Schwalbe Big Apple Tyres – Dahon D7HG

Sunday May 24, 2009

As posted yesterday, I collected my Big Apples from the Post Office and my plan was to fit them this weekend.  The plan has been successfully completed and the Schwalbe Big Apples are now fitted to the Dahon D7HG.

I purchased the tyres from online store Dotbike and they arrived ‘next day’ – although I was out so the Post Office held on to them until the weekend when I could get over to collect them.  It was the first time I’d used Dotbike and it was a smooth and speedy transaction so I’ll be using them again in the future.

Schwalbe Big Apple - BIG AppleThe Big Apples (BA) are known as ‘balloon tyres’ which offer a softer, smoother ride and effectively absorb more of the road imperfections.

The BAs are replacing the factory-fitted Kenda Kwest tyres on my D7HG.  Compared to the now fitted BAs, the Kwests look very narrow – the Kwests are 20 x 1.5″ and the BAs are 20 x 2.0″.  The BAs are far chunkier and really to enhance the look of the D7HG making the wheels look far more substantial.  Based on looks alone, the BAs are definitely worth the cash!

Like the Kwests, the BAs have a 3M reflective strip on the sidewall which makes you stand out at night.  The BAs also have ‘Kevlar Guard’ which is designed to provide additional puncture resistance.

Fitting the tyres was relatively easy.  The front wheel was the easiest to remove: unhook the brake cable, loosen the two axle nuts (with my new spanner) and pull the wheel off.  Then, using the Crankbrothers Speedlever, I removed the Kwest tyre.  After a quick visual check of the existing rim tape, I pushed the BA tyre onto the rim followed by the new Schwalbe inner tube.  Before pushing the tyre completely onto the rim, I pumped the tube up slightly to enable it to gain its shape – this was to minimise the risk of nipping the tube as I pushed the tyre on.  I didn’t use any tools to fit the new tyre, resorting to thumbs and fingers so as to not damage the new inner tube.  Once fitted I inflated to 60PSI and refitted the wheel to the bike.

The removal of the rear wheel was going to be a little more complex and it was to be the first time I’d removed a wheel with a hub gear system. With this in mind I checked out the Dahon forum and other sites and collated the following information:

Schwalbe Big Apple - Fitted on the DahonAll proved to be useful.  One thing that I noted was that I didn’t remove the chain from the pedal cog prior to trying to remove the wheel – if I had done, after loosening the axle bolts, then I’m sure that I would have removed the wheel quicker and ended up with less oil and grease on my hands.

Having refitted both wheels, minor adjustments were required to prevent the new, fatter, tyres from rubbing on the Dahon’s mudguards.  The front adjustments involved a couple of screws and the rear mudguard was adjusted with a little bending and brute force.

After all that it was time for a quick ride around outside to check that all was in order.  They definitely do make the ride more comfortable and they do change the handling of the bike, in a positive way.  I didn’t ride far so I haven’t really tested the tyres, that will be (hopefully) tomorrow’s task.

So, tyres fitted.  They look great and really do improve the look of the bike.

More photos on my Flickr account.

Schwalbe Big Apple - Fitted

Dahon D7HG and Schwalbe Big Apples


  1. They look superb. How does it ride and how much did they cost? I remember fitting Maxxis Hookworm tyres to a BikeE and having *fun* adjusting the mudguards.

    • Hi Robin!
      Rid does feel better, on the short test ride I had outside, but I need to ride them further so I’ll reserve judgement for now!

      They cost £17.96 each and the tubes were £4.08 each.


  2. My Stelvios cost £14 each and £3.50 each for the tubes. Do your tubes have Schrader or Presta valves? I have been told that the Big Apples roll very nicely. I’ll be interested in how you get on with them.

    • Schrader valves.
      I’ll keep you informed of progress! 😉

  3. Well finally they arrived 🙂 Congratulation.

    I have now about 50km on them. They are definitally great.
    The look of the bike is really better and they are much more comfortable than Schwalbe Marathon originally fitted on my Speed D7.

