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  1. #1
    A God Without A Name
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    Suspension Fork VS Schwalbe Fat Franks: The Lesser Evil?

    My grind to work consists of blasting down decaying asphalt roads at speeds that make my choice to not wear a helmet moronic.

    Two thirds of it are a steep descent at speeds approaching 45 mph (the speed limit is 35, and the cars that actually go the speed limit... are going slower than me for most of it)

    My own stupidity aside, the 80psi tires on a Rigid Soma Groove are KILLING my wrists. And I'm left trying to decide how to take care of that.

    Fork or Tires.

    If I didn't have to pedal back up that hill, I'd go with the high volume tires. easy.

    but skinny's on a locked out suspension fork, seem like they might be a bit easier.

    thoughts?

  2. #2
    Monkey Junkie
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    Fat tires all the way. They won't be any slower on a rough road. Schwalbe Super Motos are a lighter possibility.

  3. #3
    A God Without A Name
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    I like that tire! but my commute is goat head intensive. even with stans I am adding air every few days.

    Schwalbe has the coolest slicks, though!

  4. #4
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    I'd go with the fat tires over different forks as well.

    Not sure what would defeat goat heads. One thing you can try is to run thorn resistant tubing inside a mediocre resistance tire. For example, WTB Nanoraptor tires don't fare well against goatheads, but people have mentioned they have had success with WTB Nanoraptors + thorn resistant tubing.

  5. #5
    A God Without A Name
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    Flat care isn't my first concern, push come to shove I can Stans another tube.

    I just remember running 1.5's on my 45 pound, front squish voltage, and 1.5's on the Soma. and then running the same pair of Maxxis Ardents (2.35) on both bikes... and noticing that the 45 pound jumper on skinny's was substantially faster than my groove with fatties.

    yeah a lot of pedal power was lost... but that lack of rolling resistance... Oooooh its tempting.

  6. #6
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    I've got big apples on a rigid, old mountain bike, and big slicks are terrific fun. The extra weight might take a bit of getting used to when you're accelerating off the line, but at cruising speed they're pretty efficient - they don't feel anything like my ardents. I'd totally recommend giving fatfranks/biggapples/supermotos/... a try.

  7. #7
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    just made changes on my soma groove
    maxxis ikon 2.2 => fat franks 2.35
    suspension fork => steel rigid fork

    i can say that fat franks are really heavy, but they do add some comfort, i feel it with my butt.
    but they won't help you with really big bumps as a suspension fork would do
    so i have a "hot swap" - a separate pair of wheels and two forks for city and for backwoods. it takes me 20 minutes to swap

  8. #8
    Monkey Junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    I like that tire! but my commute is goat head intensive. even with stans I am adding air every few days.

    Schwalbe has the coolest slicks, though!
    If you need puncture protection, try Big Apples. I can't promise they will stop goat heads, but I've used a set off and on for a while and have never gotten a flat. I've also heard at least one report of setting them up tubeless successfully. They aren't light but don't feel heavy. Once they start rolling they don't want to stop. I have the 29x2.35 size and generally run them at about 30 PSI.

  9. #9
    CB of the East
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    The other advantage of balloon tires is that they can have a slow leak and there is so much air volume that you can go a few days.

  10. #10
    Bedwards Of The West
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    My vote is tubeless Big Apples. two flats in 5000 miles on that set-up for me, and I live in Goathead country also. I pulled countless goatheads out of those tires...never got a flat from one. My first flat was a big nail that the tubeless goo couldn't handle (maybe at the 3000 mile mark), and my second was from a staple that punctured the tube I had to put in because of the nail hole that the tubeless goo couldn't handle. They set up tubeless very easily, and held air at least as well as tubes. The big fat slicks are fun, and it's not so bad climbing with them... it's good for you.

