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fat tire rider
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What would you run?

Reasoning behind question: My frame (Karate Monkey) can run any 700c tire that I know of.

Typically I commmute on 2.35 Schwalbe Big Apples, and like them for most things. I have recently been trying Panaracer T-Servs size 35mm (they measure 32). In general, I prefer the Big Apples for the rougher roads, riding down stairs, urban obstacles, general comfort, etc. They are a lot of tire to haul around, however.

I have found one situation where I prefer the narrower tires, and unexpectedly, it is when I need to corner on a dirt road. It seems the Big Apples are so high volume that they just float across the dirt, and never dig in leading to washout and (once) a crash. The narrower tires while not as comfortable or ridable in the straights on the dirt, dig in much better in corners.

Anyway, I'm thinking there might be a good compromise in a tire around 45mm. Comfortable, bombproof, fast rolling and decent in dirt (maybe lighter than the BA's).

Interested in others experiences.
 

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Depends

When you are riding on soft but packed snow, it seems like there is no tire that is wide enough. For smooth pavement, 23 mm seems fine. Your desired tire width, tire pressure, and tread design are really dependent on riding conditions, are they not?
 

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What'd I do?
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What pressure do you run the big apples? A lower pressure would keep traction better on the really soft stuff, but not roll as well on the hard stuff. (I think) I've been pretty happy with 35 cc Panaracers on wide rims (Sun CR-18) at about 90-95 psi. I can still ride stairs and stuff, but if your weight's in the wrong place, it's really uncomfortable.
 

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Non non normal
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10,157 Posts
General road riding on tar and chip 26mm pumped to around 105 psi.

Loaded touring 32mm 90 psi.
 

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fat tire rider
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OverStuffed said:
What pressure do you run the big apples?
I keep the BAs around 25 psi. I don't notice that they roll better at high pressures. They really roll just as well as the skinnier tires on pavement. I really only notice them on the climbs due to the immense (900 grams I think) rotating weight. Without knobs, they are really squirrely on the corners in dirt, but great everywhere else. I may just accept this. since I like them. I also think the tread compound is fairly hard.

Maybe I should go down to the BA 2.0.

I took the T-servs down a long flight of stars today. They took it okay, but you need to keep the speed down and it is a bit rougher. It's a pretty brilliant tire if you don't mind the smaller volume.

Like the poster above said, the tire depends on conditions. I go down this flight of stairs (cutting across a high school stadium) pretty much every day on my commute, I also have short spells of dirt roads, and some god climbs and high speed descents. I'm also not averse to launching off anything that is smaller than 2 feet and convenient to the ride. I don't need knobbies, and they roll too slow for me.

What prompted this question was reading a bicycle history book and looking at the tires on most of the transportation bikes from the turn of the (20th) century. The tires looked around 35-45mm in width, and the wheels looked actually bigger than 700c. They rode these bikes in all conditions, and I wondered what people now a days thought was the ultimate compromise tire for general urban and dirt road use.
 
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