Recumbent trike tyres

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UpWrong
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Recumbent trike tyres

Postby UpWrong » 9 May 2020, 7:20pm

I guess we demand a lot from trike tyres. We want low rolling resistance because we run 3 of them and the diameters are often small, good puncture resistance because all 3 tracks are exposed with often a tyre in the dirt in the crown of a single track road, low weight to reduce rotational mass and improve acceleration, and comfort. Other considerations are reflective strips for improved visibility at night, how much sparay they throw up for those of us who don’t run mudguards, grip for our single wheel drive machines etc.

Most of us run 20” (406) tyres on recumbent trikes, at least on the front if not all round. At this diameter it seems to make sense to have widths of around 40mm or more to get good comfort. Most folding bikes use 37-40mm. With suspension you might go narrower, but otherwise there is a risk of snakebite punctures – which is what happened to me when I ran 28mm Duranos on a Catrike 700.

Unfortuantely there are limited choices for lighter, quicker 40mm-ish 406 tyres. Schwalbe have discontinued the Shredda Evo and the Supreme, and the tubeless ready G-One is a b*strard to fit apparently. The Scorcher 120 is fragile and doesn’t last. Continental do nothing of interest in the wider width. That leaves us with a number of 2nd tier Schwalbe offerings and some pretty expensive BMX race tyres.

The 2nd tier Schwalbe tyres are Marathon Racer, Marathon Greenguard and Kojak. The second of these I have on a Tern and they feel sluggish, although they feel good in 37-622 construction on my Spa tourer. Racers and Kojaks don’t come out well in rolling resistance tests. Of the two I have preferred the 40mm Racers to the 35mm Kojaks. And especially so in the new generation Racers which have a different tread (deeper) and Liteskin sidewalls. The latter are really impressive in their flexibility. I guess it’s the double nylon breaker under the tread (Raceguard) that slows these and the Kojaks down. I’ve been running the new Racers on my AZUB and they really are rather good. I started off with them at 50 psi but dropped them to 45psi for better comfort. At that pressure those sidewalls really do flex on the bumps.

Racers and Kojaks boths have 67 tpi casings. There are BMX race tyres with around 120 tpi casings which should mean less rolling resistance. The two I’ve seen mentioned repeatedly are the Maxxis DTH folding and the Tioga FastR S-spec, also folding. The former has “Silkworm” puncture protection, the latter has none although there is a black label version with some kind of protection. I have no idea what Silkworm is. I fear it is aramid which is known to be slow. Interestingly the casing is single ply rather than the more usual 3-ply.

So in the name of science I have bought and fitted 3 of the Maxxis DTH folding tyres after logging a week on the Racers in Strava. However I also decided to change the inner tubes from Schwalbe AV6 to SV6A, the extralight tubes. In all I’ve reduced rotational weight by a total of 250g. Will I be any faster this coming week? Stay tuned ...
Last edited by UpWrong on 9 May 2020, 8:15pm, edited 1 time in total.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Recumbent trike tyres

Postby [XAP]Bob » 9 May 2020, 7:32pm

I settled on Trykers.... if you don’t live around flint then they’re an excellent compromise.

Not sure if they’re still being made :(
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

UpWrong
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Re: Recumbent trike tyres

Postby UpWrong » 9 May 2020, 8:13pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:I settled on Trykers.... if you don’t live around flint then they’re an excellent compromise.

Not sure if they’re still being made :(


Nope, they're not. My Azub was meant to come with them, the Racers were a substitute. TBH I was never convinced the Tryker profile was advantageous, although I never tried them.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Recumbent trike tyres

Postby [XAP]Bob » 9 May 2020, 8:23pm

I got more miles, faster, and more comfortably on Trykers over racers - better traction as well.

Not having to lean does allow a “car tyre” profile, flat top giving better contact patch - nice supple sidewalls (their downfall in a flint rich area).

I’ve not tested every tyre obviously..
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

UpWrong
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Re: Recumbent trike tyres

Postby UpWrong » 9 May 2020, 8:36pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:I got more miles, faster, and more comfortably on Trykers over racers - better traction as well.

Not having to lean does allow a “car tyre” profile, flat top giving better contact patch - nice supple sidewalls (their downfall in a flint rich area).

I’ve not tested every tyre obviously..


Sounds good. Maybe it's better to have the thin sidewalls flexing than a thick convex less supple tread.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Recumbent trike tyres

Postby [XAP]Bob » 9 May 2020, 8:38pm

That’s the theory behind them.

They’re not light tyres, but all that weight is in the tread, the contact patch is really quite thick - at least when they are new ;)

The sidewalk flex is where most of the hysteris loss occurs, thin sidewalks minimise that, and maximise the effectiveness of the pneumatic suspension.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

atlas_shrugged
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Re: Recumbent trike tyres

Postby atlas_shrugged » 10 May 2020, 8:56am

Schwalbe Durano gets my vote

UpWrong
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Re: Recumbent trike tyres

Postby UpWrong » 10 May 2020, 9:57am

atlas_shrugged wrote:Schwalbe Durano gets my vote

Rather narrow and rather harsh, but a reasonable choice if you have front suspension. Moultoneers are mourning the loss of the Conti GP 28-406 which was quicker and more comfortable than the Durano but not as durable.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Recumbent trike tyres

Postby [XAP]Bob » 10 May 2020, 12:54pm

I ran Duranos on my old trike, and they did quite well.
You do run through the centre of the tread faster than you would on two wheels, but that's expected.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

pete75
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Re: Recumbent trike tyres

Postby pete75 » 10 May 2020, 6:27pm

Schwalbe Big Apple on mine. They seem to work well.

UpWrong
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Re: Recumbent trike tyres

Postby UpWrong » 11 May 2020, 7:04am

pete75 wrote:Schwalbe Big Apple on mine. They seem to work well.

I have used them myself but they add quite a bit of weight to a trike. Eac tyre is 150g more than a Racer and then you have to factor in heavier inner tubes, maybe heavier rims too.

pete75
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Re: Recumbent trike tyres

Postby pete75 » 11 May 2020, 11:36am

UpWrong wrote:
pete75 wrote:Schwalbe Big Apple on mine. They seem to work well.

I have used them myself but they add quite a bit of weight to a trike. Eac tyre is 150g more than a Racer and then you have to factor in heavier inner tubes, maybe heavier rims too.


HPV Scorpion FX about 17kg plus racks, plus panniers, plus rider , plus camping kit. Yep that extra 1 1/2 pounds will make a hell of a difference. :(
Rolling resistance is probably the more important factor on a laden trike and it'll be lower with Big Apples.

UpWrong
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Re: Recumbent trike tyres

Postby UpWrong » 11 May 2020, 2:55pm

Ah, but does wider mean less rolling resistance for the same amount of vertical compliance?

pete75
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Re: Recumbent trike tyres

Postby pete75 » 13 May 2020, 5:09pm

UpWrong wrote:Ah, but does wider mean less rolling resistance for the same amount of vertical compliance?


I don't know. Do some research and you may be able to answer your own question.

UpWrong
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Re: Recumbent trike tyres

Postby UpWrong » 13 May 2020, 11:04pm

pete75 wrote:
UpWrong wrote:Ah, but does wider mean less rolling resistance for the same amount of vertical compliance?


I don't know. Do some research and you may be able to answer your own question.


The answer is no in Conti GP5000 tyres between 23mm and 32mm, see section 7 in https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/specials/grand-prix-5000-comparison#drop45