Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cheng Shin Tires: Don’t Know What You Got til It’s Gone

These tires came with my Schwinn Voyageur and one of them developed a gash. I tried to do a homebrew fix by putting patch on the inside of the tire and some super glue on the tread side (see pix below). That didn’t work as the spot would bulge when I tried to get close to the max PSI recommended. The tire that gashed was my rear tire.
I don’t know that much about tires only that some feel and ride great and others are just adequate. These were strictly in the first category. It seemed that when you wanted to go fast, these tires would aid you in that. And, if you just wanted to go slow and cruise, these tires would absorb the bumps and help you on your merry way.

Retailers do not seem to carry them. I looked for them in Walmart or Kmart and they only have Bell tires. I replaced them with Forte Gotham slicks (w/o Kevlar belt). I’ll use the front tire as a spare.

Tire size of the Cheng Shins was 700x40 . I had only put about 700 miles on these before the gash. They still had plenty of tread left.

I had read that they were pretty ho-hum tires and that manufacturers put these on because of their cheapness. My review of these Cheng Shin tires is quite positive.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Big Apple Tires Do Not Give a Full Suspension-Type Ride (20” size)

There’s a lot of raves on the internet about Schwalbe Big Apple Tires. People say that they have a wide footprint and roll very well. I agree. I disagree when they claim that slapping these on can give you the equivalent of a full suspension. Here’s my review of the Big Apple Tires:

I was at a bike shop that I never go to because it’s so far away from my house. I saw that they had these tires at a very reasonable price ($25 each). I couldn’t pass these up because they usually run about $35 online and that price does not include shipping. The size of the tires I bought is 20x2.0.

I installed them on my Dahon Yeah, which has those cheap Kenda Kwest’s. The Kenda’s are basically your lowest common denominator tire that major manufacturers put on their bikes. It’s like what the airline attendant thinks when she hands you that mini bag of pretzels: We’d like to give you something cheaper than this, but the next cheapest thing is dog food.

They were a definite step-up from the Kendas. They roll fantastic. The wideness of the tires even gives you confidence to take these loose or off-road gravel paths. The range of the PSI is 30-70. At 40PSI they do absorb the rough asphalt that could give you the jarring feeling in the hands. When you inflate them at the max (70PSI), they give you speed. Not as much absorption of the rough asphalt, though.

However, curb dropping and taking deep undulations of a road is not aided by the Big Apples. They really can’t compare to the full suspension feel of the Downtube Full Suspension bike, for example. I like these tires.

Pros: roll very well, wide footprint, absorb basic rough asphalt, reflective sidewall, Kevlar lined for puncture protection
Cons: not a substitute for a full suspension bike, price (if you don’t find them on sale)