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  1. #1
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Marathon blowout! Pics! Question! (kinda long...)

    After 10 months and 5k miles, my Marathons experienced the first major flat

    These are 26x1.75 HS368, converted to Tubeless. No flats since the conversion about 3k ago (several small punctures before conversion). I guess I had been bragging too much about how good the tubeless has been…..

    Last Friday am the rear tire went over something real nasty (it was dark & I didn’t see it) which took a chunk out of it.

    Choreography was thus:
    Pow!
    Hiss-hiss-hiss blub-blub-blub
    (jump off bike & walk last mile to work)…..

    The pic on the right is of the rear tire at the blowout. That’s the yellow Kevlar belt showing through. A chunk of the tire is actually missing. The Stan’s sealant tried hard to plug the hole, but no go. The damage inside is real bad – it’s clear a major section of a belt is messed up. I had no idea the tire had so little rubber left on top of the Kevlar belt. Looks like maybe only 0.5 mm or so.

    I put a nice thick patch on the inside, put in a tube, and rotated the tires to make do for now.

    The other pic is for comparison, it was the front, and also has 5k miles. Still has some tread left. I think it’s still good for another few thousand.

    The damaged tire needs replacement soon. These have been real good to me, so I’m trying to decide what to replace them with. I was thinking maybe get a Marathon XR HS359, their uber-tough “expedition” tire, for the rear, and another standard Marathon for the front. Since the rear has more weight & stress, I figured maybe this mix would help even out the wear rates.

    http://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/road_tires

    I’d love a set of light fast Marathon Racers or Supremes, but sure like the looong wear of the standard ‘thons. 10 months is by far the record for how long I’ve been able to go with one set of tires.

    Comments? Suggestions?
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    Last edited by acroy; 12-10-07 at 05:39 AM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Membre doraemonkey's Avatar
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    I've had my current set of marathon's on for more than 2 years, I can't wear them out... my chain however is another story.

    I do have some marathon racers waiting in the wings, but I think I'll keep waiting...

  3. #3
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doraemonkey View Post
    I've had my current set of marathon's on for more than 2 years, I can't wear them out...
    how many miles is that??
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  4. #4
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    So you put the compromised tire on the front? That's a huge no-no. A rear flat is much more desirable if you're going to get a flat.
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    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
    So you put the compromised tire on the front? That's a huge no-no. A rear flat is much more desirable if you're going to get a flat.
    I disagree I think there's a lot less stress on the front, I'm going easy on the front brake, & keeping an eye on it. Slightly lower pressure too. it rode a little different because it's a bit squared-off but otherwise no issues.

    I know i'm going against common knowledge on this one but I'm okay with that
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  6. #6
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    If you're GOING to flat, you want it on the back. However, you're right in saying that a flat is much less likely on the front. The only time I've ever flatted on the front was when I had a rim-tape problem. The rear I've flatted probably 6 times in the 12500 miles I've been commuting.

    It looks like your tread was getting pretty thin anyway; it doesn't look like much rubber between the outside world and the kevlar.
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  7. #7
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    A front flat is way more likely with a compromised tire, unfortunately. It doesn't matter where you put it, the risk of a flat is high with that one. I think merely riding on a tire like that goes against the common knowledge here, so I guess it doesn't matter where you put it. I guess on the bright side, you won't need to do a tire rotation when you get your new tire. I usually only get one tire at a time, and put the newest tire on the front, move the front to the back, and throw the back one (usually destroyed) away. The exception to this rule was when I replaced a really chewed up rear tire with a Bonti RL hard case, leaving the perfectly good Bonti Select on the front. When the front goes out, I'll put a hard case on it as well.
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  8. #8
    Senior Membre doraemonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acroy View Post
    how many miles is that??
    I don't have a mileage counter on my bike, but I have a an approximately 16 mile round trip that I take every weekday. So spread that over the working days in a 2 (going on 3) year period... that would make about 5000-7000 miles in my estimation. The back tire is way worn down, the front one still looks new...

