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Folding bike tyres

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Old 06-09-18, 05:21 AM
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bunyboy
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Folding bike tyres

Hi All,

I'm new to the forums but am trying to be a better bike owner by knowing what I'm buying and hopefully improving my ride.

I have a Dahon Mu Uno folding bike that I travel to work on. My ride is on road and a bike paths and some dirt tracks as I commute from central London out into the countryside. I've had my rear tyre replaced before (the front is still the same the bike came with) and now again the rear has a puncture and quite possibly the front is worn enough that it'll need replacing too.

I want to get the best tyres for my bike and for my needs. Last time the bike shop replaced the rear tyre with a thinner one than is at the front and it was only when I got it back that I realised there so many options to choose from. This time I want to do some research and ask the shop to order in the tyres that are best.

Right now it has a Schwalbe Marathon Racer 20 x 1.50 on the front (this was the tyres it came with) and Schwalbe Marathon Plus 20 x 1.35 on the back.

Any advice on what to get next?
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Old 06-09-18, 10:31 AM
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Stick with the Marathon plus, but back and front. Roads in the UK are tyre shredders.
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Old 06-09-18, 10:36 AM
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if you get 1 new tire why not get another like the front ,
and put the current front on the rear.

best tire should go on the front .

you don't want to experience a front tire failure, crashing hurts.


...
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Old 06-09-18, 10:48 AM
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A quick guide to tyres:

You generally want to use the lowest pressure you can whilst not being in danger of pinching the inner tube against the rim and causing a flat. There should be some deflection when you put the weight on the bike but not a huge amount. Lower pressure typres are less prone to punchers as they absorb more impacts and this also makes them more comfortable and faster in real world conditions. Narrow tyres usually require higher pressure than wider so to a certain extent narrow is slower, this is why pro cyclists are moving from 23mm to 28mm.

I would also stick with the marathon racer plus however up the back width to at least to match the front, or wider. This is of course if you dont care about tyre weight (or aero), that complicates everything.
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Old 06-09-18, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bunyboy View Post
I have a Dahon Mu Uno folding bike that I travel to work on. My ride is on road and a bike paths and some dirt tracks as I commute from central London out into the countryside. I've had my rear tyre replaced before (the front is still the same the bike came with) and now again the rear has a puncture and quite possibly the front is worn enough that it'll need replacing too. […] Right now it has a Schwalbe Marathon Racer 20 x 1.50 on the front (this was the tyres it came with) and Schwalbe Marathon Plus 20 x 1.35 on the back.
https://www.mobicbikes.com/products/...thon-plus-tire

Because puncture repair is only fun… once in a great while.
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Old 06-09-18, 02:04 PM
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Wow. Thanks for the quick response all. Much appreciated. I'm definitely going to get the same front and back. So everyone is saying the "Marathon Plus" rather than the "Racer" even though the Racer are wider and were the tyres that the bike came with? I don't care about aero etc - this is a single speed bike, I'm not going to break any records.

Last edited by bunyboy; 06-09-18 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 06-09-18, 03:03 PM
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The thing is, the marathon plus is the tyre for UK condition for those commuting in London and other cities. You'll find most of the Bromptons that whiz along at breakneck speeds have them, as do numerous others., and the reason is entirely due to the state of the roads. That, and the fact they're pretty much puncture proof. I ride in Paris and London with their predecessors, and have the pluses to put on when the existing tyres fail. They haven't, after 5 years of daily use*, not to mention touring in SE Asia and Australia.

* I did wreck a tyre on the Brompton, through running it at far too low a pressure and being amazingly overweight.
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Old 06-09-18, 03:29 PM
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Other brands are available. I'm not a fan of Schwalbes myself although admittedly most of that is down to some 26" Marathon tyres that seemed a bit rubbish. I prefer Kenda myself especially for 20" tyres but Continental make some fantastic tyres too.

If your making very regular use of your bike perhaps choose some tyres with a harder thicker compound. They may weigh a bit more but could have better puncture protection. Also maybe you could go to 20" x 1.75 or 20" x 1.95 if you have the clearance on your bike. If you are taking your bike onto dirt tracks etc then Marathon's may not be ideal anyway. Maybe some Kenda bmx tyres. All of these brands make different compounds, long life hard wearing tyres are pretty much always heavier. Lightweight performance tyres are shorter life pretty much 99.9% of the time. Some of the dense heavy long life tyres can be cheaper than the performance tyres so a double saving.

