Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: Ctyboy33 on October 28, 2009, 02:03:03 am

 
Title: Tire Question
Post by: Ctyboy33 on October 28, 2009, 02:03:03 am
My apologies in advance if this question has been answered. I am leaving in a few weeks for a ride down the Pacific Coast Trail Vancouver B.C. to San Diego, CA. Was wondering which model of Schwalbe Marathon tires I should run on my rig for this ride. I'm on a 56cm LHT, which runs 700c tires and I'll be fully loaded for a self sufficient tour. I guess its between the Extreme, Supreme, XR or Plus? I'll be sticking mostly to the ACA map, which I believe is pretty much paved roads with minimal off road riding. If I am wrong about that, let me know. What do you guys, or ladies, suggest? Thanks in advance.

Best,

Dave
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: staehpj1 on October 28, 2009, 07:22:31 am
If I understand your route correctly that would be the Pacific Coast Highway, right?  If so I personally would use a tire suited primarily to decent roads, like something nearly slick.  I am not especially a Schwalbe fan due primarily to having been soured on them by the Marathon Pluses that I recently took off after only a few hundred miles because they rode like anchors.  In fairness some of their other tires are probably very good, but I'd avoid the Pluses unless puncture resistance is your main and nearly only criteria.  Personally I prefer something with a lively ride and if I have to fix a flat once in a while so be it.

My tire of choice would be the 28 mm Continental Ultra Gatorskin.  It has a nice lively ride, is fast, durable, and pretty puncture resistant.  I used them on my spring tour carrying about 30 pounds and they were a joy.
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: Ctyboy33 on October 28, 2009, 11:57:02 am
Yes The Plus seems on the heavy side and may be unnecessary for me. However, the Marathon Supreme might be quite nice despite the price. They are much lighter then the Plus and able to hold a load and have a nice tread. Anyone have experience with these? How do they compare?
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: Ctyboy33 on October 28, 2009, 12:09:17 pm
Also, how fat should I go? 700 x 35? Waht do you guys run for a loaded tour?
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: paddleboy17 on October 28, 2009, 12:30:50 pm
The Schwalbe Marathon line is overly complicated.  Too many tires named Marathon.

I have the Marathon XR on my Waterford.  It does well for me.  Running bicyclists off the road is a time honored sport in Michigan, so I tend plot tours that maximize my use of rail trails.  And I have a job that only lets me get away at most a week.

The Marathon XR does well on dirt.  You did not say 100% perfect pavement, so don't rule out riding on a wet dirt road from your equation.  You could probably go with something with a less aggressive tread pattern.

Schwalbe does not measure its tire carcass like any other tire company.  So be warned, that a Schwalbe tire will be bigger and fatter than you think.  Waterford sized my bike for 38mm tires.  I can barely fit a 35mm Schwalbe tire.  Yes, Waterford make their forks with a tight crown, so there is not a lot of clearance.  But Schwalbe tires run big.

I think you will do just fine with a 35mm tire, you may have fit issues with a 38mm tire.
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: Ctyboy33 on October 28, 2009, 02:16:48 pm
What about Marathon Racer? Anyone run these on a tour? My buddy just got these for our tour on the LBS recommendation. Are these ok?
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: bdegroodt on October 28, 2009, 03:24:33 pm
Hi,

Been following this RSS feed and thought I'd add a bit I read yesterday on tires:

http://epicureancyclist.com/?p=855

Safe travels!

BD
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: John Nelson on October 28, 2009, 04:33:46 pm
I guess its between the Extreme, Supreme, XR or Plus?

Here's my take.

Chose the Plus if you place a very high value on puncture protection, and little value on anything else.

Otherwise, choose the Extreme if the majority of your riding will be on unpaved roads.

Otherwise, choose the Supreme if you place a high value on low weight.

