Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB (27.5 inch 650B) Review

Inspectorgadget
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:53 pm

Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB (27.5 inch 650B) Review

Postby Inspectorgadget » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:06 pm

First of all these are first class tyres for general purpose MTB use. I am not a technical rider, I am 60 years old so no big jumps and aerial gymnastics for me but I do a lot of riding including on paved surfaces and tracks.

I am a new rider and I have a bit of a phobia probably about punctures as I am new to bikes. I have an electric Scott e-Aspect 720 Bosch MTB which has done 1400km since December on and off road.

I wanted something puncture resistant and I posted on another thread on the dreaded double gee which has taken out a lot of tyres including my own until I fitted goo tubes into them. The punctures then stopped with double gee attacks. Goo does work. These tyres are tough wearing with a lot of tread down the middle of the tyre which is different to most mountain bike tyres. They also have 5 mm of Kevlar/Butyl rubber protection under the tread and are rated as the most puncture resistant tyre on the market.

My Tough Toms though were wearing out very quickly...the worn one on the left is the back one and of course it wears more quickly especially on an electric bike. Note the tread too, one knob takes a lot of wear and it is noisy on paved surfaces and under braking.

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I bought the Marathon tyres in the hope of a tougher tyre generally and thorn resistant. Compared to the Tough Tom it is much more heavily constructed. It also has a wire bead around the outside. It is easy enough to fit if you are experienced at fitting tyres and know all the tricks and have some levers and maybe cable ties around as well. I learnt the hard way and made every mistake possible. I finally learnt by watching YouTube and talking to a few people and actually doing it multiple times. If you are not confident about fitting tyres then read up, message me (I am helpful or try to be) , get a friend to help or just suffer and learn the hard way as I did.

Note the difference in tread here. Much quieter on the road and under braking and just as good on a track.

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Once fitted, I took the bike on a test ride a few nights back and was very impressed. I was then confident to do a 32k round trip over rough track between Burns Beach and Romeo road on the Yaberoo Budjara track, on my own at night. The tyres were great. I was very pleased with myself and returning from Romeo Road. Mmmm I thought, the front tyre does make a weird noise, this weird noise unfortunately indicated the air going to the top of the tyre on this Titanic of tyres. Surely these tyres are unsinkable??? This was literally miles from help too in the middle of the night and ON MY OWN and not a soul on the track, deserted. I was worried but confident I could fix a flat. I had the gear with me and a spare tube. I pumped the tyre up and continued, checked it again at Hester Avenue, pumped it up a bit more and 8k later or so was back at my car. The tubes were CST goo filled tubes which was both lucky (I got home) and unlucky (they are crap). I tried unsuccessfully that night to replace the tube and it reminded me that I would have had no luck at all doing this in the bush ( had run out of cable ties too). The next morning I did more research and finally go them on using levers and cable ties but I did afterwards learn a few more tips which will help next time. I replaced the tube with a thorn resistant one and test rode it today. It was fine but I have ordered some Green Slime 650B tubes and have one thorn resistant tube for emergency in the meantime. The leak in the CST goo tube was on the side of the tube and suspect it had been there for some time as I had previously a short lived slow leak in that tyre and I had noticed some of the brown goo when I first took the Tough Toms off. It was on a seam so it was not a puncture but a fault in manufacture.

My cable tie solution. Note I could probably do better next time but it is a tough tyre to fit, not for beginners or the optimistic.

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Finally after tube replacement

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Conclusions:

These are great general purpose tyres and run quietly on the road and perform well on the track. If you are used to replacing to soft thin tyres without wire beads such as the Tough Toms (I found these easy with zero experience) then these will be a shock if you are not experienced replacing more difficult tyres. These require the full range of tricks to fit properly and possibly include using cable ties and levers. I am carrying cable ties with me (these need to be 250mm at least in length and can be found in Bunnings). The rewards should be hard wearing and long lasting (important with an electric bike with extra power in the rear) and few if any punctures thanks to the strong side walls and 5mm butyl rubber and kevlar under the tread. You can probably forget hand fitting these though by the side of the road without any tools. I am confident now though that caught out in the middle of friggin' nowhere at night, that I can replace tubes and/or fix punctures.

Baalzamon
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Re: Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB (27.5 inch 650B) Review

Postby Baalzamon » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:14 am

Here is a tip to make it easier to install those tough tyres. Put them out in the sun for 30mins to 1hr and they become much much easier.
Masi Speciale CX 2008 - Brooks B17 special saddle, Garmin Edge 810
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Inspectorgadget
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB (27.5 inch 650B) Review

Postby Inspectorgadget » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:59 am

Baalzamon wrote:Here is a tip to make it easier to install those tough tyres. Put them out in the sun for 30mins to 1hr and they become much much easier.


I was watching a video and that was one of the tricks suggested as tyres are harder to change in the Winter so it makes sense. The problem with these is the wire bead around the edge, it doesn't stretch. You have to make sure that the beads are in the valley of the rim and keep working and pushing the tyres down towards the final bit you are working on. I did do the rear tyre without cable ties but did use levers.

Thanks for the suggestion. These are a tough tyre but that is mostly a good thing.

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