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Old 03-22-10, 07:27 AM   #1
mikhalit
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Good 28'' tires for heavy people bad roads?

Hi all,

I've looked already though numerous search results but didn't find an answer. Hope you can advise me matching tires.

I am going to spend about two weeks in the area where asphalt roads are either bad or non-existent, and forest roads will be the most common alternative. I am over 100 kilos heavy and use to load another ~15 kilos of camping gear, water, food, etc.

I did already some touring on Schwalbe Marathon (700x28) in Italy, it was really fine, but:
- punctures were a problem
- I don't expect these tires to have a good grip on wet/muddy surfaces

I was considering buying Schwalbe Marathon XR 700x40 (HS 359), but can't find them in the local shops to have a look in reality. Are they good for the purpose? Are there better alternatives? It's hard to say looking on the producer's page what do i need, even the choice among just Schwalve products is already rather big (Terra Cruiser, Cross, Extreme, XR, etc.).

Any info is much appreaciated
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Old 03-22-10, 07:44 AM   #2
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One word: "wide". Buy the widest tires that will fit your bike.

The XR is out of production, which is why you may be having trouble finding it (although it is still being sold in limited quantities online by places like wallbike.com). The Dureme, Supreme and Extreme are all reasonable replacements for the XR. The Dureme is the official replacement for the XR. Read the descriptions of these and other tires in the Schwalbe Marathon series to see what most closely matches your situation. But don't fall to analysis paralysis--any of these will do just fine. For rough/non-existent pavement, the Extreme may be your best bet.

Since relatively few shops in the US keep Schwalbe Marathon tires in stock, you may need to special order them or order them online.
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Old 03-22-10, 07:46 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums!

Where are you located? You'll find most of us are in the US and refer to the tires you mean as 700c rather than 28". And most of us shop online.

Schwalbe Marathons are pretty tough tires, but I don't know the specific ones you mention. There is a search function on Bike Forums, but most people have more success using Google search and limiting the results to this site; try that, if you know how, and you'll probably find a lot of information about Marathon XR tires.

Good luck!
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Old 03-22-10, 09:18 AM   #4
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Hi again,

Thanks for the warm welcome, nice to see your replies so promptly!

I live in Germany, so it doesn't make much difference for online shoppers. There are plenty of Schwalbe's in LBS here, but rarely you find it in the right size (and sometimes language is a barrier too).

So, I finally got what is the difference between Marathon XR, Dureme, Marathon Plus Tour, etc. Marathon Plus Tour is supposed to work best against pieces of glass (which is often a trouble for me in cities) but it is rather slow. Any experience with it? Does Marathon XR/Dureme help well against glass?

I think Schwalbe's Dureme look rather good for the planned trip. They are few bucks more expensive then Marathon XR and both are available on eBay Germany. If someone have tried both would be nice to hear if it is worth to pay some 10 euros extra.

The widest Dureme's are 700x40c (official page), but I also find on eBay 700x50c, which are a bit more expensive and foldable. Does it make sense to go for 2 inches wide tires or 700x40c 'd be enough?

Cheers and thanks a lot for replies,
Mikhail

PS. This thread becomes Schwalbe Marathon's discussion, are there any good alternatives from other producers? I have really good experience with Schwalbe, but it would be good to give other companies a chance..
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Old 03-22-10, 06:21 PM   #5
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Schwalbe has a Marathon "family" of tires, Continental has a Contact "family"; consider the Continental ?
My mASS i similar to yours and I've carried 10-20 kg of stuff on a Surly CrossCheck with 42 mm regular Schwalbe Marathons on road conditions like you indicate. Including broken pavement, limestone gravel dust, muddy & rooted paths, regular gravel roads, etc- have had great luck with this tire.
ps - also look at Schwalbe's Hurricane - if you are needing a little more traction.
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Old 09-03-10, 03:26 AM   #6
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Okay, the trip is over and it seems i've found what I was looking for.

I got regular Schwalbe Marathon tires in size 622x47 and used them together with puncture protection tape. I didn't go for Marathon Plus as I've read quite many opinions that due to it's extra protection layer it is too stiff and doesn't work well on the wet roads. No problems with my setup plus it saved me few euros. Not a single flat tire occurred.

In general I am satisfied with the choice. We had almost all kinds of road/offroad surfaces on the way. There were only two types of road conditions when it didn't work well: muddy wheel tracks on forest unpaved roads and dry deep sand. For the former conditions some side profile would be very helpful, for the latter ones - nothing reasonable would help i guess. But since we had these surface types very rarely I enjoyed these tires very much. I would probably get Marathon Extreme for a long rainy trip on forest roads. For all the rest of occasions I think plain Marathon would be good enough.

