Recumbent trike: what tyre(s)

OK I have be sort of been forewarned about raising this subject (!)... But here goes.

Key points are in bold, the rest is just waffle or information!

I need to decide if to get the bike with or without tyres...

My rear wheel, 26 inch, currently has an brand new (well it's done around 1,800km or so) Schwalbe Marathon XR: the 'problem' is the size 26*2.0 on it.

I also need to chose which tyres come with the bike for the front wheels which are 20 inch...

My choices from Kevin in Ely are (RRP quoted not Kevin's prices)
  1. Stelvio 28 406 £22.99
  2. DURANO 28 406 WIRED £32.99
  3. KOJAK 35 406 FOLDING £34.99
  4. KOJAK 35 406 WIRED £23.99
  5. MARO + 35 406 S GUARD £34.00
  6. MARO + 47 406 S GUARD £34.00
  7. SUPREME 42 406 FOLDING £46.00
  8. BIG APPLE 50 406 £26.99
  9. BIG APPLE 60 406 £26.99
  10. MARATHON 42 406 SP WINTER £46.00
My plan initially is to use the trike on my local converted disused railway which is a hardcore surface with one or two short muddy sections, but the truth is I expect I will spend more time on the roads. I'm not certain that I can even get a trike through one of the obstacles half way along the Whitegate Way because it is at 90° to the route with l little r room (at apologies by keyboard has a stutter this morning) to manoeuvre to l king a trike up for someone with no experience of them plus I can't remember how wide it is just that even on a bike you have to be very careful and that has nothing to do with the traffic on the lane which might average 3 cars and a tractor every 24hrs!

So ideas please. I like puncture resistance but don't like m+'s. I have durano pluses on my road bike and they have been excellent. I'll post back when I know the t tyre width restrictions of my rear wheel rim...

Also which tyre(s) will wear faster?

I do have the choice of no tyres and buying from elsewhere as well.

Final question: what valve type would be best? My rear is presta. The front rims are drilled for Schrader, should I switch them with a converter to presta for ease? My pump can do both but it is a pain switching it around...

I'm happy t to t replace the rear if you all think that would be for the best etc. I don't need bomb proof but would like bomb resistant and a little bit of speed. I'm not the fastest person in the world as it was on a roost bike (average 13-14mph in summer!) and touring I'm lucky to average double figures! I would like to be able to do my commute in under 2 hours and that is 22 miles each way (2hrs each way that is folks!)

Edit: Kevin has asked me to clarify that these prices are the RRP for the tyres and not what he charges, sorry Kevin. :sad:
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It will depend on how you ride!

The front wheels have three issues...

1. Grip and rolling reistance
2. "Scrubbing" when you corner
3. Braking

Whichever tyre you choose will be a compromise ( along with puncture proofing as above)

Personally I have a "range"

In winter where there is likely to be more punctures I up the puncture proofingto Marathon PLus all round
As the good weather appears, I use the Supremes

I also have a set of three snow tyres for the really bad days

Again as for wear and durabilty, lots of fast cornering will wear a tyre quicker

The final comment is convenience.

HAvingthe same valves all round makes the occasional puncture repair easier as you do not drop the insert into long grass when changing the pump endpiece..... I learned that from experince!


Changed hemispheres!
I'm expecting to be cautious around corners tbh. I don't know how my back will hold up and leaning still hurts it badly. Braking should be even because the trike is being fitted with a dual control lever for to my left wrist having issues and lack of strength (this means we are now on disk brakes avid something 7's).

I do already have ice tyres for my 26 inch wheel. But right now my £2k budget is tight, so I was hoping to get something that would suffice for what is left of winter and see me through to at least the end of spring. Getting the rear wheel off won't be a problem with the Rohloff hub, it's a very easy release system so I don't have too many worked other than my back's ability to lift anything which right now is nil. It is just I have had m+'s in the past and actually preferred marathon extremes to them!
If you're after comfort then fatter tyres are better.
I run Marathon Supremes (42-406) on the front of my trike.
But a Big Apple may be better due to your back. I run a 50-406 BA on the back wheel of my trike for this reason.
Trykers (40-406) are slightly faster and have slightly better grip but I think they puncture slightly more often.

I'm just about to changing my Supreme after the last ones have done just over 8,500 miles, they are only half worn but I want new tyres all around before the start of this years tour.
But my tracking is spot on, which I find makes the most difference.
If the tracking is slightly out then you wear one front tyre slightly more than the other.

