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Schwalbe Supreme26x2 followup #2 roughly6000kms

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Schwalbe Supreme26x2 followup #2 roughly6000kms

Old 01-24-19, 10:47 PM
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djb
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Schwalbe Supreme26x2 followup #2 roughly6000kms





Last year I put up a blurb about the supremes I used for about a 3000km trip through parts of Central America in 2017.
They are 26x2in (50mm) , but measure out to 45mm on my rims.
I've since used these same tires on another trip through part of southern to mid Mexico, of about 1500kms, and then another trip crossing France of about 1000kms, plus some local riding that must have been maybe 500kms, maybe more, I didnt keep track.

here is the link to the thread and photos from the first report after 3000kms on the tires:
Schwalbe Supremes 26x2in wear photos and impressions

Before the second trip in Mexico 2018, I rotated the rear to the front, and took my folded spare again as backup (but didnt need or use it)
I had a bit less weight on the bike, as I ddint take my tent this time, so about 4.5-5lbs less, but nearly everything else was the same as the Central America trip, except I perhaps didnt carry as much spare food, and a bit less spare water also as it was sometimes cold and certainly was never super hot like the other trip, so generally just had a spare 1.5l bottle in my pannier, not even full sometimes, and not the other 1 litre bottle I usually had with me in 2017.

all of my impressions from the first trip of how these tires worked for me did not change at all. In fact, I would say that in the Mexico only trip, I figure I rode over more rough rough roads, more potholes, more super rough and abrasive chipseal, and way more cobble stuff.
All in all, I was absolutely glad I had these 2in tires that allowed lower pressures and helped so much with my comfort, and I am convinced, making life easier for my spokes and rims.
In Mexico, I also rode along dirt roads a lot more, and within reason, I am fine riding a 2in slickish tire on dirt. Again, using lower pressures even less than my normal 42f and 45r helped with being on loose surfaces, and was fine for the amount I did ride on these roads, but they were pretty good average dirt roads, so not full of sharp pointy rocks and stuff, which if the case would probably be wiser to use Mondials or something with a tougher sidewall (see the previous review to get my take on the sidewall and ride quality of the supremes)

I've continued my good luck and in the additional roughly 3000kms, I didnt have any flats (technically not on a trip, but a thorn from the first trip finally pierced the tube after reinflating the tires after my flight home)

In Guatemala 2017, I had whacked into a good pothole on a downhill, and put a slight dent in my rear rim, which didnt cause any broken spokes and I consider myself very lucky--but am sure the wider tires and lower pressures helped just that much that avoided too much shock going into the wheel.
Before the 2018 Mexico trip, I had a trusted mechanic go over my wheels again, he did some slight tightening and slight alignment, but wasnt concerned about the slight ding, and Ive ridden on the same rear wheel since then with no problems (touch wood)

So here are some photos I finally got around to taking to show the wear pattern on these at around 6000kms.
The "front" is on the left of the photo, but looks slightly more worn because it was on the rear of my bike on the longer C.A trip (3000kms with more weight) and the "rear" on the right does certainly look like it has less wear, despite doing about 3000kms there.

I cant really explain why the rear looks less worn, but clearly is more squared off compared to the front, but there you go--I think its because although it had better tread left as it had been on the front, the really rough and abrasive roads "squared it off" because they were so sharp--I clearly remember thinking that I was riding on this stuff way more than the last trip.
Riding in France was pretty easy I think on the tires, even though we were on some dirt roads and paths and stuff, although I did have a 7lb tent, but didnt carry the spare and didnt have stuff like my water filter, extra water etc, so in the end, I think the weight on the back end was similar to the other trips.
In this shot of the three tires side by side, I wet the tires in an attempt to show the tread thickness more readily.

