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Schwalbe Marathon Plus vs Specialized Nimbus Armadillo

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Schwalbe Marathon Plus vs Specialized Nimbus Armadillo

Old 02-24-11, 03:19 PM
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Schwalbe Marathon Plus vs Specialized Nimbus Armadillo

Ok, so on searching about Schwalbe Marathon Plus vs Specialized Nimbus Armadillo there seems to be mixed reports. Isn't there a definitive take on which one is better for commuting speed (rolling speed) and protection from puncture on the average city street (London in my case).

No idea what TPI is (!) except it relates to the casing but both tyres seem to be fairly close in that department (60tpi for the Nimbus vs 67 for the SMP).

I've mainly been using this forum for info and MTBR website (there's like 50 reviews for each one, and the scores are almost identical) for the actual reviews on each one.

Cheers
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Old 02-24-11, 04:40 PM
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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.
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Old 02-24-11, 05:03 PM
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I use the Marathon Plus's. I feel very confident in their puncture resistence.

The LBS sells these tires to the police here, (they have a lot of bikes!), so they are very reliable tires.
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Old 02-24-11, 05:04 PM
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Marathons are a lot of rubber and are noticeably heavier than anything else I have ever used. Where I live the winter grit that is put on the roads by the city and county slice right through the Marathons, so I don't use them during the wet half of the year. Armadillos ride like a squared off rubber-covered chunk of epoxy-covered concrete. Did I mention their ride is lousy? Cornering can be a bit of an adventure on Armadillos. However, they don't flat nearly as easily in the conditions I ride in, so I use one on my front tire during the wet season.
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Old 02-24-11, 05:05 PM
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There are also several different tread patterns for the Marathon Plus that may affect rolling speed. Not sure about the Specialized. I bought a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus after getting 2 flats in two weekends back to back...now I will get them for every bike I buy. They're not for the weight conscious though...they're a pretty heavy tire. They're pretty hard too. I'm thinking the tread will last a long time on them. At about $40-45 per tire I feel they were worth the money I spent on them.
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Old 02-24-11, 06:21 PM
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I have 26 x 1.5 Nimbus Armadillo on my Specialized Hardrock MTB. It rolls fairly well on the pavement. Good enough for commuting. I even take it on some dirt trail where thorns are present and yet have a flat. On gravel trail, they do slip on the turns. Yeah, like other said, they do ride on the hard side. I set the front shock to the softest setting and used a cushy saddle with spring. I've never tried SMP and cannot comment on them.

Be warn, the Nimbus Armadillo is a PITA to install on some rims. I had to use a Quik Stix to get them on.
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Old 02-24-11, 06:32 PM
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I'd take Marathon over Armadillo any time. Marathons are slower, but more comfortable, more durable and easier to mount on the rim.
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Old 02-24-11, 07:06 PM
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Thanks for the info. Since my bike has a Cro-Mo frame and forks, possibly with a Brooks sprung saddle (paycheck pending!), comfort shouldn't be an issue. I was more worried about speed to be honest however I will look into getting a "Quik Stix" having read the last two posts.

Having said that, B. Carfree seems to have found that it's the other way round to what AdamDZ did and that Armadillos (Nimbus or one of their other types?) actually roll worse than the SMPs. This is exactly what I've found from the reviews of both tyres. Some people say SMP roll better, some say Armadillo Nimbus's. Also, some people comment generally on Armadillo tyres rather than specific ones like the Nimbus, Elite, All Purpose etc. I know for a fact that the All Purpose Armadillo doesn't roll as well as the Nimbus Armadillo (nor does it perform as well for cornering and rain) so it would be wrong for someone to say Armadillos roll poorly if they are basing it only on experience with the All Purpose Armadillo.

Cheers for the comments though. I've still got till the end of the weekend to decide on the tyres. It should be noted that for nearly 1.5yrs I didn't get a single puncture with my Nimbus Armadillos but have no idea if I'm missing out in terms of rolling speed using another tyre with comparable puncture resistance.
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Old 02-24-11, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Armadillos ride like a squared off rubber-covered chunk of epoxy-covered concrete. Did I mention their ride is lousy? .
now that's writing!
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Old 02-24-11, 10:23 PM
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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.
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Old 02-24-11, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Marathons are ....easier to mount on the rim.
Really??? Wow, I always thought Marathon Pluses take the PITA prize re mounting.
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Old 02-24-11, 11:57 PM
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I'm an Armadillo fan, but I recently got some Big Apples which are heavy, a little slow, but comfortable. I'm going to try some Marathon Supremes soon in 700 x 28. I've been riding Armadillos for a very long time and I just want to see what other companies have to offer. The ride quality isn't so great with Armadillos and this is the main reason why I want to experiment with other brands. The flat protection on the Armadillos are the best that I've experienced though. I don't ride with a pump with my armadillos, that's how much faith I have in their flat protection.
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Old 02-25-11, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 531phile View Post
I'm an Armadillo fan, but I recently got some Big Apples which are heavy, a little slow, but comfortable. I'm going to try some Marathon Supremes soon in 700 x 28. I've been riding Armadillos for a very long time and I just want to see what other companies have to offer. The ride quality isn't so great with Armadillos and this is the main reason why I want to experiment with other brands. The flat protection on the Armadillos are the best that I've experienced though.I don't ride with a pump with my armadillos, that's how much faith I have in their flat protection.
Wow, big and brass. I wouldn't go to the end of my driveway w/o a frame pump, tire levers, tube(s) and a patch kit. Of course, I don't carry a cell phone either.
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Old 02-25-11, 01:07 AM
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My personal experience with the SMP has been extremely good. I've found them a bit harsher to ride on than the average touring tire, but they're not unbearable and they are extremely robust.
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Old 02-25-11, 01:53 AM
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I have just started running the SMP, and mostly like them. However there is a section of brick paving in my commute, and when when the SMPs skate into the cracks in an uncomfortable manner.

