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Old 05-15-09, 05:34 AM   #1
jbpence
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marathon XR

just finished a three week tour in china using marathon XR's under the worst conditions and roads I've even seen. not a single flat in 0ver 700 miles. I am sold. I hear these have been superceeded by a new tire with a new name (not called XR). has anyone here on BF tried the replacement?
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Old 05-15-09, 06:49 AM   #2
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I just put some 26" x 2.0" Marathon Extremes on my Thorn. Definitely a lighter more supple tire so I expect it will be faster than an equivalent XR - the $50,000 question will be how they compare for durability/flat protection.



I've been running 35mm - 700c XRs on my LHT and 26" x 2.0" XRs on my Surly Big Dummy - zero flats or problems so far...


How was your tour in China?
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Old 05-15-09, 07:42 AM   #3
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I wonder if the Extremes and XRs really have the same puncture resistance. There's something to be said for thick rubber and the Extreme has more open areas between the tread.

Talk about choices
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Old 05-15-09, 07:51 AM   #4
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I started a tire thread here recently after I trashed my rear Marathon tire with a gash caused by glass on the road. Someone on the thread mentioned a guy (Jeff Kruys) touring north and south america using different types of Marathon tires (Marathon, Marathon Plus, and Marathon XR), so I checked out his online journal. Take a look at his statistics here Based on his experience, the Marathon Plus tires are the most durable.
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Old 05-15-09, 09:03 AM   #5
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I wonder if the Extremes and XRs really have the same puncture resistance. There's something to be said for thick rubber and the Extreme has more open areas between the tread.

Talk about choices
Ya - that's what I was thinking, but only time will tell.
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Old 05-15-09, 09:38 AM   #6
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Here's the page on Schwalbe's site comparing the different road/touring tires:

http://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/road_tires

It looks at first glance as if the XR is still there, not simply superceded by the Extreme. They seem to have different characteristics - the Extreme is rated highly for grip and protection, whereas the XR is rated for protection and durability.

The Plus tires, from anecdotal comments I've seen, are very puncture resistant, but also heavy. When I've spoken to the people at Schwalbe, they have said that the XR is the one for extended touring, because of its durability. Here's a thread where someone from Schwalbe chimes in to clear things up - but this is from a while ago, so perhaps we could use an update on how to choose these things... look down the thread for the reply from Stephen Caulker.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum...hread_id=24804

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Old 05-15-09, 10:24 AM   #7
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Here's the page on Schwalbe's site comparing the different road/touring tires:

http://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/road_tires

It looks at first glance as if the XR is still there, not simply superceded by the Extreme. They seem to have different characteristics - the Extreme is rated highly for grip and protection, whereas the XR is rated for protection and durability.
Given that I don't do uber long tours at the moment I'd be happy with a faster grippy tire that didn't last as long as the XR - if it has the same level of puncture resistance.

If I can manage a year plus tour I'll just run XRs and accept the weight penalty as they are still a pretty decent compromise for a tough touring tire without going too far in terms of weight/rolling resistance like the Marathon Plus.
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Old 05-15-09, 10:28 AM   #8
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I've got the solution for deciding between tires with overlapping characteristics, put the comfy tire on the front and the tough tire on the rear. Lowering pressure on the XR would probably take care of differences in grip for the XR on dirt
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Old 05-15-09, 06:56 PM   #9
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How was your tour in China?
see

this link

for the blog. scroll down to the bottom, click the Yunnan link

it was mind-blowing great.
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Old 05-15-09, 07:01 PM   #10
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I've got the solution for deciding between tires with overlapping characteristics, put the comfy tire on the front and the tough tire on the rear. Lowering pressure on the XR would probably take care of differences in grip for the XR on dirt
lowering the pressure does work some. I had less problem on dirt. I dropped the while turning the bike on wet pavement when running about 70 pounds in them. I was going slow, and managed to clip out oven though the rig fell like a sack of sand.

I would run a schwalbe with more grip than the XR even if it didn' t last ten thousand miles. Even if it only lasted 5000.
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Old 05-15-09, 08:15 PM   #11
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...I would run a schwalbe with more grip than the XR even if it didn' t last ten thousand miles. Even if it only lasted 5000.
Is there a problem with grip on the Schwalbe XR? I'm asking this because I just put a pair on my commuter last Monday(less than a week old) and I'm still trying to get a feel for them.
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Old 05-15-09, 10:59 PM   #12
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Is there a problem with grip on the Schwalbe XR? I'm asking this because I just put a pair on my commuter last Monday(less than a week old) and I'm still trying to get a feel for them.
I've used 35mm 700C XRs as well as 2.0" x 26" XRs - dry, wet, paved, muddy dirt road, off road [dry] and not had any grip issues at all. It's not a full knobby tire so as long as you aren't treating it like it is you shouldn't have any problems.

