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Tires Again!

Old 01-24-24, 07:49 AM
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Tires Again!

So I know that my favorite tires,Schwalbe Marathon Supremes, have been discontinued and they has been some discussions about a suitable replacement. But my search ,or my tech challenged ability, has not found anything.
So what is the current thought? We use 2x26. Also I want a folding tire.
Thanks!
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Old 01-24-24, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom
So I know that my favorite tires,Schwalbe Marathon Supremes, have been discontinued and they has been some discussions about a suitable replacement. But my search ,or my tech challenged ability, has not found anything.
So what is the current thought? We use 2x26. Also I want a folding tire.
Thanks!
The Schwalbe Efficiency is the replacement tire for the Supreme, however I don't think they're making the Efficiency in 2x26.

I've been running Schwalbe Big Ben's in 2x26 for a few years. Love the tire. Plenty of grip for most surfaces, fast rolling, folding(I think?..can't remember, check the Schwalbe site), cushy ride and should handle a tandem without any issues.
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Old 01-24-24, 08:10 AM
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Which model of the Big Ben? I see there are different ones.
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Old 01-25-24, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom
Which model of the Big Ben? I see there are different ones.
Raceguard/Addix , no Greenguard, no Kguard, HS439

https://www.schwalbetires.com/Big-Ben-11100557

I see they are wired (I was in an airport when I posted previously and didn't have time to check the tire specs..). You can always run the wired Bens and carry another folding tire as a backup.

I initially picked up a few sets along with a larger tire order from Bike24/Germany. They've more than doubled their US flat-fee shipping cost (used to be $16 a couple years ago), but for a larger order, they can still be competitive..particularly as compared to what US pricing is on these tires.

https://www.bike24.com/p2101782.html...e-653c7bae6445

My touring bike, 4 panniers and me come in at just shy of 300 lbs. The Big Bens with weight on them really roll along easily. Surprisingly so. I run Marathon Supremes in 559 and 622(before they were discontinued I loaded up) and Gravel King Slicks on my day bikes and the Big Bens compare very well to those tires.

A Riv bike review I just ran across..I run them closer to 45psi..no issues with flats in around 2500 miles
https://www.rivbike.com/products/sch...-28x2-00-10129
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Old 01-25-24, 07:15 AM
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TT, I'm also in the same boat as you, loved Supremes and not really sure what to use in future, given that a number of nice tires are no longer avail in 26.
There are options out there, but what I would like is a similar ride feeling to the Supremes, which we know is very nice.

I recall being surprised that the Supreme dpi was only 67, as the nice flex of the sidewall (and main part of tire I presume) is what I always attributed to the lovely ride feel, yet still having good rolling resistance at pressures that still gave that nice ride feel.

I havent ridden Big Bens, but I suspect they don't match the light, supple feel of Supremes--I could be wrong of course.
Look forward to seeing what recommendations come up here.
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Old 01-25-24, 07:18 AM
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You mentioned Gravel Kings. I was just looking at those yesterday. How do you think they compare with Big Ben?
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Old 01-25-24, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom
You mentioned Gravel Kings. I was just looking at those yesterday. How do you think they compare with Big Ben?
darn, I just looked up the various flavours of Gravel Kings, and it appears that the slick ish version is not avail in 26.

the other thing with the Supremes, the wear life (really quite good) is another quality that ideally would be nice to find in another tire.
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Old 01-25-24, 08:41 AM
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The Gravel King slick & M-Supreme are a very different tires vs the Big Ben, this is pretty obvious. While the GKs are a fast, light weight, foldable "gravel" tire, as far as I know, they are not available in 26 inch(559). I used the GKs and the Supremes as a comparison just to illustrate that I do have a direct, current, first-person, comparison to what are generally considered fast tires. I'm not suggesting the Bens are a match for either tire.

I run 26x2 Supremes (actually are closer to 1.7 wide) on my FL bike(spend months there in winter..like right now). I've ridden average/slow tires that feel like your riding in wet sand while actually riding on fresh asphalt..downhill. Average tires feel like you have to push them, all the time. Fast tires feel like there's no need to push them constantly to maintain speed..they just roll easily in response to pedaling. One might expect Big Bens to ride...average. They don't, they're fast-feeling tires(even better with touring weight) and are a pleasure to ride...all day.

How do the Supremes ride vs the GK Slicks?..very different, not at all a subtle difference. Both are fast, but the Supremes feel more...stout. Hard to describe. Supremes last a lot longer than the GKs too. I have two Lemond Poprads set up basically the same. One has a set of Supremes(37-622) on it, the other has a set of GK Slicks(38-622). This is about as close a basis for comparison as I know of.

