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Tyres 25-390 Kingcycle front - any sources?

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russellg View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 September 2021 at 12:19pm
Hi

Does anyone have a source for the French 450A size tyres for the front wheel of a Kingcycle ? Anywhere in UK, Europe or even USA.

ETRTO 25-390 or 28-390 is what I am looking for.

A few wider 390 size tyres are available for children's bikes, but a decent amount of web searching has not turned up anything else. Hutchinson used to make them, but can't find anything on their website. Schwalbe also used to make them (years ago) but now have gove over to the Birdy sized 355 rims for a good range of more recent tyres in their range between 16 inch and 20 inch wheels.

Any help in finding a source is welcome, or I will purchase new or good used tyres that anyone has avialable.

Otherwise it will have to be a wheel conversion, which means new brakes, etc, to go to AM17 ETRTO 369, or 355 for the newer Schwalbe tyres.

The rear 24 inch 600A size ETRTO 540 is slightly more avilable as wheelchair racers use them in high pressure versions, but again, a source of these would be useful as well.

Thanks !

Russell  russellgasser@mac.com
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Andrew S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andrew S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 September 2021 at 4:35pm
At the risk of reopening a can of worms which has been closed and reopened many times before, most Kingcycles with the original forks and hydraulic brakes will take a standard 406 wheel on the front. 406 tyres are not only widely available but likely to be much better and newer than any 450A size you are likely to find. After adjustment you should get around half a rim's depth of braking surface, not perfect but perfectly usable.

I say 'most' because there seems to be a fair amount of variation in fork length on Kingcycles.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote russellg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 September 2021 at 9:11am
Hi Andrew

Thanks for your answer - I have no interest in opening a can of worms and apologise if that is the unfortunate consequence of my question.  I only just bought the Kingcycle (a chance find on Ebay) so haven't got history on this issue. It was more an enquiry to see if I could find a couple of tyres as this bike is in very good condition, been little used and in a cellar for a long time, so part of me would like to keep it as near original as possible. A couple of spare tyres would make this an option. Another part of me wants to go out and ride the bike and is happy to convert to a more useful modern specification.

Schwalbe Durano 406 will just fit the forks with about 1mm spare at the crown. Usable, though reliant on Schwalbe not changing the specs and good production control - but I think there are a couple of slightly narrower 406 tyres if essential. The issue is the caliper brake that this fork uses fouling the tyre as the mounting hole in the crown points downwards towards the front. A bit of judicious bending of the brake pivot bolt, a wedge spacer betwen crown and brake pivot to keep the alignment, and filing a little, might be a solution. Reversing the brake behind the fork requires more depth from pivot to rim than many high quality brakes have. Maybe a hydraulic brake behind the fork would be possible, or perhaps I should just go ahead and convert to a disk brake.

Hydraulic brakes with half a rim's depth of braking surface doesn't appeal - I am not a safety fanatic, but I do need brakes that are reliable and really provide stopping power without constant maintenance as I ride several times a week and I live in rolling countryside. It's not the Alps, but on my old Windcheetah trike (a nice bygone era match for the Kingcycle) I hit 40mph/64kph on a downhill more than once on many rides, and there are a couple of sections where 50mph/80kph is usual. So I care about brakes, even if I ride rather slowly uphill nowadays.

Best,

Russell.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RoyMacdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 September 2021 at 11:08am
I have a rear grey Schwalbe Russ that you can have, but I would recommend you buy a new Pro One in that size for the rear which is what I used to race with. I just threw away a front Wobler but it was old so I did not trust it. I was racing with a Schwalbe on the front from SJS cycles as they have that size in stock still. It's still used by some Moulton bikes.< id="BFI_" style="width: 1px; height: 1px; display: none;">

All the best.
Roy
< id="BFI_" style="width: 1px; height: 1px; display: none;">

Edited by RoyMacdonald - 08 September 2021 at 11:09am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote russellg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2021 at 9:41am
Thanks Roy,

I found the Pro One 540 online. Good tip - nice to hear that you raced on it. Thanks.

I did take a look at SJS Cycles which is usually a good idea for this sort of item (many years ago I worked there for a short while) but the only 390 showing is the Michelin City'J Tyre which would be fine if I go for a restoration look, but isn't maybe so good for serious riding. The byline on the Michelin pages for City'J is "My first Michelin tyre" "DESIGNED FOR SAFE RIDING IN URBAN ENVIRONMENTS".  Hmmm...  I thought safe riding in Urban Environments had more to do with road design and driver training than tyres.

RG
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andrew S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2021 at 9:56am
Safe = slow maybe? Wink

I take your point about loss of braking area. The 'can of worms' reference was a nod to the long-running debates on this Forum and elsewhere between 'I just dropped in a 406 and it worked' people and the 'I had to remanufacture the whole front end' group.

For many years I kept a pile of old Hutchinson 450A tyres that came with a Kingcycle, finally disposing of them when I realised they would probably explode if ever inflated again due to rubber-rot. I still have the original wheels though if it is ever sold as a restoration project.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Velocio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2021 at 1:25pm
Another option, involving a few changes, is to fit:

24" / 507mm wheel at the back and replace the brake with a long drop calliper brake. There are a few tyre options in this size.

16" / 349mm at the front with a drop bolt for the brake calliper. Plenty of tyre choice in this size.
Velocio
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RoyMacdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 September 2021 at 3:23pm
Originally posted by russellg russellg wrote:

Thanks Roy,

I found the Pro One 540 online. Good tip - nice to hear that you raced on it. Thanks.

I did take a look at SJS Cycles which is usually a good idea for this sort of item (many years ago I worked there for a short while) but the only 390 showing is the Michelin City'J Tyre which would be fine if I go for a restoration look, but isn't maybe so good for serious riding. The byline on the Michelin pages for City'J is "My first Michelin tyre" "DESIGNED FOR SAFE RIDING IN URBAN ENVIRONMENTS".  Hmmm...  I thought safe riding in Urban Environments had more to do with road design and driver training than tyres.

RG
< id="BFI_" style="width: 1px; height: 1px; display: none;">

I forgot to say my original front wheel was replaced to the original size because when JK designed the suspension fork for the KC he went back to the original Moulton size, from the one that is fitted to your KC. I still have some rims and tyres in that size I think as Alan G bought my KC and I kept the old original tyres and rims as I gave him a brand new wheel and Kojac for the suspension fork. 

If you want to fit a 406 on the front I would have a word with Miles as he told me he has made some forks that the 406 size will fit. I can't remember what he told me about the brakes that it takes but If you ask Steve at Gravesend on the 25th, his KC is fitted with one. He is still riding it every day to  work. I think the KC is one of the best climbing recumbents ever designed. I've never surpassed my climbing records on any other recumbent.

All the best.
Roy
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