Now and then, I receive a little shiny paper booklet from a company in Stevens Point, Wisconsin called Hostel Shoppe. One of these is mailed to me about every 365 days, although I need to be removed from their mailing list in order to further support my environmental preservation paradigm, as I purchase things in life if and when I genuinely need them, not based on slick advertising attempts to sell products to people.
In any event, whilst seated on my reading throne recently, I opted for some perusal of their catalog as last night’s dinner found a new home. On pages 22 and 23 of the 2013 ad campaign, I scanned the offerings from the Schwalbe tire company, and my keen mind observed a tire I had missed in prior issues, but had briefly heard about in the grapevine.
Sure enough, I noted with interest the new TRYKER tire, made specifically for … yes, you guessed it, recumbent trike pilots to mount on their trusty triangular steeds! Hostel Shoppe used some of the Schwalbe description in the catalog. Here is what I read about this tire:
“The first special tire for tricycle recumbents. Tire construction and profile contours are co-ordinated with the special requirements of a multi-track vehicle in mind. Tricycle recumbents exert completely different loads on tires than conventional bicycles. Nevertheless the tires must be light and fast, because drive is still achieved through muscle power and should therefore be as effective as possible. Massive motor vehicle tires are out of the question. The Tryker takes on the challenge of minimal rolling friction and high durability for the recumbent tricyclist. It has ECE-R75 certification for faster E-Bikes.“
I noticed that the Tryker was rated less capable than the Marathon Plus tire in 50% of the categories Schwalbe uses to evaluate tires: Speed, Grip, Puncture Protection, and Durability. The Tryker provides a very minimal advantage in speed, and a slightly noticeable advantage in grip over the Marathon Plus, but does not have the puncture protection or durability. Regular readers of my random rants realize my ritualistic praise for the Marathon Plus tire revolve primarily on its ability to roll indefinitely without going flat due to its SmartGuard belt, a unique ingredient lacking in the Tryker.
Overland trikers, those who ride long distances away from home and far from rescue and supplies, may wish to opt for the Marathon Plus over the Tryker, but for local and recreational trikers, the Tryker seems like it may well fill a void that has long gone unanswered by the cycling tire industry until now. Fixing flats is not an enjoyable experience to be had out on the open road in the middle of nowhere, thus overlanders want the best protection they can get, which clearly remains the Plus.
The main real life advantage of the Tryker is its construction to handle the lateral forces placed upon it by trikes, which are vehicles that do not lean into the curves like bicycles. This is where the Tryker shines. The speed advantage will not be noticeable by anyone other than a researcher specifically measuring minute increases in a controlled manner. The grip advantage however, appears to be a different story, as reports suggest that the tire offers a more stable feel to the pilot in tight curves.
The Marathon Plus is about $10 more money than the Tryker in the Hostel Shoppe catalog, where items are sold for full retail. Both tires can be found for considerably less money elsewhere online. Bottom line for triker steve is that I prefer flat protection above all other aspects because I like to be pedaling instead of fixing. Yep, sure enough, I’ll take my old slow reliable stand-by tires, the Marathon Plus, but if you run Trykers on your trike, please comment to this post and let us all know your take on things.
Schwalbe webpage for Tryker, click HERE.