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  1. #1
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    Commuter tires: Big Apple or something else?

    Yeah, I searched already. Moving on...

    I need a set of commuter tires for my new Niner EMD frame. They will be used for riding rough roads and some gravel. Looks like the Schwalbe Big Apple is popular... I could do those in the 29 x 2.0 (2.35 seems like total overkill) or is there something else out there I should be considering? 2.0 Marathon Supreme worth the extra?

    Will be going on ZTR Arch rims. Criteria:

    High volume good, around 2.0 would be nice.
    Weight not super important but no 1000g porkers
    Durable
    Fairly smooth tread for mostly road riding, no trails on this.
    Set up tubeless easy...I know this varies person to person

    Really the Big Apples look great, holler if anyone knows of anything else I should be looking for. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Kenda Happy Medium should also be mentioned. I just put some 40/35 on my La Cruz, front and back...they are pretty reasonably priced as well. Big Apples will be bomber though.
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  3. #3
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    I really don't think of the "Schwalbe Big Apple" as a commuter tire, to me it's simply a Sunday drive around town tire, a cursing the neighborhood tire. Why do I say that... because the "Schwalbe Big Apple" is balloon type tire, so it's really made to cushion your ride which means it doesn't roll very well and will wear out quickly. Anyhow, for me... the best commuter tire is the "Schwalbe Marathon Supreme Tire 29 x 2.0, it rolls super fast and last a long time. Seriously, in my real world usage... the "Schwalbe Marathon Supreme" lasts 3 X longer than the "Schwalbe Big Apple".

  4. #4
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    i have had big apples on my salsa el mariachi 'commuter' for the past couple of years, they have performed fine, they just look right on a 29er ... i run them at about 65-70psi and they roll quite nicely ... i got them as a short term solution but they have surprised me how long they have lasted ... i was looking at the maxxis overdrive but it was only a 42mm, the marathon supreme tyre sounds interesting
    "old enough to know better. too old to care."

  5. #5
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    Schwalbe Smart Sam comes in 2.1 performance compound, so should give some mileage.

  6. #6
    CB of the East
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    I assume you're already read this.
    Schwalbe Tires Tech Info Rolling Resistance
    I just mounted my first set of Big apples on my mountain bike now used as a commuter, So far, so good but I have very few miles on them.

  7. #7
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    ... and if we just ...

    I've been digging the Geax Evolution 29r tire for commuting and dirt road bombing. They are a little portly, but I don't really notice it. They are 29x1.9" and have more tread than the Big Apple, but its all negative tread (cut into the tire).

    G-Ted did a full writeup on twentynineinches...

    I am running them tubeless with Stans with no issues... Mounted up 1st try and no flats. And they're like $27 each...

  8. #8
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    Am not fond of Big Apple's. They are too big, raise my bike's standover by a good inch, muck with the geometry, and they don't roll that well unless you pump them up nice and hard, in which case why did I buy a balloon tire? I had a pair and started out liking them, but the more I rode them the less enamored I became. Lately I've been riding Bontrager XR-1s, because I use that bike (a Fargo) on dirt roads. For pavement, I'd probably look at Schwalbe's Marathon line.

  9. #9
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    There seems to be peculiar criteria. How durable is enough? How much volume is really needed? Why tubeless for commuting?

    Big Apples will not be fast rolling compared to other options nor will any Marathon. Marathons are for mileage and durability; they are not fast. Supermotos are made in a 29" size now, but why so big?

    A narrower tire will faster, lighter, and quicker handling on smooth surfaces but they won't be tubeless. Tubeless means low pressure, though, and low pressure on the road is slow. A Kojak would be better performing in every way than the tires mentioned but it would lack the great puncture protection of a Marathon. If the Kojak isn't enough tire there's a larger Marathon Racer or a Randonneur Hyper. You need to consider what's really required for your commuting.

