Bike Gear: Big Apple Tires

I’m a pretty lazy person.  It’s true.

I don’t want to spend a lot of time doing anything. If you want to lecture me on an 8-hour work day, please feel free to do so.  I don’t want to do that either. Working for money is another topic we’ll get to eventually. For now, just consider that I’m mixing up the contents of that 8-hour day sufficiently enough to keep it exciting.

Perhaps ‘lazy’ is the wrong word. I need a thesaurus. Hold on…

That didn’t help.

I know. Let me explain it this way: I eat peanut butter and jelly every day. Every. Day. And it’s delicious each and every time. I like familiarity.

Boring. Maybe boring is the word I’m looking for. I’m a boring person. Laugh it up.

As a boring person, I don’t tend to give a crap about fancy name brand things. Often times, I have forgotten the name of the bike that I ride all the time.  But, I looked it up, just for you. It is a Trek 8.4DS.  I have been riding it exclusively since I picked it up about 2 years ago.

Two years of training, PMC 2012 and PMC2013 have worn down the stock tires.  And when tires get thin, they get weak and weak tires contribute to flat tires.

In my first two weeks of commuting I managed to blow three tubes. One of which was cause by a f***ing *staple* jammed all the way to the base.  Seen below (but I pulled it out a little before taking the picture).


It was time for some new tires, or as the hipsters say, “rubbers”.

Dammit, I hate decisions. Go ahead and google bicycle tires.  You’ll see how many choices there are and how little information that is actually helpful for decision making.

I knew I hated flats much more than I loved anything else, like weight or speed.  I figured big balloony looking tires would help with that sort of thing.  So my research headed in that direction.  Something big, thick, strong, juicy, and bullet proof.

After a pretty decent amount of research, I settled on what I hope would be some pretty kick ass tires, and ordered them from . If you need some car tires, I’ll bet there is a too. Hey, look at that! The domain is actually available! Snap it up, internet car tire tycoons!

3-5 business days later, BOOM! Feast your eyes on these babies (my apologies for the crop).


Big Apple 29″ x 2.35″ tires! Look at ’em.  So big and juicy.

There was one minor problem.  And If your eyes are keen, you may have noticed in the picture above.  Look a little closer.  Closer. Clooooooooser.  Something is missing!

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 10.59.26 PM

These tires are SO big, that they interfered, pretty horribly, with my front derailleur, so I did what any logical thinking person would do.  I removed the derailleur.
(If you don’t know what a derailleur is, and you didn’t click on the link above, it’s the thingy that the clicker on your left hand controls which changes the gears in front)

Well, what’s done is done.  Those cables and shifter and extra fiddly bits are tucked safely in a box in the shed that I will probably never open again.

I got a little bit lucky with the rest of the clearance.


About a mouse whisker between tire and chain stay.


And maybe half a mouse whisker from that, umm… bridge thingy that holds the brakes.

That little piece of metal that connects the two seat stays is handy for scraping mud off the tires while rolling.  I’m really not sure what exactly that thing is for, normally.  I think brakes.

So far it’s been several weeks and I can happily say that my assessment is  ★★★★★!!

There are plenty of advantages that I enjoy.  These are everything that I was hoping for.  The volume of air that they contain allows for a springy soft ride over any terrain.  I even go out of my way to roll through piles of broken glass just because I can!  Several weeks and zero flats.  Rocks, stumps, glass and whatever else I can hit haven’t made a dent.

There are some downsides.  They are heavy.  I don’t mind the weight, but they are so heavy that the balance is a bit off.  I discovered this one day while cruising quickly down a fast hill with no hands on my handlebars.  I was looking around at the trees and houses and such, like always, when I felt something shaking fairly violently.  At first I didn’t realize what it was.  Then I looked down again and saw my handle bars being completely bananas and shaking wildly side to side.  A couple more seconds and I probably would have been tossed onto the road then run over by my favorite new tires.  So, I learned the hard way to not let go unless I’m moving a bit slower.

One last nice thing.  The tires have shiny sidewalls just like old timey cars did.