll ever do without it

      • Retrorockit
        Retrorockit commented
        Editing a comment
        If you hit a big piece of glass on concrete it's going to do some damage, and it's hard to avoid it at night. I carry patches, large and small, and a spare tube.Knobby tires that keep you up off of things, and soft surface are a lot different.

      #7
      Just an update. I went to Stan's inside my tubes and so far so good. I also added the Lenzyne pump AZ recommended. The flat black color disappears on my bike so I don't think thieves will know it's there. So I have Stan's, a spare tube, CO2, and a pump for backup. Plus a patch kit for the tire casing itself. Hopefully no more roadside tube patching at night! Thanks AZ.

      Comment


      • Retrorockit
        Retrorockit commented
        Editing a comment
        As far as tires go I'm hooked on the Schwalbe Big Apple Plus (Supermoto in some sizes) tires. They're purpose built for fast E bikes. 50kph Pedlec in EU.
        Not completely flat proof, but the deeper tread helps some.The grip is very good once the slick mold release coating is worn off. I've been seeing this on car and truck tires also. They used to use talc for this. This stuff is very slick when new.

      • AZguy
        AZguy commented
        Editing a comment
        Good stuff... the pump is pretty much invisible on mine too, especially with the dirt "finish" on everything and it's inexpensive enough that even if it did disappear it's just not a big deal... they might be inexpensive but they sure aren't cheap - they feel solid, work well and have a great rep

        It'll be interesting to hear back in a year or so ;-}

      #8
      Continuing Retro's Big Apple / Big Ben / SuperMoto X vein are two (I believe) relatively new Schwalbe tires - a slick Supermoto in 27.5/650B and 28/700C, which I'm trying out as part of a bike update:
      Click image for larger versionName:	SuperMoto_Profil.pngViews:	0Size:	395.0 KBID:	145549

      There's also the new Schwalbe Pick-Up, in 20, 26, and 27.5 sizes:
      Click image for larger versionName:	PickUp_60-406_Profil.pngViews:	0Size:	430.4 KBID:	145550

      BBSHD / BBS02 IGH Builds: Nexus / Alfine 8: 1 2 3 4 5 6, Rohloff: 1

      Comment


      • ncmired
        ncmired commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, I think the Pick-Up has potential, and am considering it for another 20" wheel minivelo build (should parts and funding come through).

      • Retrorockit
        Retrorockit commented
        Editing a comment
        I saw the Pickup after I had my BB+ tires. Double ply carcass for cargo bikes. I haven't had any sidewall problems. it does have the sticky moped tread compound.
        I run Schwalbe Kojak slicks on my XC pedal bike. For the E bike they would be OK on asphalt even when wet, but concrete sidewalks with sand would take them down, and any grassy or muddy excursions they would be hopeless.
        I see the slick as being for European bikes with power limits, and where riding bicycles in the street is accepted practice.

      • Retrorockit
        Retrorockit commented
        Editing a comment
        From my experience in the trucking industry 2 things are needed to create a heavier duty tire. More air pressure to support the load, and a stronger casing to support the higher air pressure.This does have a little more volume than the BB+ at 2.35" wide which helps also. I wouldn't get this for a single person Ebike. The BB+ is great for that. But for a tandem or loaded touring rig this would be hard to beat.
        I'm very happy with the performance of Schwalbes high speed "moped' rubber compound on the BB+ tires.A nice match for a BBSHD bike.

      #9
      I unexpectedly had a very bad experience with a Schwalbe E bike tire. I've used Scwalbe for years and always been happy with them. But they made a big mistake on their 26x1.75 Energizer Plus high speed e bike tire. It's the 26x1.75 with the HS492 tread. The center blocks are tapered at the leading edge, and the trailing edge of the next block is part way up the side of the tire. This produces a low spot in the tread every 1.5". Basically they aren't round. I put these on a full suspension bike hoping to improve the ride over my hardtail with Schwalbe balloon tires. Rolling it 20 feet down my driveway was all I wanted to go on these lumpy tires. These made all the suspension and Tannus tire liner work a complete waste of time.



      The older HS441 tread doesn't have this problem. There is always rubber on the ground in the center of the tire.
      There is also an HS427 Version. That looks OK

      Comment


        #10
        Interesting that they made it that way especially for a 'high speed' tire. Looking at the photos and description I would have bought them and not expected that.

        Last summer I picked up a pair of Surly Extra Terrestrials for the 29's wheel set on my fat bike that I occasionally rid on the streets when I need another street bike to loan to friends. I only did one major ride with them on the fat bike and they worked pretty well. This spring when the studded tires came of my street bike I wasn't sure conditions were going to be good enough to go back to the Big Apples which I loved but didn't think they were going to be bad enough for some knobbies then I saw the ET's still on the fat bike wheels hanging there in the rafters. I was thinking they would only be on till I knew there was no more snow and most of the sand was gone but that was like 2 months ago and I am thinking I will leave them on all summer.

        The tread spacing on my 29x 2.5 is a little different than the photo, mine I think there is more space between them and maybe the blocks are scaled up a bit? They make slightly more noise than the big apples but no where near as loud something with actual knobs. I don't feel any vibration even when leaning into corners a bit. They are way better than the big apples in things like wet grass or slight mud holes you may encounter on mostly street rides. Ride is a bit softer likely due to the extra size, 2.5 vs 2.35 of the apples. I think I'm gonna keep em on for the summer and if I need the 29's on the fat bike I will put the apples on it.


        https://surlybikes.com/parts/extraterrestrial

        Comment


          #11
          Looks like I didn't scroll through all the photos. Found one that looks like mine. I would think mine is the biggest they make so worst case for size and spacing if there was going to be a vibration or noise issue. Smaller ones it looks like its all smaller and closer together so should be even more smooth but still not quite a slick which to me seems like a good compromise for a mostly pavement tire.

          Comment


            #12
            A "real" tire tread pattern hahaha

            Note the numerous thorns and goatheads

            Click image for larger version  Name:	bike_0412.jpg Views:	0 Size:	174.7 KB ID:	152693


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              #13
              The 45psi min. pressure on the 26x1.75 size doesn't help either. I was counting on the suspension to deal with that It's a folding Y frame with the battery hanging down, So wheel dia., fork travel , and battery size all come together there. It looked like the smaller tire with sticky rubber would get the job done on a full suspension bike.
              It's my first folder, fist full suspension, first mag wheel, and first freewheel bike. I'm just using the frame and wheels for this. I didn't expect the Schwalbe tires to be an issue. It's getting a 52V Luna BBS02 kit with 17Ah battery.
              Last edited by Retrorockit; 1 week ago.

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