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  1. #1
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    Changing tires from 26x2.125 on a 36H rim, how narrow?

    Want to make a set of faster (ish) wheels from the originals on my Cape May, what is the likely narrowest tire I can get on changing from my 2.125s..? 1.75?
    Probably som slick Schwalbe Kojaks or similar, or a good whitewall (if they exist...?

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    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwegianRoadie View Post
    Want to make a set of faster (ish) wheels from the originals on my Cape May, what is the likely narrowest tire I can get on changing from my 2.125s..? 1.75?
    Probably som slick Schwalbe Kojaks or similar, or a good whitewall (if they exist...?
    How wide is the rim?

    Narrower won't be faster unless you are riding FAST anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
    How wide is the rim?

    Narrower won't be faster unless you are riding FAST anyway.
    Haven't measured as the bike as it's not here, so I'm asking for an educated guess..:-)
    As for the speed, well, cheap huge Kenda tires with a rolling resistance-inducing pattern will be slower than a narrower more expensively made Schwalbe with a more slick pattern, that would be plainly obvious.. Also because it will be Lighter..!
    Sounding very know-it-all ish there, not intentional...

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    Faster= not necessarily faster, but also easier to pedal, it's not all flat here...... That's what I mean by Fast in this instance.
    I have a 2014 Bianchi Impulso with 130psi Vredestein Fortezzas for "fast" in the real sense of the word

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    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwegianRoadie View Post
    Haven't measured as the bike as it's not here, so I'm asking for an educated guess..:-)
    As for the speed, well, cheap huge Kenda tires with a rolling resistance-inducing pattern will be slower than a narrower more expensively made Schwalbe with a more slick pattern, that would be plainly obvious.. Also because it will be Lighter..!
    Sounding very know-it-all ish there, not intentional...
    I have some Kojaks and really like them. Yes, going from a bumpy treaded crappy tire to the pure slick Kojak will result in a sublime ride and a big smile on your face for sure. I'd still recommend using the 2.0 tire though for ride quality. It's unlikely you'll notice any difference in speed between the 50mm and 35mm on a cruiser, but very likely you'll notice a big comfort difference.

    My uneducated guess would be that the rims are 1 inch or 1.25 inch. IMO either size Kojak would be OK for the rim. If the rim is 1.5 inch, I would only use the 2.0 tire.

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    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwegianRoadie View Post
    Faster= not necessarily faster, but also easier to pedal, it's not all flat here...... That's what I mean by Fast in this instance.
    I have a 2014 Bianchi Impulso with 130psi Vredestein Fortezzas for "fast" in the real sense of the word
    The 2.0 Kojak will have LESS rolling resistance than the 35mm until you reach speeds high enough that aero becomes a factor. I assume you won't be acheiving those speeds on a cruiser?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
    The 2.0 Kojak will have LESS rolling resistance than the 35mm until you reach speeds high enough that aero becomes a factor. I assume you won't be acheiving those speeds on a cruiser?
    LOL , no that is quite apparent, my legs will not manage that rotational speed for a prolonged downhill speed session... Hahaha... ( got an image in head..).

    excellent advice, will pop on ebay and get Kojaks, I' m 99% on smooth tarmac and not in the rain so a perfect fit for me I reckon.

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    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwegianRoadie View Post
    LOL , no that is quite apparent, my legs will not manage that rotational speed for a prolonged downhill speed session... Hahaha... ( got an image in head..).

    excellent advice, will pop on ebay and get Kojaks, I' m 99% on smooth tarmac and not in the rain so a perfect fit for me I reckon.
    It's a CRUISER afterall. It SHOULD be a little chubby.

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    True

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    you can go to 26 x 1.75 no problem,,,the highest pressure you can find will get you a little faster.

  11. #11
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwegianRoadie View Post
    Want to make a set of faster (ish) wheels from the originals on my Cape May, what is the likely narrowest tire I can get on changing from my 2.125s..? 1.75?
    Probably som slick Schwalbe Kojaks or similar, or a good whitewall (if they exist...?
    Don't change your tires!

    Simply increase tire air pressure to rock hard to cut rolling resistance for more speed.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  12. #12
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    These Serfas tires work well, nice center bead and high 65 lb PSI for road riding. And still have a beefy look for cruising. Size 26 x 2".

    https://www.serfas.com/products/view...-comfort-tires
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Great tip, love the pattern!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
    The 2.0 Kojak will have LESS rolling resistance than the 35mm until you reach speeds high enough that aero becomes a factor. I assume you won't be acheiving those speeds on a cruiser?
    There was an article about a rolldown test which everybody is quoting but they didn't mention how much PSI they used. Wider tires may not have less rolling resistance than narrow ones at any pressure you would actually want to use.

    Going with a narrow tire will save weight as well. A light tire and wheel has a speedy feel.

    It is possible to switch to a narrower rim. MTB rims are the same diameter as cruiser rims.

  15. #15
    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
    There was an article about a rolldown test which everybody is quoting but they didn't mention how much PSI they used. Wider tires may not have less rolling resistance than narrow ones at any pressure you would actually want to use.