I do tend to run my tires softer than a lot of people simply because it's more comfortable and there is no loss in efficiency.
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Old 05-16-09, 02:08 AM   #13
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I've used 35mm 700C XRs as well as 2.0" x 26" XRs - dry, wet, paved, muddy dirt road, off road [dry] and not had any grip issues at all. It's not a full knobby tire so as long as you aren't treating it like it is you shouldn't have any problems.

I do tend to run my tires softer than a lot of people simply because it's more comfortable and there is no loss in efficiency.
no problem with grip when inflated less than most people would inflate them.

no increased rolling resitance when inflated less than most people would run them???

... uh...... ok.

but inflated to maximum pressure, the XR of course does not grip as wel as when "inflated les than mopst people would inflate them"

l. I don't know why you don't notice that they roll better when inflated to typical road touring pressure. I do. Its not extremely dramatic and I will agree that the tire rolls quite well at say 60 pounds, and I ran it at about 45 on a really bad road on my last tour - no pinch flats and i hit some HUGE bumps w3ith a 060 pounds load mostly all on the back tire. .

At 80 pounds pressure and with a load, I have had tires that gripped LOTS better on slimey pavement, but I am not willing to trade the puncture resistance of the XR for any other tire at this point. Those other tires wore out at about 1500 miles.... not a good thing when touring.

Schwalbe's web site talkes about the newer marathon touring tire as having better grip. If the grip was so great on the XR, why would they brag about improving it??

Of course the newer offerings are lighter too, probably how they got the better grip and better compliance, by not having so much material between you and the road surface. The Marathon XR is not a light tire, for sure. Not the heaviest, but it definately isn't light.

no matter for me, the XR is such a nice tire that I'll wait until they are sot before trying the newer Schwalbes.
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Old 05-16-09, 06:55 AM   #14
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no problem with grip when inflated less than most people would inflate them.

no increased rolling resitance when inflated less than most people would run them???

... uh...... ok.

but inflated to maximum pressure, the XR of course does not grip as wel as when "inflated les than mopst people would inflate them"


First off running tires are high pressure does not reduce rolling resistance within a reasonable range - it just makes the ride more uncomfortable.

Second why would you run a tire at maximum pressure? That number is the max it should be used at not the recommended pressure.

If you want to really get anal the method recommended by most tire manufacturers is to use a pressure that achieves a vertical deflection of 15% of the tire's width with the load you will be riding with it. Since there isn't much change within a reasonable pressure range I just eyeball it and don't worry too much about it.

Finally I'm not suggesting there are no tires that are more grippy than an XR, but after years of use in all sorts of situations if I have not once had an issue with losing traction or sliding out than clearly the XR is provides more than sufficient grip for my needs.
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Old 05-16-09, 07:08 PM   #15
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First off running tires are high pressure does not reduce rolling resistance within a reasonable range - it just makes the ride more uncomfortable.

Second why would you run a tire at maximum pressure? That number is the max it should be used at not the recommended pressure.

If you want to really get anal the method recommended by most tire manufacturers is to use a pressure that achieves a vertical deflection of 15% of the tire's width with the load you will be riding with it. Since there isn't much change within a reasonable pressure range I just eyeball it and don't worry too much about it.

Finally I'm not suggesting there are no tires that are more grippy than an XR, but after years of use in all sorts of situations if I have not once had an issue with losing traction or sliding out than clearly the XR is provides more than sufficient grip for my needs.
you make good points

indeed, and I often run my XRs at 60 pounds. Maybe I imagine things, but I notice a difference, but not as large a difference that I notice on my other bikes, with other tires.

ANd I dont consider the XR to be unusually 'ungrippy' given the stiff rubber that gives it long life and added puncture resistance. I have slid out on mine, twice in the same week, and other tires may have done the same under the conditions - on loose gravel going up a 12% grade on 22-34 low in one instance, not enough weight on the front of the bike (maybe it was a mini wheelie, and not the tire, and on mud slicked concrete turing off road for a coke. no damage in either case.

it is a truly amazing tire, and I will continue to use them - until I hear reports on the new offerings (and these tires wear out sometime in 2011 ;-)

Jack
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Old 05-16-09, 08:19 PM   #16
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I often run my XRs at 60 pounds.
Without specifying the tire size, tire pressure information is meaningless.
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Old 05-16-09, 10:07 PM   #17
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no matter for me, the XR is such a nice tire that I'll wait until they are sot before trying the newer Schwalbes.
thanks for the feedback.
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Old 05-17-09, 07:20 PM   #18
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Without specifying the tire size, tire pressure information is meaningless.
35mm, 700c.
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