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  1. #1
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    All cut up. How are your tires?

    Take a look at the pic below to see how the Marathon Plus 700 x 35c is holding up after 3,500 miles on the back and 700 on the front on London roads and abrasive fine quartz and limestone loose gravel-covered bitumen paths. Running at 85 PSI


    It's those micro gravel and metal chips that wedge in the compound (once it starts to wear down) that really do the damage, moving around with every rotation, digging deeper and deeper into the compound.

    And if (unlike the Marathon Plus) there's no thick puncture resistant breaker between the tread and the tube, flats are the order of the day.
    Last edited by Rayxt; 03-05-08 at 11:41 AM.

  2. #2
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    edit: that's normal - just check your tyres weekly for sharp objects that are buried in the rubber when you do your clean/check of your bike.

    FWIW I've not had much of that problem with specialized armadillos
    700c/29" - http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqS...pTires700_Flat
    26"/650c - http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqS...ipTires26_Flat
    etc
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
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    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  3. #3
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    This is true PC. I go over them with a very fine screwdriver to pick the debris out before it really does serious damage. There's a bit in there on the left side that has to go. It's like a little knife blade working its way down.

    It's interesting though is the mileage from new before the outer wearing compound starts to take hits like this.

  4. #4
    Dave TRUMPHENT's Avatar
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    I got about 4000 miles out of my Marathon. A big roofing nail with ridges finally put it down. It went through the tire, Mr. Tuffy, tube and stopped on the rim. It punched such a big hole in the Kevlar belt that it started to bulge, even with the tire liner backing it up.

    I really liked the tire. The tread was wearing very slowly between the gashes and stab wounds caused by countless shards of glass. It was impressive in its resistance to UV light. The bright South Florida sun had virtually no effect on it. The sun had severely aged a cheap dept store tire I used on the front.

  5. #5
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    I'm envious of those of you that must live in "normal" places. I got 3 flats in my first 100 miles on normal tires before switching to the Marathon Plus in 700x45 @ 70psi. Put on only another 250 miles before getting my first flat on the Marathon Plus. The frustrating part is I couldn't even figure out what did it, it was something that must have put a tiny micro-hole in the tube because it took until hours later to leak down enough for me to notice it was down. The canal MUP's here in Phoenix are just murder on tires I guess.

  6. #6
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    There's essentially no sharp debris on my route. I rode my first two years on some really cheap Kendas, and only flatted them 3 times in that period; one staple, one glass sliver, and one metal shard. I went 5 months with no flats before they finally just wore through and the tube bulged out enough to flat on its own from contact with the road.
    I bought some Bontrager Race Lites, but they didn't last any longer than the Kendas; about 4000 miles. I'm going to just start running the cheapest tires I can. A friend just gave me a pair of Conti Top Touring so those should last a while (and are the "cheapest" at $0.00). When those die, I have a pair of Panaracers I picked up for $5 each on a Nashbar closeout.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  7. #7
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    Normally my commute is not too bad on my tires, but after a couple of ice storms, road crews spread cinders all over the roads. They completely tore apart my last rear tire, a Bontrager Aramid-HD. I just replaced it this weekend with a Race-Lite Hardcase and will try to stay off the bike until all that crap is cleaned off the roads and paths so I don't cut up this one.