    Going with a narrow tire will save weight as well. A light tire and wheel has a speedy feel.

    It is possible to switch to a narrower rim. MTB rims are the same diameter as cruiser rims.
    I haven't read the article.

    A 50mm tire at 60psi will have less rolling resistance than a 35mm tire at 60psi due to less deformation. The only way for the 35mm tire to achieve equal rolling resistance is to inflate it significantly higher. When you crank up the pressure you decrease ride comfort and grip. On a cruiser, at cruiser speeds, you'd never notice the reduced weight of a 35mm tire, which is minor. But you would notice the harsher ride.
    Last edited by SquidPuppet; 08-15-14 at 09:42 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
    I haven't read the article.

    A 50mm tire at 60psi will have less rolling resistance than a 35mm tire at 60psi due to less deformation. The only way for the 35mm tire to achieve equal rolling resistance is to inflate it significantly higher. When you crank up the pressure you decrease ride comfort and grip. On a cruiser, at cruiser speeds, you'd never notice the reduced weight of a 35mm tire, which is minor. But you would notice the harsher ride.
    Thing is, narrower tires can often safely use a higher psi and will ride better with it than wide tires. Narrow tires don't always ride harsh because the casing is narrower and easier to deform. A 50mm tire at the same PSI as a 35mm tire will have a harsher ride.

    Significant weight savings are possible when going away from a 2.125 wire bead cruiser tire. There are kevlar bead 1.25 tires available in 559.

  17. #17
    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
    Thing is, narrower tires can often safely use a higher psi and will ride better with it than wide tires.
    Huh? I can tell you from personal experience that two exact same tires, one in 35mm and the other in 50mm ride nothing alike. The 50mm is far more comfortable. If narrower tires rode better, eveyone would be running around on 23s.

    A 50mm tire at the same PSI as a 35mm tire will have a harsher ride.
    Why would anyone do that in the real world though? A 50mm tire will achieve ~15% deformation at a much lower pressure than a 35mm. And that's the whole point. The 35mm MUST be inflated to a harder state in order to offer the same deformation/rolling resistance as the 50mm.

    Significant weight savings are possible when going away from a 2.125 wire bead cruiser tire. There are kevlar bead 1.25 tires available in 559.
    There are tires with Kevlar beads in 50mm 559 too. We are talking about a single speed coaster brake bike here, intended for cruising.
    Last edited by SquidPuppet; 08-17-14 at 10:04 AM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. I'll leave the rubber-science debate to the rest of ya, but I wanna "second" the Kojak 26x2.0" suggestion. Keep your cruiser cruisin', and get yourself a roadbike for fast rides if a well-built, well-tuned cruiser isn't fast enough for you....
    .....but always keep a cruiser handy. Don't ever get caught without one.

    -Rob

    PS- My daily driver is a Worksman INB with 2.35" Fat Franks. I try to keep the pressure at or near the max. The bike weighs at least 50lbs as she sits now-- maybe 60+-- and I'm running a 63.5" gear. Never seems too slow for cruising. If ever I start to feel too slow, I just stand and pedal for a few minutes. If I'm running late for work, I take the road bike....

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    Quote Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
    Huh? I can tell you from personal experience that two exact same tires, one in 35mm and the other in 50mm ride nothing alike. The 50mm is far more comfortable. If narrower tires rode better, eveyone would be running around on 23s...Why would anyone do that in the real world though? A 50mm tire will achieve ~15% deformation at a much lower pressure than a 35mm. And that's the whole point. The 35mm MUST be inflated to a harder state in order to offer the same deformation/rolling resistance as the 50mm.
    Is it more comfortable at the same rolling resistance though? When they say wider tires can have less rolling resistance, how wide do they mean? You can't just extrapolate.
    There are tires with Kevlar beads in 50mm 559 too. We are talking about a single speed coaster brake bike here, intended for cruising.
    A bike will feel faster and more responsive with light tires unless the wheels are heavy.

  20. #20
    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
    Is it more comfortable at the same rolling resistance though?
    Yes! By simple virtue of greater volume. When going from 35 to 50mm, you increase AIR volume by 55%, while decreasing pressure significantly.

    When they say wider tires can have less rolling resistance, how wide do they mean? You can't just extrapolate.
    What? For this conversation I've been using a very specific example of 559 x 50 vs 559 x 35, including identical brand and model.

    On a cruiser, at cruiser speeds, (~15mph) the 50mm Kojak is no slower than the 35mm Kojak, feels no slower than the 35mm Kojak, absorbs bumps and vibration far better than the 35mm Kojak and has significantly better cornering grip due to larger and more compliant contact patch. Additionally, the ride quality superiority, improved cornering grip, and braking benifits of the 50mm Kojak would increase in superior over the 35mm Kojak as speeds increased.

    Try this; Replace the tires on you car with tires that are 30% narrower and have a 30% shorter profile. Then fill them to a pressure (read hardness) 50% higher than the old tires. You now have the same rolling resistance that you did with your old tires, but I'm fairly confident you wont enjoy the other performance 'qualities' of your new tires.
    Last edited by SquidPuppet; 08-18-14 at 09:17 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
    Yes!
    Bull.

