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Schwalbe Users- What is the optimal tire pressure?

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Schwalbe Users- What is the optimal tire pressure?

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Old 02-06-12, 01:27 PM
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ROJA
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Schwalbe Users- What is the optimal tire pressure?

Based on the many recommendations here and elsewhere, I have ordered myself some Schwalbe Marathon Supremes (26 x 2.0) for commuting. I am currently commuting on 2.3" full knobbies at 70 psi and am hoping for a decent increase in speed and Schwalbe's famed flat resistance.

I have about 3-4 miles of hard-packed dirt on my 20-mile commute, which sounds like it should not be a problem for the Supremes. I debated which width to get (1.6 versus 2.0), but figured the 2.0 width would have a cushier ride and be better off road with hopefully only a very minor speed reduction. I have about 3 miles of my commute that's on really bad pavement (picture tarmac that is not smooth but rather is made up of little clumps that are spaced 0.5 to 1" apart, which makes for a really bumpy ride). I hope the 2.0s will help there as well.

EDIT: I weigh around 150-155 lbs and will be riding with a saddlebag with about 10-15 lbs of stuff in it. This is on a hardtail mountain bike that weighs around 27 lbs naked.


Anyway, the pressure range is 30-70 psi. Should I run them at max pressure for highest speed? Or somewhere in the middle for comfort? I'm basically curious about the trade-offs in speed versus comfort at different pressures. Thanks!

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Old 02-06-12, 02:06 PM
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I ride my 2.0 big apples at ~50 psi, then let them leak down to around 35 before pumping back to 50. I don't know if the 2.0 supremes would go the same way. If they would, then that's probably what I'd move onto when the BAs are worn out.
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Old 02-06-12, 02:09 PM
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Running a 2.0" tire at 70psi would have me worried about cracked rim sidewalls.
Been there, done that, *twice* before I learned my lesson. (Mavic mtn rims).
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Old 02-06-12, 02:18 PM
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I've heard that elsewhere as well. Are road (700) wheels that much stronger that they can take 120 psi without any problems? I always thought MTB wheels were stronger!
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Old 02-06-12, 02:25 PM
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When I had 29x2.0 Supremes, I liked them much better at higher pressures. I don't think they're similar enough to the Big Apples to use the same inflation strategy. I don't think they're meant to deform quite the way the Big Apples are, and so you get a lot more rolling resistence when you let the pressure drop. I ran mine at 70 psi sometimes and had no rim problems. The tire is very stiff at that pressure though. I'd probably start somewhere around 50-60 and adjust from there according to personal preferences.
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Old 02-06-12, 02:26 PM
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The stress on a rim side wall is a factor of two variables:
1. Tire pressure
2. Cross-sectional area of tire.

So as the cross-sectional area is increased, force against the rim sidewall goes up AT THE SAME TIRE PRESSURE.
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Old 02-06-12, 02:46 PM
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Your weight (bike & rider) will largely determine what pressure you should run your tires at, or at least where you should start. What works for a 150lb. rider will not usually turn out too well for someone who is 200+ ..... or vice versa.
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Old 02-06-12, 02:47 PM
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How much do you weigh?
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Old 02-06-12, 02:57 PM
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Great point and I should have added this at the beginning!

I weigh around 150-155 lbs and will be riding with a saddlebag with about 10-15 lbs of stuff in it. This is on a hardtail mountain bike that weighs around 27 lbs naked.

Thanks!
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Old 02-06-12, 03:02 PM
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Just use the 15% drop reference as a guide to proper pressure. These are an extremely light tire built around a high thread count and racing compounds. Over inflating them won't give superior performance. Your weight is about the same as mine and I find 45 to 50 PSI plenty even when carrying an extra 40lbs.

You WILL find that the larger profile performs extremely well on loose gravel, unpaved trails and sand. The braking is also exceptional. Have fun and post your first couple ride experiences!

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Old 02-06-12, 03:08 PM
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http://www.schwalbetires.com/tech_in...ation_pressure
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Old 02-06-12, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ROJA View Post
Great point and I should have added this at the beginning!

I weigh around 150-155 lbs and will be riding with a saddlebag with about 10-15 lbs of stuff in it. This is on a hardtail mountain bike that weighs around 27 lbs naked.

Thanks!
So you weigh about the same as me, carry a little more than I do for a commute, on a bike of about the same weight, and inflate your tires to twice the psi I do.

I'm not using Schwalbe's, but when I first tried out my 2.1" Kenda Klondikes, the rolling resistance was so incredible that I pumped them up to ~60psi in an attempt to make things a little easier. All it did was to make the bike twitchy and uncomfortable over bumps and gravel. I run them at 30F/35R now, and that's to allow for "shrinkage" after inflating them indoors.

