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  1. #1
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    20' tyre suggestions?

    I'm looking to replace the tyres on my folder and I'd be grateful for any ideas you might have.

    At the moment it has the stock no-name 20 x 1.75 tyres it came with, inflated to 70 psi. They are pretty unsubstantial, the rear one is wearing fast and they look like punctures waiting to happen to be honest.

    Requirements are sidewall reflective strips and also the dynamo sidewall strip on the rear tyre.
    I'd be fine with different tyres on the front and back if that has any advantages.

    Riding profile is mostly around town (often with 20 kg shopping on the rear rack) often on our scrappy cycle paths, fairly leisurely country rides up to 4 hours, and mild off-road paths (park, woods etc.). If I can save a bit of weight on my already clunky bike so much the better.

    Schwalbe has been my make of choice in the past (I have Marathon Winters on my winter folder). Their Big Apple seems to be well thought of but I'm not sure how well 2" width work with 19mm rims. Or one of the Marathon range? Or maybe something I hadn't thought of?

    Open for any ideas and interested to hear your experiences.

  2. #2
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    sorry, meant 20" not 20' before the comments come in

  3. #3
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elvis Shumaker View Post
    sorry, meant 20" not 20' before the comments come in
    I wasn't going to let that slide.

    For mostly road travel I like the high psi Kenda Kwest 20"X1.5" which roll well (good rubber compound and 60 tpi casing). I've run mine anywhere from 60psi to 95psi (the 451 equivalent having a very wide working pressure range of 35-100 psi) to suit road conditions and they have performed great.

    I also like Schwalbe Marathon GreenGuards... 20"X1.5", 55-100 psi range, 67 tpi casing with green guard puncture protection and reflective sidewall.

    For wider balloon type tires that are good on the street but really great on cobblestones and gravel I liked Maxxis Hookworms. I have yet to try the Maxxis Torch but the specs make it seem like it would be awesome (except in the puncture protection department).
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Im using Schwalbe Marathon Plus on my Bike Friday. 406/20" 47/1.75"

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    I put 20x2.0 Big Apples on my wife's Dahon and they measure more like 1.75, so I don't think you'll have a problem with your rim (especially if 19mm is the internal width). They work great for the type of riding you describe. Mine are the old style Big Apples (HS338), so I can't be sure if Schwalbe changed the sizing with the new version (HS430).

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    Thanks.

    I am tending towards a Marathon Plus in 1.35" wide on the back as a 'set and forget' tyre. Puncture resistance is a big plus especially considering the IGH with coaster brake and that the rear tyre gets the most wear by far.

    Interesting to hear the Big Apple may not be quite as wide in real life as the specs would indicate. A lighter and maybe wider tyre might make sense on the front. Less harsh maybe (although it is tempting to go for one of those ultralight foldable tyres in the front so as not to add too much weight to an already heavy bike.)?

    Any opinions as to what might be considered as going just 'too narrow' on a 20" wheel, considering the odd muddy path and bumpy bike lane?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortnern View Post
    I put 20x2.0 Big Apples on my wife's Dahon and they measure more like 1.75, so I don't think you'll have a problem with your rim (especially if 19mm is the internal width). They work great for the type of riding you describe. Mine are the old style Big Apples (HS338), so I can't be sure if Schwalbe changed the sizing with the new version (HS430).
    I took this advice and went with Big Apples front and back, with the HS430 tread - they are indeed not far off 1.75" and fitted fine on the rims. Lighter than the 1.75 tyres they replaced too. The puncture protection looks reassuring.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elvis Shumaker View Post
    I took this advice and went with Big Apples front and back, with the HS430 tread - they are indeed not far off 1.75" and fitted fine on the rims. Lighter than the 1.75 tyres they replaced too. The puncture protection looks reassuring.
    If you decide you might want a little more speed than the Swalbe have, I have Greenspeed Scorcher 20x1.5” on my 406 folder. They seem about as fast as the tires on my wife’s racing bike. They are slicks and not suited for off road work. Primo Comet 20 x 1.5" Kevlar Belt (406) is another one. It has a light herringbone tread. There are a few more. Greengear, the makers of Bike Friday, have some of these nice 20” tires.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elvis Shumaker View Post

    At the moment it has the stock no-name 20 x 1.75 tyres it came with, inflated to 70 psi. They are pretty unsubstantial, the rear one is wearing fast and they look like punctures waiting to happen to be honest.
    Hi,

    70 psi ? That is more than I've currently got in both my 1.75" tyres total ....
    Its moreorless equivalent to running 23mm tyres at 140psi - that is high.

