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Why does the Marathon Supreme get so much love over other Schwalbe tyres?

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Why does the Marathon Supreme get so much love over other Schwalbe tyres?

Old 08-05-15, 09:29 PM
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ColonelSanders
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Why does the Marathon Supreme get so much love over other Schwalbe tyres?

This is a thread I’ve been thinking about starting for a while, but I started a thread about Schwalbe’s very informative web site first, as it is the information from that web site that is leading to the questions I am going to ask.

Now I don’t doubt that the Marathon Supreme is an excellent tyre when looked at in isolation or compared against other brands of tyres, but in this thread, I am only seeking to compare them to other Schwalbe tyres and to find out what it is that I am not seeing.

Looking at Schwalbe’s website, it looks like the Marathon Racer is never less than the equal of the Marathon Supreme in various areas and ahead in the critical area of rolling resistance.


According to Schwalbe’s site, the Racer gets an extra star rating for rolling resistance and weight(although the weight difference isn’t that much) and equal for Wet Road riding, Off-Road riding, Puncture Protection, Sidewall Protection, & Service Life.

The Marathon Supreme has a 5kg higher load capacity, but also a 10 PSI lower maximum PSI rating than the Marathon Racer.

Unless one wants a tyre in a width larger than 1.5”, I don’t see why anyone would pick the Marathon Supreme over the Marathon Racer.

Is it that people were unaware of the Marathon Racer or couldn’t find it in stores?



As the Marathon Supreme is given a 4 star rolling resistance rating by Schwalbe, this is matched or exceeded by the following tyres in the area of rolling resistance, Marathon Mondial Evolution Folding Tire, Marathon Almotion Evolution MTB Folding Tire, Kojak Performance MTB Asphalt Folding Tire, Marathon Deluxe Evolution Folding Tire.

The Marathon Supreme is lighter than all the above tyres except for the Kojak(and of course the Racer), but where it is lighter, it will almost always have less Service Life or Puncture Protection/Sidewall Protection & sometimes actually lower rolling resistance, not equal rolling resistance.


So considering the above, how is it that the Marathon Supreme is so often held up as the best tyre for hybrids that Schwalbe has to offer?

As I am deciding on my next set of tyres, it is a very good chance it will be a Schwalbe branded one, but hard to see why I would go with the Marathon Supreme instead of something else in Schwalbe’s range.

Is there something I am not taking into account?


Could it be that where Schwalbe rate all these tyres as a 4 star on Rolling Resistance, that if one were to break it down further, the Marathon Supreme is more like a 4.45 that gets rounded down to 4 stars and the others are a 3.55 that gets rounded up to 4 stars, so the Marathon Supremes are even better than advertised?
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Old 08-05-15, 10:00 PM
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Schwalbe Marathon is Schwalbe's top of the line touring/commuting tire.

Its virtually indestructible. Of course with that comes a significant weight penalty but if you're in the middle of nowhere, the last thing in the world you want to do is fix a flat.

That's why the Marathon is the favorite tire of tourers and commuters who need something reliable.

This is not to say the rest of Schwalbe's line is inferior.

If you don't need the protection of the Marathon, you can get by with lighter tire.
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Old 08-05-15, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
Schwalbe Marathon is Schwalbe's top of the line touring/commuting tire.

Its virtually indestructible. Of course with that comes a significant weight penalty but if you're in the middle of nowhere, the last thing in the world you want to do is fix a flat.

That's why the Marathon is the favorite tire of tourers and commuters who need something reliable.

This is not to say the rest of Schwalbe's line is inferior.

If you don't need the protection of the Marathon, you can get by with lighter tire.
Hi Norman,
The thread is really about how on the face of it, Schwalbe's own ratings don't portray the Marathon Supreme as necessarily the best tyre within Schwalbe's range of tyres well suited to hybrids, yet that doesn't quite seem to square with the comments one sees about the Marathon Supreme on this forum.

I'm not seeking to make comparisons to any other maker's brand of tyre, nor any tyre that I didn't mention in my opening post.
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Old 08-05-15, 10:11 PM
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I understand. Its also expensive and of course you do pay for what you get.

Quite frankly, its more than I need for my hybrid.
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Old 08-05-15, 10:12 PM
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Are the original Marathon's part of the discussion then? Because, after a flat yesterday, that is what my Sirrus ended up with about 30 miles from home.
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Old 08-05-15, 10:15 PM
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Wow.. not fixing a flat is the reason for installing a Marathon in the first place if you intend to ride a long way away from home.

