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Schwalbe Supremes 26x2in wear photos and impressions

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Schwalbe Supremes 26x2in wear photos and impressions

Old 01-11-18, 08:50 PM
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djb
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Schwalbe Supremes 26x2in wear photos and impressions

A year ago I did a trip using these supremes 26x2in that I had had for a while and kept for a longer trip.
I was concerned about the road conditions riding through parts of Central America and so decided to go with these wider tires, as i figured that the lower pressures would be easier on both me and on my wheels.

I've been meaning to take a photo of the two tires used, and the new spare tire I took, just to try to show visually how they wore during about 3000km of loaded riding, with a reasonable load, about 50lbs most of the time, and a 135lb rider on a roughly 30lb bike.

I had ridden on these tires a bit lightly loaded, not much, after I bought them, and I cant recall how many kms before I took them off to save them for future trips, but maybe 500kms?

so given that these tires have rather shallow tread patterns, its not super evident of how they have worn, and lighting can be tricky, but at least holding the three beside each other to take the photo shows how the new one tread depth compares to the other two, marked front and back.

I tended to run these tires at about 40-45 front, and 45-50 back, with most of the time at 42f, 45r, and on pavement most of the time, on all kinds of varying pavement types, from really nice, to medium, to really really coarse chipseal, to pretty bad potholey and bumpy stuff.

Overall, my impression of them is that yes, they dont roll as quickly as 1.5's, but they do roll rather well , especially when you take into account how much I appreciated the wider cush of them and how this make it easier on both me and my wheels. I experimented with pressures and just went with reducing the pressure to get just a smidge less than too much jarring, and prettty soon figured out that 42/45 on a variety of surfaces was a good compromise.
On very good paved surfaces, I could have gone up 5psi probably.

the claimed rolling resistance of them tended to be supported by my "roll down" tests, although this was just comparing my bike to my riding partners, and not scientific, but I can say that they roll better than heavier tires, like the Plus marathons or mondials. How much, I cant really determine.

One aspect about the Supremes is the rather thin sidewall. Obvious downside is that if riding in very rough stuff, with sharp rocks and many thorns, they wouldnt be the best choice.
The upside is that with proper pressures, they have a very nice supple ride, and a nice profile shape that means I found them to be excellent handling tires. The lower pressures gave them a wonderful "suspension effect" and along with all of the factors that affect bike handling--frame, fork, racks, panniers, weight distribution of load--I found my Troll to be the best handling touring bike I have ever ridden.

It has to be emphasized that during this trip through southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, I went up, and more importantly, down a LOT of curvy mountain roads, and had complete confidence in my bikes handling, and I chock a lot of this down to these tires.

oh, btw, they are officially 50mm tires, but on my rims they measure out to 45mm.

re flat protection. They are rated as rather good, but when you feel them, it makes you wonder.....
All I can say is that despite running over all kinds of glass during the trip, I did not get one flat.....officially that is...upon my return, after pumping the tires back up after the flight, one tire went flat over night, and I then found that a thorn had probably worked its way in the sidewall very early on in the trip (I remember pulling some out once after laying the bike down) but must have not quite made a hole in the tube, but with the partial deflating and reinflating, it moved around and made a tiny hole.
Pretty impressive though, and I didnt expect this. I had taken a ton of patches, expecting lots of flats, and I will be leaving for another latin america trip shortly, and don't really expect the same luck (just bought extra patches again...)

*one thing to mention, I have the habit of when I run over stuff I cant avoid, glass, whatever, I stop and take a minute to run my finger over both tires to check and dislodge any embedded glass, and I know I did find stuff sometimes, so this does help , along with luck of course. (touch wood)

I plan to reuse these tires on this trip of about 6 weeks, but I will most likely use the spare now and fold up my more worn " front" tire as the new spare going to the bottom of my pannier.

re tire choices and choosing--I figured pre trip that I would nearly always be on paved roads, so that is why I used these tires. If I were to be on gravel , and especially lots of gravel, with a varying degree of types of gravel, rough, big sharp stones etc, I would choose Mondials or something.

oh, its worth noting too that these weigh about 560g, so pretty much half of marathon plus tires, so a nice bonus and a spare that weighs less too, although a Mondial 26x2 is 740g, so not that much more.

Its always a balance, how much pavement, how rough, how much unknown of how the roads will be etc etc. If I were going to be on more known reasonable roads, the 1.6in 40mm would and will roll along faster, but I dont regret the ride quality of the 2inchers for my old hands and arms for the road conditions that I encountered during my trip.

anyway, figured I should take this photo and put it up, just as a reference for others and a real example of how a good 3000km of loaded riding was on these tires.
I'd say the front tire is good for probably the same kms more, its not easy to judge the wear amount, but the tread doesnt appear to be worn that much compared to the new one on the right.

