Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Revisiting being unequally yoked

Definitely unequally yoked - fish needing bicycles

Recently, I had an enquiry about my unequally yoked tire combination of putting a fatter tire in front and a narrower one behind from Matt, who visits LTF. He too was looking for that balance between good handling, safety and performance and fitted the same Big Apple/Supreme combination on his Dahon.

Its been 2 years now and after more than 2000km on this set-up, I think this is the way to go if your riding involves more just road riding. While the bike paths of Perth are generally very good 95% of the time, meaning paved and tarred surfaces, there are moments when I simply need to go off the beaten track.

We did a ride to Fremantle yesterday and I was conscious of any non-road surfaces I had to traverse. The first one was when we hit a 300m wooden portion of the river path between Applecross and Attadale. I've always taken this forgranted with the Big Apple in front as this tire simply demolishes all obstacles the route gives it. All the ruts and gaps of the wooden planks were rolled over without any problems in comfort. This would make a 120psi Stelvio road tire absolutely miserable.

Then, there were two off road excursions I had to take. I was riding in front of the pack and somehow missed the usual bike path due to being mesmerised by the natural beauty before me. Rod shouted at me when I realised my folly and had to cut across the field to be on the right path. With the Big Apple, it just did the job like an SUV without any fanfare. The second off road excursion came on our way to Fremantle from Point Walter where we got lost and had to take a short cut through a grassy park. If I had the original skinny road tires on, I would have had to push the bike.

Another advantage is coming up and down from kerbs and this set up allows for that. It makes riding very unencumbered indeed. The Supreme rear tire has always transfered the power easily with no drama and makes for a spirited ride. The Supreme is marketed as the best tire Schwalbe makes although one tourer from Crazyguyonabike seemed to have had some problems with it.

On the road with medium tire pressures at 60psi/75psi, my Speed Pro can still cruise at a very decent speed in great comfort, not to mention mountain goat like sure-footedness. Road debris like branches and dangerous ball-like fruit are not a worry too. Yes, its not as fast as using Stelvios and this set up won't work for anyone who's goal is maximum speed. Its a bit heavier as well and changes the feel of the Speed Pro. But its a worthwhile compromise and opens more possibilities in your riding.

The long and short is being unequally yoke for my kind of riding works beautifully and although there are skeptics out there, I know that at least Matt seems to be in this fold.


Nutty Milo Slice - Its always a joy to share our morning tea and Ken brought along some Nutty Milo Slice which his wife made. It was really yummy, sweetish and full of mixed nuts including sunflower seeds, macademia, almonds, pumpkin, oats, cashew and honey. Such a healthy snack for cycling that I had to have seconds. Here is the recipe if you are keen.


ChrisW said...

I regretted not riding or walking over the sand bar at Point Walter, but then the threat of drowning was also ever present

Oldyonfoldy said...

Yes, tempting to walk there isn't it? Maybe I will do it soon on your behalf.

Mr.eNt said...

what a nice bike!

Unknown said...

I have just got hold of a Dahhon Helios P8 2005 version which needs new tyres. Could you tell me what sizes you use?
I was thinking 50mm Big Apple but am unsure about the rear and the Marathon Supreme is no longer in a 20" size.