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Schwalbe Blowouts??

Old 03-13-09, 08:49 PM
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nancy sv
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Schwalbe Blowouts??

We are using Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires on our tour and have had nothing but great experiences with them so far. We've now come nearly 7500 miles and have only gone through two tires on the three bikes. In short, we are pleased beyond all expectations.

However, we have some friends who have had lots and lots of trouble with their Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. Today, they had their FOURTH tire blow up. Some of the blowouts have happened when the bike was just sitting - not even while riding it. Anybody have any idea why this is happening? Schwalbe has been great to them and has sent out replacement tires, but they would liek to figure out why it's happening so they can prevent it.

They are riding tandems with kids in the back. Even though they have all their gear in panniers rather than trailers, they shouldn't have too much weight on the bikes since the stokers are kids.
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Old 03-13-09, 10:05 PM
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Have they taken a look at the rim? I have a set of velocity diads that would not play well at all with a set of maraton XR tires. turned out to be the inside lip of the rim, the hook was sharp as a razor and would pinch the tube between the rim and the tire. Before I fixed it with some sandpaper I was inflating the tires with ear protection on. It took me more then a couple of tubes to figure it out, easy to look back and laugh at it now. the thing was that this only happened with the XRs. Looking at the cut along the bead, I suspect the rim may be playing a part in this.
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Old 03-13-09, 10:05 PM
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Damaged rim?
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Old 03-13-09, 10:44 PM
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Hmmmm... I don't know if it is the same rim that's been blowing out or not. I'll write and ask them. thanks!
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Old 03-14-09, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
Today, they had their FOURTH tire blow up.
Nancy, are you saying that the actual tire is blowing out? I can't really see much in the picture. Or are the tubes blowing?

Last edited by Thulsadoom; 03-14-09 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 03-14-09, 08:21 AM
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Took me a couple of look sat the picture as well. That is the bead cut off of the casing, looks like it was sliced then the slice ran, Similar to what my pinced tubed were doing, but in this case it looks like the tire. If it is happening more then once I would seriously hold the rim suspect. let us know what comes of this.
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Old 03-14-09, 08:37 AM
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As far as I can tell from what they told me, the bead is separating from the rest of the tire, which then causes it to go KABOOM! I've written to see if they are all on the same rim or if they've been different wheels, but I don't know right now. They just told us about it last night, but it sounds very odd given the good experiences many of us have had with our Schwalbes.
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Old 03-14-09, 10:49 AM
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If it were just one tire, I might suspect a defect in the tire. But four tires? Especially those Marathon Plus tires....I agree with the other posters. I'm thinking that there's definitely something going on with your friends wheels.
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Old 03-14-09, 11:40 AM
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If the tyre pressure was good than I would also suspect the rims to be at fault, especially if Schwalbe themselves sent them replacements.
We use only Schwalbe Marathon Plus and never even heard of anything like that.
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Old 03-14-09, 03:56 PM
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Ive sent your suggestions to them and we'll see. Hopefully there's something blatantly wrong with the rim and that'll be the end of their troubles!
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Old 03-14-09, 08:59 PM
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In my experience, most blowouts of this kind are due to improper installation of the tube. I've made this mistake myself. If you get the tube pinched under the bead of the tire, then when the tube ruptures, it often takes the sidewall with it, causing a separation of sidewall from bead. It is sometimes difficult to see if you've got the tube pinched. It takes a very careful inspection, checking both sides all the way around by pinching the tire until you can see the rim tape. Even then you sometimes miss it. I like to inflate the tire about 2/3 of the way, then deflate it completely and check again before blowing it up to full pressure.
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Old 03-14-09, 11:22 PM
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this is what it looked like when i tried installing marathon pluses on my velocity rims:


Schwalbe seems to manufacture their tires a bit larger in diameter than most tires. Velocity may make their rims a bit smaller as well. The combination is deadly.

I would guess that it is a similar situation. The bead is working its way off of the rim and the tube is blowing.

For me the solution was to get some Bontrager hardcases.
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Old 03-15-09, 06:45 AM
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I've forwarded our friends the link to this thread so they can read your responses. Hopefully they'll figure it out!
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Old 03-15-09, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by illwafer View Post

Schwalbe seems to manufacture their tires a bit larger in diameter than most tires. Velocity may make their rims a bit smaller as well. The combination is deadly.

I would guess that it is a similar situation. The bead is working its way off of the rim and the tube is blowing.

For me the solution was to get some Bontrager hardcases.
Agreed. I used some marathon plus 26x1.75 that mounted way too easily; you need to be very cautious about mounting them and inflate/deflate to ensure a safe contact. I switched to RibMo Panaracer's because the Schwalbe's felt like anchors on the road.
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Old 03-15-09, 02:28 PM
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I just talked with them and it's not all one one wheel - at least two different rims and possibly three. Could it be possible to have that many defective ones?
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Old 03-15-09, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
I just talked with them and it's not all one one wheel - at least two different rims and possibly three. Could it be possible to have that many defective ones?
I would still suspect a rim from the first picture you posted, or possibly the tool they are using for installation? If the rims are all the same brand and have the sharp edge as someone pointed out it is possible. I find it hard to believe that there would be that many bad tires, I would also hope that Schwalbe would send tires from a different batch just to make sure it isn't the tires.