I'm about to put these tires back on my bike, and then start the box packing procedure and see if the box I got is long enough, so I knew if I didnt do this now, I'd never do it....
cheers
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Old 01-12-18, 12:31 AM
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Supremes are my “go to” tires. Use them on all my bikes in different sizes, except for fat bike and skinny bike.
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Old 01-12-18, 12:35 AM
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Thanks for this info.


Schwalbe have introduced a new version of their Marathon Supreme in late 2016 that has a different tread pattern, thus I can see that your version is their "old" Marathon Supreme design.


The new version is probably not that different, but Schwalbe claims a not insignificant improvement in rolling resistance and the new Supreme is better suited to tubeless setups, compared to the old Supreme.
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Old 01-12-18, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Thanks for this info.


Schwalbe have introduced a new version of their Marathon Supreme in late 2016 that has a different tread pattern, thus I can see that your version is their "old" Marathon Supreme design.


The new version is probably not that different, but Schwalbe claims a not insignificant improvement in rolling resistance and the new Supreme is better suited to tubeless setups, compared to the old Supreme.
Thanks, and yes, when I bought the third tire as a spare, I noticed that it was not the newer version. If it really does roll a bit easier, then great, but it certainly does bear mentioning how expensive these are, upwards of 80 to 90 dollars each, which ain't chump change...
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Old 01-12-18, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Thanks, and yes, when I bought the third tire as a spare, I noticed that it was not the newer version. If it really does roll a bit easier, then great, but it certainly does bear mentioning how expensive these are, upwards of 80 to 90 dollars each, which ain't chump change...
Not if you buy it from a German Online Shop like Bike24

They have the latest Marathon Supreme's for Euro 30.17 or US$36.64

Of course you need to keep in mind the following.

1. If you are not logged into your account when looking at Bike24, prices will be 19% higher due to the VAT that Euro nations pay, but someone in the USA does not.


2. They have a flat postage rate of 19.95Euro or US$24.23, whether you order one tyre or 10 tyres or other items as well, so buy 2 or 3 tyres, some tubes and anything else you are after, and this will amortize the cost of the postage over multiple items and make it much less burdensome.

My next order from them will likely cost me more than 500Euro/US$607.15, yet the postage cost will only be 19.95Euro or US$24.23
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Old 01-12-18, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
I was concerned about the road conditions riding through parts of Central America and so decided to go with these wider tires, as i figured that the lower pressures would be easier on both me and on my wheels.
Knowing what you know now would you carry a spare Supreme tire?

I've never carried a spare before but now that I'm riding more gravel roads I am a little concerned that someday I will get caught with a slashed tire.

I ride 2" Marathons on my troll and like them because they are rugged. However, they seem really heavy and slow and am considering going to the Supremes. If I'm going to carry a spare because the Supremes are more susceptible to a sidewall slash I might as well stick with the Marathons. (not the Marathon Pluses).
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Old 01-12-18, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
Knowing what you know now would you carry a spare Supreme tire?

I've never carried a spare before but now that I'm riding more gravel roads I am a little concerned that someday I will get caught with a slashed tire.

I ride 2" Marathons on my troll and like them because they are rugged. However, they seem really heavy and slow and am considering going to the Supremes. If I'm going to carry a spare because the Supremes are more susceptible to a sidewall slash I might as well stick with the Marathons. (not the Marathon Pluses).
You could always try out the Mondials or the Almotion, both of them have tougher sidewalls than the Supreme and are lighter than the standard Marathon.
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Old 01-12-18, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Not if you buy it from a German Online Shop like Bike24

They have the latest Marathon Supreme's for Euro 30.17 or US$36.64

Of course you need to keep in mind the following.

1. If you are not logged into your account when looking at Bike24, prices will be 19% higher due to the VAT that Euro nations pay, but someone in the USA does not.


2. They have a flat postage rate of 19.95Euro or US$24.23, whether you order one tyre or 10 tyres or other items as well, so buy 2 or 3 tyres, some tubes and anything else you are after, and this will amortize the cost of the postage over multiple items and make it much less burdensome.

My next order from them will likely cost me more than 500Euro/US$607.15, yet the postage cost will only be 19.95Euro or US$24.23
being Canadian, one has to be aware of the dollar diff between u.s and cad. and also wary of border fees etc that often are more than what you guys pay.

bottom line is that a good price for you guys is often a good 30-40% more for us.

