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  1. #1
    djb
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    26 inch light touring tire-anyone ever use Schwalbe Marathon Racer?

    its time for me to get new tires for my oldish hardtail Rockhopper. Have had Specialized Nimbus and Nimbus Armadillo tires on it for at least 5 or 6 years.
    I may do a short lightly loaded tour using this bike on rough roads and questionable road debris etc (lots of glass I figure).

    The Armadillos 26x1.5, while they've been quite reliable for not having flats, are really quite stiff tires, so dont have nice road feel, and are harsh. Harsher than the regular Nimbus (older ones) that had much more flexible sidewalls.

    Have looked at newer Nimbus reg (about $20) and they are now quite a bit tougher/stiffer it would appear than my older one I still have on the front of the mtn bike, /the Armadillo versions ($40) are still quite stiff, perhaps a tad more than the reg new Nimbus.

    Ive gotten a bit tired of the harsh ride of the Armadillos, so finally found some Schwalbes to actually handle in a few bike stores here in Montreal.
    I know I dont want nor need XRs or the ones with teh super strong band of whatever under the tread, they are pricey and they weigh a ton.
    I will be using this bike mostly for commuting, so not with a lot of weight on it, so would appreciate a lighter tire.

    The regular "Marathon" HS 368 I saw today (1.75) does seem much more flexible and should give a good ride ($40 also) I also saw at a diff store "Marathon Racers" in 1.5 ($40 too) about 450g each, light, which appeals to me, but I wonder if anyone has used them and Im curious as to how they are for ride but also how they are for road debris--feeling them they dont seem to be overly tough.

    tricky question I know, with diff opinions.

    Basically, I realize I would prefer a tire with a bit more "give" than the Armadillos, this Alu Rockhopper from about '98 is kinda harsh at the rear, so Ill take an easier tire over harsh, but if I do end up going with bike on this trip, a reasonably tough tire would be appreciated.

    Im open to other brands too.
    thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I've used (and worn out) all of the following tires:

    Armadillos: Wear out fast, tread delamination. Won't buy again.
    Marathon Racers: Light, smooth riding tire. Prefer similar ride, weight, but better puncture resistance and durability of the Supreme.
    Marathon Supreme: Disappointed with their puncture resistance and durability versus XR. Expensive.
    Marathon XR: Go to tire. Performance in wet is the only drawback. Oh, also the fact that Schwalbe doesn't make them any more...
    Marathon Plus: Best commuting tire. When you want puncture resistance and durability at the cost of weight. Pretty cheap online.

    Haven't tried the Marathon Dureme, but wil do so after my stock of XR's is exhausted in 2014.

  3. #3
    What, me hurry? Boston Commuter's Avatar
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    I have Marathon Racers on my daughter's Breezer (I've ridden this bike with these tires too). They're very nice, light and fast. When I first put them on her bike, replacing the stock tires, she kept exclaiming over how fast her bike felt. No flats so far in about 600 miles of touring and recreational riding. They measure a true 1.5" on a 22mm rim.

  4. #4
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    My fav 26" tire at the moment is the Specialized Fatboy 1.5" - cheap and fast. I've had a 20" M-racer - seemed like a nice tire and if you gave me a set I'd use it.

    http://www.bowcycle.com/bikes/blogs/...fatboy-review/

    I've got a 26" touring bike I'm working on and I'll be using some Fatboys.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  5. #5
    djb
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    thanks folks,

    cyclesafe, re Armadillos, I had heard stuff about delamination, didnt experience that. I found them quite puncture resistant, but just too darn stiff overall.
    good to hear of your Schwalbe experiences, as well as Bostons.

    vik-fatties look interesting, but think I shall go down the treaded or slightly treaded path for when on dirt and wet dirt sometimes.
    Basically I am thinking of taking my bike down to Costa Rica to revisit people I havent seen for over 20 years, will probably be on paved most of time, but not always. Hence my balance search for protection and comfort.
    Last edited by djb; 05-20-11 at 07:36 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    djb, my take on these 26 x 1.5"

    Armadillos, excellent puncture resistance, mine did not delaminate, don't remember poor or great total milage, but heavy and harsh ride

    Marathon HS368, a little better ride than the 'dillos, excellent puncture resistance, excellent total miles, still a little harsh and heavier than I would prefer

    Vittoria Randonneur Pro, lighter and a much nicer ride, still very good flat resistance but probably not as bomb proof as the two above. The last two years and a few thousand miles with these have impressed me and you can find them for about $30 on sale.

    Bottom Line, there's always trade-offs, what's most important to you and where will you compromise?

  7. #7
    djb
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    well, in the end today I got a pair of Marathons HS368's. Figured what the hell and while the Marathon Racers looked interesting, I realize that if I end up travelling in CR the tougher 368s will be good, and for in town and everything else, well I have my cross bike with road 28s on it as well as my old touring bike when I want to go further, faster. So didnt really make sense to go too much for saving a bit of weight but perhaps less resistance.

    Ye 'ol Rockhopper will be well shod with the 368's. The rate I wear tires out they will be probably on the bike for at least 5 years. Am replacing the inside rim tape at the same time, the originals look pretty holey, and caused my last flat, so I'll be good to go for quite a while.

    thankyou all for your experiences and the opinions,
    cheers

  8. #8
    djb
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    yesterday I rode my usual commute, about 25 kms, over all kinds of diff city streets and stuff--good pavement, bumpy and potholey as heck roads, over dirt and gravel through a construction zone, and am quite happy with them. Time to go the one-way 12.5km was pretty much the same as it was with the old tires but these tires are markedly more supple, even at 90psi (max is 100)

    today rode about 35km of city stuff, and I had to laugh, heard a funny sound, checked, and lo and behold, a thin, light grey coloured nail about 2 inches long had gotten thrown up into my brand new tire, stuck right in nearly to the head....I tell ya....didnt appear to cause a tear , just a hole, but its pretty goofy how it happened on the second day.

    Have any of you ever put a patch or something on the inside of a tire to cover up a hole like that? Its not like a "see through" hole, but just wondering, as they sometimes do that with car tires.

    *I did appreciate how easy it was to get the marathon on and off for a quick and easy tube replacement (compared to the stiff bugger Armadillos)

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Nothing would have stopped a nail like that. You can put a "boot" on the inside of the tire at the hole.

  10. #10
    djb
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    thanks CS for the boot idea, have never actually had "boots" but shall take a peek at a LBS for a stick on one like your referal. I have had screws and stuff go into car tires, but never have had a nail go in a bike tire like this...
    the other funny part that really made me laugh was that I had put two new tubes in with the new tires, and today I had stopped in at Mountain Equipment Coop just 30 mins before to buy 2 new spare tubes as I didnt have any spares left, so I did have a replacement with me. (could have patched it, but wasnt 100% sure if nail had made more than one hole in the tube, prefer to do the "water bath" thing at home for patching.
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