Friday, July 27, 2012

New Tire Shakedown

48 hours ago I placed on order a set of Schwalbe Kojak folders and today after work I found the little brown box waiting for me. Thanks Hostel Shoppe!  After years of bike riding I've found one of my favorite things is trying out new tires.  The choices of tires available today is amazing as is how different rubber can effect everything from handling and braking to overall speed.

Today I draw my Primo Comet experiment to a close. Earlier in the year I reinstalled the stock Primo Comets that came stock on my recumbent bike.  After 265.73 miles I've come to the conclusion that I really don't like the Comets.  Not that they are bad tires they just don't suit my style of riding.  If I rode mainly gravel roads or hard packed clay the Comets inflated to about 35 psi would be ideal.  I spent some time riding the fat 1.5 inch tires and did enjoy a little non-technical dirt.  I found that the HP Street Machine actually rides very well off road so I don't consider the fat tire experiment a failure at all.  My average speed of all rides combined on the Comets was 11.4 mph.  I could live with that if I was doing a long tour of 60 or 80 mile days on rough or non-existent pavement but I don't do crazy stuff like that.  I do like to poke along and take pictures but most of the time I'm pushing my own envelope so I need a faster tire.  Even pumped up to their maximum 100 psi the Comets still felt sluggish and slow to get up to speed.

I split the difference width-wise between the tires I have used on the bike so far and went with the 1.35" Schwalbe Kojak.  Once I had the new slicks mounted up and got out on the road I immediately noticed a big difference in acceleration and It seemed that I could top out my cruising speed just a little faster than with the previous tires.  I set the pressure at 80 pounds a bit short of the rated 95 psi.  The feel of the tires was responsive but not harsh at all.  Not quite the huge edge softening plushness of the 1.5 inchers but not as bad as I was expecting.  When I hit the rail trail I'll go ahead and increase the pressure to 95psi and I'll be in business.

I put the first 12 miles on the new tires this evening and my first impression is: Nice! I can't wait to roll some more miles onto these.    


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