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Schwalbe Marathon Plus vs Specialized Nimbus Armadillo

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Schwalbe Marathon Plus vs Specialized Nimbus Armadillo

Old 05-09-11, 09:47 AM
  #26  
djb
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another agreement on Nimbus Armadillos being hard buggers to get on and off. That said they are pretty durable tires, Ive had a rear one on my mtb commuter for years now and dont recall getting a flat with it. I still have a regular nimbus on the front (the armadillo replaced the rear Reg. Nimbus when I started getting flats as it wore down) and you can definately see how the regular nimbus is more flexible than the armadillo, hence a more subtle ride.

these are 26 in. tires

In repairing my Nimbus Armadillo flat I had the other day, I did the usual "pry off one side of tire and pull out tube" routine. Did the inner tire "feel" for any protruding stuff after a exterior tire search for stuff sticking in tire. Put patched tube in (am going to replace both tires anyway soon so patched this tube, will put in new ones shortly with new tires,didnt want to risk damaging a new tube with all the "on and offs")

But boy oh boy, to get the one side of the Nimbus Armadillo back on was a bear. The last 4 inches or so at the end was really hard. The bead was so tight up against the rim that I had to use a tire lever just to be able to pry another one in facing the right way to be able to pry the last part of the tire onto the rim. I am fairly good at doing flat repairs, but for someone not used to it, or without levers or with crappy ones, they probably wouldnt be able to do it/break their levers/ or do a number on the tube inside if they werent being careful and have to start all over again....

**these were 26 inch Nimbus Armadillos, and I dont know if the 700s are the same, but be forewarned they are pretty darn stiff (yes, in ride quality and mounting)

I am going to think twice before getting replacement tires for this bike. While these Nimbus Armadillos seem to be pretty damn tough and puncture free, balancing out the difficulty getting them on and off vs protection is something I am going to reconsider before getting another pair (problem is that there is a lot of glass and crap on Montreal roads)

also, here in Montreal, you dont tend to see Schwalbe Marathons Plus's in stores.
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Old 05-09-11, 10:02 AM
  #27  
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I am tickled pink with my Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 700x32's (folding bead). They offer a very sporty, responsive ride and (knock on wood) I have not yet experienced a flat with them.
I have found installation and removal to be very easy. In fact, I typically don't need tools - when I swapped out my studded tires this spring, I installed the Supremes with the tube inside, both beads at once.

I do have pretty strong thumbs, I guess
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Old 05-09-11, 10:19 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
I am tickled pink with my Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 700x32's (folding bead). They offer a very sporty, responsive ride and (knock on wood) I have not yet experienced a flat with them.
I have found installation and removal to be very easy. In fact, I typically don't need tools - when I swapped out my studded tires this spring, I installed the Supremes with the tube inside, both beads at once.

I do have pretty strong thumbs, I guess
I've had the same exact experience, the ride quality is one of the best if not the best. Also I was pleasantly surprised how easy they are to change. On a negative note, I got one flat with them. Couldn't find the cause so it could be the tube I was using.

Also, you really need to get one size up since they run narrow. Just look at the weight chart they have for these. Sneaky bastards.
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Old 05-09-11, 12:05 PM
  #29  
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I'm learning towards trying Schwalbes but they have so many models. I guess I'll just go with one of the Marathon Plus ones.
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Old 05-09-11, 12:27 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
TPI = Threads Per Inch, a measure of thread density in the Kevlar belts. A higher number is better. They're both good tires. I think the Armadillos are a little faster; the Marathons a little more durable. I run Marathons.
+1 In deciding what tires to run on my commuter the deal breaker for me was the TPI and extra rubber on the Schwalbes. Been running them for 3 years now and consider them to be the best accessory addition to my commuter. 1 flat and one slow leak in over 13,000 commuter miles.

Btw, they are a ***** to mount the first time. A Kool Stop tire tool and some liquid soap will help a ton.
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Old 05-09-11, 01:37 PM
  #31  
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The reason the Specialized Armadillos ride a little stiffer is because of the added protection on the side walls. They tend to be a little more resilient and punture resistant from those points as well as the thread area, but they also ride a little stiffer and are harder to mount on a rim. It's a little bit of a trade off.