I do like them so far though. Have had a couple of quick stops needed in the wet, and they did a great job.

Havent used the Armadillos though, so cant comment on them.

z
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Old 02-25-11, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 531phile View Post
I'm an Armadillo fan, but I recently got some Big Apples which are heavy, a little slow, but comfortable. I'm going to try some Marathon Supremes soon in 700 x 28. I've been riding Armadillos for a very long time and I just want to see what other companies have to offer. The ride quality isn't so great with Armadillos and this is the main reason why I want to experiment with other brands. The flat protection on the Armadillos are the best that I've experienced though. I don't ride with a pump with my armadillos, that's how much faith I have in their flat protection.
I probably will be doing the same and try Schwalbe on my next set. I had good luck so far with Armadillo. I also got All Condition Elite 700x25 on my main commuter which is a road bike. 3000+ mi at 1.5 years without a flat. I do have to pluck out glass chip out of the top layer of the tires but non of it has gotten to the tube.

However, I also heard of hit and misses with Armadillo tires. Some can go forever with no issue and other less than 1k. Quality control? Perhaps, and that's why I will go with Schwalbe next.
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Old 02-25-11, 01:40 PM
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Higher TPI does not necessarily translate to a stronger tire. In general, a lower TPI will result in a more durable tire due to the much thicker filament.

Someone put a 1" cut on my Michelin City tire (33 TPI). The cut went about 2mm into the rubber, but stopped at the yellow puncture resistant breaker. I re-bonded the cut with a tire plug kit. Now the tire is almost as good as new (no bulge even at 90 PSI 32c).
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Old 02-28-11, 05:03 AM
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my marathon/kevlar tires (reflective sidewalls) are on their second bike. the first bike (which has been sold) i rode them for about year, after getting two flats in about a week with the "standard" tires. they've been on this bike for six months. i've heard the armadillos ride like they're full of mud and that was enough for me to get the marathons.

recently i did have a puncture which resulted in a fast leak... the tube had a weird hole in it, almost like a worm burrowed along the outside, and then in. i couldn't feel anything in the tire and replaced the tube at a park. then a week or so later the next tube had the same weird hole in it. on close inspection (keeping the tire and tube aligned) i found a very small hole in the tire, and poking it with a screwdriver revealed the unmistakable sound of glass. a tiny shard was stuck in the tire, but well hidden from sight. it seems that a flat edge of this shard, about 1-2mm long was rubbing into the tube, leaving my weird tube punctures.

i still love these tires. i'll probably get a pair of similar tires even for my (new!) racing bike, and maybe swap them out on race day.

riding in wellington typically ranges from 5-20C, often windy, often raining. this is a city where people drink excessively, and the dog-sh*t to vomit ratio seems to favor broken glass.
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Old 03-01-11, 12:50 PM
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Public service announcement:

Schwalbe measures their thread count on a per ply basis (EPI). Multiply this number by 3 to come up with TPI, meaning the Marathon Plus actually has a 201 TPI.

Not sure why Schwalbe does this differently than the rest of the bicycle tire world, but they do.
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Old 03-01-11, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Kojak View Post
Public service announcement:

Schwalbe measures their thread count on a per ply basis (EPI). Multiply this number by 3 to come up with TPI, meaning the Marathon Plus actually has a 201 TPI.

Not sure why Schwalbe does this differently than the rest of the bicycle tire world, but they do.
Really glad to see you post here again! BF is a lesser place without you.

I hope all is well! Please post more often!
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Old 03-01-11, 01:39 PM
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love my armadillos (I have 700x23C armadillo tyres (not nimbus)). I also have normal nimbus tyres (700x35C) and they roll very nicely and have good puncture protection.
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Old 03-01-11, 03:24 PM
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Thanks JR. I may be back at it in the coming months. Depends on whether I'm wanted back, as well as some other issues that need to be ironed out.
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Old 03-01-11, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JPprivate View Post
Really??? Wow, I always thought Marathon Pluses take the PITA prize re mounting.
Did you actually ever try mounting an Armadillo tire though? Marathon Plus wasn't really that hard IMHO.
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Old 03-03-11, 05:45 PM
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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.
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Old 05-09-11, 06:39 AM
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I ride a 2004/2005? Ridgeback Genesis Day 00 I bought when I lived in London. Looks like this.
https://www.jakesbikes.co.uk/content/451.php

I'm trying to decide myself what to get, and research online led me to this thread. I just got a(nother) puncture this morning, but I think I'm riding on 700 x 25c which is probably stupid for the short commutes I do in Washington DC. I'm leaning towards the Marathon as I'm really sick of punctures (maybe 1 in every 5-10 rides) and these are <10 mile rides.

I seem to get a lot of pinch flats, I don't know if it's the cycling on bike paths or my relative inexperience on road bikes (I rode mountain bikes exclusively until I was about 25 - I'm 31 now). I do have a lot of "urban" riding experience though (mostly in Sydney, Australia).

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