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Schwalbe Marathon Plus vs Marathon XR

Old 03-18-09, 08:40 AM
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Schwalbe Marathon Plus vs Marathon XR

I used Schwalbes commuter tire, the Marathon Plus, on my last tour and got good results, only one flat in 2000 miles. Many people use the Marathon plus for touring with similiar results. For my next tour I am contemplating using Schwalbes expedition tire, the Marathon XR. What kind of advantages will it provide over the Marathon Plus? Is it as flat proof? My tours are almost exclusively confined to pavement. Thanks
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Old 03-18-09, 08:56 AM
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Of course, no tire is flat proof, but the XR is probably as close as you can get. It's also likely the most durable tire you can buy. I think it's rated as such on the Schwalbe site. My pair have about 6000 miles with plenty of tread left. 4 flats in 3 years, 3 wires and 1 nail. The Pluses seem to be getting pretty good press.

Jeff Kruys has some interesting tire data on CG documented on his never ending tour. Couple of Marathon Pluses with mileage that doesn't seem right, but lots more that does. Scroll way down to find it.
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Old 03-18-09, 08:58 AM
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Of course, no tire is flat proof, but the XR is probably as close as you can get. It's also likely the most durable tire you can buy. I think it's rated as such on the Schwalbe site. My pair have about 6000 miles with plenty of tread left. 4 flats in 3 years, 3 wires and 1 nail. The Pluses seem to be getting pretty good press.

Jeff Kruys has some interesting tire data on CG documented on his never ending tour. Couple of Marathon Pluses with mileage that doesn't seem right, but lots more that does. Scroll way down to find it.
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Old 03-18-09, 10:50 AM
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the marathon plus tyre is just way to heavy and it's no good on wet roads.i changed mine im now useing conti city contacts ok not as puncutre proof but in mho a far better tyre.i heard the xr and supreams are great but never tryed them.
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Old 03-18-09, 11:19 AM
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There was a thread on this a couple of years ago on crazyguyonabike. I don't know if the tires' design has changed much since then, but what was interesting was that someone from Schwalbe actually jumped into the discussion and attempted to clear up the differences between the Plus and XR. The thread is here, look down the page for the response from Stephen Caulker (he works for Schwalbe):

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum...hread_id=24804

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Old 03-18-09, 01:19 PM
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forget the plus, they suck. I love schwalbe tires, but not that particular model. get the XR, its amazingly good all-round.
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Old 03-18-09, 04:05 PM
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For what its worth, I had good experience using both and didn't notice a huge difference between the plus and XR.

I left Amsterdam with a new pair of Marathon plus tires. Approximately 4000 miles later not too far from Novosibirsk, my rear tire developed a small hole (my first and only flat of 8000+ miles). While not all the tread was gone, there was enough road noise that I switched to a foldable XR on the rear I was a carrying along - to debug things later. The Marathon plus on front and XR on rear carried me a remaining 4000 miles to Vladivostok including 1100 miles of gravel road. When I reached Vladivostok, the rear was starting to tear a bit, so I changed to a second folding XR that I had along.
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Old 03-18-09, 06:52 PM
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The Plus gets its puncture and cut protection primarily from an incredibly thick layer of rubber. That's also why it's so obscenely heavy.

The XR gets its puncture protection primarily from an aramid layer.

The Schwalbe web site shows that the Plus is better for puncture protection, but the XR is equal or better at almost everything else. The XR also costs more.
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Old 03-19-09, 06:28 AM
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so what's the story with the supream's, are they not supposed to be a better tyre that both plus/xr?
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Old 03-19-09, 06:46 AM
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i like the XR, using it here in China.... rolls great, no flats yet while tooling around Kunming China for the last month. Kunming has LOADS of shrapnel all over the streets, and 'bomb craters' galore. I really like these tires. I agree the plus is WAY heavy. Think the XR is the way to go.

bottom line, I carry a spare - it HAS to fold. XR's are available in a folding tire. Supremes aren;t. case closed.

here is what Caulker says about the XR. BOld formatting is mine.

The Marathon XR uses Travel Guard an Amarid fabric that is used in stab proof vests and gloves (It has 2.7 seven times more puncture resistance of the old Marathon XR tire).
* The XR's Travel Guard is a more flexible material then Smart Guard; it's lighter, and helps to lower rolling resistance.
* The XR has a special chafer strip to protect the lower portion of the sidewall and bead from cuts from the rim due to tire 'scrubbing' (lateral movement under heavy loads).
* The XR tire compound is slightly harder and will provide higher mileage.
* Foldable
* Higher load range then the Marathon Plus.
* Lighter then the Marathon Plus

he calls the supreme a commuter tire. he calls the XR tire a tire for the world traveller who is counting on their equipment not to fail. nuff said
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Last edited by jbpence; 03-19-09 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 03-19-09, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jbpence
bottom line, I carry a spare - it HAS to fold. XR's are available in a folding tire. Supremes aren;t. case closed.
Marathon Supremes are available in a folding version.

https://www.schwalbetires.com/marathon_supreme

Marathon Supreme HS 382
Exceptional. Outstanding. The best. A touring tire that can do everything. That was the goal
of our development team. For 2009 we have completely revised our : HD Ceramic Guard, Triple
Nano Compound, LiteSkin side wall. The Marathon Supreme is now even lighter and faster.
Puncture resistance has also been improved and its grip on wet roads remains outstanding!

