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  1. #1
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Marathon plus vs Gatorskins on crushed limestone

    Would either of these tires be good on crushed limestone trails? In addition to riding on pavement would either of these tires work well on unpaved roads/gravel?
    I will be putting these on my Raleigh Passage hybrid which I'm planning on taking on a 225 mile tour soon.
    Any other tire recommendations?

  2. #2
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    Use the tires you already have and save your tire budget money for ice cream on the trail. Tires = tires = tires, except the cheap tires, which are more affordable. Every other equipment variable is more important.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    For the rough stuff look at Marathon XR tires. http://www.schwalbetires.com/node/1320

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    no direct experience with gatorskins,
    however lots of km with regular schwalbe marathons.
    they work very well on a wide variety of surfaces.
    last summer partner, teenage son and I did the erie canal tour with
    a couple hundred km of limestone/gravel surface (plus other surface types);
    tire problems were common among participants- we had none with the marathons.
    i recall a couple of other riders with marathons, they didn't have any problems either.
    IMO- try the marathons and put in new high quality tubes & don't worry about your tires.

  5. #5
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Marathon Plus. The only way to go!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #6
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    Would either of these tires be good on crushed limestone trails? In addition to riding on pavement would either of these tires work well on unpaved roads/gravel?
    I will be putting these on my Raleigh Passage hybrid which I'm planning on taking on a 225 mile tour soon.
    Any other tire recommendations?
    Either would work fine. A few comments about my limited experience with both:
    1. The 700x32 ultra gatorskin is a good bit more narrow than the marathon plus in the same nominal size
    2. The gatorskin feels and probably is faster
    3. The marathon plus is VERY heavy
    4. The marathon plus has thick stiff sidewalls. This should mean that sidewall failure is unlikely. It also makes mounting very difficult with some rims. My daughter has generally been able to fix her own flats, but found the marathon plus too difficult to handle.
    5. The marathon plus is reported to virtually never get puncture. So far the ones on my bike have not flatted (only maybe 1000 miles so far). My daughter got a puncture after only a little riding commuting on campus. She is normally not very prone to getting flats. I have not run the marathons long enough to really say how well they will wear.
    6. The ultra gatorskins have held up pretty well for me. I do get a puncture once in a while, but have never had a sidewall failure.


    Bottom line? I am not sure which I would buy for touring if I were buying today, but it would be likely to be one of the two. I think that I would lean toward the gatorskin, but it may just be that I was soured by my daughter's puncture so early in the life of the marathon plus. I keep hoping that is a fluke, but am not convinced

    It seems to me that the marathon plus is stiff, heavy, somewhat slower, and harder to mount. That is offset by it's supposed ability to never flat. I think that it has to be very tough to be worth the weight and stiffness and now have my doubts.

    The gatorskin is lighter faster and easier to mount. I think it probably is more likely to puncture, but since I no longer believe that the marathon plus is a silver bullet against puncture, I may go for the gatorskins next time. Then again we may have thousands of trouble free miles on the marathon pluses by then and once again be a believer.

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