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Schwalbe Big Apples

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Schwalbe Big Apples

Old 01-29-13, 10:36 AM
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Schwalbe Big Apples

I absofrigginlutely love my 26x2.15 Big Apples on my old 97 steel trek mountain bike with surly LHT forks. Quiet, comfortable, smooth as butter, and fast when up to speed on relatively flat ground or downhill. However, not so convinced they are perfect for the hills of austin. The BA's seem to absorb energy when pedaling uphill for long periods. Much, much more noticeable when fully loaded with panniers and flat out difficult when loaded and pulling my double Chariot trailer w/ 2 younglings. My cyclocross bike with continental travel contacts is far more efficient and speedy when carrying large loads and/or pulling a loaded trailer.

It helps to run about 55-60 psi in the rear tire when pulling the trailer, but then the bike rides terribly when unloaded. Defeats the major advantage of the BA's to begin with.

The BA's rock with lighter loads across so many different surface types and conditions.

Anyone else have any experience running Big Apples under a load ?
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Old 01-29-13, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by AusTexMurf
I absofrigginlutely love my 26x2.15 Big Apples on my old 97 steel trek mountain bike with surly LHT forks. Quiet, comfortable, smooth as butter, and fast when up to speed on relatively flat ground or downhill. However, not so convinced they are perfect for the hills of austin. The BA's seem to absorb energy when pedaling uphill for long periods. Much, much more noticeable when fully loaded with panniers and flat out difficult when loaded and pulling my double Chariot trailer w/ 2 younglings. My cyclocross bike with continental travel contacts is far more efficient and speedy when carrying large loads and/or pulling a loaded trailer.

It helps to run about 55-60 psi in the rear tire when pulling the trailer, but then the bike rides terribly when unloaded. Defeats the major advantage of the BA's to begin with.

The BA's rock with lighter loads across so many different surface types and conditions.

Anyone else have any experience running Big Apples under a load ?
We pull a Bob Yak trailer with a tandem with BA 2.15 tires. I usually keep them at 60psi but I have been known to juice them up to 70 for a fast ET with no load. I have to say I can't really tell any difference between 70, 60, or 50 psi. I start to notice things feeling a little too comfy and squishy and find that the tires have 35 psi in them!! The Yak puts a huge amount of weight on the back tire when loaded with 120lbs. I find that it is the trailer that misbehaves, when unladen, with very high pressure in the tire.


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Old 01-29-13, 03:56 PM
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I had a set of 26" BA on another bike. Usually rode it around 60psi, loaded or unloaded, and never noticed any differences going 10psi up or down. On my current commuter, I have a set of 26x2" Marathon Supremes and find there is a noticeable difference in comfort and rolling resistance when the pressure is 10 up or down. The side walls are very thin on the MS(foldable) as oppose to the BA's stiff, thick sidewalls, which is why not much difference is noticed when adjusting a broader range of pressures, is my guess.
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Old 01-29-13, 04:04 PM
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I roll the 26x2.0 BA's on my commuter. Yes, they feel sluggish when climbing, but I think that has more to do with the fact that my bike is a tank than the tires being slow. I'd really like to try some Marathon Supremes in a 1.6 width. I currently run 60 PSI.
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Old 01-29-13, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bconneraz
I roll the 26x2.0 BA's on my commuter. Yes, they feel sluggish when climbing, but I think that has more to do with the fact that my bike is a tank than the tires being slow. I'd really like to try some Marathon Supremes in a 1.6 width. I currently run 60 PSI.
Oddly, they felt faster than the 1.5" they replaced. I'm very pleased with the performance of these tires considering its a "ballon tire" of sorts. Very comfy and light...but they cost a small fortune!
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Old 01-29-13, 04:17 PM
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Have BA's on a Surly KM, love the ride, usually run @ 5 psi under, listed as top . very thin side wall.
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Old 01-29-13, 07:03 PM
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Secondary commuter currently sports BA 2.35" tires. I run them at 35 psi and they are fantastic. Some bobbing if I get up out of the saddle on a climb, but perfect for spinning at an even cadence.

They are quite a bit lighter in motion than they have any right to be. I have only ever been surprised by Schwalbe tires -- Marathons more supple, BA tires acting lighter than mere numbers would seem to indicate.

Love the big apples, would recommend. No experience with the tires under heavy load, but perfect for a light commuter especially on rougher roads.
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Old 01-29-13, 08:02 PM
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I run 2.35" BA's on my Surly LHT. This bike is used for commuting and touring, so it's loaded about 99% of the time I ride it. The rolling mass is nice on flats and downhill but can be a bear on hills. For out of the saddle climbing the amount of tire bounce does steal power but that is a trade off I am willing to make. The ability to ride over the pot holes and curbs and not have your teeth jarred is worth it. The LHT is the 1960's Caddy of my bike fleet, so comfort is key. I usually run 35 psi front, 45 psi rear. Anything higher really ruins the 'balloon' effect for me.

I recently converted them to 'ghetto tubeless' and managed to save about 0.8 lbs of inner tube weight. Even better now.

Last edited by CXT; 01-29-13 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 01-29-13, 08:22 PM
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Right on. Thanks to everyone for the feedback.
What I am getting out of the experience thus far.....
BA's are a very nice ride, particularly on a reasonably lightly loaded commuter on many different road/surface conditions. I am amazed at their comfort on crushed granite, limestone, and gravel paths, not to mention cracks, potholes, and bad roads.

Air the rear up to 55-60, 45ish front, when loaded or pulling a trailer, particularly when climbing or trying to make time on the tarmac.

Let the pressure back down via presta valve when riding unloaded.

Worth it, I guess, for the plushness of the ride.

Have fun. Be safe.

Last edited by AusTexMurf; 01-29-13 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 01-30-13, 08:12 AM
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I run my 2.15 BAs at 35psi rear, 30 front, but I noticed last Friday that I definitely need to put more in the rear when I've got the rear rack loaded up after a trip to Costco. Going up and down curbs was much harsher, had to slow down or risk banging the rim up. I'll probably run the rear at 50 or so when I finally get my Ortlieb panniers.
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