What tires to get?

I want to replace the tires on my Traveler and am looking for recommendations on replacement tires. I ride primarily on paved trails and road with occasional rides on gravel or crushed stone.





  • What do you have now? That'll help us tell you what you'd lose/gain with different tires.

    A good overall tire is Schwalbe's Marathon. Very tough flat-resistance without really slowing you down.

    If you like a cushy yet slower ride, look into Big Apples.

    - PaulNM 
  • edited September 2016
    I'm with PaulNM.  I had Schwalbe Marathons (40-406s) on my Rambler GT for 2,700 miles (in the year I had him) and had no problems.  They are good running with inflation to 95 pounds and showed very little wear.  With no suspension you're going to encounter bumps no matter what you use.  

    If you want to be less likely to have a puncture on the trail and have to repair it then run a tougher tire.  I'd rather have the lower rolling resistance, puncture resistance and longer wear along with some piece of mind.
  • I like the idea of flat- restistent tires and am not comcerned with a soft ride. Right now I have the tires that came on the trike but will have to look at them to let you know specifics. I have not had any issues with the current tires but want to upgrade.
  • I have the original tires and I too want to upgrade, but in the meantime I added Slime tire sealant to give myself a little peace of mind. I'm going to try and get the most I can out of these tires before I upgrade.
  • When I upgraded to 24" wheels, the lbs installed K-Rad 24 x 1.95 balloon tires.  I think they give a comfortable ride.  I don't expect to, nor do I want to ride fast.  These give a lot of comfort over bumpy roads.   Also, I have about 500 miles on them and see very little wear and I have never had a flat.

    I just noticed they are rated 40-65 PSI.  I usually had them at 40 but will try them at a higher PSI to see if that allows more speed.  But, with no suspension on these trikes, a little bounce in the tires is a good thing! 
  • What's the width I should order for Marathons to put them on stock rims? 20" x ???
  • Schwalbe Marathons are 20 by 1.5.
  • Anyone have the Marathon GT?
  • The CST tires that came on the Rover are 20 x 1.75.  Aren't we supposed to keep the same width when replacing them with Schwalbe tires?
  • Nice link. I don't see any stats there on the 3 things I'm most interested in: rolling resistance, punture resistance and durability. :-(
  • Most of those tires are more expensive than Marathon's, too.

    - PaulNM
  • edited October 2016
    Go directly to the Schwalbe website.  They show all of their models with stats: rolling resistance, puncture resistance and durability. My Catrike 559 came with Schwalbe Racers and they showed serious wear at 400 miles plus their max inflation is 80 PSI.  I put 2,700 miles on my TT Rambler GT with Schwalbe Marathon 406s.  They showed very little wear.  Their max is 100 psi and I ran 95 psi. I just replaced the Racers!    \:D/

    I'm just about to walk across the street to Recumbent Cycle Con here in Cincinnati.  I won't come here in the future because traffic is h@##!  It will be my hajj (once in a lifetime). 8-}  I'll write about in my blog.
  • I just returned from Recumbent Cycle Con across the street from my hotel room.  My dogs are barking (my feet are tired from walking around on the concrete floor).  :-t  This was neat and most of the manufacturers and reps were there.  I must have chatted with a thousand people there.  \:D/

    Speaking of tires...the guys from Schwalbe (North American Office, Vancouver BC) were there.  I was told the Schwalbe Marathons are great (I knew that) and the newer Marathon Plus is even better.  They had cross sections of both and the Plus has an even thicker protective belt.

    Nice bunch of guys...
  • I'm going to get the Marathon Plus 35-406. 1.3" wide, less than regulars but better protection. Firm ride, I'm told.
  • My TT Rambler stock tires keep losing air.  They go from 50 to 30 psi every couple months during riding season.  Maybe I just need a new valve stem.
  • Um, that's normal. Tubes don't hold pressure for very long. I usually top off my tires before every ride. But even when I still rode 3X a week I refilled at least weekly. 

    I'm currently on Marathons, which are pretty high pressure tires compared to yours. If you're still using the stock CST tires then your max pressure is supposed to be 40.

