Forget suspension seatposts and suspension forks, if you want a comfortable city bike you want fat slicks. They’re light, simple, relatively cheap for suspension, and they roll better than you’d think – especially this one.
The new-for-2007 Kojak is a lightweight, smooth-as-a-bald-head skinwall, similar to a Specialized Fatboy. It comes in 35-559 (Kevlar or wire bead) or 35-622 (wire only), as well as this balloon-width 50-559 (also wire only). At a given low-to-medium pressure, a fat tyre can roll better than a thin tyre, especially on rough surfaces (see www.balloonbikes.com – admittedly by Bohle).
So if you don’t top up your tyres enough on your city bike, you should be on balloon tyres. But if you do, narrower higher-pressure tyres will be measurably faster. On a long commute that’s an issue. Around town? It’s a trade off. These are much, much more comfortable, making light of pot-holes and rough roads.
Compared to Schwalbe’s own Big Apple, the Kojak is almost 250g lighter in the same size; there’s less rubber and lighter puncture protection (as well as no dynamo track and no reflective sidewalls). But if you want Big Apple comfort with one-gear-higher speed, this is the tyre.