Tire Questions

What inflations do folks on tandem tricycles use? Is this a matter of experience and observation or are there rules of thumb?
Why do cycle tires not hold air? I bought a nice digital readout pump but have to use it daily!
What are thoughts here on treadless tires?

Our Rover i8 Tandem arrived equipped new front tires: Engage F/S 20 x 1.95 EVO rated 45-75# and a used rear tire in good shape: Schwalbe Road Cruiser "Active" 20 x 1.75 rated 30-65#. I randomly chose 65# all around and watched the front tread melt away in a matter of weeks. A local bike shop reset the toe-in from 0.15 to 0.015 and that seemed to stop the erosion. I was thinking that all-time-vertical trike tires might just wear out down the middle of the tire as a matter of course. I've reduced tire pressure to 55# for no particular reason. Our combined weight is about 350#

All three have what I would call a street tread ... not aggressive but with a distinct deep tread pattern. My bike shop is recommending Schwalbe Kojak 20 x 1.35 treadless tires as replacements for the front tires. They are rated up to 95# ! I'd appreciate your observations on any of these.

Our typical ride has now increased to about 8 miles and we're able to get out there about 4 times per week. The planned assist motor would get us back if we ride off the plateau so our ride length will increase.


  • Been running Schwalbe Big Ben FS W Race Guard on front oy Rover for last 1k w hd tubes at 35 40 lbs. Great suspension and handling, and less pressure loss than stock, cheap tubes. Have eassist so weight not an issue. Tires hum a bit but not annoying or loud as grip tire. Have a Big Apple on rear 24 x 2.12 that I took off last fall... just using it up. Again for the suspension w a hd Schwalbe tube. Last airing over month ago. 12000 plus km on trike.

  • Love my Schwalbe Marathon tires. #100 psi max - I generally run at 85
  • Have Marathons also. Put em on mid summer. Bought a nice hand pump and can put around 70psi in them before arms/body sez stop. Easier than dragging the air compressor out, listening to it fire up. Quicker too. Found heavy duty Goodyear tubes. Haven’t checked pressure in a couple of weeks.
  • Thanks huge. Will check on your recommendations. Also will pull tubes from present tires ... have no idea what they are but they or their stems leak!
    9.3 miles this morning, personal record for us :-)
  • Schwalbe tubes are high quality and use metal stems.

    Have you checked out the Ryobi tire pump? Uses standard Ryobi 18v batteries, is lightweight (battery is heaviest part) and fits in a rack bag easily. I got mine at Home Depot. Best $23 I ever spent (already had batteries, hence the low price).
  • I've used Schwalbe Marathons on all three of my trikes (TTRGT, 559 and Dumont). I use them because they have a Kevlar lining and because they are rated at 100 psi (I inflate to 95 psi). Because they are narrower they have less rolling resistance. And, here in AZ, I'm concerned about punctures. With over 4K miles in AR and AZ I've yet to have a tire failure. I also have Schwalbe tubes and they have metal valve stems.

    Schwalbe factory reps were at Recumbent Cycle-Con in Cincinnati, OH last October. The showed me cutaways of their tires. Marathons have a 3mm Kevlar band and the newer Marathons have a 5mm Kevlar band.

    For inflation I carry a CO2 inflator device because it's small and easy to use. With CO2 it's important to have the little insulating jacket (or gloves) because of ice forming on the cartridge during the inflation process. The device with 3 cartridges fits nicely in my trunk bag.
  • Jrobiso2, can you use the Ryobi tire pump with Presta valves?
  • " I use them because they have a Kevlar lining and because they are rated at 100 psi (I inflate to 95 psi"

    TrikesterHal -- what's the advantage of the 100 psi rating?
  • edited October 2017
    You'd need a converter to use the Ryobi on Presta valves, as it only has a Schrader head on it.

    Marathon = 100psi max (suggest 80%, or 80psi), 3mm Kevlar
    Marathon Plus = 70psi Max (suggest 80%, or about 55psi), 5mm Kevlar

    Maybe Schwalbe is switching to using 5mm in the regular Marathons, per what @TrikesterHal said.
  • Southbound wrote: »
    " I use them because they have a Kevlar lining and because they are rated at 100 psi (I inflate to 95 psi"

    TrikesterHal -- what's the advantage of the 100 psi rating?

    Marathons are narrow (1.5 inches) and being inflated to 95psi (rated max 100psi) means they are very hard, have less rolling resistance and make easier pedaling for me. At 245 lbs, I like easier pedaling. :) Inflating to 95psi is my arbitray decision and guesstimate. I conclude that those tires are doing enough work as it is. B)

    I generally ride every other day and when I get the trike out of the shed I check the tires and they've usually dropped a good ten pounds of pressure. After a couple of days they've dropped 15 pounds.
  • But, the higher the psi, the rougher the ride. My all terrain tires are rated for 60 psi but I keep them at 50 psi for a smoother ride on rough roads. Even the balloon tires have me bouncing at times. There are no smooth roads or sidewalks in this area.
  • Florida_bound: "There are no smooth roads or sidewalks in this area."

    Yep, that's always been a problem with riding. The Loop Trail System around Tucson/Pima County has lots of smooth surfaces and that's a real blessing. My problem is getting from the house to my entry point on the Loop. :o

    From the entrance of my park to the nearest bike lane is riding >:) >:) . The pavement is old, cracked and (CENSORED). It's so rough that I can't see anything behind me because of the vibration of my mirrors. I just have to listen for an approaching vehicle. Fortunately I only have to endure about 6 or 7 minutes of this. Even with a full suspension Catrike Dumont it's just not fun.

    Yes F_B, the higher the PSI, the rougher the ride. I can certainly see having different tires making for a more comfortable ride. If it helps I'd say go for it. :) Do what it takes to make your ride more enjoyable.
  • I rode a trail the other day that was so rough, at the end of it I discovered I had lost a water bottle from its holder. Somewhere along that path is a nice bottle of diet Snapple Half-n-Half in a standard bike bottle. Maybe I shouldn't have let the dowhill part get my trike up past 20mph and then hit the horrible patch.
  • I lost my water bottle twice a couple of weeks ago going down to the river at our local lock and dam. Wrapped a hand towel around it to wedge it in place and intend to order the angled mounts ftom TT. I've since lowered my tire pressure from 65 to 55 ... that could help.
  • Optimal tire pressure depends on the size of the tire, the weight carried, and --last but not least-- the surface ridden on. For a smooth and hard surface, more pressure is better. But for soft or uneven surfaces, less is better: not only for comfort, but also for the least rolling resistance. Continental, Michelin, and Schwalbe all have very good information published. Here is as good a place to start as any: https://www.schwalbetires.com/tech_info/rolling_resistance
Sign In or Register to comment.