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Will Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires drive me nuts?

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Will Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires drive me nuts?

Old 10-14-20, 12:57 PM
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bargo68 
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Will Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires drive me nuts?

The question will make better sense with a little back story. My daily (4 x a week) commute is just under 25 miles each way. I'm pretty well acclimated to it now and can get from my door to work in about 90 minutes with an average speed of appx 16/17 mph. I like moving at this pace and I don't enjoy the feeling of "working against" the bike. There's about 900 feet of climbing and always some wind. Now that the days are getting shorter, my commute home will be almost entirely in the dark, and my route takes me through some industrial areas and a few miles of kinda sketchy neighborhood. I want to minimize, within reason, any chances of puncturing.
Right now I am using a Black Mountain Cycles road with Continental GP 4 seasons, 32 mm. In a summer's worth of commuting, I've had 2 punctures. I am thinking of putting on some Schwalbe Marathon Plus in 32 with fenders and a dynamo hub (already on my bike).

So my question to all those who might have been in a similar predicament: are the weight and rolling resistance of the Schwalbes going to bum me out? I don't want a 90 minute commute turning into a 2 hour commute.
Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated!

Last edited by bargo68; 10-14-20 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 10-14-20, 01:09 PM
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Here is some good info.

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...thon-plus-2015


from the articleAs expected, rolling resistance of the Marathon Plus is higher than the plain Marathon. Depending on air pressure, you're giving up 4 - 6 watts of power per tire (20%). This isn't all that much given the 2 mm of extra puncture protection the Plus provides. I think it comes down to personal preference whether you like the lower rolling resistance or the higher puncture protection.
When we compare the Marathon tires to similar tires from different brands, the Schwalbe tires seem to be in another league when you take both puncture and rolling resistance into consideration. At least at the time of this writing, the other brands just can't compete.

Last edited by cloud; 10-14-20 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 10-14-20, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cloud View Post
Here is some good info.

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...thon-plus-2015


from the articleAs expected, rolling resistance of the Marathon Plus is higher than the plain Marathon. Depending on air pressure, you're giving up 4 - 6 watts of power per tire (20%). This isn't all that much given the 2 mm of extra puncture protection the Plus provides. I think it comes down to personal preference whether you like the lower rolling resistance or the higher puncture protection.
When we compare the Marathon tires to similar tires from different brands, the Schwalbe tires seem to be in another league when you take both puncture and rolling resistance into consideration. At least at the time of this writing, the other brands just can't compete.
Indeed. I check that sight whenever I try out a new tire. I've read a few reviews/comments that the Marathons (any iteration) are just a really slow, dead-feeling tire. Since I'm on the bike 3 hours a day, I'd like to minimize any unnecessary suffering.
But the idea of getting a puncture in some of the places I ride is not appealing.
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Old 10-14-20, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by bargo68 View Post
Indeed. I check that sight whenever I try out a new tire. I've read a few reviews/comments that the Marathons (any iteration) are just a really slow, dead-feeling tire. Since I'm on the bike 3 hours a day, I'd like to minimize any unnecessary suffering.
But the idea of getting a puncture in some of the places I ride is not appealing.
I was going to go with the Continental top contact 2's till I read the reviews on the Marathons I ordered a set of the hs420's won't be here till Monday .They aren't as thick as the plus . Sorry I can't give any better feedback.
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Old 10-14-20, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cloud View Post
I was going to go with the Continental top contact 2's till I read the reviews on the Marathons I ordered a set of the hs420's won't be here till Monday .They aren't as thick as the plus . Sorry I can't give any better feedback.
No worries. Let me know what you think after you've given them a good spin!
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Old 10-14-20, 03:32 PM
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I use them on my touring bike but I am not only a much slower rider than you, while touring I am less interested in speed.

As for flats, you will love the Marathon Plus My DW and I have thousands of miles on the tires with one hand or less needed to count the flats. Puttng them on your wheel however is not a fun job. It always gets done and for some reason from time to time it is easier. But, I never look forward to that job.

My hat is off to you for the distance of your commute!
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Old 10-14-20, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by debade View Post
I use them on my touring bike but I am not only a much slower rider than you, while touring I am less interested in speed.

As for flats, you will love the Marathon Plus My DW and I have thousands of miles on the tires with one hand or less needed to count the flats. Puttng them on your wheel however is not a fun job. It always gets done and for some reason from time to time it is easier. But, I never look forward to that job.

My hat is off to you for the distance of your commute!
Thanks for the compliment! It took a good month before my body fully acclimated to the change in my weekly distance.
Interesting point about the mounting of the tire. That would be another strike against it, sadly. Wrestling with a too-tight bead in the dark in a dodgy hood is no bueno.
But if the frequency of punctures is that low, maybe it's a non-issue.
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Old 10-14-20, 04:44 PM
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I rolled on regular marathon greenguards on hybrid for a few years and they are still on there but I rarely ride it anymore. I had no problem in the street rolling but off road on non hardpack they turned into fly paper. That being said, you are looking for something on the road for a commute. I do not remember having any tough issues mounting them on my wheels, +- effort for the average tire in my case. I only had to mount them once though and that was a few years ago and I've never got a flat. Another option is tire liners and the tire of your choice, some people hate them, some feel they are worth it. I am indifferent. I have them on my one set of tubed tires on my gravel bike, the other sets are tubeless. If I had a need to for a dedicated commuter, I'd more than likely be using some form of Marathons.
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Old 10-14-20, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bargo68 View Post
Thanks for the compliment! It took a good month before my body fully acclimated to the change in my weekly distance.