    ...and going from 80psi to 20 or 30 on a set of BA's will make you feel like you're riding a full suspension mountian bike. It's glorious.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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    (no excuse for that either)

  11. #11
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    I'm running some of the 26x1.25" Forte Metro K tires from Performance, pumped up to 75psi. I have a 17 mile commute one-way, takes me 55-60 minutes depending on traffic lights, typical city roads/suburban roads. It's a steel-framed, rigid fork MTB (posted a picture in the commuter bike pic thread last week). I've been thinking about switching to some 1.6" or 2.0" Schwalbe tires though for a little more comfort, but wouldn't want it at the cost of a lot more rolling resistance. I was looking at the Big Apples or the Marathon Supremes specifically. I thought I'd piggyback my question in this thread since the feedback might help the OP. Any thoughts?
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
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  12. #12
    Bedwards Of The West
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    ^^ I didn't get slower when I went to the BA's. I think they easily make up for thier weight in small-bump absorbtion/low rolling resistance. If you're already doing 17 miles on 26" wheels, you're not going to feel slower with the BA's. Just my 2 cents.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  13. #13
    Ex-Clydesdale
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    I'm going to order some 26x2.0" BAs today. Just debating between the "Active Line" and the "Performance Line." The PL seems to have a better puncture protection layer, better rubber compound, and is lighter. Do you know which ones you were using, CommuterBoy?
    Last edited by Dwayne; 09-05-2012 at 07:32 AM.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
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  14. #14
    Bedwards Of The West
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    ^^ I think that 'Active' and 'performance' thing is new.. I heard they changed them slightly. I still have mine hanging in the garage... I can look at the sidewall, but I think there's nothing like that on there. ...but for the commute, I'd buy whichever one was heavier. Durability over saving weight for the commute in my book.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  15. #15
    Ex-Clydesdale
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    ^^ I think that 'Active' and 'performance' thing is new.. I heard they changed them slightly. I still have mine hanging in the garage... I can look at the sidewall, but I think there's nothing like that on there. ...but for the commute, I'd buy whichever one was heavier. Durability over saving weight for the commute in my book.
    Well, that's the thing... according to what I'm reading, the lighter PL is better with punctures, and has the "Endurance" rubber compound which is supposed to last longer than the AL's regular compound.



    Just trying to find the best deal on these now. Wallbike only carries the Active Line.

    Edit: 26x2.15" Big Apples Performance Lines are ordered!
    Last edited by Dwayne; 09-05-2012 at 08:52 AM.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
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  16. #16
    jrm
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    Got a pic of the bike set up?

    it might not be the difference in the tire/fork that's causing wrist pain.

  17. #17
    A God Without A Name
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    it might not be the difference in the tire/fork that's causing wrist pain.
    It is. My bike is fit rather well. I should know I fit it as I built it. my form is also fine. I could GREATLY use a wider bar (I did not realize how narrow 56cm would feel until after the part was purchased, frankly I could handle deep into the 60's) I was brought up on the short stem wide bar combo with my DJ bikes, So I'd prefer them. but my 110mm stem really places me in the perfect spot over the frame. so until I find an affordable 25.4 bar that's wider... I'm gonna wait.

    also I've got about 3,000 miles on the bike. and the wrist pain didn't start till my commute changed to include a high speed hill descent.

    but yeah, lookin at a pair of BA's in creme!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    so until I find an affordable 25.4 bar that's wider... I'm gonna wait.
    Are you looking for a flat or a riser?

    I saw this Answer riser on Jenson, 685mm for $30:
    Answer Alumilite Riser Bar > Components > Handlebars and Stems > Mountain Bike Handlebars | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
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  19. #19
    A God Without A Name
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    Flat to a very mild rise. it's killing me how little is sold for 25.4!

  20. #20
    A God Without A Name
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    First Ride Review:
    Pro:very forgiving ride, great looks, and gobs of traction (at least in warm road conditions) great cornering/handling
    con: Slow to accelerate, but not nearly as bad as knobbies. once at speed they maintain rather well, but nothing like my 85 psi skinnies.

    verdict: while not as blastingly fast as my skinnies. the comfort of them outweighs the mild reduction in speed. also, while they may accelerate a bit slower. they do accelerate smoother, as the increased traction means I get a lot less tire slip.

  21. #21
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    Very, very nice. I'm glad they're working out.

  22. #22
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    I'm loving my 29 x 2.35 BA's for commuting. As was said earlier, they are not the fastest accelerating or fastest climbing tires around, but indeed the extra effort is good for you

    The plushness of the ride is fantastic, and they'll take lean like a supermoto bike.

  23. #23
    A God Without A Name
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    Yeah, the bike handles like it's on rails now!

    The one change I'd like to make now is, Wider RIMS. something that wont add weight or cost too much. but that will give my tire a little more stability. the equalizer25 rims are a bit pinchy on these treads...

    I'm thinking something like Velocity Blunts. I dunno.