I checked, and 34 euros is $51 can.
Wiggle used to sell supremes for that price cad. and free shipping, but they may not be the newer ones, but I did buy mine a year ago.
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Old 01-12-18, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
Knowing what you know now would you carry a spare Supreme tire?

I've never carried a spare before but now that I'm riding more gravel roads I am a little concerned that someday I will get caught with a slashed tire.

I ride 2" Marathons on my troll and like them because they are rugged. However, they seem really heavy and slow and am considering going to the Supremes. If I'm going to carry a spare because the Supremes are more susceptible to a sidewall slash I might as well stick with the Marathons. (not the Marathon Pluses).
just to clear this up, I did carry a spare supreme, its the one in the photo. It stayed at the bottom of my pannier for two months....

I have never carried a spare tire before when touring, going back to 1989, but then I was in Canada, the US or France or whatever, with bike stores that would have had 700 tires no problem.

On my last trip, I decided to take one as I didnt know , or rather , suspected that it was worth having one if I ever had a big tire problem.
I used the Supremes with the calculated risk that I would nearly always be on paved roads, or dirt that wasnt with giant sharp rocks, and this was in fact the case, so they worked out.

diff routes, or diff situations would make me reconsider. I will be biking in Mexico soon and figure I will be on the same types of roads, so will stick with these, and as always, be very careful of them when there are sharp stuff.

PS, and as Mr fried chicken said, there are other tougher options. But simply, I have these tires, and figure they should easily be able to handle another 2000km or so, plus I have the brand new spare, and the one I used on the front has pretty good wear.

Going by the visual wear, given that these did 3000km loaded, for me at my weight and load, they should be good for at least 5000km and perhaps more---yes, not as tough as a marathon plus or others, but a reasonable lifespan I figure.

that said, I do find that the standard marathon is a great value for ride, price and longevity.

bottom line is that there are lots of good tires out there, we have many options.

Last edited by djb; 01-12-18 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 01-13-18, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
being Canadian, one has to be aware of the dollar diff between u.s and cad. and also wary of border fees etc that often are more than what you guys pay.

bottom line is that a good price for you guys is often a good 30-40% more for us.

I checked, and 34 euros is $51 can.
Wiggle used to sell supremes for that price cad. and free shipping, but they may not be the newer ones, but I did buy mine a year ago.
I didn't check your location and see that you are from Canada.

In Australia, we don't currently have to pay any border fees or extra taxes when we order goods from overseas.

There probably isn't a time where when I need to buy a bike related item like a tyre, that I will just order one or two of them, as I find that there is always heaps of stuff I want to get, so my orders tend to be 200Euro or greater in value, pretty much all the time, so far.
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Old 01-13-18, 03:18 AM
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Each to their own DJB, but those tire pressures sound on the high side for 2.00 tires, albeit 26' ones.

I've done a bit of forum reading on the topic of rim and spoke failure and pressures of 45 plus psi seem a very common theme.

Not trying to tell you whats what, merely trying to promote some exchanging of opinion.

I was researching Velocity rims a few years back and decided to ride my high volume tires no higher than 40 psi ever by the end of my reading.

A difference is I ride 622/700c rims with 2.00 to 2.35 tires for the most part whilst your riding 26'.

I will admit to those 2.00 Supremes nicely lightening my wheels substantially compared to my 2.00 Mondails and 2.35 Big Apples.
I tend to utilise them for local rides given the propensity of large thorns beyond the circle of my commutes.

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Old 01-13-18, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
You could always try out the Mondials or the Almotion, both of them have tougher sidewalls than the Supreme and are lighter than the standard Marathon.
I think I recall Aushiker spruiking the Almotions being very good in the rolling resistance stakes.
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Old 01-13-18, 07:11 AM
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Hey rifraf, it's been a while since I did that trip, about a year, but I'm petty certain that the 42f 45r was what felt good, although I suspect that often the pressures would go below that for days and days.
In the next week I will be prepping all my gear for my Mexico trip so will reweigh it all, and then in the weeks to come I'll mention what pressures I'm actually using on the road, and will err more on the comfort side. We have had a tough winter this year so far and have been shoveling a lot, and haven't been riding outside for at least three weeks, so will go with pressures that are easier on my hands.

Another factor too is my very old zefal presta gauge, it could be reading high.

When we start riding, I'll set it at 42f 45r and will reduce it right away if it feels too harsh.
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Old 01-13-18, 07:48 AM
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Look forward to reading how you get on.

How safe do you feel in Mexico?

Last time it was in the headlines over here that I noticed a couple of Aussie surfers were murdered after their van was forced off the road.

https://www.theinertia.com/surf/mexi...-article-says/

Decided for me that it was perhaps a country I'd not be rushing to in the near future being out of my depth with regards where and where not to venture.

