Posts Tagged ‘crankbrothers’

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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

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CrankBrothers: Power Pump Alloy

Saturday January 17, 2009

As I was pumping up the tyres on my D7HG during the week, I began thinking that I could do with a new pump.  I’ve been using the Zorin pump which is in the bike’s seat post but I began thinking of pumps which have pressure gauges in-built which surely must make pumping the tyres an easier task.

I went to Halfords thinking of buying one of the floor/foot pumps but ended up coming out with a CrankBrothers Power Pump Alloy.  With space an issue at ‘Dave HQ’, hence the reason for a Dahon, I thought that the floor pump would take up too much space so the £25 Power Pump Alloy seemed like a good decision with it measuring in at just over 9″ long and 173g in weight.

The pump will inflate up to 130psi which is more than enough for the Dahon’s tyres.  The pressure gauge is a little under an inch in diameter and shows the pressure in both psi and BAR.  My quick tests against a mid-range digital pressure gauge showed that the readings from the pump’s gauge were accurate.

The pump has a dual head which fits both Schrader and Presta valves.  Included in the pack is a plastic case/cover which fits snugly over the dual head and the pressure gauge, keeping the important bits safe from knocks and dirt.  The case also doubles as the mounting fixture should you wish to mount it to the frame of your bike.

The pump works very well.  I deflated one of my tyres and then inflated as a test.  There’s a switch on the bottom of the pump which selects either ‘High Volume’ or ‘High Pressue’.  Starting out I used the high volume setting to get the most air into the tyre in the shortest time.  After a while, it became difficult to pump due to pressure now in the tyre, so it was time to quickly switch to the high pressure setting.  Now I could finish pumping and took the pressure up to 50psi.

The build quality of the pump is very high and it’s backed by a lifetime warranty.  I’m getting to like the CrankBrothers, they make some great kit!  (Previously purchased the Speed Lever for puncture repair.)  So, if you’re looking for a good quality, small bike pump then look no further!

Update, 27th January: I’ve added some photos to Flickr of the pump to show some of the detail.

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