So this review take 2 is not much different than my first. Still very happy with how the Supremes ride. Still happy with 2in versions for rough roads and am convinced its the best way to go, although I can see how the 1.6 inch versions would be nice for more reasonable roads, and could overall be just as good. As my wheels are 26inch 32 spoke rims, I prefer to err more on the cushy side of caution for my wheelset happiness and continuing good life. If carry less weight, I would definately try the 1.6 versions as I'm pretty much sold on the ride quality and wear quality of the Supreme line of tires.
As someone with a fair amount of two wheeled experience with sliding and being aware of traction, clearly 2 inch tires work a lot better on loose surfaces and allow you to ride faster and safer over this stuff, and as a bonus its more fun too!

Going from the photos, it looks like these tires would be good for at least a couple of thousand kms, maybe more, but perhaps I'm wrong, maybe the wear will accelerate more towards the end--who knows, I'll let you know.
Both tires have a few knicks and cuts here and there, but not too bad considering and none appear to be concerning.

Oh, in case some of you dont read the first review, important info is that I'm a light rider, about 135lbs, and my bike load was probably 40-60lbs tops--this varied a bunch depending on supplies.

So here is to a future take 3 review of the Schwalbe Supremes one day.....


Last edited by djb; 01-24-19 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 03-03-19, 02:38 AM
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I can't belive that tire has that much distance on it and still has the mold lines in it. You may never wear them out.
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Old 03-03-19, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by CraigMBA View Post
I can't belive that tire has that much distance on it and still has the mold lines in it. You may never wear them out.
This is why I wanted to show my experiences with them to others, as a testimonial to their longevity, despite their lighter weight and nice ride quality.

As for how long they will last, my experience over the years has generally been that at a point, a tire just starts to get flats where it wouldn't before, purely from getting thinner, but it can still look ok.
As I said, they may start wearing at a greatly accelerated pace also, but I just don't know. My view is that at that point, it's usually worth getting new ones, especially if about to start a new trip, if you can afford it and especially if going on an area with less access to good tire supplies.
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Old 03-03-19, 11:05 AM
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Great review!
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Old 03-03-19, 12:46 PM
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I have Supremes on three bikes. Great tires. Only bikes with other tires are my road bike with skinny tires and mountain bike with fat tires.
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Old 03-03-19, 05:18 PM
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Thank you Happy
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Old 03-03-19, 05:33 PM
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How thick is the tread on those? I'm looking to find something 5 mm or so thick to help fight goad head flats. Did you encounter any of those on your journeys? Pull any out of your tires?
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Old 03-03-19, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
How thick is the tread on those? I'm looking to find something 5 mm or so thick to help fight goad head flats. Did you encounter any of those on your journeys? Pull any out of your tires?
you'd have to check the schwalbe website, the center may be close to that, and while I had a few stick in, they didn't go all the way in before I pulled them out.
I was sure I would run into a lot more thorns and spines than I did, although I was careful of where I rolled the bike when of the road, but must not have been in bad goat head territory, as there would have been much more of them everywhere.

Going from what I've read, bad goat head country will get through even marathon pluses. Luckily didn't have the pleasure.
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Old 03-03-19, 07:01 PM
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They tend to be at their worst in late summer and fall, maybe you missed the bad part of the year. Winter rain and storms tend to clear them off the roads for a while, until they sprout when the weather turns warm, and the thorns ripen and start to become a problem in mid to late summer, getting worse and worse as the year progresses.
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Old 03-04-19, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
They tend to be at their worst in late summer and fall, maybe you missed the bad part of the year. Winter rain and storms tend to clear them off the roads for a while, until they sprout when the weather turns warm, and the thorns ripen and start to become a problem in mid to late summer, getting worse and worse as the year progresses.
I dont live in thorn country, and didnt knwo what to expect in the countries I was biking through, and even though I was mostly on paved roads, I did ride through cactus country a lot, so was surprised not to have goathead issues. Carried three heavy spare tubes for these tires, and heaped on lots of patches and even extra glue, very much expecting to have a bad time of it (hoping for the best, planning for the worst).