IMO, with either of these, weight is not an issue on a bike, unless you plan to compete in an event. And if you do mount them on an aluminum frame and plan to ride on uneven or poorly kept roads, they will transmit the vibration and jarring all the way to your body... specially if they are high pressure skinny tires.
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Old 05-09-11, 03:41 PM
  #32  
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I've ridden SMP's 700 x 28's for 2 1/2 years, a little over 10,000 miles at 85 psi without one flat here in the Seattle area and on the STP. I am sold on these tires.
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Old 05-09-11, 05:02 PM
  #33  
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Yeah I think for their price point I'll try the SMPs. The Schwalbe "Supreme" is about $20 more, for better speed but less puncture resistance, from what I've gathered. The only problem is I have is my rims are I think, 14mm. So I'm not sure if I can go with 32s or 35s or not? Could anyone some advice on that?

For now I just replaced my existing tire, a Panaracer T-Serv PT with a spare I had laying around, another Panaracer - but a RiBMo PT. It's thicker but also feels quite a tacky compound - I'm not quite sure what to make of that. Both are still 25s though. I'll see how that goes when I commute again on Wednesday. I'm so sick of damn punctures!
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Old 05-09-11, 05:05 PM
  #34  
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I'm running Nimbus Armadillos in 700x35 - I really like them.
I run them at about 80psi - it's hard for me to tell how rough they ride since I've got no good comparison.
By which I mean, they run a lot more comfortable than 700x25 @ 120psi.

They roll very well and puncture resistance has been great.
Unfortunately can't comment on Schwalbe but I aspire to put some Marathon Supremes on my bike for test purposes.
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Old 05-10-11, 08:10 AM
  #35  
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I roll with the SMP's, probably will continue to do so, untill they are no longer available. When I find something that works, I stick with it.
I have been very happy with the performance of mine.
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Old 05-10-11, 08:34 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
You wont be disappointed w/t SMPs. The weight issue is completley overblown. Unless one comes from a Cat 1 racing background it's not even noticable. By the time one adds rack, bags, toolbag, etc. your bike'll weigh 40-50 lbs anyway. I've been running one set for almost 3 years w/one flat and one slow leak. 700x28mm. Also, I've got a fg on which I run 25mm w/over 4000 miles and no flats.
Just not my experience. Respectfully, I found the SMP to be a pig of a tire - weight and rolling resistance wise, and extremely difficult to fix flats on the road, and they have a nasty tendency to blow off older 700c rims. The best compromise of speed, puncture resistance, and strength I've found are Gatorskins..no contest.
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Old 05-10-11, 09:50 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by idc View Post
Yeah I think for their price point I'll try the SMPs. The Schwalbe "Supreme" is about $20 more, for better speed but less puncture resistance, from what I've gathered.
That seems about right. I got a wheelset from a friend and it had Supremes on it, so I kept them on. They are 35s. They feel like they have less rolling resistance than my Marathon Pluses that were 25 mm wide on my other wheelset. Early on, I got a sliver of glass that worked its way through the center of the tread, causing a flat. I was very disappointed, but I've put a bunch of miles on them since then and no other problems (and my commute has some glassy areas).
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Old 05-10-11, 04:12 PM
  #38  
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one of the things i like about the marathons (i've got "regular" marathons, not plus) is the reflective sidewall. very nice feature anywhere there's motor vehicle traffic in the dark. i'm not sure if any of the other puncture resistant road tires have that.
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Old 05-13-11, 03:32 AM
  #39  
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to be honest I'd try the armadillos 700x23,I have an alu frame carbon fork and use a rack,I have these at 120 psi, no punctures and the ride is great.
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Old 10-26-14, 08:04 AM
  #40  
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My Nimbus 26x1.5s have travelled over 3800 miles of city commuting with no flats. That's 3.5 years! They are the Flak Jacket version with just 30 TPI so I'd imagine the Armadillos are about the best you can get for puncture resistance. This is on an old MTB with 1.5-2.2 tubes. Will definitely buy again.
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Old 10-26-14, 10:05 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Did you actually ever try mounting an Armadillo tire though? Marathon Plus wasn't really that hard IMHO.
I think different rims explain why people report vastly different experiences mounting tires.

