Did you know that the Schwalbe Big Apple tire has a big brother? That is what is said about the Big Ben tire. Looking at the two of them they look very similar other than the tread pattern.
However there is a difference. The Big Ben has more tread, that is, the tread is a little thicker so it is a little heavier duty than the Big Apple. I have never ran the Big Apple tire. When I made the decision to switch from the best tire money can buy … the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire to a balloon tire I went right to the superior Big Ben tire. It just makes sense to me to get the better tire. And speaking of making sense … I ordered the Big Ben Plus rather than the standard Big Ben. I want all of the flat protection I can get so I didn’t even consider the standard Big Ben. I am on about my 5th set of these balloon tires now. I really like them but they definitely wear out much faster than the Marathon Plus tires. I have to admit, they spoiled me with their extremely high mileage. The balloon tires definitely provide a much better ride though which is why I keep buying them. I have written previously about Big Ben Plus tires.
I am pleased to say that I have not had any flats since I started running the Big Ben Plus even though they offer 40 % less flat protection than the Marathon Plus tires do. And because there is so much room inside of these balloon tires I use the heavy duty thorn resistant innertubes with them as an extra measure of flat resistance. And, of course, I always use baby powder to help prevent “internal flats”.
The air pressure range for Big Ben Plus tires is 30 to 55 psi. I usually run all three of them at 40 psi. At that pressure they ride good doing a pretty good job of absorbing the bumps and they roll good as well as handle good. Yes, I am well pleased with Big Ben Plus tires. So far I have been able to find them in stock and order them in. I always try to keep a set of new tires on hand. I know that there are other tires besides Schwalbe but I have been so pleased and impressed with Schwalbe tires I just keep on buying them and not trying any others. I am afraid I would be disappointed so I haven’t ventured into getting any other brand.
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
A FREE GIFT awaits you!
For many years I have used Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires and absolutely love them. I assumed that I would always use them. However, they now have some competition. Oh it is still a Schwalbe tire but I decided to try the Big Ben Plus tires. It is a balloon tire so it is lower pressure and a softer ride. What I have discovered about them is that they not only ride nice but they handle and roll superb. I am extremely impressed with them. They have a reinforced sidewall. They are E-bike rated. As stated they are a “Plus” tire but they do not offer the flat protection of the Marathon Plus tires. In fact, they have 40 % less flat protection which is a significant amount of difference. I have not had them long enough to know how they are going to wear but I am quite sure they can’t begin to compare to the Marathon Plus tires which get phenomenal wear. So my guess is as long as I don’t get flats I will stick with my new love (Big Ben Plus) and just sacrifice the difference in tire mileage. I am extremely impressed with them.
I had to raise the front fenders up using spacers and longer bolts as these tires are taller than the Marathon Plus tires. Also the rear fender had to be raised for the same reason. And upon installation of the tire on the rear wheel the tire was rubbing. Upon investigation I discovered that it was rubbing on the braces for the seat back angle adjustment. I had to adjust my seat angle up one position to stop the rubbing. I didn’t like having to do that but the only alternative would have been to saw off the braces making them shorter so they would clear the tire.
Since these are balloon tires there is plenty of room inside of them. So I am using heavy duty thorn resistant inner tubes with them to help prevent flats. And, of course, I continue to use baby powder liberally inside of the tires and on the inner tubes to help eliminate internal flats.
BTW, I previously tried the regular Big Ben tires and they did not impress me like these Big Ben Plus do. I had ordered the Plus tires but they sent the regular Big Ben tires so rather than going thru the mess and expense of sending them back I just installed them. When they had ran their course I switched back to Marathon Plus. Definitely the Big Ben tires did not do all that well in the wear dept. I still wanted to try the Big Ben Plus so the next time it was time to change tires I ordered the Big Ben Plus. I am so glad I did.
BTW, it is my understanding that the main difference between the Big Apple/Big Apple Plus and the Big Ben/Big Ben Plus is the Big Ben/Big Ben Plus have a deeper tread so they have more wear available out of them.
Did I mention that I really like these Big Ben Plus tires. Oh yes, I did, didn’t I? Hey, at least I have an excuse … I am getting old. 😉
Tis’ time to end this commentary on ol’ BBP. They are helping me to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
A FREE GIFT awaits you!
HERE is a web page where you can compare the various Schwalbe tire lineup as to rolling resistance, durability, flat protection, road grip and off-road grip. I will have to admit I take issue with what they show concerning flat protection. Marathon Plus has a 5 mm layer thickness while the BBP has a 3 mm layer thickness. That is 40 % difference yet they show both at nearly the same flat protection on this web page. That makes no sense to me.
I bought new front wheels from Catrike in 2018 to replace my original 2009 wheels that had gone the course. They were in bad shape. I was so thrilled to have new wheels on my trike but the thrill was short lived as the new wheels were in worse shape than my old ones in only about a month’s time. In fact, I have been using one of my old wheels for months now as it is in better condition than the newer one. The local streets and trails are in such bad shape that the bumps and holes are destroying my rims. My rear rim that came with my electric hub motor was also destroyed and had to be replaced. I bought a much heavier duty BMX rim to replace the rear rim. I am pleased to report that it has been holding up quite well. So now I am buying two more BMX rims and having my Catrike hubs laced into them. They are the Sun Ringle Envy (rear) rims and are black in color not white as pictured below.
They are considerably wider than the Catrike rims which gives them considerably more strength. Truthfully they probably are not what I would have selected as I like the extra structural pieces available in some other rims I have looked at. The picture below illustrates what I am talking about.
My local bike shop suggested these Envy rims to me and I trusted in their expertise. They assure me that they will be quite strong. Still I would be more comfortable with rims like the one I pictured above as I know they would be stronger.
I am also installing Schwalbe Big Ben Plus tires in place of my beloved Marathon Plus tires.
I am going with heavy duty inner tubes in the Big Ben Plus tires hoping that they will help in preventing flats … externally caused as well as internally caused. They are 5 times thicker than a standard inner tube. I used them once before but they are just too big and difficult to install in smaller sized tires, especially Marathon Plus which are more difficult to install than other tires.
I am still using baby powder inside of my tires and on my inner tubes. The Big Ben Plus do offer some flat protection but they are 40 % less effective than the Marathon Plus tires … meaning that I am concerned about getting flats. I am hoping all goes well and these balloon tires provide enough cushioning to ensure the new rims hold up okay.
I know I will miss certain factors about the Marathon Plus tires. Probably the biggest factor is the incredible mileage I get out of them. I know that these Big Ben Plus tires will wear out much quicker. That means that they will be more expensive to use. I understand that they are suppose to provide fairly decent rolling resistance performance so that is good. Of course, having e-assist helps eliminate some of the concern over this. I may only use them until they wear out and go back to Marathon Plus. I will just have to wait and see. Meanwhile I plan on …
ENJOYING THE RIDE.
A FREE GIFT awaits you!
UPDATE 10-19-2019 … I installed the new wheels with the Big Ben Plus tires today and went for a long ride. I am quite impressed with the tires thus far. They ride nice, roll very good and handle extremely well. Time will tell as to their flat protection and mileage.