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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 12-05-12, 09:23 PM   #1
Plimogz
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Concerning Winter Marathons' durability

First off, let me say that I have knowingly recommended these tyres because I do feel that they offer satisfying durability and performance. In fact, I've just recently purchased a second set, because I was happy with what the first pair brought me.

With that said however, let me relate what I think killed my first pair:

The tyres still have plenty of tread and studs left, the issue is that the casing is worn on the inside where the studs push through, and so inner tubes rub against the studs and develop leaks. I know that I ran these tyres above the recommended pressures during my last winter with them, and I'm thinking that this is what eventually destroyed them.

What I came here to ask is whether some of you think that this is in fact what must have destroyed the tyres, and if I can get some opinion as to whether I might get longer life out of my second set by running lower pressures?

It's not so much that I couldn't accept getting no more than 3 or 4 good years out of these tyres, but I'd really like to hear from someone else who has heard of the casing of studded tyres wearing out.

Update (18/12/2012): Well, I contacted Schwalbe and was informed by their customer support that the Marathon Winters were improved with wider-based studs in 2011. Hence, I could hope for better durability out of my new pair vs. my old pair purchased in 2008. The only caveat is knowing whether or not the tires I received from Wiggle were indeed manufactured in 2012 (or post- design change, in any case). I suppose I could take a pair of pliers to the tires, rip out a couple of studs and compare them... However, given that I'm not going to return them regardless, I may just live in doubt and keep an eye open for signs of wear on the inside when I have reason to remove them.

Last edited by Plimogz; 12-18-12 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 12-06-12, 11:09 AM   #2
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I have heard of that, but not before 3 to 6 seasons depending on the mileage. I use the Nokians myself but have never inflated past the max pressure printed on the sidewall. In fact they always end up being about 5 psi less after you release the pump chuck. Nokian has a lot more years experience in designing and manufacturing these type of tires so that's why I go with them. I don't have enough use on mine yet to comment but time will tell. In the old days the studs were not carbide and they would wear out long before any casing wear was evident. Carbide may be different as these won't wear out unless you drag them on dry pavement and the casing may go first.
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Old 12-08-12, 08:41 AM   #3
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Same for me. My winter distance tends to be about 1200 miles, so maybe 5000 miles to the same failure point where I might get 10,000+ from the non-studded version.
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Old 12-08-12, 09:01 PM   #4
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I'm entering my 5th season on my first pair of Marathon Winters. They still look pretty good. I think they are missing 4-5 studs after about 3000 miles.
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Old 12-08-12, 09:54 PM   #5
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Same for me. My winter distance tends to be about 1200 miles, so maybe 5000 miles to the same failure point where I might get 10,000+ from the non-studded version.
You mean to say that you've ridden both the standard Marathons and the studded Winter Marathons? Thanks for your reply, feedback like yours is almost more than I could have hoped for.

So let me ask you this Wilbur Bud, do you systematically pump up the studded tires to a certain pressure? Can you say whether or not you kept them under the recommended maximum for the most part throughout those 5000 miles (85 PSI, iirc)?
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Old 12-09-12, 06:13 PM   #6
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You mean to say that you've ridden both the standard Marathons and the studded Winter Marathons?
Well, yes, but technically Marathon Plus for the non-studded version.

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Do you systematically pump up the studded tires to a certain pressure? Can you say whether or not you kept them under the recommended maximum for the most part throughout those 5000 miles (85 PSI, iirc)?
Yes, under 85 psi for the Marathon Winter. My winter conditions are generally just cold, with infrequent snow and a few ice storms per year, and I commute on road, so I generally ride near the max psi except when a storm is active/roads not clear/conditions warrant, and then I reduce pressure until I feel like I have good traction.
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Old 12-11-12, 07:30 AM   #7
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yeah,i think so,under 85 psi for the Marathon Winter. My winter conditions are generally just cold
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Old 12-11-12, 07:35 AM   #8
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Lost about 10 studs during the break in period. Since then - so far so good. Zero studs lost. Will see how long they last. Pressure is about 4 bars for the rear, and 3 bars for front wheel (26" MTB wheels) - for comfier ride on bad roads. They seem to have better traction in loose deep snow when inflated to a lower pressure.
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Old 12-12-12, 05:43 AM   #9
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I'm sorry to hear that; you see, I lost no studs at all during break-in. I ran the tires pretty soft during the first 20-30KM, avoided hard braking, avoided quick acceleration, always let momentum carry me over roots and poor asphalt/concrete and tried my best to avoid large potholes and slipping into cracks running longitudinally along my path in the streets. Sometimes I actually tilted the bike while coasting when I wasn't in any hurry just to bear down on the side studs and switched the front and rear towards the end of the break-in to give both tires a turn on the back before pumping them up and resuming normal riding.