    - PaulNM
  • I know there will be some that will not be happy with me, but....I got very tired of the air leaking out of my tires. It happened with the stock 20" that came on my Rambler and continued with the 24" all road package. Had new tubes installed with replaceable presta valve cores and had the LBS slime them. Didn't FINALLY cure the problem until I replaced the tubes with regular schrader valve tubes. I haven't had ANY trouble since. Even when the trike has had to sit for a few weeks (health issues) the tires are still up to pressure.
    All that is needed to make the swap is to drill out the valve stem hole with a 3/8" drill bit and be sure to clean off the burs with a larger bit (twisted by hand only) or a small round file.
    Screw the $#@%&;^$#@!(*%&$#@ presta valves.
  • Mine were schraders as well, but the wheel I got from UtahTrikes is presta. Wasn't thrilled about it, but my pump has heads for both and UT had included (and mounted) a tube and CST tire with the purchase. (I wasn't expecting either.) They even mounted the cassette I ordered with the wheel, so the only thing I actually had to do was transfer my Marathon to it.

    Personally, I'm not really comfortable with trying to drill out the hole as I don't have the right tools or experience. No reason why you can't if you do have them, though.
    - PaulNM
  • Presta valves work fine. Is it possible you did not fully tighten the valve stem ? We have presta stems on five bikes and one trike without problems
  • edited November 2016
    @jamesr Are you saying both trikes had rims drilled large enough for schraders, yet one came with presta tubes?  Did you get them directly from TT or through a shop?

    - PaulNM

  • It's just a matter of learning to use a presta valve. I hated them at first on my Rambler. I bent a valve stem, had hard time attaching the pump head. Didnt close the valve tight enough at first. So it didn't hold air well. But the next thing you know. No issues. I get them aired up easily now. So now I prefer them. Seem to hold pressure better than the shrader valves on my wife's Rover. I think the presta valves hold higher pressures better also. So don't give up on them to quick. You just might prefer them too:)
  • Ohh. And to answer your question about tires. I upgraded both trikes from the stock cst schwalbe tires to the 20x2 Big Apples from Schwalbe's. WOW! What a difference. More comfortable ride and much more stable at higher speeds when rolling down hill at 25mph plus. Best upgrade I've done so far.
  •   Hmm... Big Apples are the bees knees then? :)

    ¬ ITL
  • I never thought they could make such a big difference. That's why I started with just one one the rear. The first ride made me a believer.
  • edited November 2016
      Saw the Big Apple Plus, guess they are 20 x 2.15 - with added protection against thorns. They looked more desirable. Wonder if they are compatible with the Rover and wider handlebars though.

      As I've read the Big Apple have no thorn protection.

    ¬ ITL
  • Big Apples (and most balloon tires) don't have much anti-puncture protection. In order to work the way they do, they need to be very flexible and not be at too high pressure. Otherwise they won't be much of a suspension.

    Tires with thick protection (like the Marathon and Marathon Plus) are stiff *because* of the protection. Between that and the higher PSI, they tend to not have much rolling resistance and therefore run faster.

    It's all about trade offs. There are non-pneumatic tires (like the Tannus Tire) which are solid or near-solid cell designs that can't go flat at all. They tend to have even rougher ride as a result. Granted, not as rough as the steel rims bike used to have. :)

    Kind of like everything else dealing with trikes, the first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of environment you'll be riding in, then what your priorities are. (flat protection/comfort/cost/speed/etc)

    In my particular case, I ran the stock CST's for quite a while. I didn't mind the occasional flat too much. Riding city streets will mean encountering glass on occasion. I did want higher pressure tires with lower rolling resistance, but really couldn't justify the cost of new tires at all.

    Then I started getting flats virtually every ride, mostly due to how thin and flexible the old tires were getting. So I ended up getting Marathons all the way around, gaining speed and a sportier ride as a result. The flat protection was a *really* nice bonus. I haven't had a single flat since I switched, even after having been forced to ride through fields of broken automotive glass (car accident). The only reason I ever removed a tire was to move it to my new rear wheel when I converted to an external setup.

    - PaulNM

  • edited November 2016
      Have Road Cruisers with an additional protective layer inside. About every ride the tires are embedded with goat heads that didn't get through.

      Wonder how many tires that leak pressure over a few days might have been due to thorns getting through? Not sure if slime completely seals the leak or only slows it down.

      Could bend a wire to just go over the tire to knock out thorns, or mount a brush under the handlebar-mounted fenders? Tempted to try the handlebar-mounted fenders.

    ¬ ITL
  • Thank God we don't have those evil goat head things here in Michigan!
  •   I can send you some. Give me your mailing address. :))

    ¬ ITL
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