Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tires

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Manufacturer Description

This classic touring tire from Schwalbe has incredible puncture resistance and durability. With design goals similar to the Specialized Armadillo, the newly developed smart guard puncture protection belt is made of flexible special rubber that offers particular resistance to thorns and shards. It also has a reflective stripe on the sidewall for enhanced visibility.

Features

  • Tire Type – Clincher-WireBead

    Tire Design
  • Applications – Training/Recreational, Commuting/Urban
  • Made in – Netherlands
  • Sizes available – 26×1.35, 26×1.5, 26×1.75, 26×1 3/8, 700×25, 700×28, 700×32, 700×35, 700×38, 700×45
  • Tested Size 700×32
    • Weight – 830 grams (29.3 oz)
    • ISO (ETRTO) Size – 32-622
    • Pressure – 55-95 psi
  • Retail – $59

YMMV Review

Design ★★★★☆

The Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires are built to be a long lasting and virtually flat-proof tire. The main feature of the Marathon Plus is the SmartGuard layer of protection. The SmartGuard layer is made from a flexible, special rubber and offers particular resistance to shards of glass and flints. The tires use a long lasting rubber compound for durability. The thread pattern on the tires is large smoother scales in the center and smaller textured ones along the side. The tire also has sidewall protection from pinch flats and a reflective stripe on the sidewall.

Reflective Strip on Sidewall

Performance ★★★★½

The Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires have been on my touring and commuting bike. I have yet to get a flat with these tires. To put that in perspective, the tires I had one before these flatted about every 200 miles. They were road tires that were a balance between puncture resistance and speed. I have noticed that the tires are on the heavy side which makes them a bit slower but that was expected to get a tire as durable as these. After 2000 miles on the road I have started to see some wear on the tread. The rear tire has shown more wear than the front has. I have rotated them and will see how many miles I can get out of these tires. They look like they have lots of miles left.

The traction has been good and I have not had any issues even on frosty mornings. Here in Central Oregon we do not get much rain but they have done well in the little that we do get. I have not felt uneasy about cornering in these tires one bit. The size 700×32 was enough of a tire for my loaded touring trip but still work well as a commuting tire. The Schwalbe website gives suggested max loads for each of the different tires. Even when loaded I came in under the suggested load range. I have ridded some dirt road with these as well and they performed well both on and off road. Since I have not had any flats I have not had to remove and install these tires much. The couple times I have done it, the tires have installed fairly easily and removing them was not a problem either. They did get slightly easier after the first time. I appreciate having the reflective stripe on the sidewall for my commuting. In the fall and spring my commute is around dusk or in the dark so the more reflective the better. The reflective strip definitely stands out as you can see in the picture.

Rear Tire Wear after 200 miles

Overall ★★★★☆

Overall if you are looking for a durable long lasting tire this is the one. They come in plenty of sizes and different models as well. I have over 2000 miles on this set of tires and had no issues yet. The reflective strips on the sidewalls are great for low light riding. As expected the only drawback to these tires is the weight of them. The heavier weight creates a slower tire. In the balance between speed and puncture resistance this is all the way on the puncture resistance side. As a commuter tire this has been exactly what I need. At $59 they are on the expensive side but should get there value back by saving on tubes and lasting a long time. If you look around you can find better prices from authorized retailers. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros

  • Long lasting
  • Great puncture resistance
  • Reflective sidewalls

    Front Tire Wear after 200 miles

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive upfront price

Adventures

About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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