Interesting point about the mounting of the tire. That would be another strike against it, sadly. Wrestling with a too-tight bead in the dark in a dodgy hood is no bueno.

But if the frequency of punctures is that low, maybe it's a non-issue.

We have been using them since at least 2011 which was when we road the S. Tier. I had just purchased my Trek 520 and rode with the tires that came with the bike. My wife had her Schwalbes. At 1,000 miles, I got my first flat and patching was not working. I ordered the Schwalbes for delivery to the next bike store. After that, we did not have another flat. The S. Tier is about 3,000 miles.


We can only remember 2 flats on our many tours/thousands of miles. One was a 'traditional' flat. The other was very weird. It was during the day while playing tourist in Nashville. A big metal 'something' went through my tire, both sides, perpendicular to the rim. I did not see the metal culprit until it was in my tire. I have no idea how it happened.


We think we change them about every 5,000 miles and they are on our touring bikes which includes the extra weight.


As they age on your bike, they become more pliable. So, if you do get a flat, at least after putting on some mileage, they will be easier to manage.
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Old 10-14-20, 05:30 PM
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Hi Bargo, give 'em a shot. I reviewed the Marathon Plus in this thread.

If anything, go with a slightly fatter Marathon green guard in the front and thinner Plus in the rear.
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Old 10-14-20, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by prairiepedaler View Post
Hi Bargo, give 'em a shot. I reviewed the Marathon Plus in this thread.

If anything, go with a slightly fatter Marathon green guard in the front and thinner Plus in the rear.
I just did! Found a pair of Marathon Plus's on th'bay with tubes for 84 shipped. 700c x 35. Because I can't fit 35's on my Black Mountain road, my idea is to convert my 1 X 11 Cross Check upright back to a drop bar and swap the dynamo wheelset and have a winter commuter.
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Old 10-14-20, 07:51 PM
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I have almost 2500 kms on my M2s commuter since new. Marathon Plus HS 468 SmartGuard are running great Not a puncture or any cuts, low noise and comfy riding. Peace of mind is high on my list!
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Old 10-15-20, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by debade View Post
We have been using them since at least 2011 which was when we road the S. Tier. I had just purchased my Trek 520 and rode with the tires that came with the bike. My wife had her Schwalbes. At 1,000 miles, I got my first flat and patching was not working. I ordered the Schwalbes for delivery to the next bike store. After that, we did not have another flat. The S. Tier is about 3,000 miles.


We can only remember 2 flats on our many tours/thousands of miles. One was a 'traditional' flat. The other was very weird. It was during the day while playing tourist in Nashville. A big metal 'something' went through my tire, both sides, perpendicular to the rim. I did not see the metal culprit until it was in my tire. I have no idea how it happened.


We think we change them about every 5,000 miles and they are on our touring bikes which includes the extra weight.


As they age on your bike, they become more pliable. So, if you do get a flat, at least after putting on some mileage, they will be easier to manage.
Same. I run M+ on my fronts (velomobile with 20 inch/406 front and 26/559 rear). The only flat I've had in a little over 1500 miles since putting them on was a large piece of rusted metal that somehow managed to go up and through the sidewall.

In general, I would rather be a little slower and get to work more reliably in my commuter, so I run M+ with tire liners and sealant in the tubes.
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Old 10-15-20, 10:17 AM
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I doubt a Marathon is going to add 30 minutes to your 90 minute commute. 5 minutes, possibly.

Now if you do the math, you might think the average would be a downer. 40 extra minutes of commuting every week sounds horrible. But if you're basically on a schedule, you adjust the schedule and deal with it. It's a lot harder to deal with, say 15 minutes of unexpected flat-fixing if you're trying to get to work on time and don't plan for it. 20 minutes if it's raining. And who knows how long if the flat happens in the sketchiest part of your commute (which, as things work out, is where the broken glass or metal is most likely to be laying in the road). Think of that extra commute time as the price you're willing to pay for schedule reliability, and then figure out if you're willing to pay that price.
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Old 10-15-20, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I doubt a Marathon is going to add 30 minutes to your 90 minute commute. 5 minutes, possibly.

