Schwalbe and Shifty

A few weeks ago Jagur started a thread about a new Kenda 29er tire. I remarked that I was looking to replace my IRC Notos tire and might be interested in the Kenda. Joe Marshall (Dumb Blonde) stated that I REALLY wanted a Schwalbe 28 x 2.35 “Big Apple” for my 29er. He was right, but where to buy one? Rod Wylie (teachndad) located the North American Schwalbe distributor in Canada and their web site. Sure enough it’s available for purchase on-line for $34.40 (+$3.75 shipping). A few days later a Schwalbe Big Apple arrived.

Naturally, I immediately set out to put the Big Apple on my 29er. Surprise! The Big Apple is too much tire for my frame! The over-the-tire clearance is about minus 1/8". My 29er has a home made frame that I know doesn’t have much clearance but it’s been fine with the IRC tire.

Fortunately, for some reason someone sent me an old beater 29er in the mail that happened to arrived the same day as the Big Apple. This 29er is an old, decrepit, completely hammered blue thing that’s not worth much. I has a large, ridiculous looking hub. I’ve been using it to block the wheels on my truck since the parking brake quit working. My plan has been to recycle the aluminum parts, or just throw it all in the dumpster, but an idea struck - maybe the Big Apple will fit on this dog of a unicycle.

I removed the tire from the old blue 29er (couldn’t find my tire levers so I used a claw hammer and my wife’s pinking shears) and discovered how easy it is to tear a hole in the side wall of a Velociraptor tire. No matter - it’s worthless anyway. The Big Apple fit nicely on the bent and wobbly 700c rim after I did a little truing with Vice Grips and a rock. It DOES fit in the devastated blue frame with a little clearance over the tire.

There are pictures here:

http://www.unicyclist.com/gallery/bigapple

By now I hope you realize I’m talking about Harper’s Blue Shift! I did actually put the Schwalbe tire on Blue Shift this evening (the tires came off and went on without tools) and took it for a nice long ride. I hesitate to make any kind of a judgment after only one ride but my first impression of the Big Apple is positive. Looks good, nice and plush, easy rolling, easy to control and quiet … very quiet. I won’t be able to keep Blue Shift forever so I guess I’ll have to start working on a new 29er frame for the Big Apple.

Here are a couple quotes from the Schwalbe catalog to think about:

“A study conducted by Cologne Sports University showed that a full suspension bicycle is 33% more comfortable to ride than a conventional bicycle. With Big Apple fitted to a conventional bicycle, the spine suffered around 25% less jarring when compared to a standard 700x35C 4 bar (55psi) tyre.”

“Using the same air pressure, wide tires roll approximately 10 watts lower. With a comfortable air pressure of 2 bar (27psi) Big Apple has approximately the same rolling friction as a standard tire at 4 bar (55psi).”

Low pressure wide tires roll with less friction than high pressure skinny tires? I guess I need someone to explain that one to me.

As for my experiences so far with Blue Shift - I’ve laughed … I’ve cried. I changed from 29" to 43" mode several times this evening depending upon where I was riding. What a great thing - 43" mode for the flat paved bits, 29" mode for the gravel and dirt and steep climbs, back to 43" for more pavement, 29" mode for the sand and gravel along side the bison pen. One of my normal uni routes takes me along the fence line of a zoo. Today the half dozen bison were right next to the fence … about ten feet away as I rode by. A couple of them stopped grazing and watched me intently. Guess they had never seen a unicycle with a geared hub before.

Steve Howard

Re: Schwalbe and Shifty

In article <showard.jngan@timelimit.unicyclist.com>,
showard <showard.jngan@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:
)
)A few weeks ago Jagur started a thread about a new Kenda 29er tire. I
)remarked that I was looking to replace my IRC Notos tire and might be
)interested in the Kenda. Joe Marshall (Dumb Blonde) stated that I
)REALLY wanted a Schwalbe 28 x 2.35 “Big Apple” for my 29er. He was
)right, but where to buy one? Rod Wylie (teachndad) located the North
)American Schwalbe distributor in Canada and their web site. Sure enough
)it’s available for purchase on-line for $34.40 (+$3.75 shipping). A few
)days later a Schwalbe Big Apple arrived.
)
)Naturally, I immediately set out to put the Big Apple on my 29er.
)Surprise! The Big Apple is too much tire for my frame! The
)over-the-tire clearance is about minus 1/8". My 29er has a home made
)frame that I know doesn’t have much clearance but it’s been fine with
)the IRC tire.

