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Old 02-17-09, 02:23 PM   #1
kamtsa
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Tires: Marathon vs Supreme vs. Plus

I am looking for 406 tires for a BF NWT and am trying to decide between Marathon, Marathon Plus and Marathon Supreme. From what I gathered so far, the Supreme seems to provide good balance between rolling resistance, weight and puncture resistance.

Is it a reasonable choice? Any suggestion?

(my intended use is roads and biking trails riding. The trails are paved 99.9% percent of the time but may be rough in some places. I also use Thudbuster LT so this should take care of the suspension aspect)

Thanks,

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Old 02-17-09, 02:42 PM   #2
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I can't give you information across all three. I am currently running Marathons on my NWT, and my impression is that they are heavy. It's not something that I've ever been particularly sensitive to before; but the Marathons feel heavy.

(Edit: I just checked. The Kenda Kwest tires I was originally using were 280 g. The Schwalbe Marathons I'm currently using are 440 g. I won't get rid of them until they are worn, but I probably wouldn't buy them again. End Edit)

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Old 02-17-09, 02:45 PM   #3
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You don't need a Thudbuster LT seatpost if you upgrade to Schwalbe Big Apple tires. The tires provide all the suspension you need and the bike still rolls quite fast. On a small wheel size, fatter tires are more comfortable than skinny ones. The Big Apples will perform well on the roads and bike trails. I highly recommend the balloon tire!
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Old 02-17-09, 03:56 PM   #4
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I flatted on my Plus a week ago from a small piece of glass. The Plus is also very expensive. It's quite a stiff tyre so it transmits more road harshness.
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Old 02-17-09, 03:58 PM   #5
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I put the standard Marathons on a commuter bike (700cc) and love them. We bought a tandem (27"), which came with tires that supposedly had some kind of kevlar flat protection*, but after a spate of flats while commuting, I got a pair of Marathons for the tandem, too. The Marathons were much smoother than the ones they replaced and no flats. (No, I don't know the brand/model they replaced, but they were old...)

The regular Marathons work great for me--I'd have a hard time justifying Supreme or Plus models based on my experience.

*"Vittoria competition Phoenix" 1-1/4 x 27 with "Kevlar 3d compound"--Marathons feel supple compared to them...
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Old 02-17-09, 04:22 PM   #6
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I love my supremes. Niagara cycle has 700X35s for a very good price right now...
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Old 02-17-09, 04:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jur View Post
I flatted on my Plus a week ago from a small piece of glass.
How many miles do you have on the tires Jur?

Given how Schwalbe advertises the Marathon Plus, you might consider writing them and complaining.

http://www.schwalbetires.com/marathon_plus

"Punctures become obsolete with the MARATHON PLUS! The SmartGuard layer made from a flexible, special rubber offers particular resistance to shards of glass and flints. Even a thumbtack cannot penetrate this protective layer. The SmartGuard belt does not increase rolling resistance. The MARATHON PLUS rolls as easily as a tire without protection."
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Old 02-17-09, 04:31 PM   #8
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I have gotten two flats with my Marathon Racers with over 2000 miles. One was with a goathead. So no shame there. The other was a road littered with glass.
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Old 02-17-09, 05:12 PM   #9
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I've got the standard Marathons that came with my MuP8, the racers. I've got just over 1500kms, and so far, three flats...2 in just the last week! On Monday, the flat was so bad my tire actually "POPED" when it went flat...as in - sounded like a balloon popping!

Took it to the shop, and they replaced the tube for free, and even put an internal patch to the TIRE. The hole was visible from both the tube and tire surface...! 1500km's doesn't seem like too much...hmmm
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Old 02-17-09, 05:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
How many miles do you have on the tires Jur?

Given how Schwalbe advertises the Marathon Plus, you might consider writing them and complaining.

http://www.schwalbetires.com/marathon_plus

"Punctures become obsolete with the MARATHON PLUS! The SmartGuard layer made from a flexible, special rubber offers particular resistance to shards of glass and flints. Even a thumbtack cannot penetrate this protective layer. The SmartGuard belt does not increase rolling resistance. The MARATHON PLUS rolls as easily as a tire without protection."
Very little... like no more than 1000km, of which 500km was on the dirt roads of kangaroo Island so very little tread wear.