What caused the flat to happen to your Sirrus?
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Old 08-05-15, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
Are the original Marathon's part of the discussion then? Because, after a flat yesterday, that is what my Sirrus ended up with about 30 miles from home.
I don't think the original Marathon could lay a convincing claim to being a better overall tyre than the Marathon Supreme, even though I am sure it is a good tyre and probably particularly good value for money.
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Old 08-05-15, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
Wow.. not fixing a flat is the reason for installing a Marathon in the first place if you intend to ride a long way away from home.

What caused the flat to happen to your Sirrus?
I fixed the flat after pushing the bike the last mile to catch the ferry in time. I was riding down a steep Seattle hill and caught a large piece of glass, large enough to ruin the tire. Luckily, the tube held a mile or so to get me to the bike shop at the other end of the ferry. That bike shop sees more commuters than most any bike shop ever does, given the location. They talked me into the marathons, given I use this bike to commute. And, they roll far better than the Internet experts would have you believe!!!
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Old 08-05-15, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
I don't think the original Marathon could lay a convincing claim to being a better overall tyre than the Marathon Supreme, even though I am sure it is a good tyre and probably particularly good value for money.
what does better mean???

The Marathon Supreme has more protection, but is FAR heavier. Give a little and get a little....
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Old 08-05-15, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
I understand. Its also expensive and of course you do pay for what you get.

Quite frankly, its more than I need for my hybrid.
Let's say someone offered you the choice of having a set of Marathon Supremes or Marathon Racers of similar width, at no cost, which would you choose?
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Old 08-05-15, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
what does better mean???

The Marathon Supreme has more protection, but is FAR heavier. Give a little and get a little....
A 700c 32mm Marathon Supreme weighs 376g, the Marathon 700c 32mm weighs 640g, so I don't understand your post.
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Old 08-05-15, 10:29 PM
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I'm betting people buy them based on BF recommendation and then they never wear out and so the respondents don't remember ever having had any other tires.
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Old 08-05-15, 10:34 PM
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I agree with your shop's evaluation.

No tire in the world wouldn't be punctured by a large piece of glass.

It turned out to be a freak accident.
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Old 08-05-15, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Let's say someone offered you the choice of having a set of Marathon Supremes or Marathon Racers of similar width, at no cost, which would you choose?
Unless I'm touring or going on a commute more than an hour, I'd choose the Marathon Racer.
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Old 08-05-15, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
A 700c 32mm Marathon Supreme weighs 376g, the Marathon 700c 32mm weighs 640g, so I don't understand your post.
I was mixing up their names between the Plus and the Supreme. So, the Marathon (original)gives better protection and is less expensive, but the Supreme gives good protection and is lighter.
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Old 08-05-15, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
I was mixing up their names between the Plus and the Supreme. So, the Marathon (original)gives better protection and is less expensive, but the Supreme gives good protection and is lighter.
The Supreme also has a 2 star advantage in the wet, but more significantly, the Marathon Mondial does not lose to the original Marathon on any of Schwalbe's ratings, and is ahead on weight(by a reasonable amount), load bearing, grip in the wet & off road, as well as service life.

So for that reason, the Mondial would be the one to mount a challenge against the Supreme, not the original Marathon.

Keep in mind I am leaving cost out of the equation here, simply because I am restricting my comparison only to tyres that are similar in cost to the Supreme.
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Old 08-05-15, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
The Supreme also has a 2 star advantage in the wet, but more significantly, the Marathon Mondial does not lose to the original Marathon on any of Schwalbe's ratings, and is ahead on weight(by a reasonable amount), load bearing, grip in the wet & off road, as well as service life.

So for that reason, the Mondial would be the one to mount a challenge against the Supreme, not the original Marathon.

Keep in mind I am leaving cost out of the equation here, simply because I am restricting my comparison only to tyres that are similar in cost to the Supreme.
If I was not in a bind, or I might have done an analysis. Yet, this analysis is either Schwalbe's opinion of their own stuff or Internet experts opinions. The shop recommended these or the Plus version, for commuting. And, this shop sees more commuters than most. When I read about the tires after I bought them, I was a little worried. Yet, the ride home today removed those worries. These are great tires. That is, balancing ride, roll, and durability. The Internet is helpful at times, enjoyable at times, but not always to be trusted...
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Old 08-05-15, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
The Supreme also has a 2 star advantage in the wet, but more significantly, the Marathon Mondial does not lose to the original Marathon on any of Schwalbe's ratings, and is ahead on weight(by a reasonable amount), load bearing, grip in the wet & off road, as well as service life.