Tire comparisons are hard. When talking fast tires, invariably someone will bring up GP5000s as fast..but they aren't available in 38mm+ nor are they available in 26 inch. They'd likely be too fragile for touring anyway. Supremes are nice tires, but they are gone. The Efficiency (Supreme replacement) are supposed to be better than the Supremes..but they don't come in 26 inch. GKs..nice tires, but they wear out too fast for touring(for me at least, I'm over 200 lbs and the soft composition wears faster)..and they don't come in 26 inch. At the end of the day..Bens come in 26 inch, they exist, and they ride nice, with or without touring weight. If someone has what they feel is a good/great/fast 26x2-ish tire, that's available, I'm all ears as I run four 26 inch wheel bikes and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

I'm still fretting the loss of 700x37 Voyager Hypers..that was a fast tire, but alas, it too is gone.
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Old 01-25-24, 09:12 AM
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For the sake of other options to consider, here are a couple threads on 26 in tires from recent years

The 26" Tire and Wheel Thread

26" road tire decisions,please help.

Looking for 26" road tires, 1.75 - 2.0

fwiw.. I tried some Continental Contact Speed tires a year or two ago. They were OK, pretty nice..but they don't run as fast as they appear. As long as I have a spare 26x2 Supremes to run on the FL bike, I'll run them. For touring, I'll continue to run the Bens.


I tend to emphasize "speed" quite a bit. This is due to my preference for tires that are fun to ride. I find slow tires annoying. ..mho
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Old 01-25-24, 10:33 AM
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I've been using the Schwalbe Land Cruiser models lately and they are big thick tires that I like so much I bought spares for upcoming tours. K-Guard, in 26" and 28", at a mere $20 apiece. I especially love that there is no Reflex stripe, a feature I really dislike. I took a quick peek at Schwalbe's own site (where I order from) just now and see plenty of 26" offerings to choose from. Good luck to you.
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Old 01-25-24, 10:48 AM
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I have a Gravel King slick on my front wheel and a Schwalbe Marathon on the rear wheel right now. The Gravel King was the replacement for a Marathon Supreme that wore out (more on this below). My touring bike is so heavy that I can't feel the difference between them, and I don't have a power meter on this bike so I can't measure the difference. The Marathon is at around 20,000km and needs replacement soon. The Gravel King currently has around 3000km and is holding up fine. I expect it'll make it to over 10k eyeballing the current wear. The Marathon Supreme has terribly weak sidewalls. I've had three of them in the past and all died to sidewall tears before the tread wore out. One of the three tore after just five days. I won't use Marathon Supremes on tour again. They are ok tires for home riding but on tour I have too much going on to be wasting my brain capacity worrying about tires.

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Old 01-25-24, 11:00 AM
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Specialized has some 26x2 +- . I run a Armadillo and have used the Flakjacket. I'd say they feel and wear the same as the Marathons.
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Old 01-25-24, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by fishboat
The Gravel King slick & M-Supreme are a very different tires vs the Big Ben, this is pretty obvious. While the GKs are a fast, light weight, foldable "gravel" tire, as far as I know, they are not available in 26 inch(559). I used the GKs and the Supremes as a comparison just to illustrate that I do have a direct, current, first-person, comparison to what are generally considered fast tires. I'm not suggesting the Bens are a match for either tire.

I run 26x2 Supremes (actually are closer to 1.7 wide) on my FL bike(spend months there in winter..like right now). I've ridden average/slow tires that feel like your riding in wet sand while actually riding on fresh asphalt..downhill. Average tires feel like you have to push them, all the time. Fast tires feel like there's no need to push them constantly to maintain speed..they just roll easily in response to pedaling. One might expect Big Bens to ride...average. They don't, they're fast-feeling tires(even better with touring weight) and are a pleasure to ride...all day.

How do the Supremes ride vs the GK Slicks?..very different, not at all a subtle difference. Both are fast, but the Supremes feel more...stout. Hard to describe. Supremes last a lot longer than the GKs too. I have two Lemond Poprads set up basically the same. One has a set of Supremes(37-622) on it, the other has a set of GK Slicks(38-622). This is about as close a basis for comparison as I know of.