Originally Posted by the watcher View Post
I got the Nimbus Armadillos since it was the best ones which the LBS stocked in terms of puncture resistance. Went with 700c X 38mm. Should roll as well as the stock 45mm tyres the bike came with. Got through a 13mile ride home and it wasn't too bad considering I hadn't cycled in over a year. If anything, I thought that the bike/tyres rolled very nicely. Better than the previous (now stolen) incarnation of the bike.

Thanks again for the info everyone. Once (if?!) I get my first puncture, based on the popularity of SMPs on this thread, I might swap the tyres for a bit for comparison.
Yeah! Noticed this too! Armored tires riding better than unprotected tires from years ago... And traction is much improved.



Originally Posted by idc View Post
I'm learning towards trying Schwalbes but they have so many models. I guess I'll just go with one of the Marathon Plus ones.
I think a lot of posts here are confusing the various models of Marathons. Please specifywhich ones as they are quite different.

Plus's are brutes. Great protection, and marvelous traction, especially wet, cold, or even wet metal plates!

The normal Marathons (420's) ride nice, decent traction and protection. Much lighter.

I haven't rode the other members of the Family.

In the days long gone by, I rode Armadillos and Gatorskins.
Loved them. I have a pair of Gators now and not all that impressed, traction challenged.

My SO runs Spec Espoir's, only flat in ~4000 was when I knew I should have topped it off but was too lazy... She likes the silky way they feel. They are traction limited on the various cruft in the road or unpaved trails.
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Old 10-26-14, 04:21 PM
  #42  
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Thread from the dead, seems more common lately... I just pulled the Nimbuses off my MTB to put real MTB tires back on, they were fine and showed no signs of wearing out. They are the 2nd and 3rd, as the 1st suffered a delamination after maybe 5 years life. They were bulletproof enough but never seemed efficient. I'm commuting right now on non-TG Pasela's and they ride great - when they're not flat. I guess you have to choose.
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Old 10-27-14, 11:43 AM
  #43  
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I have the lighter and cheaper Nimbus Flak Jacket on my bike, the front tire has given excellent service. Sadly the rear succumbed to a sidewall bubble of unknown origin but I still had some good use out of it before I replaced it with a Michelin City, which is also worth a look since it's cheaper than the Schwalbe anjust as bomb proof.
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Old 10-27-14, 02:01 PM
  #44  
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I run a Spesh Nimbus (rated up to 100 PSI) in the back and Schwalbe Citizen in the front (the Citizen is rated for only 65 PSI). Both were free. The Nimbus was trash picked (I know who the owner was and it is is darn good condition) and the Citizen was used and picked from a bike shop that is closing. I have nothing bad to say about either. Never used the marathon supremes, but those will probably be next. I have heard nothing but good things about them.
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Old 10-29-14, 08:54 AM
  #45  
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I haven't tried the marathon plus, but have heard that those can be hard to get on and off the rim.

I have been a big fan of the specialized armadillo elite all condition tires, I use 700 x 28. These tire were recently redesigned. They used to be about $70 per tire and had a file tread on the edges and now they are closer to $55 per tire and lack the file tread. Just recently got one of the tires with the new design and it's been good so far. I use them on a carbon fiber road bike, which I also take on a fire road for portion of my commute.

Reviewed: All-new Specialized All Condition Armadillo Elite - VeloNews.com
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Old 10-29-14, 10:10 AM
  #46  
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I ran Armadillos all over Albuquerque for a daily commute for four years, land of the goathead and broken bottle, and never had a flat. Great tires.
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Old 10-29-14, 12:30 PM
  #47  
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they are made in different companies .. many shops sell Schwalbe,

only Specialized dealers carry their in-house brand .. they are importers not manufacturers .

same as bikes .. a few companies make multiple brands I would not be surprised if Trek gets Tires under contract from the same company.

to know Buy Both , and make up your Own Mind.
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