Tires for the Cruzbike Quest 20 (aka Q 451)

The Quest 20″, also known as the Q451, is taking a redesign holiday.  We hope to see it again in seven or eight months.  Meanwhile, there are a good number of Q451 owners already out there, who, like me, absolutely love the small wheel format for being so transportable.

One of the few downsides to the bike is the tire size.  In brief the metric size “406” tire is the common 20″ tire found on BMX bikes and most recumbent trikes and bikes and the 406s are easy to find.  The metric 451 is harder to find at your corner bike shop (does a corner bike shop really exist in New York City anymore?), however it has its fans among discerning BMX riders, who seem to like that slightly larger wheel.

The 451 also seems to have a fan in John Tolhurst, the genius behind the Cruzbike design.  So, I keep a casual eye out for appearances of new 451 sized tires.

I’ve never been too concerned about the comparative rarity of 451s because I’m a Schwalbe dealer, and Schwalbe makes some of the best tires in the world hands down, and Schwalbe makes some extremely good 451s.

Here are the 451s produced by Schwalbe:

Durano 28-451 (20×1 1/8) – a great all-around road tire
Mow Joe, 37-451 (20×1 3/8) – a great knobby tire. Do you need it?
HS 302, 25-451 (20×1) – I know nothing about it, but it’s listed on their site.
Shredda, 28-451 (20 x 1 1/8) and 37-451 (20 x 1 3/8) – a BMX tire for ramps, etc., which means it’s also a great street tire and the widest 451 from Schwalbe.
Ultremo ZX, 23-451 (20 x 0.90) – one of the best — fastest, lightest, most puncture resistant — road race tires.
Kenda Kwest also makes a few 451s, but I’m less excited about them.

Have fun and stay healthy and get some better tires.
Robert
————
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2013 Robert Matson

I like Schwalbe winter tires

I’m a long time user of Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires and ride all winter with them. I’ve also used, extensively, Schwalbe’s other studded tires that are designed for snow/trail. On the Marathon Winter, the studs are carbide steel — like a drill bit for drilling concete — and, as a result, they stick well to pavement or ice and wear down slowly.

The Mara. Winter stud pattern is such that the four rows of studs are mostly to the side of the contact patch when the tire is inflated to the max. PSI — so, the rider increases PSI on clear road days to minimize rolling resistance. On icy days, the rider drops the PSI to bring all four rows of studs into the contact patch. I put them on my commuting bike in early Nov. and leave them on till the snow is gone for good. I just alter the PSI to optimize them for the current conditions. They have high rolling resistance, esp. when I drop the PSI, but, partly as a result, I come out of winter strong.

Safety notes:

1) Always ride cautiously and within your capabilities, even with amazing cool new equipment.

2) Studded tires require skill and attention as does any tire under any condition. They’re not magical, though I wish they were. A studded tire will slide on deep slush; so will a crampon. Also, as with any piece of equipment, it takes practice to learn how to use them well.

3) Cars/trucks may move unpredictably and uncontrollably on icy and snowy days, sliding sideways, backwards and forwards and also may not be able to see well through fogged windshields and falling snow. With studded tires on an icy road, I may have more control than the nearby drivers and this creates a new hazard.

Have fun and stay healthy,
Robert
————
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

Q & A: What tires for trikes?

On Tue, May 15, 2012 12:28 pm, M___ L____ wrote:
> Hello,
> I have a recumbent trike and need new tires (Catrike Villager). Can you
> recommend tire?  And also need them
> to change tires on now. I am in Marine Park Area.


> Thank you,
> M__ L__

Hey M___,

Good to hear from you again.  I’m partial to Schwalbe tires due to the quality of manufacturing.  The Catrike Villager has 20″ wheels, front and rear, so I’d suggest Schwalbe Marathon Racers or Schwalbe Trykers if you’re riding on maintained roads, either paved or dirt.  For unmaintained roads, double-track trails, and rough off-road terrain I like Schwalbe Mow Joe knobby tires.  They were created for BMX racing so they are very grippy, responsive and fast.

All best,
Robert

# # #

Have fun and stay healthy,
Robert
————
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

Smoothing out those #%&! rough roads.

Between my place and Prospect Park, there is currently 400 meters of construction that will eventually result in a beautiful separated bike lane. This project was unfunded for some 20 years, till now, and has included laying new pipes, and piloting around a construction robot doing I don’t know what, and generally digging up a road that used to be fairly smooth by New York City standards.  As it is now, with the temporary patch jobs they do each time they finish a parcel of work, it’s the roughest #%&! road you can imagine.  Take a washboard road, add 50 speed bumps of all sizes and shapes, intersperse each speed bump with a pothole or two, throw on some gravel and rocks, and put it on an incline, and you’ve very nearly got this road (at this time).

Needless to say, I avoid it when I can, but it’s the shortest route to The Park.  A bad road is unpleasant on a standard frame bike, but with an SF, you can post (raise yourself off the seat).  On a bent, you can’t.  So, every few days, I’m reminded of what I like about fully-suspended recumbents or — if I’m riding an unsuspended bent — what I might have done to make this stretch more comfy.

Here are a few tips for smoothing out your own local worst road.

1. Full-suspension.  If you’re shopping anew, consider full-suspension recumbent bikes or trikes.  If you know you’ll be on bad roads, there’s no replacing the safety and comfort of keeping all wheels — whether two or three — in contact with the road at all times.
2. Steel is real.  Favor steel recumbents over (non-suspended) aluminum bents. While a steel frame can’t absorb potholes, it does have a marvelous capacity to absorb road vibration and this goes a long way towards improving control on bad roads.
3. Fat tires, baby.  Speaking personally, 1.5″-wide tires are my minimum for city tires and I like them at low pressure.  My favorite?  Schwalbe Big Apples. These are “balloon” tires.  They’re relatively light, flat resistant, grippy, have low rolling resistance, can run as low as 35 psi, and provide “built in” shock absorption.
4. Big tires, baby. 26″ wheels roll over the rough stuff better than 20″ wheels.  I realize that means we’re talking about high-racers and there are reasons why high racers are sub-optimal in the city, but there’s no getting around the benefit of big wheels.  If you decide to look at this solution, check out a Cruzbike Sofrider or Cruzbike Quest: big wheels without the typical high-racer’s seat slope.
5. Sling mesh seats.  While I love hard-shell seats for climbing hills, a sling mesh seat is comfort factorial on bad roads.

Would I put it all together?  Say, a fully-suspended HP Velotechnik Street Machine Gte or Scorpion fs, with Big Apple tires and an Ergo Mesh seat?  Or a dual-suspension Cruzbike Sofrider with 26×2.15″ Big Apples?  Yeah, I’d consider it.  At some point it may become overkill, but I’m not sure we’ve yet reached that point.

Stay healthy,
Robert
————
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

Greenspeed Scorcher Tires

This’ll be short…..

Greenspeed Scorcher Tires…great tires!
Greenspeed has a series of 16″ and 20″ Scorcher tires with smooth, fast, puncture resistant Kevlar treads and wire beads.  There is also a tire with a non-Kevlar tread and a folding bead which makes a nice lightweight tire that is perfect as a spare.  The Kevlar 20″ has reflective sidewalls.  Prices are comparable to equivalent grade Schwalbe’s, at apx. $41 or so per tire.  Not bad.

Naturally, these are great for any recumbent trike or bike.  But they’re also a nice choice for a fast Bike Friday or Swift folder.  Contact me for prices and availability.

Best,
Robert
————
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply (TM)
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2010 Robert Matson