    The benefit is that you can use really large presure for them 30-70 PSI which mean that you can chose betwen Land Rover and Ferrari 😀

    Because my roads are stony roads and cobbles I prefer the lower presure fore bigger comfort and works fine.

  4. […] Posts Dahon Vitesse D7HG – ReviewThe Purchase – Trek 4300 (2009)Schwalbe Big Apple Tyres – Dahon D7HGEtape Caledonia – Race SabotagedCateye […]

  5. […] Posts The Purchase – Trek 4300 (2009)Dahon Vitesse D7HG – ReviewSchwalbe Big Apple Tyres – Dahon D7HG29 Miles Around MaidstoneThe Purchase – Dahon […]

  6. I changed my original Vitesse tire to
    Schewalbe Marathon racer tires
    Ride does feel much much better than
    original tire!

    Secondly, I removed frond and rear mudguards,
    rear rack. finally I changed pedal to
    MKS EZY pedals. Because
    I wanted to reduce some weight
    of bicycle.

    • Hi Gregory,

      I agree, upgrading the tyres makes a huge difference to the bike!

      I think the bike would look better without the rack and mudguards but I get a lot of use out of the rack (carrying shopping etc).

      Would love to see a photo of your bike now that you’ve modded it!

      Thanks for visiting the blog!


  7. To Dave

    If I finish modification of my bike,
    I’ll send you an email with my bike pictures

    One negative point of Vitesse D7HG is
    they(Dahon) used axle nuts to joint
    wheel to the fork.
    I like QR type than axle nuts
    because QR type Doesn’t need tools
    to release wheels!

  8. PS: Sorry for my terrible grammar.
    I was born in the U.S but, for personal
    matters I had to live in South Korea for fourteen
    years and I came to U.S last year fall.

  9. In the United States,
    There is a bike lane right side of the road.

    and in here California there is the law which
    obligates bikers and cyclers to wear a helmet.

    What about UK?

  10. Hi Dave

    Thank you for the above article. I have the Vitesse D7HG 09 and have been trying to change my tyres to the Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Unfortunately I am not even able to do the brake release start of it. I have been following the instructions that you have attached via the Sheldon Brown website. I can’t squeeze the brake arms together enough for the noodle to be able to come out. Do you know of anything I can do to make it easier or do I simply need more strength? I have had the bike for two weeks and bought it online so I am not able to “take it back to the shop”. I also want the satisfaction of being able to do it myself. I think that once I do the brake release I will be ok with the rest of it. I have been trying to do the rear tyre first. I thank you in advance for any help. Thanks.


    • Hi Nikki,

      Firstly make sure the bike is fully unfolded as when it’s folded it puts tension in the brake cables.

      The Sheldon Brown site does make it appear to be a simple operation but it can be tricky to unhook the ‘quick release’ system, as you’re experiencing!

      I often find that even when squeezing the brakes together that it’s still a struggle but it helps if I angle the swivel arm (into which the noodle sits) upwards and that enables me to pull back on the noodle and release the brake.

      If you still struggle, try loosening the brake cable from the handlebar end to give you more slack at the wheel end.

      You can do this by using the ‘adjusting barrel’ which is at the top of the cable – check Sheldon Brown’s site, there’s a photo of this a few paragraphs down from this link:

      As you turn the adjusting barrel, you should be able to see the brake pads moving slowly from the wheel rim – if they’re moving inwards, turn the other way.

      Still no luck? Try slackening off the reach adjuster in conjunction with the adjusting barrel (see Sheldon’s page, same image, to identify the reach adjuster).

      Hope those few tips help! Let me know how you get on.


  11. Hi Dave

    Thank you for your help. I will try it out this weekend and let you know how I get on.


  12. Hi Dave,

    I have the Dahon Vitesse D7HG 10 and replaced the standard tires with Schwalbe Big Apple 20 x 2.0. Just as you described it here. Doing that is not a big deal and I recommend it to everyone who owns a D7HG. It makes a big difference – I think it’s much more comfortable and more fun to ride. I did not know how to remove the gear change cable and found this video to be very helpful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGEXjpXtw4g


    • Martin,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      Good video – thanks for sharing that.