Yesterday was the first good freeze of the winter, and with the snow and rain we had over the week-end it was good for showcasing why I like these tires. It's just such a shame if even running them within the recommended pressure parameters results in failure of the casing a few years down the line because from my experience, neither the treads nor the studs will be anywhere near depleted by that point.
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Old 01-20-13, 02:07 PM   #10
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Well, I ordered a replacement tire today due to frequent flatting. As an experiment, I'd put in a new Schwabe tube the last week of December and here it is mid-January and 300 miles later and its flatted already after three weeks of commuting. You can see that the abrasions on the tube are spaced similar to the stud spacing, and on the inner tire casing you can see the fissures where the studs break through to the inside, plus last year's solution of putting a tube patch on the casing as well, but not worth the trip to put on one every stud location. Can't complain to much as I've five seasons wear on the tire, but it's a shame when there's so much tread left, thinking to yank out all the studs and try it as fair weather tire in the summer but worried the cracks in the casing will continue to pinch the tube even without the studs.


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Old 01-20-13, 08:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Wilbur Bud View Post
Well, I ordered a replacement tire today due to frequent flatting. As an experiment, I'd put in a new Schwabe tube the last week of December and here it is mid-January and 300 miles later and its flatted already after three weeks of commuting. You can see that the abrasions on the tube are spaced similar to the stud spacing, and on the inner tire casing you can see the fissures where the studs break through to the inside, plus last year's solution of putting a tube patch on the casing as well, but not worth the trip to put on one every stud location. ]
What about a tire liner? I'm not usually a fan, but they certainly make sense for this application.
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Old 01-21-13, 01:20 AM   #12
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I agree that it was your high pressure use that probably killed them early. I have a set on a bike and it's the third season for them. These have a pretty good rep when used according to spec. I prefer Nokia 294's for my own use but the Schwalbe Winter's have a real use if conditions match them. Why such a high pressure?
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Old 01-24-13, 10:31 AM   #13
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I've started using MWs in winter here in the UK. Most of my 50mile (round trip) commute is on paved roads, but around 5-6 miles is black ice with 1-2" of snow. Terrible conditions for non-studded tyres.

This is my second season of using the tyres (26"x1.75"). Usually run them at 70psi.

After about 3-400miles I'd lost 14 studs. Contacted Schwalbe who sent replacements, free.

For those who wonder, I believe the MWs are based on Marathon XR tyres, not the standard Marathons. Very different tread pattern.
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Old 01-27-13, 01:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Wilbur Bud View Post
Well, I ordered a replacement tire today due to frequent flatting. As an experiment, I'd put in a new Schwabe tube the last week of December and here it is mid-January and 300 miles later and its flatted already after three weeks of commuting. You can see that the abrasions on the tube are spaced similar to the stud spacing, and on the inner tire casing you can see the fissures where the studs break through to the inside, plus last year's solution of putting a tube patch on the casing as well, but not worth the trip to put on one every stud location. Can't complain to much as I've five seasons wear on the tire, but it's a shame when there's so much tread left, thinking to yank out all the studs and try it as fair weather tire in the summer but worried the cracks in the casing will continue to pinch the tube even without the studs.



Exactly! Thanks for the pictures, Bud! This is exactly what I experienced with mine as well. As I edited into the OP, a schwalbe customer service rep I contacted told me that they have widened the stud bases on the marathon winters (and perhaps also their other tires which use the carbide studs encased in galvanized steel), so hopefully this problem will be alleviated somewhat.

I'm holding onto my defunct pair of MW's in order to try either inserting a cut-up old inner tube to see how much more mileage that buys me. Or spending a little money on commercial tire liners to see if those fair better. I've also thought about trying some adhesive caulk or silicon which would go on sticky but cure enough not to bond to a chalked inner tube.

Either way, I'm looking to find a reliable enough fix to confidently mount the old tires to a stand-by second winter commuter.
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Old 01-28-13, 04:13 PM   #15
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For those who wonder, I believe the MWs are based on Marathon XR tyres, not the standard Marathons. Very different tread pattern.
Ah, cut my leftovers apart and yes, quite different construction, winter marathon nothing like the added thickness seen in the fair weather marathon




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I agree that it was your high pressure use that probably killed them early. I have a set on a bike and it's the third season for them. These have a pretty good rep when used according to spec. I prefer Nokia 294's for my own use but the Schwalbe Winter's have a real use if conditions match them. Why such a high pressure?
If you are applying that conclusion to me, I would say I've never gone over the max pressure so I don't see the pressure as a contributing factor at all, I think it's just a different design and not the marathon design to which I'm accustomed. The lifetime wasn't bad at maybe 5 seasons 5000 miles, just nothing like the fair weather marathon. Keep in mind this is also a lightly loaded front tire on a long wheelbase recumbent. If Nokian made a 406 tire for sure I'd try it.
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