  9. #9
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acroy View Post
    I’d love a set of light fast Marathon Racers or Supremes, but sure like the looong wear of the standard ‘thons.
    In my experience, the Racers are definitely not as durable as the rest of the Marathon family. I cannot seem to squeeze more than 2500kms or so out of them before the first small fragment of glass works its way through the tyre and produces a slow leak. From there it's a rapid downhill.

    My next summer commuting tyre will be the Marathon Plus. Heavy, I know, but it's going to be fun riding a really durable tyre again. And right now I'm running a pair of Nokian W106 studded tyres, so the Plus will feel light in the spring anyways.

    --J
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    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  10. #10
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
    A front flat is way more likely with a compromised tire, unfortunately. It doesn't matter where you put it, the risk of a flat is high with that one.
    I plan on replacing it pretty quick. This is just a stop-gap for now, maybe a week or so till I get some new treads. one lucky hit on the repaired area and it's a goner. A chunk of the Kevlar is gone, the belt underneath is munched, so it's pretty much just the rubber patch between the tube & the nasty outside world.

    what is amazing is how tough the casing is on these tired. This is a very serious structural compromise, yet the area shows very little bulge at 70psi.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha View Post
    In my experience, the Racers are definitely not as durable as the rest of the Marathon family. I cannot seem to squeeze more than 2500kms or so out of them before the first small fragment of glass works its way through the tyre and produces a slow leak. From there it's a rapid downhill.

    --J
    whew - that's like 1/3 of what i've gotten out of these! i guess I'll have to give them a miss. Maybe a set of Supremes at 26x2.0. they're slighty larger but actually lighter than the current tires. kinda spendy though at $65 each.
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  12. #12
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
    So you put the compromised tire on the front? That's a huge no-no. A rear flat is much more desirable if you're going to get a flat.
    Maybe for you fast guys, I can't conceive of a flat or blowout causing any unsafe handling problem before coming to a stop. It is a bit easier to remove/replace the front wheel. I prefer more tread on the rear because of the higher weight load and because it is very undesirable to stop on the road to fix a flat on any wheel at temperatures far below freezing

    BTW I've got over two years (10,000 miles) on my front Marathon HS308; and over one year (5,000)miles on the rear one. No flats at all. Been a happy user of regular Marathons (HS270 and HS 308) for over 10 years.

  13. #13
    Senior Member duppie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acroy View Post
    Maybe a set of Supremes at 26x2.0. [...] kinda spendy though at $65 each.
    You can get them online for about $46 each. Just google it
    Duppie

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha View Post
    In my experience, the Racers are definitely not as durable as the rest of the Marathon family. I cannot seem to squeeze more than 2500kms or so out of them before the first small fragment of glass works its way through the tyre and produces a slow leak. From there it's a rapid downhill.

    My next summer commuting tyre will be the Marathon Plus. Heavy, I know, but it's going to be fun riding a really durable tyre again. And right now I'm running a pair of Nokian W106 studded tyres, so the Plus will feel light in the spring anyways.

    --J
    How are they for the first 2500km and how do they handle in the rain? I'm looking for something to replace the Conti Gatorskins which I can no longer get. Thanks.

  15. #15
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Maybe for you fast guys, I can't conceive of a flat or blowout causing any unsafe handling problem before coming to a stop.
    I'm definitely not fast. The one time I got a flat on the front (construction staple) it went PFFFT! very quickly, and the bike got pretty squirrely. This was at about 12 MPH on a relatively (okay, very) slow group ride. It felt like the front was going to wash out on me.
    It is a bit easier to remove/replace the front wheel. I prefer more tread on the rear because of the higher weight load and because it is very undesirable to stop on the road to fix a flat on any wheel at temperatures far below freezing
    That's every bit as logical as my reasons, I suppose. Especially this time of year.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    I think I've gotten like 2 flats in my life on the front, in neither case did the tire deflate real fast.

    In this case, the front rolled over whatever it was (i heard a nice "thwack" sound) then it tagged the rear.

    A nice benefit of these lower-pressure, hi-volume tires is they just don't go flat real fast. On my 120psi 20c road bike tires, when it goes, it goes BOOM. these big fat tires though, even with a big hole, I guess because they have so much air, it takes a while to deflate. In this case I think i went a good hundred yards or so hoping it would seal up before i felt the rim on the pavement.