If youre after cheap small tyres the go to the West Country Recumbents small tyre shop.
Supremes are only £27.50 and wired BA 50-406 are only £12.50 there.
Link ->
It makes a difference .......... ^_^

Edit:- Ask Kevin if you can buy your tyres at WCR and get them posted direct to him.
I know it's checky but it will save you ~£15 a tyre.
Or get them posted to you and take them with you when you collect the trike.
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As for brakes.
Avid BB7's are ideal for use with one hand.
My first Q was set up like that.
They can b a bit fiddly to first setup but after that they are good for a few 1,000 miles.

Due to having a hub dynamo SON SX-M on my Sprint I now have to use Tektro Auriga Twins.
Slightly more/better stopping power than BB7's but (and its a big but) they are no good if you're doing a lot of off road.
Due to how the level sits on a recumbent trike with USS, dust/grit gets into it and in the wet can destroy the piston seal.
I now have a dust cover on the lever to hopefully stop this from happening.


Legendary Member
NE England
Big Apple 2" wide for the front, at close to 70psi they roll on the middle third of the tyre, I use them on my QNT and Kettwiesel.
I found them as fast as Kojaks on my Kettwiesel and much, much longer life (<1000miles on Kojaks 3000miles and still on the trike for BAs.) plus much much better penetration resistance.
I use marathon racers on the Trail, as fast as the Big Apples they are much lighter, and I suspect less robust. The Trail is my big hills (>20% gradient) trike.
I've heard good things about Supremes and will try them on the Trail when the time comes, but for comfort, speed and reasonably good protection the Big Apples take some beating. They are also easy to fit and refit even by the side of the road, a big plus over Marathon+ which I found slower, but once punctured, (And yes they do puncture!) utter swines to remove at the roadside.


Changed hemispheres!
I'm guessing I am going to be on tarmac much more often that off-road. These being Cheshire country lanes. My ability to fix a flat may be limited to my ability to bend over, so decisions, decisions... However unless I get out onto the Cheshire plain some 8-10 miles away I do have to look at some steep incline to deal with including getting in and put of my own lane!

I was considering durano pluses but I'm n not certain if they will be too narrow for comfort... They only come in 406*28... However my rear is 26*2.0...

Suspect I don't know enough about the subject!

Will think on it whilst waiting in hospital...

Thanks everyone
I've tried Kojaks once, but found they had to be pumped up to hard for comfort.
I don't think there's a lot of difference between Racers and Supremes, I've used both, Supremes may be slightly harder wearing but thats about it.

I run my Supremes/BA at around 65 psi.
That's just soft enough to get rid of most of the road buzz without the risk of pinch punctures.

As for punctures, I average over 1,000 miles between punctures, but this is split over all 5 wheels.
They tend to be either a thorn right though the tyre or a shard of flint/glass that has worked it's way in.
Thorns tend to be the front tyres, shards tend to be the back.
As for punctures, I average over 1,000 miles between punctures, but this is split over all 5 wheels.

Now THAT was inviting a visit!


Cycling in the sun
No comment on the tyres, but presumably you have a track pump at home (does both valve types easily), and I have a mini pump which I don't have to change the innards to use on different tyres after loosing a bit in the last pump when I lent it to someone. Would that mean you could ignore any worries with valves?


Changed hemispheres!
No comment on the tyres, but presumably you have a track pump at home (does both valve types easily), and I have a mini pump which I don't have to change the innards to use on different tyres after loosing a bit in the last pump when I lent it to someone. Would that mean you could ignore any worries with valves?
Yep we have a track pump at home but my pump that I carry with me is a lezyne road drive which technically only does presta valve or at least for until I replaced the current nozzle with the one that had the pressure guage in it and it now does Schrader valves as well once you fiddle about unscrewing various bits which invariably seems to unscrew the entire giant as well in the process. Hence why I might get the valve adaptors for the wheel and use presta valves all round.


Middle aged bald git.
If you are cycling solo - with wrist and back issues you may be wise to stick with the Schrader valves and carry a small can of a cycle version of tyre weld. I have seen cans of this with a Presta adapter. If you have a flat on the rear it is quite a bit harder to turn your trike onto it's side and get the wheel off.
My last trike had Durano's on the front as they were about the best I could get for the old standard 20" wheels (406) - and they were pigs to get on and off. With 2 very painful shoulders I simply didn't have the strength to get them on and off alone at the roadside - and the tyre weld came in extremely useful as a stop gap measure to get me home. (It was cheap too as it came from a pound shop!)


Changed hemispheres!
Thanks. I've gone with presta all round because my rear wheel is presta only AMS has a marathon xr on it. Fronts I have used a Schrader to presta rim converter, to save faffing around with my pump connector that I carry on my bikes. But I think I am going to invest £18 in that breakdown company ETA is it who will come out to you when you are further than ½ mile from home, but not motte than 25 miles. If I'm further than 25 miles from home I would imagine my back issues will be sorted!
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