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Old 02-07-12, 12:24 AM
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Just checked on my bathroom scale and bike weighs 28.8 lbs with rack and knobby tires and pedals (520s I think).
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Old 02-07-12, 08:22 PM
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I try to keep my 32mm Marathon Supremes at 95psi. Although it actually might be more comfortable at 85.
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Old 02-07-12, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
I try to keep my 32mm Marathon Supremes at 95psi. Although it actually might be more comfortable at 85.
Both sets of SMPs I use for commuting are run @ 120 psi. 25 and 28mm are the widths. Both sets are over 3 years old w/no problems at all. I examine them regularly for sidewall cracks, glass, debris, etc. Great tires.
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Old 02-14-12, 11:48 AM
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Uh oh. Here is the latest update- the tires arrived (Marathon Supreme- 26 x 2.0) and I was able to mount the front with some difficulty. I had a devil of a time with the rear, however. A spoke actually broke while I was trying to crank it on there! Once I finally got it on, the tube didn't take air (I must have torn it while manhandling the tire to try to get it on). I took it apart again and tried with another tube. Son of a gun- after wrestling for a long time, I got it on again and the tube was torn again! So now I have a broken spoke, two torn tubes, and still can't ride on these tires yet!!! I am feeling a bit discouraged and frustrated at this point. I have changed dozens of tires/tubes and have never had this problem before.

Any tips for mounting these suckers?!? I am worried that if I ever get a flat on the road, I won't be able to repair it unless I have two hours and half a dozen spare tubes...
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Old 02-14-12, 12:01 PM
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Whazzit say on the sidewall of the tire itself? .
lower to higher .. Comfort,<vs> lower rolling resistance.
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Old 02-14-12, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ROJA View Post
Any tips for mounting these suckers?!? I am worried that if I ever get a flat on the road, I won't be able to repair it unless I have two hours and half a dozen spare tubes...
Here's my method: Pump up the tube enough to give it a round shape. Insert it into the tire. Mount one bead of the tire on the rim (you should be able to do this without any tools). Then push the bead to the far end of the rim and move the tube so it's centered over the rim (or towards the far end so no point is sticking out where the tire isn't mounted). At this point, you'll have one side of the tire completely on the rim, and one side completely off the rim. Then use your thumbs to work the remaining side on the rims (starting at the valve and working out along both sides). When it gets too hard to do with just your thumbs, let all the air out of the tube and continue. At the end, you may have to roll the tire using your palms (takes a fair amount of hand strength).

Once the tire is fully seated, pump up the tube to about 15psi (no more) and check that the bead is properly seated all around the rim along both sides. If it looks good and the tire is well centered (no hops), then go ahead and pump it up to the pressure you want. For 26x2.0, at your weight, I would put about 45psi in the front and 55 psi in the rear.
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Old 02-14-12, 01:50 PM
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I run 700 x 40 Supremes. I used to pump them up to the max ( 95 psi ) but these days around 55-60 psi following the 15% sidewall drop rule. It is a little slower, but not much, and the ride is nice.

Fitting, I found I needed no levers to fit mine, but they were folding tires, are yours wire bead? Breaking a spoke seems extreme, I've had some pig tires occasionally, but needing that level of force just seems wrong. Not trying to be a jerk, but have you looked at some of the tire fitting videos on you tube or biketutor.com? I’m wondering that if you only had easy tires before, you've been not been using the right technique?
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Old 02-14-12, 01:58 PM
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With the caveat that I've never used these tires, this video came to mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D-XUFVrl0UT4
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Old 02-14-12, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
With the caveat that I've never used these tires, this video came to mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D-XUFVrl0UT4
That was one of the nicer tire fitting videos I've seen. I usually start putting the tire on opposite the valve, with the idea that it gives just a tiny bit more room, might rethink that.

I have also had some tire rim combinations that DO, need levers, but using all the techniques in that video, I'd say that just got a lot less common.
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Old 02-14-12, 07:22 PM
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That video is really helpful- will give it a try!
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Old 02-14-12, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ROJA View Post
That video is really helpful- will give it a try!
Had a similar experience in terms of difficulty. Someone on another thread suggested a Kool Stop Tire Lever. Ordered it at the same time as the SMPs and it made all the difference in the world. 11.00USD. While not being a breeze the tires went on w/a combo of liquid soap and the KSTL. The tires are over 3 years old at this point and are easy to re-seat in the event of a flat...of which their have been three in well over 3 years. This spring I'm getting new tires for all my bikes and they'll all be Schwalbes in one form or another.

Oops, replied to the wrong post of yours Roja. Should've been post #16. Sorry.
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Old 02-14-12, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
With the caveat that I've never used these tires, this video came to mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D-XUFVrl0UT4
That was impressive, especially w/o using levers!
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