How many miles has your existing tyres done?

My Paris Explorer bike came with Kenda Karrumba tyres which I thought was a great choice of tyre to be fitted straight out of the box despite being bmx tyres. They also do some hi viz colours which can improve your road safety.

I'd look at Kenda's they can be much longer lasting, cheaper and more puncture proof at the expense of weight.

Some cheap continentals here;

https://www.bikester.co.uk/continent...ck-506205.html

20" tyres roll faster and wear out quicker so a soft compound has even higher wear rates on a 20" wheel compared to a 700c wheel.

After writing all that I have just bought some Schwalbe Landcruisers with tubes for 12 about a week ago.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01B9I515U

I wanted some tyres to make a road bike more a of gravel bike and these tyres while not as hardwearing as the marathons are better off road and in the wet by some margin and slighty better on the road. Softer compound I guess. 2 tyres and 2 tubes for 12 was too cheap to refuse. Looks like the offer is still on. Maybe a 20" version would be a good choice.

Last edited by Bonzo Banana; 06-09-18 at 03:42 PM. Reason: update
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Old 06-09-18, 04:11 PM
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I'm going to post contrarian here. I ran Marathon Racers and Marathons and one Marathon plus on my 20" Bike Friday. All of them were forever picking up crap inside the tread grooves and, if I didn't spot it and remove it fast enough, getting flatted. My new BF pakiT has slick Kojak tires on it. When I ordered the bike I thought for sure I would be replacing these with Schwalbe Marathons of some variety. Fast forward, six months later, and I have had not ONE single flat. The slicks just seem to roll right over everything and do not pick up crud from the road at all. I have actually been quite stunned as well as pleasantly surprised. The ride quality is pretty awesome as well. Just something to consider. My son rides a Jamis hybrid and I convinced him to get a Marathon Plus and he has had 6 flats in 4 months - his previous tire was a vittoria randonneur which is a semi-slick, and he had one flat in a year on that. I think the same thing has happened to his tires - catching crap in the tread grooves - then continuing to ride and pushing it in to flat. He's going to try a continental gatorskin hardshell next, lol.
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Old 06-09-18, 04:13 PM
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I would probably go for 1.75s or 1.5s and as with previous advice run lower pressures. Punctures do indeed happen far more frequently when tyres can't conform to the shape of a piece of glass etc.. When I used to run Big Apples I almost never got them.
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Old 06-09-18, 07:45 PM
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You want puncture resistance, you want durable, long-wearing tread, you want a tire that doesn't weigh a ton, you want somewhat wide for comfort and cush. What tire best ticks all these boxes?

Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 42-406 folding

The challenge is that they've been discontinued, and don't come cheap. You can still find New-Old-Stock, though. Highly recommended.
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Old 06-09-18, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I'm going to post contrarian here. I ran Marathon Racers and Marathons and one Marathon plus on my 20" Bike Friday. All of them were forever picking up crap inside the tread grooves and, if I didn't spot it and remove it fast enough, getting flatted. My new BF pakiT has slick Kojak tires on it. When I ordered the bike I thought for sure I would be replacing these with Schwalbe Marathons of some variety. Fast forward, six months later, and I have had not ONE single flat. The slicks just seem to roll right over everything and do not pick up crud from the road at all. I have actually been quite stunned as well as pleasantly surprised. The ride quality is pretty awesome as well. Just something to consider. My son rides a Jamis hybrid and I convinced him to get a Marathon Plus and he has had 6 flats in 4 months - his previous tire was a vittoria randonneur which is a semi-slick, and he had one flat in a year on that. I think the same thing has happened to his tires - catching crap in the tread grooves - then continuing to ride and pushing it in to flat. He's going to try a continental gatorskin hardshell next, lol.
Occurrence of flats is random, even the toughest of tyres can have them. Also, given where the OP cycles, I suggest he goes with those who know local conditions, and maybe asks the question on one of the UK forums.


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Old 06-10-18, 04:54 AM
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My front tyre is still the same Marathon Racer that came with the bike and, even though the tread is worn out now, it's not got a puncture in three years. The rear tyre did within a year and the replacement Marathon Plus has the same now, it seems to have got a slit down the side though and I've no idea how that happened. I assume rear tyres are more likely to go than front ones...