  13. […] Trikes | Peterwhitecyles | Dave on Dahon | Before the OPS! New 2010 Vitesse D7 tangerine. The Big Apple is almost 2x bigger than the […]

  14. Hi Dave,
    Thank u very much for the article: great!
    I need your help. I’ve a new Dahon Vitesse D7HG and i want to mount the Big Apple…but i’m not very keen on this kind of work 😦
    Can u explain me (for dummies) how to adjust the mudguards for the new tyres?
    Thank u so much!


  15. Hi Dave!
    Thank u very much for your great article.
    But i need your help since i’m not very able with this kind of job. 😦
    Can u explain me (for dummies) 🙂 how to fit the mudguards (screw??) for the new Big Apple on my new Vitesse D7HG.
    Thank u so much

    • Ale,

      I’ll take a look at the bike tonight and see if I can give you some more detail.



  16. Ale,

    Currently, I don’t have a rear mudguard as I removed it when I fitted my Topeak rear rack, and that rack now acts as the rear guard: http://wp.me/pibqC-hg

    Front mudguard is still fitted.

    All I did for the front guard was to pull the back of the guard out away from the tyre by loosening the two screws near the bottom of the guard which attach the two silver rods near to the hub. I couldn’t get much movement out of this before the guard detached itself, but trial and error gave me enough to permit the wheels to rotate. As for the top, a bit of flexing got the mudguard in the correct position.

    As for the rear tyre, I think all I did was bend the brackets slightly to move the guard away from the new tyres.

    That’s all I did, I didn’t do much, there weren’t any modifications to the guards or the mounts/brackets, just a little bending.

    An alternative solution is to remove the mudguards completely – the bike looks much better without the mudguards, especially with the new Big Apples! 😉

    I hope you manage to get your guards positioned as required. Let me know how things go.


  17. Hi Dave
    After reading this I have bitten the bullet and splashed out on some big apples for my d7hg, just finished fitting them and have to say i agree with you, it’s like a different bike, vast improvement in the ride compared to the standard Rotolo’s it came with.

    • Excellent! I always had an element of doubt that the tyre change would make any difference to the bike/ride but the Big Apples really do positively affect the Dahon.

      I’m glad you made the change!!! 🙂

  18. Hi Dave…
    hope summer lasts a bit longer and you continue to ride in the sun !
    Have bought both a Vitesse D7HG and some big apples on the back of your site…..
    am delighted with both purchases…
    and so to my question..as simple one i am sure but need to check before buying the following .
    Am in the market for new brake pads to improve the stopping power as winter approaches.
    Am considerig a set of BBB techstop cartridge pads for the v brakes on my dahon.
    Am i right in asumming that a set of shimano stye pads to match the v brakes on my bike?
    like i saide simple question?
    many thanks

    • Hi Jonathan,
      Summer has well and truly gone now. Heavy rain this week and my Dahon has a puncture from last Saturday – that needs to be fixed, hopefully will get it done this weekend coming.
      Hmm, not sure I can answer your brake question as I haven’t played with mine. You’ve probably already made the change as I see you posted your question last month!!! Sorry for my delayed reply, I have no excuse other than I haven’t been on the computer long enough to go through the comment backlog.

      What did you decided to do with the brakes?

  19. Hi, I have a 2010 Mu XL – do you know if BA 20×2.15’s will go on it without losing the mudguards?

    I saw a guy today in town with 20×2.00’s on the same bike, but wonder if I can get away with the additional width.

    Many thanks


    • Not sure David. But I had to play with my mudguards to get the 20×2.0″ tyres to fit – and they’re still tight – so 2.15 would definitely not fit on my Dahon. 🙂

  20. Hi there! What tweaks exactly did you have to make to the guards for the BA tires to fit your D7? I have a Speed D7 and I’ve asked a local bike shop to put the BA’s on it… and they told me they didn’t think they’d fit and suggested I keep the stock tires.

    • Hi,
      I just bent the mudguard supports out a little and pulled the mudguard up. The BAs will fit, but it is tight. However, mine have never rubbed against the mudguard since fitting.

  21. I just fitted my Bickerton 1909 with Big Apples 20 x 2.15 – Looks and feels good!

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