    WIDE, Slightly light, and cheapish.

  24. #24
    CB of the East
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    And it looks really cool!

    I've got to try my BAs with lower pressure. I'm always pumping them up to their max pressure because I'd rather have speed over comfort but I'm going to have to embrace this balloon tire thing sometime.

  25. #25
    Bedwards Of The West
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    That looks SWEET Agwan. Glad you like them.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  26. #26
    weirdo
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    Look nice! Maybe its discussed above (I didn`t read the whole thread), but I thought BAs only came in black and it they were another color it was because they had changed their name to Frank.

    Cheapish Velocitys? They used to be cheapish.

  27. #27
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    Agwan, you're going to have to post another photo after your tires are dirty. My black BAs are so filthy that the reflective stripe disappeared long ago.

    And to settle a question from awhile ago, does your tread look like this:


    or like this:

  28. #28
    Ex-Clydesdale
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    I think he has Fat Franks, that's what they look like to me anyway. I hijacked his thread in the middle with a bunch of BA talk, my bad.

    Fat Franks:
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
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  29. #29
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    ^ yup. My bad.

    But I still want to know what they look like when they're dirty.

  30. #30
    A God Without A Name
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    Oh, they were dirty 7 seconds out the door! XD. They are the new 2.15 BA's. I was actually talked into them by this threads derailment!

  31. #31
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    Why not just go with a fat and comfy front tire and a skinny fast rolling rear tire? Works great for XC riding and gives you the comfort up front.

    So says the guy who commuted for several months with a 700x28 rear tire and 26x2.3 slick up front while saving for a nice wheelset. So comfy.

  32. #32
    A God Without A Name
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    Because SWAGGER.

  33. #33
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    Ag, I wouldn't sweat the "pinch" of the Equalizers; I've been running my Eq's with Michelin 2.15's, and DMR Redshift 2.25's in bad weather, for over two years now, no issues.

    I will be replacing my Eq's for ONE reason this coming winter: my planned fork upgrade forces me to go to 20mm up front, so I will be mounting Azonic Outlaws, and giving the old fork and Eq's to my daughter for her "Sweet 16" bike. (She wants a Kona like mine!)
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  34. #34
    A God Without A Name
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    My concerns with 4im width are more for handling than from fitament. Though these hoops do also leave a lot to be desired. They're very dead feeling on the road.

  35. #35
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    I have 2" fat franks on my casseroll right now.
    Useless heavy dead-feeling things with far less cornering traction than they should have.
    Look cool though!

    get some 32mm gatorskins.
    some of bontrager's tires are looking decent as well.
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  36. #36
    A God Without A Name
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    Well, my cornering traction is phenomenal and the weight isn't bad for a tire this size.
    I've had plenty of tires on these rims.

    It's the rims.

    I'm actually extremely surprised and satisfied with my Sun Ringle Disc Jockey hubs.

    its just the rest of the wheel I'm not sold on.

  37. #37
    CB of the East
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    Well, my cornering traction is phenomenal and the weight isn't bad for a tire this size.
    I use to think that until I dumped the bike on wet seal-coat riding on big apples last week. To be fair, I think I would have gone down on any tires on that slick crap. It was like ice.

    I've been running the BAs near their highest pressure and decided to experiment with this balloon suspension thing and bled them down to maybe 20lbs.. Now I feel like I'm bouncing with every pedal stroke. Does anyone else get this? What pressure do you run front and rear? I'll need to experiment some.

  38. #38
    Ex-Clydesdale
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    I've been running the BAs near their highest pressure and decided to experiment with this balloon suspension thing and bled them down to maybe 20lbs.. Now I feel like I'm bouncing with every pedal stroke. Does anyone else get this? What pressure do you run front and rear? I'll need to experiment some.
    I'm running mine right at 2 bar, or right around 30psi. I tried 35, 40, and 45 psi to see how the ride changes, rolling resistance, bump absorption, etc, but 30 seems to be a really nice pressure for the 2.15" BAs. They absorb a lot, and the only time I notice a bounce is if I go over a larger bump at higher speed while sitting, then I can feel the rear as it comes back down on the ground and bounces once, like a basketball I guess. I believe Schwalbe also recommends running the BAs at 2 bar/30psi, too.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
    Retired: 97 C-DaleSuper-V, 05 C-Dale R5000

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