I'm the first to admit I know little about Mexico in general so its definitely an uninformed opinion on my behalf.

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Old 01-13-18, 08:46 AM
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I plan to use the same caution and informed route planning as last trip, and avoid specific areas that are known to be more problematic. My past experience in southern Mexico and the other countries was that staying in rural, non touristy areas is a big plus, but constant vigilence and awareness is essential, and I will touch wood, as one must be aware of potential risks at all times.

One advantage is having spent a fair amount of time accumlatively during my life in Latin America and speaking reasonable spanish, but am aware of potential risks and never been complacent.
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Old 01-13-18, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
I didn't check your location and see that you are from Canada.

In Australia, we don't currently have to pay any border fees or extra taxes when we order goods from overseas.

There probably isn't a time where when I need to buy a bike related item like a tyre, that I will just order one or two of them, as I find that there is always heaps of stuff I want to get, so my orders tend to be 200Euro or greater in value, pretty much all the time, so far.
thanks though for the site reference, good to know.
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Old 01-15-18, 12:40 AM
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As a lightweight rider I really like the 559X50 (26"x2") Supremes since they save a lot of weight over even narrower heavy-duty tires. No flats in 2 years though not vast miles. They also give safer handling than narrower tires on my Disc Trucker.
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Old 01-15-18, 05:54 AM
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And the 1.6 inch 40mm version would be great for using a lighter load than I had, and being even lighter than the 2inchers, they would add to a bike setup of someone going quicker overall.
I rode 28mm slicks over dirt alot and wouldn't hesitate using the 40s on a variety of surfaces, within reason of course.
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Old 01-15-18, 10:02 AM
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wow those tires don’t look very worn at all. The Supreme casings are impressive and tread puncture resistance is very good. I weigh 90lbs more than you and commuted on 700x35 Supremes with around 60-75 psi. Rear tire casing became too compromised before tread was gone. On my 26” LHT I commuted a few times on 2.0 Supremes but liked the 1.75 T-Servs better. I’d pick a heavier rear tire for my weight on a long trip like yours. Check out the Almotion. Have a 38mm on the back of a CrossCheck and am very pleased with it.
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Old 01-15-18, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
And the 1.6 inch 40mm version would be great for using a lighter load than I had, and being even lighter than the 2inchers, they would add to a bike setup of someone going quicker overall.
I rode 28mm slicks over dirt alot and wouldn't hesitate using the 40s on a variety of surfaces, within reason of course.
The 1.6 is what I commute on now. Noticebly faster on unloaded bike but irrelevant when loaded. Weight is weight going uphill.
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Old 01-15-18, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
wow those tires dont look very worn at all. The Supreme casings are impressive and tread puncture resistance is very good. I weigh 90lbs more than you and commuted on 700x35 Supremes with around 60-75 psi. Rear tire casing became too compromised before tread was gone. On my 26 LHT I commuted a few times on 2.0 Supremes but liked the 1.75 T-Servs better. Id pick a heavier rear tire for my weight on a long trip like yours. Check out the Almotion. Have a 38mm on the back of a CrossCheck and am very pleased with it.
this is why I figured I'd put up the photo for others and for a reference.

I'll come back at the end of this trip and redo the photo, perhaps with 1500-2000km more on them.

I am kind of expecting them to be more flat prone, just because they have to be thinner, but we will see.

and yes, I dont think loaded it makes much diff in rolling resistance, especially not when taking into account how the lower pressures are for the wheels (touch wood).
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Old 01-16-18, 05:15 PM
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Marathon Supreme 42-406

Originally Posted by djb View Post
And the 1.6 inch 40mm version would be great for using a lighter load than I had, and being even lighter than the 2inchers, they would add to a bike setup of someone going quicker overall.
I rode 28mm slicks over dirt alot and wouldn't hesitate using the 40s on a variety of surfaces, within reason of course.
I run the 42-406 version on my folding minivelo tourer. Great tire.


CC-Touring Bali...



I also have the 37mm width ones in 622 size.

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Old 01-16-18, 06:07 PM
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The one thing that surprises me is how expensive they are. Not that long ago, Ive paid almost teh same for new car tires that was of reasonable quality.
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Old 01-16-18, 11:02 PM
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Yes, they're a bit pricey, OTOH I've never had a flat in 4 years of using HS 420's & Supremes so I might have saved some money for new tubes. Anyway, over time the expense seems fairly minimal.
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Old 01-17-18, 04:12 AM
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That is how I look at it also, and fiigure that good tires are worth it and I cut expenses in other areas.
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