    Just ordered a set of Marathon Supremes from ebikestop.com (thanks duppie). still spendy, over $100 shipped. as much as car tires!! ah well. they are supposed to be lighter, faster, grippier, and almost as durable as my current Marathon 368. Maybe I'll rotate them a bit earlier

    cheers
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    I think the general reason for putting the better tire on the front is primarily for better handing. A blowout in the front, or a front skid, is far more likely to likely to end up in a crash than is the same situation in the rear.

    Bad rear skid = recoverable fishtail; Bad front skid = endo.

    Obviously fixing a flat outside in this weather ain't fun - but that same weather is also why I want my best tire up front.

  18. #18
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Maybe for you fast guys, I can't conceive of a flat or blowout causing any unsafe handling problem before coming to a stop.
    About a week ago, my rear tire flatted, and within 50 feet the left bead had come off the rim, the tube came out, and wrapped around the axle and jammed the brakes. If it had been the front wheel, I'd have been in some trouble. On the rear I just came to a halt.

    50 feet isn't really enough time to stop if you're at any kind of speed.

    This is the first time I've had anything like that happen, but this is also the first time I've gone flat so fast I didn't have time to stop before the rim hit the road.
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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acroy View Post
    A nice benefit of these lower-pressure, hi-volume tires is they just don't go flat real fast. On my 120psi 20c road bike tires, when it goes, it goes BOOM. these big fat tires though, even with a big hole, I guess because they have so much air, it takes a while to deflate. In this case I think i went a good hundred yards or so hoping it would seal up before i felt the rim on the pavement.
    Makes sense to me. I don't worry about sudden deflation problems on my commuting tires of 622 x 47mm at approx. 50 PSI; peace of mind is an additional benefit for big tires, though the principal reason for me is comfort and reliability.

  20. #20
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    About a week ago, my rear tire flatted, and within 50 feet the left bead had come off the rim, the tube came out, and wrapped around the axle and jammed the brakes.
    good greif ItsJustMe, I think It Just May Be You

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  21. #21
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Maybe for you fast guys, I can't conceive of a flat or blowout causing any unsafe handling problem before coming to a stop.
    No downhills in Iowa? I knew it was flat, but didn't know it was *that* flat.


    FWIW, I hit 30 mph on this morning's commute with full panniers (aided by a slight downhill off of a freeway overpass, and a nice tailwind).

    I'm currently running 700x28 Marathon Plus front and rear, but I may switch to standard Marathons when these wear out, to save some weight and allow for quicker acceleration from stops. The Plus are pretty darned heavy, even in the 28mm width.
    Last edited by SSP; 12-10-07 at 03:06 PM.
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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP View Post
    No downhills in Iowa? I knew it was flat, but didn't know it was *that* flat.
    Nope, just cyclists here are skilled enough to maneuver a bike to a safe stop after getting a flat tire. Without falling over. YMMV.

  23. #23
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acroy View Post
    whew - that's like 1/3 of what i've gotten out of these! i guess I'll have to give them a miss.
    I suggest you give them a try. There are a lot of variables, they could work better for you. I cannot imagine getting 7500kms out of a Racer though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    How are they for the first 2500km and how do they handle in the rain?
    I like them a lot, that's why I've tried several in a row to see if the first one was just a bad apple. After the first puncture they're usable for quite some time, if you're willing to fix a flat every now and then. I didn't consider fixing flats a big deal before, but then I tried to run a Racer into ground (like I used to do with other Marathons). After that exercise in tyre fixing I now realise durability is important for me. More important than a couple of hundred of grams of weight.

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  24. #24
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Nope, just cyclists here are skilled enough to maneuver a bike to a safe stop after getting a flat tire. Without falling over. YMMV.
    Fortunately, at speeds below 15 mph it doesn't take much skill to deal with a front wheel flat/blowout.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Well the Supremes are out of stock indefinitly, dang it.

    So far the patch job is holding up, about 50 nasty miles so far. There's been soem good storms recently so been riding over a lot of debris, gravle, fresh potholes, etc.

    It was about time for these tires to be replced. Upon close inspection I've fond several small cuts & bulges on the sidewalls and other areas of compromise.

    Cheers
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