  10. #10
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    +2 on not liking the Big Apples. I found them fat, heavy, and slow (in contrast to me, who is thin, light, and slow). I'm much happier with the 35mm Paselas or the Vulpine/Nano combo that replaced them. The Paselas are great all around road/touring/commuting tires, and the Vulpine/Nano roll surprisingly well on pavement yet let me go on real singletrack (if it's dry) when I'm too lazy to swap out tires.
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  11. #11
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    I know it is odd criteria but I ride a lot of commuting miles in the dark on crappy roads. Not real worried about speed, it is not a road racing bike so no big deal to me.

  12. #12
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    Never found the BAs slow

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny K View Post
    I know it is odd criteria but I ride a lot of commuting miles in the dark on crappy roads. Not real worried about speed, it is not a road racing bike so no big deal to me.
    They are quite big and heavy and slow to accelerate which I think makes people tend to think they have high rolling resistance but mine don't. I have ridden with people with roughly equal abilities as me that were on road bikes and had no problem keeping up or passing after getting up to speed with the BAs but the acceleration when combined with a heavier MTB bike and wheels definitely made me slower from a stop. On the other hand they act like flywheels too so once up to speed they are quite happy to stay there with minimal effort and you can roll right over nearly everything which is great commuting fun.

  13. #13
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    I'm digging the Super Motos. I'm running them with tubes and sealant.


  14. #14
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    To me the Big Apples are amazing.

    I have been running them for years, the big ones too.
    I liked them so much, when my store had a clear out I bought a box full!

    Although a big tubeless fan, these tyres do not need it.

    They roll very fast, I take more road riders than take me, especially impressive as I am not hugely fit and am riding a Niner WFO.

    They grip well is most conditions, I even gave them a go this weekend on an orienteering mtb race this weekend. They are always going to be my racing tyre for on and off road now.

    They wear slowly, and puncture rarely.

    The main reason I like the is they are fun.
    I can huck curbs, jump flights of stairs, and the fave part of my commute involves hitting a flight of stairs at about 20mph and smashing all the way up.

    You can't do that on a skinny tyre.

    These tyres protect your bike, I am running budget single wall rims and doing large drops to flat!

    To me the most important thing about a bike is how fun it is, this is the reason I like these tyres.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  15. #15
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    I pulled the trigger on the Geax Evolution 29x1.9's... They're going on a rigid On-One Scandal 1x9 that will primarily be used for commuting & kid hauling. I like the idea of the Big Apple but the price tag was just too high for what I'd be using them for. At $26/tire, the Geax looks to be ideal.

  16. #16
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    Big Apples are what the name implies... big and heavy. I ran 2.35's, then sold them off. They really weren't that bad on single-track suprisingly.

    Fat Frank 2.0's are about the same.

    WTB Vulpine's are what I run on my commuter now. Good all-arounder and and lighter than both above.
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

  17. #17
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    I run the Big Apples on Arches on my hardtail for commuting and absolutely love them. They make pavement fun... I highly reccomend them (probably 500 miles on mine and hardly any sign of wear and not a single flat).

  18. #18
    CB of the East
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    That's pretty funny because I just replaced my WTB Vulpines with Big Apples. The back one had 1500 miles on it and it was toast, I probably could have got 2000 out of them if I had rotated them. With only a few rides on the BAs I like them better. Plenty of hills on my route but I don't notice the difference in weight that much.
    (In the interest of full disclosure, these are 26". The 9er versions will be even heavier so that might "tip the scale" so to speak)

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the responses. I think I am going to do the Supermoto 2.35 in front and a Big Apple 2.0 in the rear. Now to decide if I wanna use em tubeless or not.

  20. #20
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    I spent alot of time on this too. I've been commuting 6 days a week for almost 2 years now (11 miles each way).
    Take a look at the Schwalbe Hurricane 2.0 tires. Inflate to 65-70psi, and it's almost as fast as a road tire. Lower the psi to I about 35psi, and they are decent on the trail!

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