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Old 03-15-09, 05:21 PM
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I just found out they are using the exact same Velocity rims that we had trouble with earlier in our trip. When we wrote to Velocity they told us they had a defective batch of aluminum go through and they overnighted new rims out to us - but they didn't have any good rims in stock yet,so they sent more bad ones and then had to replace them again later once they got the good ones in stock.

So now I'm thinking they have four bad rims. We got our tandem of May 08, and they got theirs in October 08, so there is a very high chance that they ended up with the same defective aluminum we did. Our rims cracked down the middle, but it is certainly possible that the rims did different things.

Anyway, they are writing to both Schwalbe and Velocity to see what they can do.
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Old 03-15-09, 06:33 PM
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Schwalbe Marathons

Nancy,

You know I am a monster fan of Schwalbes - have one documented still going strong at 10,000 miles without a flat. That being said I had a defective one recently that had a wire bead issue that just wouldn't seat. Kind of dangerous first time came unseatseated going down hill loaded. Schwalbe replaced it immeadiately no questions - maybe a bad batch this one was bought in Oregon
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Old 03-16-09, 05:38 AM
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This is a bummer. I just put a new set of Marathon Plus's on my brand new touring wheels with Velocity Dyad rims. They are supposed to be my bulletproof wheelset/tires for this year(and hopefully a few years). I noticed that the tires went on almost waaaay too easily, I didn't even have to use a tire lever, they just popped on with a little thumb pressure. Now, after following this thread, I'm worried that I might have a problem with this set-up.
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Old 03-16-09, 09:12 AM
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I never need tire levers with XR's, Supremes, or Racers on my Dyad rims. I have never had a flat after 14,000 miles with combinations of these tires. My XR's gave up the ghost when the sidewalls blew after about 7500 miles.
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Old 03-16-09, 09:56 AM
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I had 2 Schwalbe 700c marathon xr's fail similarly on my year tour (bead/sidewall failure, where the bead simply separated from the tire).

In one instance the tire blew out (innertube pops out & explodes) while my bike was just sitting on a ferry. Oh my, scared the poo out of everyone aboard!

Scwalbe USA was super about sending me out replacements, although shipping did take a while.

I forwarded along the lot #'s and photo's to Schwalbe.

I had no further issues with my Schwalbe tires.

I'm assuming a bad lot of tires in my case. Although the sharp rim theory may certainly be valid in some circumstances.

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Old 03-16-09, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by illwafer View Post
Schwalbe seems to manufacture their tires a bit larger in diameter than most tires. Velocity may make their rims a bit smaller as well. The combination is deadly.
Odd. I had just the opposite experience with a pair of Marathon Supremes (32mm) and a pair of Velocity Synergy rims a few months ago. They were *tough* to mount, but once on I had no worries about the bead ever slipping. Five months later, I've had no problems at all with them.
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Old 03-16-09, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Odd. I had just the opposite experience with a pair of Marathon Supremes (32mm) and a pair of Velocity Synergy rims a few months ago. They were *tough* to mount, but once on I had no worries about the bead ever slipping. Five months later, I've had no problems at all with them.
That is odd. There's obviously some quality control issues at play. I would lean more towards Schwalbe in my case since Conti Ultra Gator Skins and Bontrager Race Lites went on perfectly.

I was able to get the Schwalbe's seated by inflating slowly and pushing down on all areas of the tire that wanted to work off the rim, but as soon as I would hop on and ride they would blow. Bad news if you were going downhill when that happens.
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Old 03-16-09, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by illwafer View Post
That is odd. There's obviously some quality control issues at play. I would lean more towards Schwalbe in my case since Conti Ultra Gator Skins and Bontrager Race Lites went on perfectly.
Just to add another data point: My other bike has also has Velocity Synergy's but with Conti Ultra Gator Skins. The Gator Skins mount on the Synergy's w/o problem; Not too easy, not too difficult.
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Old 03-16-09, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by illwafer View Post
Schwalbe seems to manufacture their tires a bit larger in diameter than most tires.
This has not seemed to be the case in my experience. I have put quite a few different brands of tires on the rims of my touring bike and the Schwalbe Marathon Plus seemed far and away the tightest fit. It could be that the stiffness of the sidewalls was at least some of the reason they seemed tight but I really do not think they were looser than at least three other brands of tires I mounted on those rims.

FWIW: I really don't like these tires (Marathon Plus). They weigh far too much and have a "dead" feel (assuming that dead is the opposite of lively). I might tolerate them for commuting in a hostile environment, but will probably replace them while still like brand new rather than do a long tour on them.
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