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Tire debate

Old 04-10-17, 09:40 PM
  #1  
bhdavis1978
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Tire debate

Hello everyone,

It is time for me to replace the tires on my bike, a 2009 Jamis Aurora Elite. At the moment I have a Vittoria randonneur on the front and a Schwalbe Marathon on the rear (both 32c). I weigh around 210 lbs, my bike weighs around 30 lbs, and I usually haul between 20-30lbs of gear with me (lunch, running shoes, change of clothes for the day, gym clothes). I am debating between getting Schwalbe Marathon's on both the front and rear, Marathon Racer's on the front and rear (28s in that case), Marathon Supremes, or Continental 4 Seasons.

I've been happy with the Marathons, but I've been doing some reading and it seems that some people think that they aren't the most fun tire to ride on, that they don't have the best wet road traction (I live in Vancouver and ride basically all year, so I deal with a lot of rainy days), that they have pretty high rolling resistance and that they are heavy.

Now what I like about the Marathons is I've never had a flat with them (or the Vittoria Randonneur that preceded it) except when someone at my work had intentionally let the air out of my tubes (this has happened on a few occasions recently). But since commuting to and from work is basically my only opportunity to ride, if it would make the ride more fun and enjoyable to try some different rubber, then that's something I'd like to consider.

Anyway, my question is: with my size, the weight of myself, my bike, and my gear, is having different tires going to make much difference at all? Will I notice any improvement in road grip? Will I notice the difference in rolling resistance? The difference in rolling resistance between the Marathons and say the 4 Seasons is apparently about 5 to 10 watts, which seems hardly here or there. There haven't been any occasions when I've had a fall because my wheels have lost traction, but it has come close in a few instances.

Anyway, if anyone has any insights into this, I'd appreciate it!

Cheers,
Brad
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Old 04-10-17, 09:47 PM
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I think your seriously over thinking this.

IMO this says all you rally need to consider.

I've been happy with the Marathons.

I understand why folks that are dissatisfied or having problems need to ask about alternatives, but you don't fit that profile, so my advice would be to not fix what ain't broke.
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Old 04-10-17, 10:45 PM
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I ride Marathon Supremes and quite like them.


I've been slowly lowering the pressure in them and find it helps not only ride but also seems to make them roll better (though that might be in my head).


I'm in North Van, haven't found any issues with stopping or cornering.
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Old 04-10-17, 10:58 PM
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I have 32mm Marathon Supremes on my foul-weather bike.
I am pleasantly surprised at how well they grip in the wet, and even on snow.
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Old 04-10-17, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I think your seriously over thinking this.

IMO this says all you rally need to consider.

I've been happy with the Marathons.

I understand why folks that are dissatisfied or having problems need to ask about alternatives, but you don't fit that profile, so my advice would be to not fix what ain't broke.
I agree. If you like the puncture-resistance and road feel of the Marathons, don't bother changing. If light weight and puncture resistance are your goal, you can get that but sacrifice road feel (think Gatorskin). Either way is a good option.
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Old 04-10-17, 11:47 PM
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I used the studded marathon winter tires for a few weeks in Vancouver and they were, as you might expect, awful riding tires. I don't know how they compare to regular marathons but I was thankful to go back to GP4000s. I can't see how traction in the wet is going to matter unless you're racing. Try a few different tires and see what you prefer.
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Old 04-11-17, 12:08 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Archwhorides View Post
I agree. If you like the puncture-resistance and road feel of the Marathons, don't bother changing. If light weight and puncture resistance are your goal, you can get that but sacrifice road feel (think Gatorskin). Either way is a good option.
I don't know if I like the road feel of Marathons, they're basically the only tires I've ever used. On my 'go fast' bike I have Lithion 2s, but it's an 17 lb CF bike, so I expect it to feel and handle differently. I just don't know quite what to expect. I have been debating going down from 32s to 28s and changing from Marathons to Marathon Racers, or Supremes, or Conti 4 seasons, as much for a change as anything else. I want to see if it makes the ride faster and more fun. But there is certainly merit to leaving things as they are.
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Old 04-11-17, 02:23 AM
  #8  
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I have 700x32 Marathon Supremes on my all weather commuter. They're very good tires, but they don't really have a "sporty" feel in my opinion. They aren't bad for a commuter tire, but they feel stiff to me.

I've got 700x28 Conti GP 4 Seasons on a couple of my road bikes and I just installed a set of 700x32 GP 4 Seasons on another road bike. These tires, including the 32s, definitely do feel sporty. In theory the Marathon Supremes have better puncture resistance but I've actually gotten fewer flats per mile with the GP 4 Seasons. It's probably just luck that they've done better, but they're certainly good with regard to puncture protection. The real selling point, though, is that they're fun -- much closer to a race tire like the GP4000S than they are to are tire like the Marathon.

The Marathon Supremes last a good bit longer, I think. I had a set of the Contis that had the casing split after about 3200 miles (although that was the first time they went flat). I have a set of Marathon Supremes with that many miles that still has more tread than the GP 4 Seasons start with.
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Old 04-11-17, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bhdavis1978 View Post
I don't know if I like the road feel of Marathons, they're basically the only tires I've ever used. On my 'go fast' bike I have Lithion 2s, but it's an 17 lb CF bike, so I expect it to feel and handle differently. I just don't know quite what to expect. I have been debating going down from 32s to 28s and changing from Marathons to Marathon Racers, or Supremes, or Conti 4 seasons, as much for a change as anything else. I want to see if it makes the ride faster and more fun. But there is certainly merit to leaving things as they are.
IMHO, for commuting stay with the 32 mm tire. I too have good experiences with a regular Marathon on a Trek 520 for commuting. Last long and seem to be flat resistance. Some feel they ride a little hard or slow, cannot say I feel it. That said, on my road bike I went from 25 mm mMarathons to 25 mm Conti 4 Season, there the Conti is livelier and quicker, but also less durable.
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Old 04-11-17, 02:57 AM
  #10  
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I'd choose 32, or 37 mm tyre for commuting, especially with a loaded bike - more carefree riding.

