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  Schwalbe Big Ben wire, RaceGuard Performance line, HS439



product code: TBEN


Big Ben

As of December 14 2012 nobody here has ridden more than a mile on this tire, but even so, it seems to be our favorite tire of all time.

Update: I, Brian, have so far put a few hundred miles on these here Big Bens (55mm size.) They ride smooth, unexpectedly fast, and cushy on the road, with just enough off-road grip on my favorite East Bay trails -- if the conditions are right and the PSI is sensibly low (30-35 PSI.) It's too early to say definitively, but they also seem to be wearing as well as tough Schwalbes usually do. Maybe don't expect them to grip like a full knobby if the trails are too muddy or too dusty. Otherwise, Big Ben seems like a winner.

It’s a Schwalbe, so you know it’s stout and good, and it comes in the widths we like. But the main thing is the tread. It’s a roughier version of the Big Apple tread, with deeper lugs with grainier tops. When we got the samples, we were all agog, because we all had the same ridiculous reaction: This tire is Perfect. It’s obviously the Perfect tire. Why do we even sell anything else?

We sell other tires because we got ‘em. Certain tires are better for certain things. It is hard to beat a Jack Brown for an all-around road-only tire (and Mark rides it off-road, too). Plus, the Big Ben isn’t available in all sizes. There’s no 650B, which is a killer bummer, but maybe that’ll change. Update: 650B Big Ben coming November 2013 woo hoo! We expect there to be a shortage, not because everybody’s going to start buying these all of a sudden, but because Schwalbe sometimes runs out of the tires we stock.

The 700c x 40 is called a Little Ben. Same tire, diff size.

Your choice of either 700c x 50, 55 or 26" x 2.15". Wire bead, RaceGuard puncture protection.

The 700c x 55 and 26" x 2.15" actually measure about 52.5 mm on a 21mm rim (see pic below). The real measurement of 700c x 50 BB is about 45 mm.

Average Customer Review: 5 of 5 Total Reviews: 8   Write a review.

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
Yes, they are perfect June 18, 2016
Reviewer: Ron Suchanek from Portland, OR United States  
They ride like butter on the road, grip well on gravel and can take a fully loaded LHT. I have put about 1200 miles on them and they look new, except for the dust and grime from a few recent gravel adventures.

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  2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Perfect? Yes! September 6, 2014
Reviewer: David Chung from San Francisco, CA United States  
At first, I thought Rivendell was exaggerating when they said that the Schwalbe Big Ben was the perfect tire. I've done some big hills, I've done trails in the Marin Headlands, and rolled in heavy urban traffic. After all my rides on these fat boys, I'm inclined to agree with Rivendell. They laugh at cracks and potholes in the road, they are surprisingly fast for their size and tread, and they seem to do off-road trails better than any other non-mountain bike tire I have ever used. They're mounted on my 26" wheel Surly Long Haul Trucker and I'm keeping them for a long time.

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  1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
nice tire August 10, 2014
Reviewer: jcluddite from Fort Collins, CO United States  
i just bought a pair and put them on my surly big dummy cargo bike. than rode 470 miles from colorado to salt lake city and these show almost no signs of wear. not flats, roll pretty well but would be better on a lighter bike, but of course thats not the tires fault.

great on hard packed dirt roads too.

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  2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Pavement/Gravel/Sand/Trails - yup. August 7, 2014
Reviewer: Mark Fulton from Bemidji, MN United States  
I've been riding these the last 3 months on an old Bianchi mountain bike.  They just barely fit (~5mm clearance), but oh they're worth it.  Riding around on a mix of pavement, forest roads (gravel/sand etc.) and a bit of trail.  On the road they are plush but quick, with only a slight hum from the tread.  On loose stuff they have enough of a footprint to make a lot of soft surfaces ride-able that weren't with a narrower tire.  On any given ride, there's usually about 15 feet or so (up a steep loose grade) where I think "it would have been nice to have a bit more tread there" - for the other 15-20 miles I'm just happy.  No flats yet.

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  3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Big Ben 700c 50mm November 3, 2013
Reviewer: Robert Harrison from Honolulu, HI United States  
My Hunq has been shod with the 700c 50mm for a couple of weeks now and I'm very happy with them. Yesterday I rode 50+ miles with loaded rear panniers in very wet and muddy weather over not so good road surfaces and felt safe and comfortable. I had no trouble mounting these on Velocity Atlas rims, didn't need tools or even much elbow grease - seated perfectly first time out. I'm a heavy guy and these work great for me at about 45-50psi rear and 40-45 front. I'd be happy lower as well (was in fact), but for good asphalt that works fine.

Great ride.

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