Advice On Cruiser Tire Needed


New Member
Jun 22, 2015
Hello all. Having a problem here and thought I'd see if anyone has any thoughts on it.

First, I ride my cruiser (3g Isla Vista) like a road bike, 17-20+ and anywhere from 30-100 miles. Please, save the comments about moving to a road bike, I love riding this cruiser and I ride it everywhere.

Just replaced my rear tire from a Kenda K1008A-003 (flame tread) 26x2.125 to a Duro 26x2.125 (don't see a stock number on sidewall). The Kendas are no longer stocked by my bike guy at the local swap meet so I picked up the Duro by another vendor. I don't particularly care for the flame tires at my age, but they proved to be a great tire. 5,000 miles, very few flats and $9 each!

Problem- the Duro seat of the pants feel is way slower/difficult/soft to ride. Not sure if it's mental or real, but it seems to roll along with much more resistance. I ride this bike about 2500 miles a year so I think I have a pretty good feel for speed and effort.

I ran the Kendas at 50+ psi (sidewall shows 40 psi max) and am running the Duro at 60 psi (sidewall shows 50 psi max) and it still feels sluggish and soft. Over time I found the Kendas could handle over inflation, (built darn well for a $9 tire!), not sure about the Duro yet so 10 psi over on a new tire seems reasonable but not sure how well they're made and how high I can push it, some tires seem to hold up well, some don't. I weigh in at just under 210 lbs.

Any thoughts? Are there any stats on rolling resistance and tire brands? I assumed most cruiser tires would be the same but this Duro feels really squishy and slow.
May 9, 2015
I hear ya on putting in big miles on a bike that aint "proper" for long rides.

Are you riding only on pavement? If so I recommend 100% pure slick tires for improved grip and less rolling resistance. Treads are noisey and vibrate anyway. A high TPI count and supple sidewall will give you the ride you are looking for, but you'll pay for it. Totally worth it to me because the ride quality and experience are too important to me to cut corners.

Take a look at these and see what best suits your budget and weight requirements. None are cheap though.

Schwalbe "Kojak" 26 x 2.0 available in wire or folding bead, 70psi "max" Personal experience = excellent.

Freedom "Thick Slick" 26 x 2.0 available in wire or folding bead. 65psi "max" Personal experience = excellent.

Bontrager "Hank" 26 x 2.200 Wire bead only. 65 psi "max" Haven't tried these (yet) but the reviews are great and it's looks great too.


New Member
May 26, 2015
It's my understanding that Hanks are flat-magnets. Shame, b/c they look so hott. That's all internet-anecdotal stuff, though....a friend of mine just got a se of Hank; I'll wait n see how his fare.

I'm about to buy some 2.0" Kojaks for my next fast-ish 26" bike.

But, if you want a fast-rolling, long-wearing, flat-resisting, most-surfaces cruiser tire, get yerself a set of Fat Franks. Been running mine 4 seasons a year for over 3 years, skidding, romping, stomping, and generally carrying on. Love'm. (But I'm probably due for new ones; I'm trying to tough it out on them thru this winter....)


New Member
May 9, 2015
I've been running my Franks for 3 years. Had 2 flats on them, the whole time. This is my daily-driver/commuter bike. So, yeah, I think the extra $20- $25/tire will pay for itself once you factor in tubes, patch kits, and headaches.... plus, they're just so nice.... look nice, ride nice, last nice.

I'm likely to get my next pair of Franks from Niagara, at $34 each. Toss a few other items in, and you'll hit the $100 needed for free shipping...


New Member
Feb 22, 2015
The TPI of the cords in the casing has a big effect on rolling resistance. Most low end tires are 27TPI. Some racing tires are 300+. There are large tires available with 66TPI.

A thick tread or more rubber on the sidewalls will affect RR.

The Panaracer Pasela is/was available in a 26x1.75. That may not look fat enough on a cruiser for some peoples' tastes but it was a skinwall with 66 or 127TPI. I am not sure which TPI the big 26s got but in the road sizes the kevlar flat proof ones got the finer TPI.


New Member
Jun 10, 2015
I ride a 43lb steel 7 speed cruiser 2500 - 3500 miles/year, and have done so for years. I weigh about 70lbs more than you. Hand built 36spoke, 32mm wide, double wall wheels, 13ga single butted spokes on the rear. Schwalbe Big Ben or Big Apple 26 x 2.15 (54mm actual) on the rear, 26 x 2.0 (47mm actual) on the front with tire liners.
I read your concerns and questions, here's what I've found, particularly concerning speed, that quick, nippy, nimble feel, versus the floating carpet, soft ride that drags like you're in shallow mud:
1) The rear tire is more important than the front with the upright ride!
2) Schwalbe makes 2 versions of 26" cruiser tires, one of which is called Performance Line & costs more. This is what you need. Trust me, I've tried every 2" wide & larger Big Apple & Big Ben - get the Performance line. I would never consider a Fat Frank for your use.
3) Measure tire width, what it says is normally incorrect. This is why for you I suggest a Big Ben or Big Apple 26 x 2.0 for the rear- they measure 47mm wide which is 1.85" wide. I use one on the rear of a 30lb Trek comfort bike with a narrower tire on the front & it works great at 48+ psi. I use Mr. Tuffy Ultralight tire liners with this set up with no nasty drag or clubby feel.

At your weight I'd suggest the Big Ben #11100556 (1 oz heavier due to thicker tread, you're gonna wear it down anyway). The Big Apple #11100298 is here.
I know it's more money, but I'm heavy & I know they work. On my heavier cruiser I use the wider on the rear because I'm so fat, but the 2" on the front gives no problems.
The Schwalbe 26 x 2.35" in every version feels worse than what I use now, I still have one bike with a Big Apple fatty on the rear and will go narrower when it's replacement time.
Be aware that the Big Apple & Ben have about a 1/4" sidewall reflective strip.
Each of the tires I've suggested are factory rated to support you AND your bike.