How does the cross-section compare to the NanoRaptor? I like the looks
of that tread pattern (or lack thereof), but if the Big Apple is any
taller than the NanoRaptor, there’s no way it’ll fit in my Pashley.
(I could handle a wider tire, just not a taller one).
-Tom

Re: Schwalbe and Shifty

So, the Idaho bison are no more clever than the Washington bison. I get the same reaction here … alot of staring but very little wandering away from the herd to give it a go. A couple of the bison here tried riding it but openly admitted that the geared hub was too much for them. Not only could none of them freemount, only one of them was able to even ride more than a few meters and that was in 29" mode. Moose and elk are much more clever.

Steve,

OH GOD!!

That was a hilarious read! I was BUSTIN up. After a long day with the kids by myself and filling out report cards for an hour and a half, it was a welcome and FUNNY read.:smiley:

Any chance of that Blue Shift making it’s way over here to Queensland, Australia? I’m not the only person here. There’s many others including Wayne van Wijk (the president of the Australian Unicycling Society).

When’s the hub going to be for sale? Or is it going to be at all? I’ll consider buying one…but I need to test it out first :).

You Americans are so lucky to have so many other unicyclists nearby.

Andrew

Excellent read, Steve!

I’ve heard about that rolling resistance thing too; will check it out. But I think it has something to do with the deformation of the footprint and how tire material enters and exits the footprint.

Any ideas about how that tire would fit in the Pashley and Sem XLW frames?

Pashley=no way
Sem XLW=pretty darn sure.

Steve-

Have you ridden this Big Apple tire on a crowned road yet? It would be interesting to know if the ridge in the center of the Nanoraptor is really what causes the sensitivity to that slope. Also, what is the inflated diameter under no load? The Nanoraptor is really close to 29" unloaded and it sounds like the Big Apple is even bigger.

I’d like to go to Queensland, forget the unicycle. I’ve always wanted to go to the Northeast coast there. Still working on the production hub. Some progress, some setbacks.

Yesterday I took it easy with Blue Shift and left it set in 29" mode for my ride. I rode the same route I’ve ridden many times on my 29er with the intent of seeing how the Big Apple compares to the IRC Notos that I’m used to.

I found it somewhat difficult to ride a straight line with the Big Apple. For instance, there’s a 200 foot long straight curb I like to ride on top of but I couldn’t make it all the way this time … just couldn’t stay on that 4" wide curb like I usually do. Idling is more difficult as well since the tire wants to move sidways while idling.

The Big Apple is road crown sensitive. My Notos is too but pumping the pressure up from 35psi to 50psi helped it alot. Yesterday I had 40psi in the Big Apple which might be too low. I’ll try 50psi and see how it goes.

That was the negative stuff. The Big Apple is a blast on rough trails! It really smooths out a trail and is alot more stable in loose gravel … and it’s so smooth and quiet.

Tonight I put the Notos back on my 29er and measured 1/4" clearance between the tire and crown. Then I put Harper’s Nano Raptor on my 29er and measured the clearance at a hair less than 1/4". There really isn’t any difference between the two. Recall that there’s NO clearance between the Big Apple and the crown on my 29er. To make matters worse, the Big Apple has grown a little after a couple days of riding. Now there’s barely any daylight between the tire and crown on Blue Shift. Good thing the Big Apple runs very true. All these tires are very easy to change by hand without the need of tire levers. It only took about 5 minutes to swap then Notos and Nano Raptor on my Alex Adventurer rim.

I don’t know what frames the Big Apple will or won’t fit in. I looks like it’s at least 1/2" larger in diameter than a Nano Raptor so that should help determine if it will work in a particular frame.

Steve Howard