Big tyres for the Ridgeback

Today I though it was about time to exploit the versatility of the Flight frameset by swapping in some bigger tyres.

The Flight comes stock with Continental Contacts in a 28mm width, a great all round road tyre that’ll take on towpaths at a pinch. I’ve ridden to work through winter and completed big day rides on the 28mm hoops with no dramas.

However the Flight frame has clearance for 35mm tyres under its brake bridge and fork crown. So I felt duty bound to give them a try.

I had a set of Schwalbe’s Land Cruisers in the shed, that once shod Resurrectio. They’re from the German company’s basic line but don’t let that put you off. They’re a quality tyre with tough sidewalls, knobbly shoulders and a central strip for smooth running on the roads.

A quick spin in the Liverpool evening sunshine was promising. The bigger tyres rolled well, slowing down the Flight’s quick handling a touch, making it feel more relaxed and steamrolleresque on the road.

I cut across the park by the city’s iconic Littlewoods building and cut through the woodland trails at its edge, used for winter cross races, the tyres soaked up the roots and bit well into the gravel.

Back on the tarmac and the Flight felt smooth over the ruts and broken road surfaces of our fair city. Sure enough, the bike was a little slower getting up to speed but once there maintained momentum well, feeling more relaxed and able to deal with rough roads.

Looking forward to some country park trail riding and maybe a summer evening ride home from Manchester on the Trans Pennine Trail.

From trails to rails


I’ll never take for granted how Resurrectio can slip effortlessly from peacetime mode into active service. Yesterday afternoon she was plying the trails, today she’s wafted me quickly to the railway station and on to another day’s work.

Such versatility is a result of basic, adaptable design and component choices that strike the perfect balance between road speed and off road handling.

My current setup is flat bars with V brakes and friction thumbies. Great braking, easy cabling, stiff, strong and an elegant engineering solution.

Current tyres are Schwalbe Land Cruisers. Cheap, tough and equally at home on trail or street.

I’m currently running full mudguards, set up with great clearance so mud isn’t an issue and I keep clean and dry on the commute.

Finally I’m favouring my Swedish Army bag over my Carradice for load lugging, simply because an unladen bike off road is quieter, more whippy and more fun. The old skool external frame design of the pack keeps my back virtually sweat free, dodging the usual issues with wearing packs on the bike.

On a related note, I’m shortly to receive another vintage framed rucksack, this time via the Norwegian Army, which may prove even better than the current one. I’ll keep you posted.

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