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Review: First Impressions: Schwalbe Delta Cruiser (Cream)

September 8, 2010
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After much prevarication and debate I’ve finally purchased a pair of Schwalbe Delta Cruisers in cream.

The Cruisers in all their glory - showing a little canal towpath beausage

I’ll admit to being a compulsive tyre swapper and I confess to coveting the cream coloured Schwalbe’s for a while. I first saw them on the Pashley Guv’nor and the obsession was spawned. Then I saw a fine set of Grand Bois Hetres (in cream) on Lovely Bicycle! curator’s  Rivendell Sam Hillbourne. Then a friend purchased a Pashley Poppy shod with aforementioned cream Schwalbe’s and the die was cast. I had to have them.

And so, after some online price comparison shopping and debit card skulduggery, a suspiciously tyre shaped package arrived in the post, containing a brand new pair of Cream DCs. Now, these tyres look good in photos – but boy, they look even better in the flesh. The cream colour is perfect – a light, natural, almost edible looking colour (H and S note: don’t eat them folks). A friend of mine compared them to python skin and not being a reptile expert, who am I to argue?

Whatever they look like, I think they give a bike an instant classic look. If you check out old photographs of early bikes, you’ll see that many of them don’t have the now ubiquitous black rubber – they have light coloured tyres in creams and browns. Indeed, it’s easy to forget that black isn’t rubber’s ‘natural’ colour – carbon based powder is added to the mix to achieve ‘standard’ black tyres.

A full view of the bike sporting the new tyres - see how the cream tyres pick out the leather straps of the Carradice bag, the tones of the decals and contrasts with the honey saddle and brown tape.

I plumped for the 700 x 35mm model, 35mm being my optimum tyre width for all round usage. They’re available in a number of sizes, including 28 inch (635) and 26×1 3/8 for classic roadsters.  Mounted up on the bike they look superb, especially against my black rims. For an inexpensive tyre (mine came in at an astonishing £22 for the pair!) they’re beautifully made (as are all of Scwalbe’s offerings) and come complete with puncture protection, a reflective stripe and a dynamo track. Tread wise, they’re similar to Schwalbe Marathon. However, for me, the big selling point has got to be that colour – the cream tones perfectly with the cream of my Resurrectio decals and the straps on my Carradice Camper. It also contrasts beautifully with a honey Brooks and my brown shellacked cotton tape. Pretty much any classically styled road bike or roadster will come alive with these tyres.

On the road, they’re quiet, quick rolling and grippy, even in the wet and, because of their round profile they corner well. I’ve swapped from a set of Panaracer Paselas, a tyre at the quick end of the touring range and in direct comparison, the Schwalbes don’t feel overly sluggish, despite having a much sturdier sidewall and more tread. I’ve ridden them on canal towpaths, gravel, hardpack and cobbles and they seem to cope well thus far.

My one concern was how the tyres will look after a few grotty wet weather commutes and, as if to answer my concerns, today Manchester was treated to a thunderstorm and downpour of truly biblical proportions, rendering the side streets and towpaths of my commute muddy and partially submerged. However, the silver lining is that the cream treads shed major dirt really well. Yet at the same time they’ve acquired a pleasing amount beausage – a bit like the soles of a pair of vintage trainers. How they’ll cope with brake sludge from aluminium rims is a different matter, but time will tell.

Obviously, this being early in our relationship, I can’t comment on durability and puncture resistance, but if they’re anything like as tough as my Schwalbe Land Cruisers (an off road cousin to the Deltas sharing the same type of puncture protection) I shouldn’t have any worries.

I’ll report back after a few months daily usage. But before I sign off, I must point out one thing. These tyres will slow you down on your commute, because you’ll find yourself getting off the bike every now and again just to stand back and admire them…

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2010 12:48 am

    Velly nice indeed!

    My better half has these on her Pashley. The look is good enough reason to like them, and although it’s probably not all down to the Schwalbes, she insists it’s the comfiest bicycle she’s ridden :>)

  2. September 9, 2010 4:59 am

    Excellent review! Thank you for taking the time to go into depth.

    • theeverydaycyclist permalink*
      September 9, 2010 5:26 pm

      Thanks for reading – there’s no better review that one based on actual ownership.

  3. September 9, 2010 5:38 am

    I’d be interested to know how they deal with broken glass if you come across any on the bike paths. I have the Marathon Plus that ‘laugh’ at glass and then crush it under their tread :) But, cream tyres would be a lovely option if they are glass tolerant, sigh!

    Very nice with the black rims.

    • theeverydaycyclist permalink*
      September 9, 2010 5:25 pm

      Don’t worry I’ll do a catch-up review in a few months time – a season of winter commutes will test their mettle.

  4. Ritchie permalink
    April 5, 2011 3:31 pm

    So how did these tires hold up over the winter? I recently picked up a set of the cream Hetres and I have the same curiosity about a winter’s worth of slag and snow crud muddying their clean look.

    • theeverydaycyclist permalink*
      April 7, 2011 10:36 pm

      They still look really good. After a day they take on a lightly used look but don’t get much dirtier after that. They never look brand new again, even after scrubbing with a nail brush, but I like that beausage look.

  5. May 20, 2011 8:37 pm

    I am about to buy these tires again (that’s how I landed on your blog), because my bike used to be fitted with Schwalbe City Plus in creme. I get the idea Schwalbe changed the name from City Plus to Delta Cruiser, because they look very much a like…

    Anyway, I had these on my bike for 3 years now and I once had a flat front tire. The rear one never got flat! I lived in Holland when I owned the bike and must have made some 15.000 km’s (9320 miles) with plenty of glass and other nasty stuff. All in all, I highly recommend these tires! They look great on my Sparta Pick-up!

  6. John permalink
    June 10, 2011 9:54 am

    Scrubbing your tyres with a nail brush,,,,,,,,,,and people think i’m weird.
    Still ,did it work I ask myself.

    • theeverydaycyclist permalink*
      June 11, 2011 12:54 pm

      Haha. Good job I didn’t mention cleaning my rear mech with a toothbrush!

      • Sofia permalink
        May 3, 2013 1:45 pm

        So?! What was your final review? How many flats have you had in the past couple of years? Dying to know whether I should replace my drab black marathon plus tyres with these beauts.

        Thanks!

  7. velofeet permalink
    March 17, 2012 4:34 pm

    Hi I realise this was posted in 2010, but where did you purchase them from for the bargain price of £22/pair?

  8. Kyle Ramey permalink
    May 9, 2013 7:46 pm

    They’re available for sale in the US on Schwalbe’s website, and were $42 plus $6 shipping for the 700×28 pair I just ordered. I used to have them on a Trek Belleville, and wore them out eventually. Now loading a pair onto an old Peugeot UO-8, because A) the look is right, B) they’re well made, and C) a pair of them costs what one Panaracer or Vittoria Randonneur costs.

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