Marathon XRs – Sold!

9 08 2012

XR’s for sale…

Update – these tires are sold.

I’ve got two Schwalbe Marathon XR tires for sale. 700c x 35mm – folding bead. The classic expedition touring tire that’s no longer available for sale from Schwalbe. One tire is new in the box. The other has been mounted and rolled less than 100km. The molding nubs are still fresh on the tire. They’ve been stored in my cool/dark garage.

I was keeping them for a big tour, but I haven’t needed them and it looks like I’ll either be touring on 26″ wheels or knobbies in the future.

Tread on slightly used tire…

Cost is $50 + $20 shipping for both anywhere in Canada/USA.

Stan’s NoTubes Tubeless Setup

10 02 2012

Stan's ZTR 29er Flow rim and Schwalbe Racing Ralph tire...

I’ve been tubeless curious for a while. I was thinking of setting up my Surly Pugsley and Santa Cruz Nomad tubeless, but I’ve heard both really positive and really negative tubeless experiences which made me hesitant to start my tubeless career with a ghetto tubeless setup. In case you don’t know – ghetto – refers to a setting up a rim/tire combo tubeless that wasn’t designed to be run that way. So being a bit cautious I decided to try tubeless on a rim/tires combo designed from the get go to be run without a tube.

Stan's Sealant - click here for some home brew recipes...

My first opportunity was the wheelset for my 29er hardtail mountain bike. I used a set of Stan’s Flow 29er rims because they are wide and strong – plus they have bead seats designed to lock in a tire easily when run without a tube. Some 2.35″ wide Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29er tires offer a nice wide supple rubber carcass without being terribly heavy and they are also designed to be run tubeless.

Here are the things I gathered to do the setup:

Steps I used:

  • I followed the first video about how to install the yellow Stan’s rim tape.
  • I installed a 29er MTB tube for ~2hrs at 40psi to ensure the tape sealed to the rim well before installing the tire tubeless.
  • Deflated the tire and pulled the tube out.
  • Then I installed the Stan’s valve stem and the tire – inflating to 40psi to seat the bead using glass cleaner as lubrication.
  • Once I was happy tire was holding air and seating well I deflated and added 3oz of Stan’s sealant by removing the valve core.
  • Tire was re-inflated to 40psi and rotated slowly to plug any leaks.
  • I had to re-inflate and spin wheels several times and left them overnight then more air + spinning in the AM.
  • I rode the bike the following day with no issues.

The “Help” articles and videos on the Stan’s website are worth checking out before you start.

We don't need no stinking tubes!

Overall the process was fairly painless although I probably spent 3-4hrs spread out over an evening and the next morning doing the setup. I did take my time and checked twice before each step so I’m sure that will be the longest it ever takes me. Using a full tubeless designed setup definitely helped everything click together for me with no problems. I was particularly surprised that I could easily seat the beads and inflate the tire with just a normal floor pump. Sweet!

Benefits of Tubeless:

  • puncture resistance for both sharp objects and pinch flats
  • ability to run low pressures without pinch flatting
  • very supple tire with low rolling resistance and improved traction
  • possibly lower weight depending on specific setup

I like running wide rubber at low pressure and I ride in terrain with poor traction, Being able to use soft tires that really conform to the terrain is awesome and I don’t have to worry about pinch flats. I’ll write up a review after I have a bunch of riding on these wheels and let you know what I think of Stan’s NoTubes tubeless products.

Going Ghetto

My buddy Scott reports having no issues with a ghetto tubeless setup so you don’t need to buy new wheels/tires if you want to try out tubeless. I’ll try my hand at ghetto tubeless on my Nomad next since I’m not spending $$$ on new wheels. I’ll let you know how it goes.

The Schwalbe Marathon XR is back!

2 09 2011

Welcome back XR!

My favourite touring tires are back! Thank God! I haven’t worn out my existing XRs so I can just get some Schwalbe Marathon Mondials when they do. The new name it a stupid mouthful compared to the simplicity of the previous name – XR, but that’s a small price to pay…=-)

Click on the image above to read the press release. Thanks to Richard for letting me know…=-)

How Schwalbe Tires and Tubes are Made…

13 07 2010

Fastolfe posted this video on BROL…very interesting…I run a lot of Schwalbe tires and Schwalbe USA HQ is located in Victoria, BC, Canada!  Makes me appreciate what goes into my bike tires.