Just FIY, total weight including bike and biker was around 160 kilos and 28 inches wheels with these tires gave very smooth rolling on some really bad roads.
Here is the picture of the full setup (I myself needed such when deciding which tires to buy):





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Old 09-03-10, 03:48 AM   #7
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Nice Bike..
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Old 09-04-10, 01:28 AM   #8
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Rode the Continental Contact 32s in Europe this summer and had no problems...even did some trail riding. Bike was a Ritchey Breakaway cross bike. I am about 200 lbs.
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Old 09-04-10, 05:45 AM   #9
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I also ride continentals (sportcontact, 42mm front, 32 rear) and never had any problems on bad roads or forest trails. Also, the more puncture resistant tyres are the slower the more rolling resistance they'll have. Imo fixing flats isn't that annoying if you learn to do it quickly...
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Old 09-04-10, 07:31 AM   #10
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I've been quite happy with the Vittoria Randonneur Cross tires (700x35) that came stock on my bike. They handle dirt roads quite well, and I've gotten only two punctures in nearly 4000 miles so far.
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Old 09-06-10, 01:25 AM   #11
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[..] Imo fixing flats isn't that annoying if you learn to do it quickly...
Unless you're fully loaded
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Old 09-06-10, 10:50 PM   #12
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Good to hear that the Marathon's worked well for you.

Nice to see some Cyrillic script. For what its worth, I cycled across Russia, starting in Amsterdam and travelling to Vladivostok in 2007. I started with Marathon Plus tires on both front end rear. I replaced the rear tire with a Marathon XR approximately half way across (tread was wearing out, also had a flat I couldn't easily find) and completed the rest of the trip with a Marathon XR. Almost 13000km with same front tire and only two back tires - made me a fan of Schwalbe. There were some rough roads there including ~1700km of gravel roads along the route.
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Old 09-07-10, 12:58 AM   #13
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mev,
Your trip sounds fantastic! A real inspiration.
Interesting how we remember details like how many miles we got on a particular tire.
I've done some very long walks and remember which socks gave me fewer blisters.
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Old 09-07-10, 02:11 AM   #14
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Good to hear that the Marathon's worked well for you.

Nice to see some Cyrillic script. For what its worth, I cycled across Russia, starting in Amsterdam and travelling to Vladivostok in 2007. I started with Marathon Plus tires on both front end rear. I replaced the rear tire with a Marathon XR approximately half way across (tread was wearing out, also had a flat I couldn't easily find) and completed the rest of the trip with a Marathon XR. Almost 13000km with same front tire and only two back tires - made me a fan of Schwalbe. There were some rough roads there including ~1700km of gravel roads along the route.
Uh, that sounds really interesting. Do you have any notes about it on the web? I really wonder how was the trip in Siberia where some federal motorways are still unpaved.
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Old 09-07-10, 02:33 AM   #15
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Good to hear that the Marathon's worked well for you.

I started with Marathon Plus tires on both front end rear. I replaced the rear tire with a Marathon XR approximately half way across (tread was wearing out, also had a flat I couldn't easily find) and completed the rest of the trip with a Marathon XR.
Did it feel very different then? How does Marathon XR roll on the asphalt roads comparing to basic Marathon?
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Old 09-08-10, 12:38 AM   #16
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You cycled in Karelia! How was it? Aside from the tires, I mean!
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Old 09-08-10, 06:13 AM   #17
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Did it feel very different then? How does Marathon XR roll on the asphalt roads comparing to basic Marathon?
I didn't notice much difference between XR and Marathon Plus. However, I wasn't particularly sensitive to any differences here.

The trip is documented at http://www.bikerussia.com

As far as roads go, sealed roads in the east were at least as good as sealed roads in European Russia, where occasionally the underlying concrete/asphalt road base was poor and there were many trucks. However, as you mentioned there was ~1700km of unsealed roads between Chita and Khabarovsk. I found some of those unsealed roads to be more challenging than unsealed roads I've cycled in Alaska and Northern Canada. There was a tendency for the road to be both too hard (washboard) and too soft (lots of loose gravel graded on top) at the same time. There was also a surprising amount of traffic headed westbound as used Japanese cars had been imported and then were being driven to Siberia. This meant lot of dust. I cycled 700x35 tyres which did work a little better than the 700x28 that my riding partner used.
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Old 09-08-10, 06:40 AM   #18
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Unless you're fully loaded
I also think that fixing a flat once in a while just isn't of a huge deal. Fully loaded or not doesn't make that much difference with regard to the level of difficulty, for me and with my bike at least. The only draw back to my loaded touring bike in that regard is that I have to pull the skewer out to get the front wheel off, a minor annoyance. Otherwise I actually find it convenient that when I lay the bike on it's side, the panniers make the bike lay solidly and with the wheels well off the ground.

I would expect relative ease of flat repair for folks using two legged kick stands as well.

I guess that some folks have panniers that are mounted in a way that doesn't allow access to the quick release levers. The old style bungee cord systems like I use allow easy access.

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