    You haven't made any objective measures of rolling resistance. You prefer the way one brand of wide tires feels and are contriving some theory and inferring what experiments would or should show, to back it up.

  22. #22
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    I'm gonna say this: as a heavy rider, I find tires <1.5"/40mm in the 559 size to ride harsh, and/or be more prone to pinch flats. I love some 2.0" Kojaks, but wouldn't ever dream of running 35m Kojaks, unless I weighed like 125lbs. Even then, I wouldn't be likely to do it on a cruiser, b/c I think it'd look ridiculous, and any speed benefits would be minimal at-best. Even with ultra-light rims and 35mm Kojaks, the same rider would be faster on a 70s-era Schwinn Varsity than s/he would on a SSCB cruiser with the most minimal rolling stock imaginable.

    In short, you can put the 35mm kojaks on your cruiser, but it will still be slow, and the ride will now be much more harsh. So, why do it?

  23. #23
    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
    Bull.

    You haven't made any objective measures of rolling resistance.
    I did. You either failed to see it or deliberately ignored it. ~15% tire deformation.

    You wanna see fancy charts?

    I have spent decades analyzing carcass stress patterns under acceleration vs deceleration, tread wear patterns under acceleration and deceleration, blistering patterns, cold tearing, and organic inflation level variations vs ambient temperatures, and how all are affected by suspension rates including spring preload and compression and rebound damping, load, track surface and power delivery variations on machines that generate lean angles close to 60 degrees and have a 200hp powerplant. All in the name of chasing the Holy Grail, Contact Patch Optimization for road racing motorcycles.

    Studying the rolling resistance (a single aspect) of tire mounted to a rigid framed cycle is not a complex task.

    All other factors being equal, tire deformation is the primary cause of rolling resistance. Tire deformation and Rolling resistance caused by tire deformation can both be measured quite easily and accurately.

    Energy is required to overcome the deformation of a tire prior to it beginning to roll, and to maintain the roll. A 50mm tire at 50 psi will be far less deformed than a 35mm tire at 50psi, a simple (should be obvious) fact, and will therefore resist rolling less than the 35mm tire. In order for the 35mm tire to require the same amount of energy as the 50mm tire to begin rolling, it must have an equal amount of deformation. In order for the 35mm tire to have an equal amount of deformation, it must have a higher internal pressure. You now have equal rolling resistance in both tires, but far less shock absorbing volume in the 35mm tire.

    Assemble a test bike with 50mm tires. Load it. Measure and record tire deformation. Propel the bike by either pushing or pulling with a simple device capable of measuring the energy required. Alter tire pressure, take and record new measurements of deformation and energy requirements. Replace tires with 35mm tires. Repeat test steps and compare.

    But the above tests shouldn't really be necessary because it's all common sense and common knowledge in other competitve wheeled vehicle diciplines. All the new interest and passionate debates in the cycling world about rolling resistance are almost amusing in how far behind the learning curve they are compared to F1 or MotoGP.

    You prefer the way one brand of wide tires feels and are contriving some theory and inferring what experiments would or should show, to back it up.
    No. My statements are supported by scientific fact. It aint rocket science either.

    And if you think it's 'Bull' that a 50mm tire has superior cornering grip and braking capacity over a 35mm tire, well, I don't know what to tell you.
    Last edited by SquidPuppet; 08-18-14 at 01:38 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
    I did. You either failed to see it or deliberately ignored it. ~15% tire deformation.
    15% tire deformation is not a measure of rolling resistance.

    That sets the tone for the rest of it.

    I suspect the OP will decide based on looks. A small tire can look odd on a cruiser.

  25. #25
    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
    15% tire deformation is not a measure of rolling resistance.
    Come on man. It's the common denominator! Deformation MUST be a measured component of a study to accurately compare the rolling resistance measurement of two different tires. You can't compare one tire that is deformed to 30% against a tire deformed to only 3%. Deformation is the cause of rolling resistance and therefore directly related and relevant. Deformation is what sucks up the energy, NOT the size of the tire.

    The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the National Acadamy of sciences would disagree with you about deformation.

    The primary cause of pneumatic tire rolling resistance is hysteresis:[4]
    A characteristic of a deformable material such that the energy of deformation is greater than the energy of recovery. The rubber compound in a tire exhibits hysteresis. As the tire rotates under the weight of the vehicle, it experiences repeated cycles of deformation and recovery, and it dissipates the hysteresis energy loss as heat. Hysteresis is the main cause of energy loss associated with rolling resistance and is attributed to the viscoelastic characteristics of the rubber.


    Fact: A 50mm slick has no more rolling resistance than the tire that won the TDF. Racing cyclists use slim tires because because they weigh less and create less air drag. Both are obviously important benifits in human powered competition and result in faster speeds that are maintained for longer periods. The SAE subtracts wind resistance from their tests to achieve accurate rolling resistance results. And yes, the SAE measures bicycle tires.

    That sets the tone for the rest of it.
    Nice. Instead of attacking my tone, why not provide some statistics that support your position?


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