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  1. #1
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    I finally got Big Apple Tires and I ........

    love them.
    I have the steel frame Swift folder with Planet Bike fenders. I originally asked Peter to get them but he wasn't sure that they would fit so he got me the Marathon Plus'. This is my 1st folder and just didn't like the feel of the tires so I finally ordered the BAs and crossed my figures. 1st, they turned out to fit just fine with a good amount of clearance. They are definitely a major improvement over the MPs. My enjoyment of the bike shot up 30% (wild guess). They are more comfortable and give me a softer ride. As an additional bonus, I think I picked up another 1/2 to 1 mph.
    Now what do I do with my Marathon Plus'.

  2. #2
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    I bought a pair of 50-406 BAs and while I was amazed at the comfort, I found the tires to be truly ponderous. I know they're supposed to have pretty low rolling resistance, but it sure didn't feel like it to me!

  3. #3
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    Since I have limited experience, I could only compare the MPs to the BAs. I need all around puncture resistant tires to tour on primarily paved surfaces as I travel the world. I think (hope) the BAs will fit the need. I don't have a thudbuster and am using a Brooks B17, so my 58 yo tush needs tires to cushion my ride.

  4. #4
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trentschler
    I bought a pair of 50-406 BAs and while I was amazed at the comfort, I found the tires to be truly ponderous. I know they're supposed to have pretty low rolling resistance, but it sure didn't feel like it to me!
    What air pressure are you running? Basically the BA's roll equivalent to a tire with 2 bar greater air pressure but have good comfort. Studies repeatedly have shown that high volume tires have lower rolling resistance than low volume tires. The rougher the pavement the more the advantage for BAs. Depending on terrain and load I am normally never below 4 bar and usually at 5 bar (55-70psi).

    One thing you AREN'T going to change is that their mass is greater so they will be a little slower to accelerate. So if that is what you are referring to (since ponderous has many possible meanings here) then that is a definite possibility. I would not put them on if I was going to sprint from every light nor is that what they were designed for.

  5. #5
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    I still find it surprising that the Big Apples have such low rolling resistance. I understand that the primary driver of rolling resistance is the surface area of the contact patch. The surface area of the contact patch is function of tire pressure and width (anything else?).

    Presumably the material also matters. But how much compared to tire pressure and tire width? How much does tire material differ across tires? In this case, the same manufacturer produces both tires.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand
    I understand that the primary driver of rolling resistance is the surface area of the contact patch. The surface area of the contact patch is function of tire pressure and width (anything else?).
    I believe it's sidewall deformation in the direction of travel that is the big difference between narrow and wide tires. (Narrow tires have a long and narrow patch in the direction of travel; wide tires have a short and wide patch in the direction of travel)

    Quote Originally Posted by www.schwalbe.com
    It is amazing that wide tires roll more easily, but that is because a broader tire has a smaller footprint in the driving direction. So the tire bounces less and the flattening of the footprint on the road is smaller. Result: The tire deforms less, remains rounder and rolls more easily.

  7. #7
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Hmmmm, that is interesting. Thanks for the information. I need to take a peek at the literature.

    -G

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by trentschler
    I bought a pair of 50-406 BAs and while I was amazed at the comfort, I found the tires to be truly ponderous. I know they're supposed to have pretty low rolling resistance, but it sure didn't feel like it to me!
    After the recent discussions of Big Apples, I decided this week to give my 50-406 set another try, with an open mind, and not to dismiss these tires based solely on the "feel" during acceleration and climbing.

    Well, wow! These things are great, huh?

    I'm running them on a bike designed for 451 mm wheels and even though the Apples are a few mm smaller in overall diameter, the handling and stability of the bike has been dramatically improved.

    I'm using the tires at 40 psi (about 2.7 bar) and they smooth out the bumps as well as, or even better than my sprung Action-Tec fork and Thudbuster. The nice thing about the Big Apples is that I can use them with a rigid fork, frame, and seatpost so i'm not bouncing around when standing to climb or spinning at a high cadence.

    Lots of you (and others, too) have noted that wide tires can have low rolling resistance, but the key seems to be finding well-constructed wide tires. Apparently, the BAs are just that.

    So, even though these tires still feel slower to me "off the mark," and when climbing, none of my overall times or average speeds for my local rides has been any slower on the Big Apples than on 451 Stelvios, for example. I'm not necessarily faster either, but I'm way more comfortable and relaxed, not only because of the shock absorbtion, but also because of the confidence that stems from the improved handling and stability.

    I do believe that these tires could be used effectively as the basis for a long-distance or brevet bike, and I think I'll try to develop something like this for next season. Thanks!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand
    Hmmmm, that is interesting. Thanks for the information. I need to take a peek at the literature.
    The best articles to date that I've seen on the topic are in the current issue of Bicycle Quarterly. Subscription/purchase info. available at http://www.vintagebicyclepress.com/vbqindex.html.

    Their testing, which was done on road surfaces under well controlled conditions (as opposed to using steel rollers, like most previous tests), shows significant advantages for wide tires over narrow, and cites other studies that have produced similar results. They also found that tire pressure is not a major factor, until the pressure is very low. They also found no correlation between the subjective "feel" of a tire when riding it, and the measured performance. Some of the fastest feeling tires were slow, and vice versa.

    Unfortunately, they tested only 700c and 650b sizes. The article is not available on the web, but the subscription is well worth the price, if you don't mind the constant genuflecting in the direction of the mid-century French "constructeurs" (Singer, Herse, et al.) who took an integrated approach to bicycle design.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackJ
    The best articles to date that I've seen on the topic are in the current issue of Bicycle Quarterly. Subscription/purchase info. available at http://www.vintagebicyclepress.com/vbqindex.html.
    I read that article and agree it is very interesting. It would be nice to have the same kind of data for some of the wide 406 tires. The results might be quite surprising, just as they were for the BQ testers.

    BQ does have a test of generator hubs on its web site, and this might be of use to folder owners.

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