The puncture was just off to the side from the middle; I think what happened was that I picked up a coupla pieces of glass, then when taking a corner, forced one of those pieces through. When I tried to asses the thickness of the blue layer it seemed much thinner than the ads... possibly due to the tyre width which is only 1.35", so not much scope for building up a thick blue layer.
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Old 02-17-09, 08:11 PM   #11
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The Marathon Plus is very built up right in the middle, but tapers off as you move from the center. When you are cornering, you are riding the plus on a thinner layer of protection than you are while riding straight, and I presume that this is amplified by having thinner versions such as yours, Jur.

I currently own standard Marathons, Marathon Plus, have experience with the Marathon Supreme and am now waiting for my new set of 20x1.6 Marathon Supremes to arrive.

Kamtsa:
The Marathon and Marathon Supreme are both very well rounded tires.

The standard Marathon has a good blend of everything, but does not excel in anything. In its price range, I *really* like the Marathon. Good all around tire. A little above average in weight.

The Marathon Plus is exceptionally puncture resistant as they claim, they are the most resilient tires I have owned. There are no incredibly advanced materials in the plus, rather its resistance comes solely from its design with the thick rubber belt and kevlar. The rubber makes these tires less comfortable than the others in my opinion, and is where all the weight comes from.

The Marathon Supreme is a fairly normal thickness, it uses some high end materials, which results in that high end cost. But, it is very light, quite fast rolling, very puncture resistant and what won me over - very comfortable. Almost as good as Big Apples, I think. You can get the Marathon Supreme in the same size as the 2.0 Big Apples, but lighter, faster, stronger!

Personally, I enjoy the Marathon Supremes a lot, and their benefits are worth the price to me for long distance riding. If I were doing some gravel trails and such though, I think the regular Marathon would be my pick, it has a nice tread for that kind of thing. The Plus would be my choice for inner city riding, due to the high puncture resistance.

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Old 02-17-09, 09:28 PM   #12
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I have gotten two flats with my Marathon Racers with over 2000 miles. One was with a goathead. So no shame there. The other was a road littered with glass.
Question:
Why do the marathon racers have a lower max psi than the regular marathons?
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Old 02-18-09, 02:08 AM   #13
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I've ridden the Marathon, Racer, and Plus. Here are my results from urban commuting and some multi-day tours:

- Racers - light, fast, but punctured every month or two. Replaced them with Marathons.
- Marathons - medium weight, medium speed, no punctures after 1 year.
- Plus - heavy weight, a bit slower, 1 puncture in 3 years.

For my needs (puncture protection first and weight second), I've found the Marathon to be the best compromise.

Would like to try the Supreme, but not willing to pay that much more. Will probably buy a pair if/when I can find a good discount on them.

How good are the Big Apples for puncture protection? On the level of Racers or Marathons?

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Old 02-18-09, 02:34 AM   #14
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Slick Kojaks ride SO much better than the standard Marathons I had before I'd never want to go back - plus I kept getting flats on the Marathons. I'm a convert to slicks. Anybody around southern AZ wants some Marathon 20" 406 tires, one brand new, you can have them.
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Old 02-18-09, 03:58 AM   #15
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I think it really depends on what kind of rides you plan on taking. If your rides tend to be fast, out of your three choices, it would have to be the Supreme. Planning on going on a rough tour? Marathon Plus. Not so sure? Marathons would be my best bet for you.

However that's not to say that there are not other options available to further confuse you!

There are Primo Comets, Kevlar or no, Tioga Comp Pools, and numerous Continental makes, not to mention others!
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Old 02-18-09, 04:16 AM   #16
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Hmm - for me this was nearly a very timely discussion!

I've been running by Dt IX FS on the stock Kenda kwests for almost a year and have racked up 1,000 miles. So far this has been strictly my multi modal commuter transport between home, stations and workplace.

