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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 08-17-12, 08:23 PM   #1
kiltedcelt
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What tires for a longtail cargo bike?

For a loaded longtail cargo bike (Xtracycle FreeRadical) with 26" rims, what size tires would you use? 26x1.75 seems to be a pretty common size on a lot of the street tires I'm looking at, but I've seen a few 26x2.0 size tires as well. Seems regardless of the size the psi on most of these runs around 58 psi for the lower range up to about 70 psi on some models. Would the higher psi be better for a loaded cargo bike? I'd also be looking for tires with a decent tread, but not overly knobby, so maybe something like Continental Contact or Vittoria Randonneur. Opinions/suggestions?
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Old 08-18-12, 03:29 AM   #2
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Schwalbe Big Apples, as big as you can fit*

With enough miles to wear out 3 cassettes on my big dummy, the Big Apples are still going strong. Back is just barely worn.

Tread doesn't do much unless it's real knobs. I ride the big apples on dirt and gravel and they work great.


*also, don't run tires twice or more the width of your rim, they get squirmy.

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Old 08-23-12, 06:49 AM   #3
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I have 2.35" Fat Franks and I love them. I tend to run them at the lower end of the psi range (usually around 30-35) and they give a really nice cushion.
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Old 08-23-12, 09:46 PM   #4
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It depends on your priorities, if you value puncture resistance, the Schwalbe Marathon line and the Continental puncture resistant tires are hard to beat. If you care about rolling resistance, then the Grand Bois Cypres are your friends, and if you want comfort and durability with reasonable puncture resistance, it is hard to beat the big apples or fat franks.
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Old 08-24-12, 09:49 AM   #5
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I've been looking at some of the tires mentioned, and there doesn't really seem to be a whole lot of difference between the various makes. I do prefer a street (slick) type tire that has a bit of tread, particularly on the sidewalls. I'll probably end up going with Continental Contacts since they seem to be an okay tire on my regular 700c commuter. I like the tread and the puncture resistance is pretty good, especially since riding around Chicago means I'm pretty much tooling along through all kinds of tire-damaging trash.
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Old 08-28-12, 05:15 PM   #6
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I only roll with Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires in the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter I roll with Nokian Mount & Ground W160's.
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Old 02-26-13, 01:15 AM   #7
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Kenda Kiniption

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I only roll with Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires in the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter I roll with Nokian Mount & Ground W160's.
I just bought a Yuba Mundo cargo bike and I have a pair of Kenda Kiniption 26X2.3 tires that I've been riding around on. I LOVE these tires. They have great "low profile" tread style and the plus for cargo bikes is that they can be pumped up to 80 PSI. Just the ticket for heavy loads and low rolling resistance..............
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Old 03-20-13, 06:13 AM   #8
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Schwalbe Big Apples are the best! The 26" x 2.35" are load rated at 140 kg and the 28" x 2.35 are 145 kg. They also are the best rolling tire when the bike is hauling heavy loads. And if you have to ride across grass when loaded the 2.35 tires are great, no worries. My $.02

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Old 03-20-13, 06:28 AM   #9
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My Big Apple 1.9" are about as puncture-resistant as plain Scwalbe Marathon, ie plenty good enough. They roll well and work through a wide variety of tyre pressures. I prefer them to be harder than recommended but I'm a lightweight.
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Old 03-20-13, 06:46 AM   #10
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I replaced the rear tire on my Yuba with a Marathon Supreme 2"--as wide as they make it--but it wasn't as wide as the 2" tire that came with the bicycle. I'd like a wider tire, but I also like the flat resistance of the Marathon. How are the Big Apples for flat resistance?
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Old 03-21-13, 07:35 AM   #11
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I replaced the rear tire on my Yuba with a Marathon Supreme 2"--as wide as they make it--but it wasn't as wide as the 2" tire that came with the bicycle. I'd like a wider tire, but I also like the flat resistance of the Marathon. How are the Big Apples for flat resistance?
Big Apples are okay and I have never had a flat with them but the best "flat resistance" they say is the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme. I have them on my Surly LHT and like them well. To me they don't seem to roll as well as the BAs. I have had the best of luck with Schwalbe Tires. I even run BAs on a tandem, I just love these tires.

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Old 03-26-13, 08:08 PM   #12
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Big Apples are okay and I have never had a flat with them but the best "flat resistance" they say is the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme. I have them on my Surly LHT and like them well. To me they don't seem to roll as well as the BAs. I have had the best of luck with Schwalbe Tires. I even run BAs on a tandem, I just love these tires.
I ended up buying Schwalbe Marathon 420 tires for both my commuter/tourer (700x38), and for the cargo bike (26x2.0). They have a bit of tread and with the Greenguard protection layer they're pretty tough tires. The weight limit is only slightly lower than Big Apples or Big Bens.
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Old 04-01-13, 06:03 AM   #13
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Put a new Schwalbe Big Apple 2.35"on the back wheel this morning - it was tough getting the fender to fit but it does, just barely. Also, no chain rub!

Noticed a big difference in ride quality right away. The bike, without a doubt, feels faster and more comfortable. Ordered a second Big Apple for the front this afternoon.


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Old 04-03-13, 11:17 PM   #14
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I tried Big Bens on my Xtracycle initially. The Big Bens have a tread that is about 2mm deeper than the Big Apples. I tried out the 26x2.35 and could barely get the rear tire installed because it almost wouldn't squeeze past the V-brakes in the rear. There was pretty much no room for fenders so I sent them back and ended up getting the Marathon HS 420 tires as previously mentioned. Honestly, I don't think one can go wrong with just about any kind of Schwalbe tire. With that being said though, I think most longtail riders seem to prefer Big Apples. I wanted something with a bit more tread than the Big Apples though, since I plan on taking my cargo bike on gravel paths, and light fire road/off road areas as well. Also, the Marathon HS 420 is weight rated to 130kg whereas the same size in a Big Apple HS 430 is actually only rated at 125kg!
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Old 04-04-13, 07:00 AM   #15
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Noticed today that there is just a slight bit of chainrub in the lowest gear with the big BA on the rear. .
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