Note: Not suitable for use with a sidewall dynamo.

Folding Bead
Art.No. ETRTO Size Technology Colour Compound PSI Weight EPI Load Tube Price Add
11613382 42-406 20 x 1.60 HD Ceramic Reflex Triple Nano 50-85 325 g 67 80 kg 7, 7C 69.95
11630382 42-559 26 x 1.60 HD Ceramic Reflex Triple Nano 50-85 440 g 67 110 kg 13, 14, 14A 69.95
11632483 50-559 26 x 2.00 HD Ceramic Reflex Triple Nano 30-70 595 g 67 140 kg 13, 14, 14A 69.95
11647483 32-622 700 x 32C HD Ceramic Reflex Triple Nano 55-95 430 g 67 100 kg 16, 17 69.95
11649484 37-622 700 x 35C HD Ceramic Reflex Triple Nano 50-85 440 g 67 110 kg 17 69.95
11650483 42-622 700 x 40C HD Ceramic Reflex Triple Nano 50-85 510 g 67 130 kg 19 69.95
11652483 50-622 29 x 2.00 HD Ceramic Reflex Triple Nano 30-70 690 g 67 150 kg 19 69.95

Last edited by Yinkgo; 03-19-09 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 03-19-09, 09:27 AM
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Well someone should do the due diligence here. Just because those are the tires the OP asked about doesn't mean those are the tires he really needs. Since you say your tours are exclusively on pavement, you probably shouldn't be considering the XR at all. Look at who's responding here; people who have crossed Siberia with the things. Unless you're considering something of that magnitude, it's complete overkill, and makes me wonder if you're falling into the reverse weight weenie trap of "must roll on after apocalypse." Same deal with the Plus, which is designed for inner city commuting, with all the hazards wrought by @ssholes throwing their empty OE 40s on the street, other idiots smashing their cars together, errant construction materials, etc. etc.. All human factors. On the open highway, the human factor is diminished, and so is the flat risk.

If you really feel like stimulating Schwalbe's bank account, try the Supremes. Otherwise, the straight Marathon is probably just fine for any pavement touring.
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Old 03-19-09, 10:00 AM
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I agree with Acetone Man about the apocalyptic tires. The Marathon Plus is an incredibly slow tire I would never use on a tour, pavement or otherwise. It's a city commuting tire for cities where there is an actual war underway.

Right now I am using Marathon Racers, which are fairly fast, and pretty darned flat-proof. Anyway I don't care if they get the odd puncture. Fixing a couple of flats is better than adding days or weeks to your tour because you used a sluggish flat-proof tire. I also use Continental Ultra Gatorskins which are very flat resistant and not too slow.
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Old 03-19-09, 11:00 AM
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For all detailed comparisons of the specifications, I encourage you to go directly to the Schwalbe web site. It has a lot of information.

Bottom line is that no tire is perfect and there are compromises with any tire. Everybody has to decide for themselves what compromises they can live with.

I don't know about everybody else, but I have trouble actually getting Schwalbe tires. Many web sites that advertise them, often for great prices, don't actually have any in stock and cannot deliver if you order them.
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Old 03-19-09, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Yinkgo
Marathon Supremes are available in a folding version.

https://www.schwalbetires.com/marathon_supreme
.....
my mistake. I should have checked. going on old info is always dangerous. my apologies.
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Old 03-19-09, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Thasiet
Well someone should do the due diligence here. Just because those are the tires the OP asked about doesn't mean those are the tires he really needs. Since you say your tours are exclusively on pavement, you probably shouldn't be considering the XR at all. Look at who's responding here; people who have crossed Siberia with the things. Unless you're considering something of that magnitude, it's complete overkill, and makes me wonder if you're falling into the reverse weight weenie trap of "must roll on after apocalypse." Same deal with the Plus, which is designed for inner city commuting, with all the hazards wrought by @ssholes throwing their empty OE 40s on the street, other idiots smashing their cars together, errant construction materials, etc. etc.. All human factors. On the open highway, the human factor is diminished, and so is the flat risk.

If you really feel like stimulating Schwalbe's bank account, try the Supremes. Otherwise, the straight Marathon is probably just fine for any pavement touring.
good points. while I am glad I am using the XR here in china, I have made many a mile on some pretty average tires.... once used bontager hard cases that came on a 2008 trek 520, only 4 flats in 1100 miles (goatshead thorns).

here in china however, I am glad I have the XRs. have rolled over some NASTY stuff. I have 2 spares and will always carry one. its not so much rolling on after the apocalypse, its that once you get away from a city, buying decent tires would be pretty hard. I realize this sounds like overkill, but I even carry a spare rear derailleur, spokes and cables.
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Old 03-19-09, 10:38 PM
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schwalbe have brought out some new tyres......marathon plus tour....these are supposed to be superior to the xr but I am having difficulty in getting them here in the UK...anybody heard about them or better still tried them
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Old 03-20-09, 08:46 AM
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Marathon Plus Tour redefines "heavy". You can always make a tire more puncture proof by making it heavier and more expensive, but that doesn't necessarily make it better.
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Old 03-20-09, 09:10 AM
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I have been using the Supremes for awhile now, and am very pleased.

They can be be bought for reasonable prices, if you pay attention to sale prices at places like Niagara.

I used to get a flat every 2.5 days........... enuf said!
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