Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Schwalbe Big Apple Tire 2.35 Review

Schwalbe Big Apples 2.35 Tire Review - Intro

I have been very pleased with by 2.0" schwalbe big apple tires (old tread design), so when we needed a new set of tires for the bike stable . . well the choice was an obvious one.

I am still using the tires 4 years after this post was first published.

I had always fancied a pair of 2.35 inch big apple tires so I went large on this occasion, after carefully measuring my frame to make sure they would fit.

Soooo Haaaaapy!

Schwalbe Big Apples 2.35 Tire Review - Mudguards / Fenders

In the past I have not bought these larger 60mm / 2.35 big apples because I was fairly convinced I would need 65mm mud guards. You can in fact get away with 60mm provided they are perfectly aligned.  The front mudguard did not pose any problems and was easy to adjust.

60mm Mudguards / Fenders on Big Apple 2.35

However the rear mudguard was right on the line, clearance wise. The seat stay cross member was mounted quite close to the tire, and the mudguard is butted right up against the underside to allow for enough clearance. I had to make a custom bracket and rivet it directly to the mudguard to achieve this.

So the main issue may not be the width of your mudguards / fenders I had had long suspected but the limitation of the the mudguard anchor points.

If you are buying mudguards then you wouldn't go far wrong with a pair of SKS Bluemels B65.

Schwalbe Big Apples 2.35 Tire Review - The New Tread

Schwalbe have changed the tread pattern since I purchased my last set of big apples around 3 years ago.It looks a bit more trendy, and I think I still prefer the old tread.

Big Apple - New Tread 1

Big Apple - New Tread 2

Big Apple - New Tread 3
I do not think the new tread is as grippy as the old design off road. If you require little more grip perhaps a Big Ben or Fat Frank might be a better choice. That being said, I have not had any issues with traction. And for predominant road use I would opt for a big apple.

Schwalbe Big Apples 2.35 Tire Review - Punctures

The single number 1 reason why I liked my old big apples soooo much was because they never got punctures, apart from that time with the flint. The older tires had Kevlar guard whilst these newer tread pattern tires come with "race guard". I had an unlucky puncture on my first ride out (sharp flint again), but now after 10 no. rides still no punctures. So the boat is not in on the puncture resistance levels.

If I can report back a year from now with no punctures then will be happy. . . . .

4 Year Update: Well I am still using these tires in 2018 4 years after purchase. I have had perhaps 10 punctures over that period, all from blackthorn or hawthorn twigs. This is a seasonal thing, and happen every autumn when the farmers trim the hedges. If it wasn't for this seasonal bounty I doubt whether I would have had any puncture at all.

Schwalbe Big Apples 2.35 Tire Review - Feel / Rolling

I wanted larger tires because I wanted to increase my tire circumference. My old tires were 2075 mm circumference, these larger ones are 2160 mm. So I gain 8.5cm per revolution.

2160mm is a larger circumference than most race bike tires. I know this is only part of the storey.

On the road they role well at there max pressure of 4 bar or 55 psi. They feel harder than my old 2.0" tires even at this lower pressure. This would suggest that if you want to enjoy the "balloon" tire affect, then pressures of 30 - 40 psi would be required.

Large Tread Blocks - Big Apple 2.35

Big Apple 2.35 - Mudguard / Fender Clearance

Schwalbe Big Apples 2.35 Tire Review - Conclusion

I think I would still rather be riding a tire with kevlar guard rather than race guard, but apart from that the quality and finish I expect from Schwalbe was delivered yet again.

To conclude: This is my fourth set of schwalbe tires. . . need I say more.

4 Year Update: I have suffered 2 or 3 punctures in "kevlar guard" tires over the last few years. It would appear that no puncture proof layer that I have tried will resist a hawthorn or blackthorn thorn. The list that I have tried is:

  • Puncture Guard
  • Kevlar Guard
  • Race Guard
Read my guide to puncture prevention perhaps for some pointers.

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  1. Hi there. So, any more punctures after the first 2 months of use?

  2. Yes. But less than one a month on avearge.

    But not sure if this is due to wider tire or to quality of puncture protection. They are still on the bikes, and I am happy with them.

  3. Curious how you are finding them a year after your post. I was surprised to read that you have had ~ one puncture per month. Is there something about your riding conditions that exposes them to puncture risk? Are you using them mostly on pavement or offroad? Also, what tire pressure are you running them with typically? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Biz blog,

      I ride a lot of country lanes, and the problem is thorns (from blackthorn and hawthorn). Yearly the hedges are trimmed and little pieces of the hedge go all over the road.

      These then stick in the tire, they a thin and very sharp. I run these at maximum allowable pressure, which I think is 4 Bar.

      I run these on fairly wide rims (mavic ex325), they are an excellent tire. The thorns will go through ANY tire I have every used, including kevlar. Tire sealant is an option, if all else fails!