Posts Tagged ‘schwalbe’

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307 Miles For Charity

Sunday April 18, 2010

At the beginning of 2010 I was keen to make the most of the year ahead and to get out and spend more time on my bikes.  I began to plan a number of rides and challenges, from short local rides to longer more intense ‘journeys’.

One of the major journeys I was planning was to cycle from my home in Rochester, Kent, to my parents’ home in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire – a distance in excess of 300 miles (483km).  Then I began thinking a little more about it…

In the latter half of 2009 my father was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the upper and lower motor neurones.  I didn’t know much about the disease so thought I’d take a look around.  Then I found the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA), a registered charity, which supports sufferers and families in addition to funding awareness and research programmes.

So, with that in mind, I decided to cycle the 300+ miles and raise money for the MNDA at the same time…

Read the full story of my charity cycle ride, my struggles, the kit I took and review my route via this link.

(Click the link above to view my full Charity Ride report or click below to donate to the cause!)

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New Bits For The Trek

Tuesday February 16, 2010

In preparation for better weather I’ve invested in some bits for the Trek.  I’m planning on some long rides this year and thought I’d upgrade the Trek to provide better performance/comfort for the longer road trips.

My last ‘long’ ride was to Hyde Park and back in one day, a trip of 77miles in total, last September.  During that ride, I got numbness and discomfort in my hands and the knobbly ‘tractor’ tyres fitted to the Trek weren’t ideal for long road rides.

So, as I said, in preparation for this year’s rides, I’ve purchased some new bits:

The current plan is to work on the bike this weekend, add the tyres and the grips, and then put in some local mileage prior to really hitting the roads for some long journeys.

More on these purchases and their installation over the weekend.

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Snow Tyres

Tuesday December 22, 2009

SpikesIf I’d had the time this week to get out and ride then I’d definitely have needed some spike tyres like Ice Spikers from Schwalbe.

Not only do these tyres look really cool but they’d be sure to keep me upright on the icy streets around Rochester.  The snow hasn’t really melted since it fell last Friday, it’s just getting worse for cycling as the compacted snow is slowly icing up and making it difficult to walk on let alone cycle on.

Unfortunately work, as always, has got in the way and I haven’t been out on the bikes but even if I wanted to venture out after dark, I don’t think it would have been safe enough without some Spikers fitted…

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Big Apples Tested – They’re Greeeaat!

Tuesday May 26, 2009

Had to get out and test the new Schwalbe Big Apple tyres tonight, I was eager to see if they lived up to the hype.

It was almost 9pm and the sun was just setting so I kitted the Dahon out with my Cateye lights and the Frogs and hit the road.  Surfaces cycled in the test included: tarmac/road, grass, shingle and Rochester’s cobble/block streets.  The BAs definitely DO improve the comfort of the D7HG and also the general handling.  The wider profile tyres give it a more ‘normal’ feel – the Kwest tyres were just a little too thin (especially as I’m 6 foot tall and ## stone!)  😉

So, according to me (!), the Big Apples improve the looks of the bike AND the ride and handling.

Definitely a recommended upgrade!

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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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Schwalbe Big Apple Tyres

Thursday May 14, 2009

Finally got around to ordering some Schwalbe Big Apple tyres for my Dahon tonight.  I’ve read a lot of great reviews of them and the ride quality is supposed to be much better relative to the standard tyres.

Mech1, a reader of ‘Dave On Dahon’ and frequent commenter, has already fitted Big Apples to his Dahon.

I’ll be checking the forums prior to making the change.  I’ll report here with progress and any findings or advice.

Tyres ordered from Dotbike.

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