  8. #8
    nashcommguy
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    One word: airless. I'm not being a wiseguy, a crackpot, a shill or an A*****e. I've posted these numbers before. 6000+ mile on airless last year and 800 on pneumatics. The airless are 700x35mm, 110 psi rated Hybrids and 700x20mm 105 psi rated Daytonas. Zero downtime on either bike w/airless. The pneumatics are 26x1.75 Kendas from Wally World w/Mr Tuffy liners...3 flats. Tried Hutchinson 700x23mm 120psi tires on the road bike...3 flats in less than 200 miles. That's when I ordered the Daytonas. They ARE slower(but not THAT much) and respond differently to road conditions at first, but one adapts quickly. One of my Hybrid tires is a slick now and holds the road just fine in wet conditions. Full panniers w/a trunkbag. Lights, blinkies, etc. They're all set up as full commuter rigs and I keep them all tuned, lubed and cleaned. Breaks my heart to read threads like this when w/a little willingness to take a risk ALL these problems disappear. I, recently sent 'Hugh Waters' a rather pointed e-mail about the reputation of his product and the dissatisfaction the cycling commuity had w/his response to issues, because I really believe in the product and it's frustating to have them be so 'cavalier' when he could rule the commuter market w/good consumer relations. It's stupid in view of the quality of the product. Again commuting, training, touring, off roading, ie anything but racing and group rides...unless you can take your turn in the lead and hold the pace. Clydesdales and Athenas are a different story, but I'm 190+ and ride on 700x20 mm airless all the time w/a 20 spoke front and a 32 spoke rear w/noprobs...over 2500 miles w/this rig, sometimes loaded, sometimes not. Ok, end of rant...

  9. #9
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Well, I've actually been 2 years with no flats at this point, except that I screwed up when building my front wheel last fall and caused a flat on that.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  10. #10
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    My tires never get to looking cut up. The roads here aren't too bad for debris and little slicey things, and the county has an army of street sweepers keeping most of the bike lanes and shoulders clear (at least here on the eastside of Seattle. Downtown is another story.) My tires (Conti UG, 28mm) just get worn down looking as I rack up the miles on them. I've got about 325 miles on the rear and half that on the front due to a catastrophic failure at the bead, which was ruled a mfg defect and replaced. Those are rain and sun miles, so I've had plenty of wet opportunities for things to slice and dice my tires, but they're still looking good.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  11. #11
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    What the heck kind of roads are you on again!?! I thought my roads were bad, but good lord!
    Good night...and good luck

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photosmith View Post
    ... The frustrating part is I couldn't even figure out what did it, it was something that must have put a tiny micro-hole in the tube because it took until hours later to leak down enough for me to notice it was down. The canal MUP's here in Phoenix are just murder on tires I guess.
    Ah! You experienced the Marathon Plus 'slow leak' aka 'the morning after flat' - where you find the flat next morning, just when you're late for work!

    This micro-hole flat is what happens, especially if you have slime-filled tubes, or a Slime strip or Mr Tuffy under the MP. Short of staking the tire on a 4" nail, whatever get's through will probably be miniscule - and you can probably find enough garages en route to keep you at max pressure before you need to pump it up again.

  13. #13
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    I have been running the Schwalbe Marathon Plus's (700 x 28's @ 100psi) for three years now....I get about 3,500 miles on a rear and usually change the front out at about 4,500 miles....I spend about 5 minutes every other day removing small glass schards with a small set of needle nose pliers I carry on board....although construction is down here, I still see tons of nails, industrial staples, debris on the shoulders where I ride. I cross one long bridge every day, where I think there is more broken glass than in a glass factory...I change the tires out at mileage points, even though I could get more miles on them....

    I have a friend that rides a recumbent with "regular" tires....he refuses to go over the bridge, because he says he has never gone across without a flat....

    My commute starts in the dark in the morning, and at night, ends in the dark, so I am certain I am hitting some of this crap that I may not see. Now at least with the increased light, half of each way is light enough.

    The Marathon Plus's may be heavier, but for my style of riding and commuting, they are the best thing going.....

  14. #14
    Recreational rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayxt View Post
    Ah! You experienced the Marathon Plus 'slow leak' aka 'the morning after flat' - where you find the flat next morning, just when you're late for work!
    Yeah, don't get me wrong, I'd rather have it take 8 hours to run flat instead of 8 minutes or 8 seconds, but I am still bummed out to get my first flat in just 250 miles on the Marathon Pluses. Then again, Phoenix is apparently notorious for an incredible quantity of tire-destroying weeds and such ending up all over our roads and trails.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photosmith View Post
    Yeah, don't get me wrong, I'd rather have it take 8 hours to run flat instead of 8 minutes or 8 seconds, but I am still bummed out to get my first flat in just 250 miles on the Marathon Pluses. Then again, Phoenix is apparently notorious for an incredible quantity of tire-destroying weeds and such ending up all over our roads and trails.
    When the going gets tough it's time for:

    PLAN B - Fill the tubes with Slime.
    PLAN C - Plan B + Mr Tuffy liners

    From all the posts about supposedly 'puncture-resistant' Marathon Plus and Conti Contact Security (I have MP with 4,000mls on the front & a new Security 28 x 700 on the back) getting holed and cut up regularly, most of this seems to be happening to riders in very hot, high UV sun belt locations where the road surface temperatures (even with winter sun) can be very high. And in summer a real rubber killer.

    Cactus spines, shards of metal and glass can slice through the overheated supple rubber and the thick inner breaker like butter. Which is why Plan B & C is a good backup.

    If your tire is showing cuts, nicks and inclusions, like my (worn) MP after only 500-1000 miles that proves the heat and UV is a key factor in decreasing the performance of the tire.

    Can you post a MACRO pic of the tread ?? with the mileage as it will be instructive to compare both tires.

  16. #16
    Recreational rider
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    I haven't been seeing any real cuts and nicks, although I've only got about 250 miles on mine compared to the 500-1000 you're seeing. I did my best to try to take a proper macro picture. I used my f1.4 lens and I think the depth of field is a little overly shallow, it ends up looking ragged on the right edge, but I think it was really just out of focus. Anyway here's a link to it:

    http://www.autocrossing.com/misc/junk/smp-front.jpg

    I have used slime before on the stock tires (the ones where I got 3 flats in 100 miles) and actually I did witness slime oozing out of the tread once upon picking a thorn out and it sealed up once the tire pressure got down to 55psi or so. I wasn't a fan of the stuff since it gums up the inflation valve and eventually it gets so gummed up I can't even check my tire pressure anymore and have to replace the tube anyway. The other options I'm considering are the Specialized Armadillo tires, which is what a friend of mine who lives nearby has and he has yet to get a flat, although he does ride different paths than me. It's possible mine just has way more shards and cacti needles and such all over the ground than his.

    I'm trying to take it all with a positive attitude. After all, at least my SMP's have never left me stranded on trail, which is a big improvement over my stock cheapie tires which twice left me walking the bike home, back when I didn't used to even carry a spare tube and pump with me. I mainly bike just for leisure anyway, not so much as my primary mode of transport, which takes a lot of the stress out of it.

  17. #17
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    From my experience with SMP, your tire is in perfect (near new!!) condition @ 1000 miles. Mine lost the manufacturing mold 'ridge' at about 500 miles over bitumen roads and gravel paths.



    I get the feeling city roads and cycle paths are much more abrasive to tire tread compounds wearing them down like sandpaper, whereas you're riding over more often hidden and unavoidable 'natural' penetration hazards.

    How about just fitting Mr Tuffy liners. Grind down any sharp edges off the ends of the liner and put a strip of rubber (cut from an old tube) covering the ridge where the two liner ends overlap to minimize the risk of friction puncture.

    This has to be the toughest combination of different materials (rubber tire and plastic liner) to physically STOP anything getting to the tube. After that what happens is the Will of God.

  18. #18
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    Yikes

    I don't have a terribly long commute- but I have 1600 miles on some bontrager select K- and no flats. I don't do any maintenance for glass and whatnot, but I do pump up constantly so I don't pinch flat. I had some Hutchinsons before and they were magnets for large glass shards. Oh, I do 700x23 and do about 100 miles a week?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth View Post
    I don't have a terribly long commute- but I have 1600 miles on some bontrager select K- and no flats. I don't do any maintenance for glass and whatnot, but I do pump up constantly so I don't pinch flat. I had some Hutchinsons before and they were magnets for large glass shards. Oh, I do 700x23 and do about 100 miles a week?
    The glass shards will be the same but Portland OR is a world away geographically in climate conditions from the sun belt states.

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