So for that reason, the Mondial would be the one to mount a challenge against the Supreme, not the original Marathon.

Keep in mind I am leaving cost out of the equation here, simply because I am restricting my comparison only to tyres that are similar in cost to the Supreme.
Not sure what you're looking at here. According to the Schwalbe site, the Mondial is significantly heavier than the Supreme.
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Old 08-05-15, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BigL_RIP View Post
Not sure what you're looking at here. According to the Schwalbe site, the Mondial is significantly heavier than the Supreme.
Yes, but it is lighter than the original Marathon and better or equal in every technical regard than the Marathon according to Schwalbe's own site, so I was suggesting that rather than compare the original Marathon to the Supreme, one would be better off comparing the Mondial to the Supreme.
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Old 08-05-15, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
If I was not in a bind, or I might have done an analysis. Yet, this analysis is either Schwalbe's opinion of their own stuff or Internet experts opinions. The shop recommended these or the Plus version, for commuting. And, this shop sees more commuters than most. When I read about the tires after I bought them, I was a little worried. Yet, the ride home today removed those worries. These are great tires. That is, balancing ride, roll, and durability. The Internet is helpful at times, enjoyable at times, but not always to be trusted...
The star ratings I refer to are from Schwalbe's own site, but please keep in mind, I am in no way criticising your choice of tyre, as I started this thread before I knew you had a flat tyre and replaced it.

Also I am trying to find out why the Marathon Supreme gets so much more praise than other tyres of a similar cost to it, in the Schwalbe range.
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Old 08-05-15, 11:28 PM
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I am still missing the purpose of this discussion. That is, each model has its advantages and purposes. None of these tires has it all. But, it might be, as you appear to be putting forth, that the supreme has more strengths that many other tires.
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Old 08-05-15, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post

Also I am trying to find out why the Marathon Supreme gets so much more praise than other tyres of a similar cost to it, in the Schwalbe range.
Maybe because they are great tires. Maybe because, as humans, we often talk more about the new shining object. Maybe we will never know. Are you curious because you want them?
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Old 08-05-15, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
I am still missing the purpose of this discussion. That is, each model has its advantages and purposes. None of these tires has it all. But, it might be, as you appear to be putting forth, that the supreme has more strengths that many other tires.
More strengths than many perhaps, but it appears to have no advantage that I can see over the Marathon Racer of effectively the same size and in fact has a slight disadvantage to it.

With the other tyres I mentioned, there are some instances where the Supreme is ahead and some where it is behind, but I still don't see how overall it garners so much more favourable comment over the other tyres I mentioned in my opening post.
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Old 08-05-15, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
Maybe because they are great tires.
Any greater than the other Schwalbe tyres I mentioned in my opening post?

Could you tell me a single advantage the Marathon Supreme has over the Marathon Racer?

Looking at Schwalbe's site, I don't see it.

Maybe we will never know.
We certainly will never know if we don't ask the question.

Are you curious because you want them?
Before I looked extensively at Schwalbe's site and a few online stores, because of the number of favourable comments people made about them, I thought they were the obvious choice to get, for if there were serious rivals to it in the Schwalbe family, we would surely hear their praises sung about as much as the Supremes.

Yet there are serious rivals to it in the Schwalbe family, but we don't hear their praises sung.

That is why I started this thread and why I posed the question at the end of my opening post :

"Could it be that where Schwalbe rate all these tyres as a 4 star on Rolling Resistance, that if one were to break it down further, the Marathon Supreme is more like a 4.45 that gets rounded down to 4 stars and the others are a 3.55 that gets rounded up to 4 stars, so the Marathon Supremes are even better than advertised?"
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Old 08-06-15, 05:23 AM
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The frustration I had when shopping Schwalbe tires is that what looked like the best tire for me was never in stock. It was as if certain hybrid oriented tires were in the process of being discontinued and being replaced by the almotion. The tire's tech info remained on the web page, however. You may want to check if a certain model is still in production or available in the size you want before getting serious
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