"Big Apples" still the recommended?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    "Big Apples" still the recommended?

    I live in Florida. 14 mile (each way) commute. I will initially be using my 2011 Trek/Fisher X-Cal (29er). I made the commute once in the fall to map it out. It's all sidewalk/bike lane. Florida does have it's mists/rain but it's not a very 'technical' course.

    I have "typical" trail tires and that is where I'd like to start in terms of beginning to commute twice a week (upgrading tires). In terms of commuting and converting an existing bike, are "Big Apples" still the preferred commuting tire? Are there any alternatives to consider?

  2. #2
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
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    I went from BA's to Serfas Drifters on my 29er and the drifters are awesome as well. No complaints about the BA's, except I have a trail section as an option and they don't do well in wet pine needles and oak leaves But they honestly surprised me in the dirt...very predictable with that massive contact patch (I had the 2.35's). The the Drifters have a 'reverse tread' pattern that makes them extremely long-lasting (I'm pushing 6k on mine and tons of life left) and a bit better off-road. I ran both tires tubeless with no issues. The drifters were cheaper.
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  3. #3
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jelako View Post
    In terms of commuting and converting an existing bike, are "Big Apples" still the preferred commuting tire? Are there any alternatives to consider?
    Welcome, Jelako- hope you enjoy the experience!
    Prefered? Depends on who`s riding and where and when and in how much hurry and... In other words, we all have our favorites and there are huge differences in how we roll, what equipment we prefer. If the BAs call your attention and you can afford them, go for it. They are favorites for some of us (I use them sometimes) and I don`t think I`ve ever heard from anybody who absolutely hates them.
    Recalculating....

  4. #4
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    BA 2.15 great 29er tire!

  5. #5
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    I still want to try some Big Apples, so I'm not speaking from experience, but for 28 miles a day, I might consider something "faster"/less cushy/narrower. On the other hand, you certainly want to be comfortable.

  6. #6
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    ...but for 28 miles a day, I might consider something "faster"/less cushy/narrower.
    I hadn`t noticed that he said 14 mi each way! Yeah, probably better with less cush for that commute.
    Recalculating....

  7. #7
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    Thank you for the replies. I was considering the 28x2.15 over the 2.35. What would be an example of comparable model that would be a little less cushioning and faster?

    I'm by no means a speed demon, but would not be opposed to a tire that's a little more narrower and faster.

  8. #8
    CB of the East
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    If you put the pressure to the Big Apples it takes some of the cush out and puts the speed in. I have the 2.35s. No complaints except they are on the heavy side.

    If you haven't stumbled on this yet, it's worth a read.
    Rolling Resistance | Schwalbe North America

  9. #9
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    Another option is the Schwalbe Marathons. I have the Green Guards (earlier HS 420) which I like pretty well, and wear like iron but I would probably spend the extra money on a more supple version next time. Although I have them on a cheap spare wheelset, so perhaps the wheels are more the issue than the tires. City / Touring | Schwalbe North America

  10. #10
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    I got a set of Vittoria Voyager Hypers in 700x 37 while the weather was still good around here. If they aren't too narrow for your rims, they might be worth a look. About 1.75" across, mostly slick, and can be run at 85 psi is you need to cut rolling resistance or 45 if you want gentler ride.

  11. #11
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    I like the Panaracer pasela or T-servs for lighter and speedy. I am not sure if they would be too narrow though I think the biggest is also a 37. But I really like the Big Apples. The ride just seems more fun for some reason. You could always try them a little smaller as well I think they come in a 2.00.

  12. #12
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    The Serfas Drifter is an excellent tire for what you are describing, and you can likely find it cheaper than a Big Apple. Schwalbe makes great tires, but they are not inexpensive. Bonus? Leaning over in wet weather makes rad suction cup noises. Almost makes you look forward to riding in the rain...

    As mtbxplorer suggested, Marathons are also a good choice. The Mondial is the premium touring tire, and has a staunch following amongst the Marathon crowd.

    Continental also makes similar tires, the TourRide/Touring Plus and the Contact family. I've personally used the TourRides confidently on road--they're heavy, but they're thick, like the Schwalbe Marathons, so flats are nearly non existent. On trail, they're fine, unless you need to contend with loose, wet ground, and then the tread just packs up. All four tires are only available in a maximum size of 1.75/47mm. I use the 1.6/42, and have encountered nothing I would think twice about doing with them, unless the bike itself couldn't handle it (this is my cyclocross/commuter). All of them roll very well, and I have no trouble keeping up with a typical C/B ride where the pace is around 18-20mph. I also don't have to dodge drain grates and minor potholes, so there's that.

  13. #13
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    I do 25 mile roundtrip commutes on Big Apple 2.15 two or three times per week. They roll very well and maintain speed. Acceleration is leisurely but acceptable given the comfort and puncture resistance needed to survive our unswept roads. Cornering and braking traction is fantastic, an almost motorcycle-like feeling of sure-footedness. The last little perk is the white reflective sidewall stripe...at least one leg of the commute is in darkness so the extra conspicuity is welcome!

    About the only wish list item would be a kevlar bead to save some weight and make 'em foldable. No complaints at all otherwise.

  14. #14
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    I have one on my commuter and I really like it, it is far smoother rolling than even the old Race King 2.2 it replaced. The cushion of the tire is really nice to I rarely go higher than 30 psi in this tire.

    I like the drifter and think it would do well in mixed terrain over a BA but I wish it came in a larger balloon size like the BA. That is the whole reason to get the BA.

    For reference I commuted 26 miles round trip on the setup above.
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