Big Ben - homage to London's cycling culture

Big Ben, the beefier-treaded brother of Big Apple, is being rolled out in time for EUROBIKE 2012. The Big Ben balloon tire reflects Schwalbe's recognition of London's amazing cycling revolution.

Big Ben is a perfect match for the hot bikes favored by Londoners. Its defined tread lends these clean bikes a rough charm, while the colors of brown and cream and the huge volume spice up the vintage look. “Technically, though, this is a high-tech tire – it has the durable rubber compound of the Marathon touring tires, an effective puncture protection belt and a reflective stripe,” comments Schwalbe's Product Manager René Marks. He recommends the tire for anyone who loves the Big Apple, but who would prefer to ride something with a chunkier tread. With its deep diamond pattern, Big Ben also has the qualities of a true all-rounder when fitted on a touring bike. Furthermore, its popular sizes bear the ECE R75 certification mark, which is valid throughout Europe, and which also qualifies it for fast E-Bikes.

The inbuilt air suspension is the biggest plus factor of the Big Ben and Big Apple balloon tires. Because of their immense volume, these tires can be ridden with very low air pressure – about half that needed for trekking tires – and therefore they simply iron out any uneven terrain, even making cycling over cobbled streets a real pleasure.

Cycling Revolution London

With its Big Ben balloon tire, Schwalbe is paying homage to the current cycling revolution in the Olympic city. After all, no other megacity has managed to inspire its reluctant inhabitants to get on their bikes in such a short space of time quite as well. Bicycle traffic has doubled between 2000 and 2012, and four times as many people living in the capital are expected to get in the saddle by 2026. That is certainly the aim of the master plan “Cycling Revolution London”. Well, this Olympic year also boasts other achievements. Of the twelve planned “Superhighways” between outlying boroughs and the city center, four have been completed, with a further eight to follow by 2015. Around 8,000 bicycles are available for hire at 570 terminals. Like Paris and New York, London has now taken the fast track to become a bike-friendly city. Only a few years ago such a cycling boom would have been unimaginable!

Presentation at Londons café for cyclists

London would not be London if a matching lifestyle did not spring up just as fast – with fashions, accessories, cycle boutiques and cafés, and of course with designer bikes and matching tires. The tire is becoming part of the fine tuning, providing the finishing touch for a super-cool bike. Big Ben's three color options certainly offer plenty of creative scope.

True to style, Schwalbe launched its Big Ben at Londons bike scene café “Look Mum No Hands” – an oasis for cyclists who want to relax with a coffee and a slice of walnut cake while their bike is being repaired. This was followed by a bike ride with colleagues from the British subsidiary, Schwalbe UK, with customers and members of the press. The destination, of course, was Big Ben, the bell in the Clock Tower that has become a world-famous symbol of the city.

Big Ben and Little Big Ben in the colors black, gray, cream, and brown will be available in the specialized trade from 2013.