As for particular tyre, for pavement I look for as little tread as possible.
Particular tyre model depends - the expensive ones are usually a bit more comfortable and roll a bit faster at optimal pressure.
Schwalbe Marathon Racer are very good.
Continental Contact II are also good, slightly cheaper, heavier, slower, than Marathon Racer, but still very good. A bit more capable when going off pavement (though not an off road tyre).
Continental GP 4 seasons have sensitive sidewalls and I don't prefer them for commuting, although they roll fast, are light and grip very well (but so do, grip that is, the previous 2 tyres I recommended).

Here in my part of Europe, there aren't any Vittoria tyres available, but I've read and heard very good things about them. They might be the best bang for the buck at your side of the big pond.
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Old 04-11-17, 05:11 AM
  #11  
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As FBinNY said, you seem to have found what works so stick with the Marathons. I also have Marathons on a couple of bikes as well as Big Apples, Fat Franks, Duranos and Kojaks. Schwalbe knows how to make damned good tires and I've yet to be disappointed in any of them for all season/weather riding.
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Old 04-11-17, 05:22 AM
  #12  
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If you like the Marathons and want more wet road grip, try the Marathon Mondials. Not a single flat in 18 months and great grip.
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Old 04-11-17, 05:56 AM
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I personally love Marathons. The only reason I get anything else is if I'm feeling cheap that day or it's for a bike that I can't fit them on. I put cheapos on one of my bikes for a year or two, then got sick of getting flats every week and bit the bullet and put a pair of Marathon Supremes on it. Haven't had a flat since. On my road bike, I can't get Marathons thin enough so I had to go with Gatorskins.
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Old 04-11-17, 08:18 AM
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I'm so "tire"-d of this debate/question

My thoughts are - if you liked what you had, go for that again. If you want to try something new, experiment! I thought I had found my dream tire but am not liking how it has been wearing, so I'm off to try new things.
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Old 04-11-17, 12:39 PM
  #15  
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For what it's worth (I'm not sure if this changes the discussion), the bike I'm riding is a drop bar road bike, not a hybrid / mountain bike.

The reason I'm asking questions is because I want to do my due diligence in order to maximize the likelihood that I'm going to be happy with my decision. I don't have much experience with other tires and so this seemed like a cheap and easy way for me to get some insights. If people don't want to answer, they don't have to answer. I ride 32-34 kilometers each way and I don't relish the thought of having to deal with repeated flats, so if I can avoid that I would like to. At the same time I want to ride something a bit more fun as long as the trade off isn't too steep. Sure, if I hate the Conti 4 seasons I can always replace them, but I'd prefer not to - $100 isn't chump change for me. I also end up learning more about the various factors I should consider when purchasing tires.
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Old 04-11-17, 01:04 PM
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I agree you're likely to like the Marathons you've been using. If you want to try something new, I recommend the Vittoria Voyager Hyper. It's a tough tire that feels like a light tire. Get a size lower than you think you want, because the way they rate their widths is wacky. If you want 32mm, get the next size down.
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Old 04-11-17, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
... I can't get Marathons thin enough so I had to go with Gatorskins.
I've had the same Gatorskins on my road bike for the last 7 years for the same reason and they are impressive.
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Old 04-11-17, 07:52 PM
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Just make sure you get the same Marathons as what you're running.

"Marathon" means as much as "Ford" does. Ford covers everything from a F-350 extended bed diesel dually pickup truck to a Mustang. Marathon covers a similar range of bike tires. Don't get a Marathon Supreme if you've been running straight Marathon tires, for instance.
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Old 04-11-17, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bhdavis1978 View Post
Now what I like about the Marathons is I've never had a flat with them (or the Vittoria Randonneur that preceded it)
I'm not a proponent of any particular tire brand, but not getting flats is a pretty key criterion, especially with a long commute. I weight that way more heavily than any measurable or subjective performance criterion, such as low resistance, or "feel".
In the past few years, I've tailored my commuting bikes toward dependability, at a small cost in pedalling effort. I have not had to walk a bike home, or otherwise complete the trip other than riding the bike, since 2011. For instance, I no longer use the vaunted Panasonic Paselas on any of my commuting bikes. Nice tires for recreational riding, but not the most robust.
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Old 04-12-17, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Don't get a Marathon Supreme if you've been running straight Marathon tires, for instance.
Unless that's what you want of course. I ran straight Marathons for a year or two, then something else for a while, now I'm running Marathon Supremes. They're both good tires.
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Old 04-12-17, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
"Marathon" means as much as "Ford" does. Ford covers everything from a F-350 extended bed diesel dually pickup truck to a Mustang...
Well I think 'Marathon' means something more like 'Mustang'... you can go from the 'lowly' V6 Fastback all the way up to the Shelby 350GTR... none of which are Fiestas (or Schwalbe HS 166).
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Old 04-12-17, 04:05 PM
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The Marathon 32 compared poorly to its larger brothers in this rolling resistance test. The basic idea of thick latex armor on a pretty soft tire gets compromised as the tire gets smaller.
Schwalbe Marathon 32, 37, 40, 47 Comparison

They're talking about 32's over in this thread too
https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cy...rotection.html
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