Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
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Originally Posted by sknhgy
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:
- The 700x32 ultra gatorskin is a good bit more narrow than the marathon plus in the same nominal size
- The gatorskin feels and probably is faster
- The marathon plus is VERY heavy
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.