Throughout the summer months I was able to spot any glass littering my path, but once the nights drew in and I was riding through the dark morning and night the puncture rate soared - despite a nice bright headlight. Fixing a flat in the rain when it was cold and dark was no fun - and then as a bonus I would miss the train. Tried slime tubes which worked well up to a point - they never left me stranded but did spray green slime up my legs on more than one occasion.

So I got a pair of Marathan Plus'. 19 each plus postage - so not cheap. Only a week of commuting thus far and no punctures, they feel tough. I like the ride they give - prefereable to the Kendas. They feel really secure and planted and I reckon they actually roll a bit better.

Ultimately, weight and rolling resistance were not much of a factor (that can only help me get fitter, right?) - I just want puncture resistance because I don't want to be standing in the pouring rain fixing a flat, getting filthy hands and then getting to work late on the next train!

There seem to be some mixed reviews here, so I'll have to see how well they work for me over time.

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Old 02-18-09, 06:12 AM   #17
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The Plus wallowed badly on my Birdy when I didn't have them pumped very hard.

I have never found Kevlar belted tyres made any difference whatsoever for puncture protection. I have had multiple punctures now on different Kevlar ones (Big Apples, Primo Comet Kevlar, Birdy Maxxis) that I am firmly convinced it's a waste of money. The only thing I have found to effectively to prevent punctures is Slime liners, but they occasionally cause punctures themselves.
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Old 02-18-09, 07:48 AM   #18
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Sorry to keep harping on on my old themes, but the cheapo kevlar tyres on my Merc have been brilliant. I really can't speak highly enough of their toughness. My three punctures have averaged out at one in twelve hundred miles. All of them were off the main tread area, and two of them were really wicked thorns that would have gone through anything you could make a bike tyre out of.

I can't scientifically say that a non Kevlar tyre would not have been as good on the same routes and tracks (much of which have been urban and strewn with glass), but my previous experience prior to getting that bike and riding large wheels was of very regular punctures and a lot of inconvenience.
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Old 02-18-09, 08:11 AM   #19
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That's interesting Jur - what pressure were you running the Marathon Plus tyres at? And what pressure do you run other tyres at?

I'm interested because the Plusses have a very full and rounded profile so I've got them at just shy of 80psi. I used to run the Kenda kwests at around 60psi (except in the snow when I dropped the rear to 40psi). I would imagine the Marathons would be quite wallowy at 40psi.

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Old 02-18-09, 09:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
Question:
Why do the marathon racers have a lower max psi than the regular marathons?
Not sure. What would thinner more pliable sidewalls do to the max psi? If I recall correctly, those characteristics would lead to lower rolling resistance for which the Racers are designed.
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Old 02-18-09, 11:46 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by werewolf View Post
Slick Kojaks ride SO much better than the standard Marathons I had before I'd never want to go back - plus I kept getting flats on the Marathons. I'm a convert to slicks. Anybody around southern AZ wants some Marathon 20" 406 tires, one brand new, you can have them.
Hey! This thread has gotten me thinking about alternatives to my current Marathons. I was going to ask if anyone had experience with Kojaks.

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Old 02-18-09, 01:03 PM   #22
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Hey! This thread has gotten me thinking about alternatives to my current Marathons. I was going to ask if anyone had experience with Kojaks.

Speedo
In regards to the Kojaks, I saw a thread that concluded the ERTO 406-50mm versions were narrow ... < 47mm ... such that they could fit on the NWT.

Question: How would rim width affect the width of the tire? In other words, as the rim gets narrower the tire would get ... ? I would think wider.
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Old 02-18-09, 01:07 PM   #23
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In regards to the Kojaks, I saw a thread that concluded the ERTO 406-50mm versions were narrow ... < 47mm ... such that they could fit on the NWT.

Question: How would rim width affect the width of the tire? In other words, as the rim gets narrower the tire would get ... ? I would think wider.
Whoops ... got my wires crossed with 26" tires. That is, I read 20" when they wrote 26".
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Old 02-18-09, 01:31 PM   #24
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I think the Big Apple is on the order of the Marathon in terms of puncture resistance. In a small wheel size, a wider tire can roll quite fast and make the ride comfortable. Thin slicks don't work on a folder without suspension because of the harsh ride.
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