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Old 10-28-06, 09:05 AM   #1
Cyclesafe
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New Touring Tire From Schwalbe

To add to the confusion about the functional differences between the Marathon, Marathon 2006, Marathon Plus, Marathon XR wire, and Marathon XR folding touring tires, there is now (in Europe) or will be (US/Canada 2007) a Marathon Supreme. The superlatives used by Schwalbe in the descriptions of these tires prevent any easy comparisons, but the best I can fathom is as follows:

The Marathon (wire) and the Marathon 2006 (wire) are good touring tires at lower prices. Why buy? In a word, PRICE

The Marathon Plus (wire) has the best puncture resistance, but weighs nearly twice as much as the other "best" puncture resisting tire, the Marathon Supreme (folding). It is likely to be much cheaper too. Why buy? In two words, PUNCTURE RESISTANCE

The Marathon XR (wire) and Marathon XR (folding) have puncture resistance between the two models above, but better sidewalls and better durability than either. They have worse rolling resistance. The folding version is is as light as the Marathon (wire), but costs nearly twice as much. Why buy? In a word, DURABILITY

This brings us to the Marathon Supreme (folding). This super tire promises to be the best in most everything: best puncture resistance, best sidewalls, least rolling resistance, best grip, and lowest weight. However, durability will be the lowest of the Marathon line - nevertheless still pretty good. I don't have any information on price, but I do feel that at $60 plus for the Marathon XR (folding), Schwalbe has exceeded the budget of most touring cyclists. With lower durability than the XR, I would hope that Schwalbe will price the Supreme no higher. Why buy? In a word, WEIGHT

References:
http://schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/road_tires
http://www.schwalbe.com/gbl/en/bicyc...kel=582&info=1
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Old 10-30-06, 07:53 AM   #2
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Accolades to Schwalbe for having the courage (and foresight) to make their own products obsolete, but I smell some possible opportunity here - for us the touring cyclist consumer! Schwalbe has used Bicycle Tires Direct, Performance, and Nashbar in the past to move their tires at heavily discounted prices and there is a chance that they'll do it again with the Marathon Plus from January 2007 when the technically eclipsing Marathon Supreme is supposed to become available in North America.

Please bear in mind that I have no access to inside information, but unless Schwalbe plans to price the Marathon Supreme at $80, it will make the Marathon Plus very difficult to sell at its current price point ($45). In other words, if <$60 is the most Schwalbe can get for any folding tire, then the Marathon Supreme at that price will quash Marathon Plus sales, unless the latter is blown out in a sale through the "alternate" channels. I'm holding off buying my 2007 touring tires until this happens.....
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Old 10-30-06, 08:58 AM   #3
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Interesting summary of (some of) the varieties of Schwalbe tires. There is one thing left out of the summary--and Schwalbe's literature, save for the Big Apples--and that is ride quality. I have Marathon Slicks on one bike, regular Marathons on a second, and Marathon Pluses on a third. The Slicks are a much harsher ride than either the Marathons or the Marathon Pluses (caveat: I am still experimenting with lowering the pressure of the Slicks to improve comfort without sacrificing performance too much), though of course they have other properties that make them very attractive (i.e. fast, light).

It will be interesting to hear riders' comments on the Marathon Supremes on whether they offer a comfortable ride.
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Old 10-30-06, 09:35 AM   #4
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When I'm setting my bike up I'm concerned about tires. But when I'm on the road I buy what's handiest. Schwalbe seems to be making an effort to garner the bicycle market and I applaud them for that.
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Old 10-30-06, 09:46 AM   #5
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I have 2000+ miles on a set of Marthon Plus with NO punctures. None whatsoever. How much is that worth when figuring the cost of tires?
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Old 10-30-06, 11:31 AM   #6
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What is the general opinion about the Marathon Racer for a light sport-touring tire?

http://schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/..._racer_details
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Old 10-30-06, 01:42 PM   #7
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I have a set of Marathon Racers, and they ride well. They feel supple at about 80psi in the 700x35 size. I haven't put enough miles on them to be able to testify for their durability, but they grip well and still look new after about 300 miles. I also have a set of folding XRs that will be mounted when my Pasela TG 700x37s wear out. I'm expecting a big increase in rolling resistance.

In regard to the marathon plus, I have a friend that bought a brand new set for a tour down the West Coast of the US and ripped a big hole in the tread on the third day and had to ride the remainder of the trip with a boot. Maybe it was tough luck, but the plus is definitely not "Unplattbar". Granted, what caused his tire to blow was a quarter sized rusty washer. If my current Schwalbes ever wear out, I might give the Supremes a try.

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Old 10-30-06, 02:06 PM   #8
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I destroyed a Marathon slick on a rail trail. I think what did it was riding over a rock, one half of the casing broke, while the other half held, leaving a big diagonal stress in the tire that rolled with a "thump". I really like the rolling resistance though, very fast tire.
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Old 10-30-06, 09:17 PM   #9
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I use the Marathon slick with Tuffy tire liners just in case. I had one flat from some industrial staple that pierced the tire and the liner. Since then, no flats at all this year. Glass does not scare me anymore with these tires. They're slower than my Ritchey Tom slicks but I wouldn't trade them at all.
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Old 11-05-06, 04:18 AM   #10
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Be VERY carefull buying Schwalbe tires at discount and/or online at all.

I have had 3 XR's fail on my current tour. 2 under 4000Km, 1 under 1000Km.

Schwalbe USA was absolutly wonderfull about warranty replacement-shipped 3 foldies to Western China for me.

I have a suspision that a few lots of tires slated for destruction got into the hands of some e-tailers. I've provided Schwalbe USA with photo's & the lot number of the last one of mine which failed.

These were bead/sidewall failure on 700c, but have seen similar issues with 26" folks.

Cheers from Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region...
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Old 11-06-06, 04:31 AM   #11
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I had such high hopes for my Marathon XRs but have had two flats already in just three weeks in Thailand...on pretty good roads.
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Old 11-14-06, 08:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losligato
I had such high hopes for my Marathon XRs but have had two flats already in just three weeks in Thailand...on pretty good roads.
Say it ain't so...

I am using marathon XRs for my Baja tour because of their flat proofness! I'll report back on how they repelled cactus thorns are other desert attackers.
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Old 11-14-06, 08:38 PM   #13
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Unfortunately the Marathon Supreme in 26" only comes in 2" width, way to big for me. I wrote the & asked if they were going to make a 26 x 1.5, and they responded that they probably will have more sizes with time.
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