    The front must be rock hard and I presume very uncomfortable
    and probably feels awful on anything other than smooth tarmac.

    I'm gravitating towards the maximum rear pressure 3bar/43psi on my tyres
    for the rear, even though I'm average weight, and 2bar/29psi for the front.

    (Swalbe recommend 45 psi for road 1.75" tyres and a bit more for small wheels.)

    That is 60%/40% weight ratio. A bike guru has said he has never measured
    any form of racing bike with a static ratio less than that, (though the alleged
    ideal is 55%/45%), so you can be pretty certain on a folder it is a lot more,
    but big bumps can load up the front somewhat more than the rear, so my
    thinking is the front needs to be harder than weight distribution suggests.

    I cannot envisage any more than 35psi in the front for 1.75" tyres. I initially
    tried 50psi front and back when I got my bike, the front especially was too
    harsh and too bouncy off bumps to inspire any sort of roadholding confidence.

    FWIW tests showed that thick sidewall cheap heavy tyres, with no particularly
    high pressure rating reduced rolling resistances more for higher pressures than
    good quality tyres with more flexible walls, the optimum pressures varied
    with tyre type, and the optimum pressures are lower for good rolling tyres.

    Regarding your question about how thin you can go on small wheels, look
    at all the stuff about how fat you can go at lower pressures on big wheels.

    If I wanted to ride my folder on a trail or similar, basically worse than tarmac
    but not too bad, I'd probably drop to 30psi rear and 20 psi front - tried that
    on the road, its OK but somewhat sluggish.

    rgds, sreten.

    My folder is pretty naff, getting it to work well is a challenge.
    Last edited by sreten; 02-11-13 at 05:38 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    just get the schwalbe big apples, dude. you will love those. if you don't love them, i will buy them from you. how's that for a guarantee?

  11. #11
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    What's good about the big apples?
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  12. #12
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    just get the schwalbe big apples, dude. you will love those.
    +1
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    What's good about the big apples?
    I'll see when temperatures rise and I can road test them, at the moment I'm still riding my winter bike...

    What I can say about them: reasonably priced (<15 EUR each), fairly light (500g) compared to what they replaced, quite a few mm of puncture protection, very flexible sidewalls, easy to fit. They sit quite 'high' and raise the bike maybe half an inch.

  14. #14
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=94600

    Anybody tryed this tyre? Schwalbe, good price but no info on puncture protection.
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sreten View Post
    Hi,

    70 psi ? That is more than I've currently got in both my 1.75" tyres total ....
    Its moreorless equivalent to running 23mm tyres at 140psi - that is high.

    The front must be rock hard and I presume very uncomfortable ...
    A good 4.5 bar, should be 65-70 psi. Old habits die hard and I still don't understand the purported physics of the whole fat tyre thing. The pressure does decrease quite a bit between refills without any noticeable change in handling. The Big Apples have 4 bar in them at fitting - that will be down to 3 bar/45 psi or so by the time the ice on the roads has gone. I am itching to try them out.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by badmother View Post
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=94600

    Anybody tryed this tyre? Schwalbe, good price but no info on puncture protection.
    Apparently a special trailer tyre, Schwalbe rate puncture resistance at 3 out of 6.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClemY View Post
    If you decide you might want a little more speed than the Swalbe have, I have Greenspeed Scorcher 20x1.5” ...
    Hefty (40 EUR) price tag on those in Europe. That style of lightweight folding tyre would have saved almost 1 1/2 lbs on the bike. I'm not a weight freak, but it all helps when manhandling the bike folded.