I posted this video about how Rohloffs are made a while back, but in case you missed it they make a fun double header for the bike tech geek…=-)

Fast comfy tires and setup…

1 07 2010

Grand Bois 30-622...

I copied the text below from a post I made on BROL…rather than rewrite it this is good info to spread around. Let me just say that good tires that are setup well are the best and cheapest way to upgarde your bike for better performance and more comfort…the fact one leads to the other is the beauty of cycling…=-)

“The best [ie. fastest & comfy] tires I know of are:

– 349 [16”] GS Scorcher – 5 stars
– 406 [20″] GS Scorcher – 5 stars
– 559 [26″] Schwalbe Kojak & Specialized Fat Boy – both 4 stars
– 622 [700c] Grand Bois Cypres – if I’m allowed I’d give these 6 stars!

I’m not a racer, but I like to ride fast and effortlessly for long distances. To do that you need a tire that is supple and has enough volume to support your weight at moderate pressure so it acts like suspension. In the 16″ & 20″ sizes I run 40mm width because they don’t contain as much air. In the 26″ size I go down to 35-38mm and in the 700c size I use a 30mm width.

I then inflate each tire so I get approx 15% of the width as a vertical deflection when I’m sitting on the bike at rest with all my gear. So for the 30mm 700c tire I’m shooting for a 4.5mm vertical drop. This will give you optimal comfort and efficiency.

I’m amazed how well people like their old bikes when they let me set them up for them this way. I just swapped in some Grand Bois tires on my GF’s city bike….she is not into bike tech, but as soon as I made the change she started raving how much she loved the ride…fast and like she’s floating on air. She’d never let me take those tires off her bike now. Keep in mind she had to pay $100USD for a set which seemed highway robbery to her as she has never upgraded tires before…now she sees it as money well spent.

BTW – if you inflate both tires to the same pressure and/or you are inflating to the max pressure on the sidewall…you are not getting the best performance you can from your rubber. Max pressure doesn’t equal fast and may actually be slowing you down. Since both tires support different weights they need different pressures.”

Karate Monkey Big Apple Monster

7 05 2010

Surly Karate Monkey in lovely Chum Bucket red...

I stopped in at Fairfield Cycles [Victoria, BC] this week…very cool shop….Ortlieb, IGH bikes, folders, bents, cargo bikes…sweet!  Anyways not being in the market for a bike I was just browsing when I saw this nice 20″ Surly Karate Monkey with monster 2.35″ Schwalbe Big Apple 29er tires and fenders…the bike looked perfect and ridiculously huge all at the same time so I had to take a test ride.

Fat rubber and fat fenders do fit fine...

I was amazed that there was so much clearance in the fork for huge rubber and fenders to match.  I was also surprised that I liked the Chum Bucket red colour of the frame…I hadn’t been too stoked based on pictures I’d seen, but it looks quite nice in person. The 20″ frame fit me great and the bike was built up as a useful about town ride.

Single speed simplicity...

The KM was light and nimble despite the big wheels.  I would have lowered the pressure in the Big Apples quite a bit to take advantage of their suspension potential if it was my bike.  As it was the BAs rolled great and I was able to slalom around the neighbourhood with a big grin on my face.

I’m used to riding a fixed gear now so it felt strange to be on a single speed bike that let me coast…it almost felt wrong…=-)

Fenders...disc brakes...bring on the wet...

I gotta say this was a fun bike to bomb around on and setup like this would make a great all weather commuter.  As it turns out this bike is slightly used and priced at $1100.00cdn…somebody is going to have a big smile on their face.  Thanks to Max at Fairfield Cycles for the test ride…=-)

Thanks Kurt!

2 04 2010

Yeah for big tire clearance!

Sean’s pre-Y2K Santa Cruz Heckler was designed for 2.1″ rubber.  I managed to slip in 2.4″ Schwalbe Fat Alberts into the new Fox Float fork, but at the rear there was some light rubbing on the seatstay brace.  Thanks to Kurt and a grinder there is clearance at the rear for the fat rubber and it doesn’t look too DIY!…=-)  The 2.4″ rubber gives the bike uber traction and can be inflated a bit less than a 2.1″ tire without fear of pinch flats…this adds a nice bit of really compliant suspension to the bike.