did have a long pokey spine or two stick in a tire once, when I wasnt careful where I layed down my bike, but pulled them out, and the bit of one of them stayed in the tire and didnt cause a flat until I returned to Canada a few months later, put the bike back together, pumped the tires up and the next morning had a flat. Found the bit of long thorn inside when I felt around and inspected tire.
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Old 03-05-19, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
They tend to be at their worst in late summer and fall, maybe you missed the bad part of the year. Winter rain and storms tend to clear them off the roads for a while, until they sprout when the weather turns warm, and the thorns ripen and start to become a problem in mid to late summer, getting worse and worse as the year progresses.
They have a seven year germination period, ICRC.

If you are in California, you run sealant for August on.
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Old 03-05-19, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CraigMBA View Post
They have a seven year germination period, ICRC.

If you are in California, you run sealant for August on.
like I mentioned, I didn't have a clue. I had read that if one was to do the mexican baja divide trail, tubeless was a must, just as the divide ride in the states further down ends up being a thornfest.
All I know is that in jan, feb, march the times of the year I was in mid to southern mexico, guat, hond, nic and cr, the roads I was on (majority paved) didnt have problems, or certainly not significant.

now I was careful, I always made the effort to look at where I was pushing my bike offroad, and took the time to see if there were thorns around, so Im sure this helped simply to avoid what was there, and also I generally wasnt pushing my bike through brush and whatnot, that just seemed asking for trouble.
But still, I went through areas with lots of stuff like in these photos, it was the dry season, so no rain, so I expected there to be more all over the place, maybe I was lucky, who knows.
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Old 03-07-19, 10:58 PM
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Everything you ever wanted to know about goatheads:

Weed Gallery: Puncturevine--UC IPM

I used to farm for a living, so I can spot them in a parking lot like nobody's business.

They are a non native plant. I wonder how they got here to begin with....

Last edited by CraigMBA; 03-07-19 at 11:14 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 03-07-19, 11:29 PM
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I'd been researching road touring tires and wanted something that would be reliable and good puncture resistance but still having some suppleness, mostly for paved roads but with the usual percentage of dirt, gravel, etc. one can encounter when doing a bit of exploring, shortcuts, stealth sites scoping, etc. and these were the tires I was the most curious about. I think the widest I can run are the 35 x 700 for my Trek 520 fully loaded, used with fenders.

Thanks a bunch for taking the time to post this review. I've been researching these tires and your experiences help fill in some gaps.
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Old 03-08-19, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by CraigMBA View Post
Everything you ever wanted to know about goatheads:

Weed Gallery: Puncturevine--UC IPM

I used to farm for a living, so I can spot them in a parking lot like nobody's business.

They are a non native plant. I wonder how they got here to begin with....
thanks Craig for that link. The part of Canada I live in just doesn't have them, so until coming on this forum, I was unaware of them.
Always good to get more info on something.
I must have seen them in some areas, I tend to check my tires after going through grass and stuff, so I must have brushed them off my tires a few times.

I have a clear memory of riding past a bunch of farm workers getting ready to move to another field with their bikes, and they all had their bikes upside down, running gloved hands over their tires, obviously checking for thorns before riding off.
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Old 03-08-19, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Lovegasoline View Post
I'd been researching road touring tires and wanted something that would be reliable and good puncture resistance but still having some suppleness, mostly for paved roads but with the usual percentage of dirt, gravel, etc. one can encounter when doing a bit of exploring, shortcuts, stealth sites scoping, etc. and these were the tires I was the most curious about. I think the widest I can run are the 35 x 700 for my Trek 520 fully loaded, used with fenders.

Thanks a bunch for taking the time to post this review. I've been researching these tires and your experiences help fill in some gaps.
you're welcome.
I'd say the most important thing to keep in mind is the thin sidewall. You just can't ride up against sharp stuff without paying attention. Comes back to just using common sense and evaluating if you need a tougher tire.
I'm glad this helped a bit.
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