    What I'm hoping is that the larger wheel diameter with the Big Apples might give a couple of mph more

  18. #18
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    from http://www.balloonbikes.com/en/

    Balloonbikes are another bicycle variant. Many different bicycle types (Trekking, Urban, E-Bike…) can also be Balloonbikes. As with cars for example: Many of them a can also be built as cabriolets.
    But a Balloonbike differs from a normal bike in one important way: It has much wider tires!
    Balloonbikes use the principle of pneumatic air suspension. The large volume air cushion of these special tires has a natural damping effect – so complicated suspension technology is made redundant.
    A simple idea with a big effect: It is easier, more comfortable and relaxed when riding a Balloonbike.

    Balloonbikes for town and country



    Precise air pressure adapts the tire’s suspension comfort.


    Balloonbikes can be ridden at lower air pressure

    Air pressure used in Balloonbike tires can be adjusted as preferred, but the optimum pressure is between 2.0 and 2.5 bar, which is clearly much lower than normal touring tires. The tire pressure can be adapted specifically to each rider’s preference for suspension comfort by using a pressure gauge (Airmax Pro), a track pump with a pressure gauge, or an air line at a gas station for an AV (auto) valve.
    Balloon tire or Balloonbike

    Balloon tires were the fashion in the first half of the last century. They were conceived to cope with severe road conditions but they were heavy, did not roll well and steered badly.
    The basic idea from that period was re-engineered when, in 2001, the BIG APPLE tire introduced the trend anew. The BIG APPLE, along with Schwalbe’s other specially wide tires, now does what the old fashioned tires could not: They all roll easily, safely and are consummately steerable.
    Last edited by smallwheeler; 02-12-13 at 07:37 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Balloonbikers suffer less vibrations

    Balloonbikers enjoy much more comfort, because their spine, as opposed to riding a standard bike, suffers 25 per cent less jarring. A full bicycle suspension system only achieves a further eight per cent less jarring, but this makes the bike more susceptible to damage, heavier and much more expensive.
    Truly more comfortable for the back

    Using BIG APPLE tires (60-622, 2 bar) on a non-suspension bike reduces vibrations to the lumbar area by around 25 per cent, comparable with the same bike using a standard tire. In comparison a full-suspension bicycle can reduce vibrations on the lumbar area by around 33 per cent.


    These are results obtained in an extensive study, carried out in conjunction with ‘Deutschen Sporthochschule, Köln’ (German Sports University Cologne) to determine the effects and possibilities of tire suspension. The damping action of Big Apple tires was compared both with bikes using rigid (traditional) frame construction and with others using both part- or full-suspension systems
    The parameters of vibration loading and acceleration were measured by accelerometers that were attached to different places on the bicycle and on the rider’s spine. Test tracks were cobbles, stone path and a specially constructed, indoor obstacle course. Parallel to this, power was measured using an SRM crank. In each case the selected results compared a 60 mm Big Apple inflated to 2 bar with a 37 mm width standard tire at 4 bar. These are air pressures typical in everyday use. In addition the lab tests demonstrated that these air pressures produced the same rolling resistance.
    .

    Balloonbikes mostly have a compactly and powerful looking


    SUPERMOTO. The fast Balloonbike tire. 60mm wide










    Ballonbikers enjoy lower rolling resistance

    Balloonbike tires have a different shape contact area to a narrow tire, so less energy is lost and is thus completely opposite to what is popularly assumed: Balloonbike tires are wide, but nevertheless roll more easily than narrow, standard tires.
    A 60mm wide Balloonbike inflated to 2 bar rolls really easily and with a full suspension effect. Normal city or trekking bikes with 37mm standard tires need to be inflated to a hard 4 bar to achieve this rolling efficiency.

    Much lower rolling resistance


    At the same pressure the BIG APPLE rolls around 10 Watts lower, while the comfort of the BIG APPLE at 2 bar produces the same rolling resistance as a standard tire at 4 bar.
    In practice the advantages are greater than in theory: The suspension effect of wide tires smoothes out uneven roads, so the rider is protected from vibrations and thus saves energy.


    On stone paths the Big Apple tires’ showed 11 per cent lower resistance, which means 11 per cent less energy is required to ride. (Laboratory tests confirm exactly identical rolling resistance results on an even surface using the same tire/air pressure combination.)