I'm tempted by the Marathon Plus 1.75's but how do I know if they'll fit?

I'm really keen to be able to go to my local bike shop and request specific tyres, rather than them just persuading me to use whatever they happen to have in stock...

Any advice on a UK bike forum to check out?
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Old 06-10-18, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
Occurrence of flats is random, even the toughest of tyres can have them. Also, given where the OP cycles, I suggest he goes with those who know local conditions, and maybe asks the question on one of the UK forums.



Bromptons run all over UK streets and come with Kojaks. It's not something where you have to live there to know that, lol.
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Old 06-10-18, 11:17 AM
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They come with Marathons.
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Old 06-10-18, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
They come with Marathons.
Depends on how you configure it. Lots of people go for the kojaks.
https://www.brompton.com/brompton-us...9/c-111/p-1525
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Old 06-10-18, 12:32 PM
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So, you were wrong. Cheers.
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Old 06-10-18, 02:37 PM
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kevlar bead tires fold.
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Old 06-10-18, 04:22 PM
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Haiku, bicycles bobbie?
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Old 06-10-18, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bunyboy View Post
My front tyre is still the same Marathon Racer that came with the bike and, even though the tread is worn out now, it's not got a puncture in three years. The rear tyre did within a year and the replacement Marathon Plus has the same now, it seems to have got a slit down the side though and I've no idea how that happened. I assume rear tyres are more likely to go than front ones...

I'm tempted by the Marathon Plus 1.75's but how do I know if they'll fit?

I'm really keen to be able to go to my local bike shop and request specific tyres, rather than them just persuading me to use whatever they happen to have in stock...

Any advice on a UK bike forum to check out?
Why not just buy your new tyres yourself from the cheapest source and fit them yourself? You'll need to know how to remove and fit a tyre to fix a puncture. Just follow a few guides on youtube etc.

My Marathon's also failed on the sidewalls if that is what you mean by side. I think on the one's I had the main contact tread was quite thick but the sidewalls were surprisingly thin in comparison and didn't last too well. I'd had a few punctures and the sidewalls were looking very weak and tired but admittedly I'm a heavy rider. They were probably a clever design for mr average cyclist but for me it seemed a more consistent thickness tyre was better. After a relatively short life they weren't looking too happy overall despite plenty of tread left. I get confused with Marathon's though, seems like so many Schwalbe tyres are called Marathons of differing quality. Schwalbe could certainly do with a bit more imagination naming their tyres but I guess Marathons have such a good reputation that it makes sense to use it on a few more models.
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Old 06-10-18, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
So, you were wrong. Cheers.
The bike comes with EITHER tire, so neither of us is right or wrong. I never said it didn't come with Marathons, I said
it comes with kojaks and lots of people ride them, which is correct. Sheesh...
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Old 06-10-18, 10:03 PM
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It’s a long way from SF to London, which is in a different country with different road, weather and traffic conditions.

@ bunyboy, Have a look at cyclechat and bikeradar.

@ bonzo, are you running the tyres at the recommended pressure?

Last edited by avole; 06-10-18 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 06-16-18, 07:44 AM
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Just wanted to say thank you to all for help and advice with this. I went with the Marathon Plus 1.35's in the end and am happy with the choice (so far)....

I've been told that the rear wheel axle is worn and on its way out. The best bet to get a whole new wheel apparently. I've now got to contact Dahon and find out what it is and where I can buy one...
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Old 06-16-18, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bunyboy View Post
Just wanted to say thank you to all for help and advice with this. I went with the Marathon Plus 1.35's in the end and am happy with the choice (so far)....

I've been told that the rear wheel axle is worn and on its way out. The best bet to get a whole new wheel apparently. I've now got to contact Dahon and find out what it is and where I can buy one...
Dahon rear wheels are rather standard. All you need to know is the rim size, and you already know that, plus the rear drop-out Over-locknut Distance (the width of the drop out), typically 130mm. No need to contact Dahon, really.
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Old 06-17-18, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
Dahon rear wheels are rather standard. All you need to know is the rim size, and you already know that, plus the rear drop-out Over-locknut Distance (the width of the drop out), typically 130mm. No need to contact Dahon, really.
Is it more complicated because I have a back pedal (coaster?) brake? That's the impression the guy in the bike shop gave me...
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