Now if you do the math, you might think the average would be a downer. 40 extra minutes of commuting every week sounds horrible. But if you're basically on a schedule, you adjust the schedule and deal with it. It's a lot harder to deal with, say 15 minutes of unexpected flat-fixing if you're trying to get to work on time and don't plan for it. 20 minutes if it's raining. And who knows how long if the flat happens in the sketchiest part of your commute (which, as things work out, is where the broken glass or metal is most likely to be laying in the road). Think of that extra commute time as the price you're willing to pay for schedule reliability, and then figure out if you're willing to pay that price.
Jeez- if I knew math was going to be involved....
Seriously tho, thanks for the input. I agree, an extra 30 minutes was a little hyperbolic. Starting out 10-15 earlier is doable for me, and my work schedule can be massaged to fit my commuting needs, thankfully. I went ahead and got a pair of 700 x 35's and will most likely be rolling on them in a week or so. My biggest concern is having them feel overly sluggish. I am by no means a racer or elite cyclist (or elitist cyclist for that matter) but since the math works out to appx. 12-15 hours per week on the bike, to have the ride feel like a slog would negate the Marathon's virtues of puncture protection.
But in the end if I hate 'em, I'll throw them on the grocery getter.
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Old 10-15-20, 06:21 PM
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If you want to try something different in the future try the Panaracer T-Serv. I've got them in 700x32 on my commuter and they feel lively enough, even with the puncture resistant belt.
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Old 10-15-20, 06:26 PM
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I have the marathon Plus e bike version and I have put 6000 miles on the front I liked the back with. a strap in the wheel and a lockup at 30mph wore the tire down the blue protection in a crazy fishtail skid at 30mph. I had three flats in the bacon a month then none since. the front one flat in 6000 miles. they still look fine.
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Old 10-15-20, 08:46 PM
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I've had Marathon Plus tires on my folding commuter bikes for years (I'm guessing about 10), and I haven't had a flat due to a puncture in all that time. I've had a valve stem leak, and a puncture caused by the rim strip slipping, but that's it. I suppose they have a bit more rolling resistance, but I prefer the confidence that I won't have a flat. I always carry tools and a pump, bt haven't used them for tire issues in ages.
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Old 10-18-20, 09:10 AM
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I use Marathon Supremes not as puncture resistant as the pluses but faster. Seems to be enough puncture protection for my Portland commute.
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Old 10-20-20, 01:32 PM
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Mounted my marathon hs420's today and went for a little rail to trail ride only 10miles. They were very easy to mount they are directional so take note when mounting. I replaced 25mm slick tires with the 32mm Marathons .The ride felt a little smoother rolling resistance I could not tell a difference the time on my GPS were pretty much identical over the 10 mile ride. Only 10 miles but so far happy.
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Old 10-20-20, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by cloud View Post
Mounted my marathon hs420's today and went for a little rail to trail ride only 10miles. They were very easy to mount they are directional so take note when mounting. I replaced 25mm slick tires with the 32mm Marathons .The ride felt a little smoother rolling resistance I could not tell a difference the time on my GPS were pretty much identical over the 10 mile ride. Only 10 miles but so far happy.
Encouraging! My tires arrived today and I should be rolling on them this Monday. I'll report back.
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Old 10-21-20, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bargo68 View Post
Encouraging! My tires arrived today and I should be rolling on them this Monday. I'll report back.
Looking forward to an update.
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Old 10-21-20, 10:11 PM
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I ran marathons (700cx32) for commuting for years and had very few punctures. Punctures, when they happen, generally occur when the tires are pretty badly worn and the blue puncture guard material starts being visible in spots. I did have a roofing nail that went straight through a half worn rear tire, but I don't fault the tires for that. After a few sets I replaced the front with a Schwalbe Kojak (35mm) and kept a Marathon on the back. I find this is more comfortable for absorbing road chatter and small bumps since the Kojak is more supple and I can run it at lower pressure (50 psi) without noticeably increasing my effort to maintain speed. I keep the Marathon on the rear at relatively higher pressure (70-80 psi) since Marathons aren't very supple and have increased rolling resistance at lower pressure. I found the rear tire picks up more debris and cuts, so having the more armoured tire there makes sense to me. So far I haven't had any more flats than when running Marathons front and rear.... *knocks on wood*

Last edited by cobyrne; 10-21-20 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 10-24-20, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bargo68 View Post
The question will make better sense with a little back story. My daily (4 x a week) commute is just under 25 miles each way. I'm pretty well acclimated to it now and can get from my door to work in about 90 minutes with an average speed of appx 16/17 mph. I like moving at this pace and I don't enjoy the feeling of "working against" the bike. There's about 900 feet of climbing and always some wind. Now that the days are getting shorter, my commute home will be almost entirely in the dark, and my route takes me through some industrial areas and a few miles of kinda sketchy neighborhood. I want to minimize, within reason, any chances of puncturing.
Right now I am using a Black Mountain Cycles road with Continental GP 4 seasons, 32 mm. In a summer's worth of commuting, I've had 2 punctures. I am thinking of putting on some Schwalbe Marathon Plus in 32 with fenders and a dynamo hub (already on my bike).

So my question to all those who might have been in a similar predicament: are the weight and rolling resistance of the Schwalbes going to bum me out? I don't want a 90 minute commute turning into a 2 hour commute.
Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated!
50 mile commute is a long one. Why do you do it on a bike?
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Old 10-24-20, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Helldorado View Post
50 mile commute is a long one. Why do you do it on a bike?
Because I can!
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