    Balloonbikes on tour.


    FAT FRANK. Retro tires. 50 and 60 mm widths – in Black, Brown, Cream.









    Balloonbikers stay unruffled

    Balloonbikers stay calm while other cyclists are shaken around. Because bicycle tire suspension displays its best attributes on the vibrations and the short frequency bumps caused by uneven roads. Tests showed that these loads were about a third lower than with a standard bike, whereas normal frame and fork suspension was almost ineffective.
    A Balloonbike has a contact area around double that of a standard bike. It hardly moves off track under hard braking or sudden direction changes, while the 60mm wide tires also cannot get stuck in tramlines.
    Suspension reaction

    In everyday life fast suspension response is more important than suspension travel.

    The investigations of the German Sports University, Cologne showed that a voluminous tire absorbs the many small impacts usual in everyday cycling much better than a complex suspension system, which responds well only on rougher terrain.
    On a cobbled test track BIG APPLE tires reduce vibrations felt at the handlebar by around 36 per cent, whereas in two parallel tests carried out on trekking bike suspension forks, they did not absorb vibrations nearly so well.

    Balloonbikes are very agile.


    BIG APPLE. The classic Balloonbike tire. 50,55 and 60 mm widths – in Black, Grey, Brown, Cream.

  20. #20
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    Ja, a compactly and powerful looking (and a smally clearancing in the fender)...

    They do indeed look rather pretty on the little 20" wheels, I must admit...

    I think they sell well in their home market because of the wildly unpredictable nature and surfaces of German cycle paths - I can see the advantages. First run on them tonight, the weather is looking good. I will report back.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elvis Shumaker View Post
    Old habits die hard and I still don't understand
    the purported physics of the whole fat tyre thing.
    Hi,

    Physics can't be purported, it is either about right or nonsense.

    Compare two tyres at the same pressure say but one is twice
    the width, thus it contains 4 times as much air as the other.

    Simplistically you can model the fat tyre as a quad of the
    thin tyre glued together. Consider a load than compresses
    the fat tyre 15% - treating it as 4 thin tyres each one is
    compressed 15% but is only bearing half the load.

    Its clear the thin tyre at this pressure is grossly underinfated
    for the load and would compress ~ 30% to support the load.

    Conversely consider a pressure for the thin tyre that gives
    15% defection. Arranged as quad with the same load each
    one would only deflect ~ 7.5%, its clearly grossly overinflated.

    If 15% is ideal, your clearly giving up lots of comfort and grip,
    for an advantage only apparent on very smooth surfaces.

    Tests of rolling resistances and power often don't include
    the rider in the equation. Apparently the extra harshness
    passed to the rider to be absorbed by the rider makes
    the bike feel faster, when it isn't, and more tiring, so
    the extra pressure is really slowing you down overall.
    (And wearing your bike out at a faster rate.)

    65-70psi is appropriate for 28mm to 32mm tyres if
    a "tiredrop" of 15% is taken as "ideal". YMMV and
    prefer a less or more number as right for you.

    rgds, sreten.
    Last edited by sreten; 02-12-13 at 08:31 AM.

  22. #22
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for that sales pitch. But really, that's OK. I appreciate reading the claims. I think they're fair.

    badmother asked about the Tracer PP, and that web site recommended that I consider the Kojak. That's probably more my speed. I like light weight tires and am willing to suffer more puncture vulnerability.






    badmother, are you the woman who was blogging a couple of years ago about going car free and towing two kids at a time with a trailer and a side car?
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sreten View Post
    ...
    Simplistically you can model the fat tyre as a quad of the
    thin tyre glued together. Consider a load than compresses
    the fat tyre 15% - treating it as 4 thin tyres each one is
    compressed 15% but is only bearing half the load.
    ^
    Illustrative, thanks.

  24. #24
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post

    badmother, are you the woman who was blogging a couple of years ago about going car free and towing two kids at a time with a trailer and a side car?
    No . I am not a blogger
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  25. #25
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    The one on the left sure looks tasty.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

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