Tire comparisons are hard. When talking fast tires, invariably someone will bring up GP5000s as fast..but they aren't available in 38mm+ nor are they available in 26 inch. They'd likely be too fragile for touring anyway. Supremes are nice tires, but they are gone. The Efficiency (Supreme replacement) are supposed to be better than the Supremes..but they don't come in 26 inch. GKs..nice tires, but they wear out too fast for touring(for me at least, I'm over 200 lbs and the soft composition wears faster)..and they don't come in 26 inch. At the end of the day..Bens come in 26 inch, they exist, and they ride nice, with or without touring weight. If someone has what they feel is a good/great/fast 26x2-ish tire, that's available, I'm all ears as I run four 26 inch wheel bikes and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

I'm still fretting the loss of 700x37 Voyager Hypers..that was a fast tire, but alas, it too is gone.
wanted to thank you for putting this all down--your take on things, your first hand experience, and the surprising take on Big Bens. I may try them sometime.
I actually would like to find some 650 rims for my 26" Troll, and part of that is to take advantage of nicer tires that are available.
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Old 01-27-24, 09:45 AM
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Was reading a recent article (https://granfondo-cycling.com/best-gravel-tire-review/) and this lead me to the Rolling Resistance website..and as I ran off on various tangents I came across the Continental Contact Urban, The RR website measured the 40-622 at 18.4 watts. This is pretty fast tire. As I was looking at the data in the RR site I noticed the tire comes in 26x2. Wire-bead tire though. Reported to be 180 TPI, which is a big number. More than likely it's 3-ply at 60 TPI each.

Lightweight and, if you compare the puncture resistance of various "known" tires (to you)..the puncture resistance is quite high. (i.e. Marathon Supreme 37-622 has a puncture resistance rating of 99 while the 40-622 Contact Urban has a rating of 95..and the Gravelking Slick 40-622 a rating of 28 (yikes..I very seldom get flats with them)). You might give the Contact Urban a look..

https://www.continental-tires.com/pr...contact-urban/

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Old 01-27-24, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
...your first hand experience, and the surprising take on Big Bens...I may try them sometime.
They actually feel better with a touring weight on them than they do unloaded, either way a good tire. I see the Contact Urbans are available in 27.5 also.
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Old 01-27-24, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat
Was reading a recent article (https://granfondo-cycling.com/best-gravel-tire-review/) and this lead me to the Rolling Resistance website..and as I ran off on various tangents I came across the Continental Contact Urban, The RR website measured the 40-622 at 18.4 watts. This is pretty fast tire. As I was looking at the data in the RR site I noticed the tire comes in 26x2. Wire-bead tire though. Reported to be 180 TPI, which is a big number. More than likely it's 3-ply at 60 TPI each.

Lightweight and, if you compare the puncture resistance of various "known" tires (to you)..the puncture resistance is quite high. (i.e. Marathon Supreme 37-622 has a puncture resistance rating of 99 while the 40-622 Contact Urban has a rating of 95..and the Gravelking Slick 40-622 a rating of 28 (yikes..I very seldom get flats with them)). You might give the Contact Urban a look..

https://www.continental-tires.com/pr...contact-urban/
yes, not a bad weight at all, and rolling resistance tests might not be perfect by any means, but its at least a quantity that one can get an idea of how a tire rides to ones that you know.
thanks
I think a friend has the 1.75in version on her bike, and they have lasted a pretty good long time, but I would have to check to make sure if they are these.
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Old 01-27-24, 01:17 PM
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and again

all these super protective Marathonīs are of course save tires, but not soft at all, they feel like concrete, full rubber tires, no air.

I prefer to have a flat from time to time and roll soft and subtle.
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Old 01-27-24, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by str
and again

all these super protective Marathonīs are of course save tires, but not soft at all, they feel like concrete, full rubber tires, no air.

I prefer to have a flat from time to time and roll soft and subtle.
Marathon is a broad category of tires by Schwalbe. And their rolling resistance varies greatly from one specific tire model to the next. Over the years I have been very happy with my Marathons (with Greenguard), Marathon Duremes (kevlar bead version), or Marathon Extremes (kevlar bead version). The Duremes and Extremes have been discontinued, but I continue to use the ones I have. I am still using one Marathon XR (folding version), but that one might last forever because the tread is so long lasting.

I have avoided the Marathon versions that were the Plus variety like the Marathon Plus or the Marathon Plus Tour due to rolling friction. And there are other Marathon models in between.

There is no single "Marathon".
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Old 01-27-24, 10:50 PM
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I've still got some life on my Marathon Supremes, which I have really enjoyed touring with the past 2 or 3 years but like Fishboat suggested above, I have been looking at those Conti Contact Urbans for future use. Only negative thing I can see is that they run small for the stated size (typical Conti's) so you might want to run one size larger than desired. Btw, sorry to all you Marathon Supreme lovers, as when I come to like something, it often gets discontinued and so it was likely I that brought about its demise.
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Old 01-29-24, 01:30 PM
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The GravelKing plus versions seem to have a tougher sidewall than the section on the Supremes where the puncture protection ends and the sidewall continues.
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