Otherwise, choose the XR. When in doubt, choose the XR.
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: Ctyboy33 on October 28, 2009, 11:35:42 pm
I think I've ruled out the Plus. I don't think I have much need for something that heavy. I probably don't need the Extreme either since I will be on a majority of paved roads. I have, however, added the Marathon Racer into the mix. Anyone have any experience with these? Are they good for a loaded tour? I guess its down to the XR, Supreme and Racer. Since I am going to run fenders I assume I can't really go much wider then 35, so I'll probably get 700 x 35's.
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: johnsondasw on October 29, 2009, 12:10:48 am
The whole route is paved.  I rode almost the whole thing with $30.00 Bontrager 700x23c road tires and had one flat, just out of Santa
Cruz.  And the tires weren't even brand new when I started.  I have also never changed tires for any paved road tour in 30 years.  On the Pacific
Coast ride, I was hauling a trailer, so all the weight wasn't on the bike tires, but on all the other tours (all were shorter than that one), I was using panniers.  Anyway, I wouldn't change anything, unless I anticipated lots of dirt/gravel roads. 
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: Ctyboy33 on October 29, 2009, 12:19:01 am
I understand that you wouldn't change anything, but I am not changing tires. I am putting tires on my bike from nothing .. there is no change. I'm just trying to decide what works best for me is all.
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: John Nelson on October 29, 2009, 12:44:09 pm
The Marathon Racer is a perfectly acceptable touring tire. Compared to the Marathon XR, it sacrifices a bit of puncture protection and durability for speed. It's also somewhat less expensive than the XR. It's a tradeoff you'll have to make, but both options are good. I think if I was planning a 4000-mile trip and hoped to make it on one set of tires, I'd stick to the XR. But if your trip is shorter or you're willing to change tires, the Racer is fine.
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: Ctyboy33 on October 29, 2009, 03:23:03 pm
Thanks all .. I ordered a set of Supremes. I figure it will give me the speed similar to the Racer with the security of puncture protection. I'll have to recover a bit from the price, but hopefully it will give me piece of mind.
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: John Nelson on October 29, 2009, 06:04:32 pm
Just FYI, a few months ago, I ordered a pair of Marathon XR and a pair of Marathon Supremes, both in size 700x35 and both from the same vendor at the same time. When I got them, I weighed them on my kitchen food scale. As you might expect, the actual weights didn't exactly match the advertised weights, presumably due to manufacturing variations. Here are the numbers:

Marathon XR: Advertised=590g Actual=497g
Marathon Supreme: Advertised=440g Actual=431g

So the weight difference between the two was not as great for my tires as the difference you would expect from the Schwalbe specifications.
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: Ctyboy33 on October 29, 2009, 09:40:01 pm
Just FYI, a few months ago, I ordered a pair of Marathon XR and a pair of Marathon Supremes, both in size 700x35 and both from the same vendor at the same time. When I got them, I weighed them on my kitchen food scale. As you might expect, the actual weights didn't exactly match the advertised weights, presumably due to manufacturing variations. Here are the numbers:

Marathon XR: Advertised=590g Actual=497g
Marathon Supreme: Advertised=440g Actual=431g

So the weight difference between the two was not as great for my tires as the difference you would expect from the Schwalbe specifications.

Thanks for that info .. How would you compare the two tires? Considering I will be strictly on paved roads would you agree that the Supreme makes the most sense for me? I figured as long as I was sticking to paved roads the Supreme would have the advantage as far as speed and rolling resistance with a similar amount of protection.
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: John Nelson on October 29, 2009, 10:44:00 pm
I only have 100 miles on each pair, all on paved roads, and so far I don't notice any difference. But I'm not that sensitive to tire feel.
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: Cyclesafe on October 31, 2009, 08:24:57 pm
I have thousands of miles with all three Schwalbe tires

37-622 XR - No flats, not great traction on wet pavement, sidewall failure after 7500 miles
37-622 Supreme - Smooth riding, great traction, tread delamination after 4000 miles, one puncture every 500 miles
30-622 Racers - Fast accelerating, no flats for 2000 miles (so far, still running these unloaded)

I bought into the Supremes buzz when they came out and was disappointed by their susceptibility to puncture and their durability compared to the XR.  Unfortunately Schwalbe is discontinuing the XR, replacing it with three: Durene, Extreme, Supreme.  They leave it to you to pick the one that replaces the XR.

Schwalbe seems to be pushing the Marathon Plus Tour for puncture resistance and durability, but it weighs 890g in the 37-622 .  There is no way I'd run a tire that heavy.  The XR was heavy enough!
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: johnsondasw on November 01, 2009, 06:41:50 pm
After using all kinds of tires over 50 years, a couple of friends talked me into trying Continental 4000's.  I was getting only about 1000 miles or so out of tires, and they told me they get up to 3000 miles.  They cost avout $60 each, but I figured if I can get three times the mileage, they'd be worth the price.  I'm up to close to 1000 miles on them and see no wear yet.  Also, I love the ride.  I'm using 700x23c on paved roads only.  I'm wondering if anyone else has experience with these and, if so, how they held up.   Also, how many miles are all of you getting on whatever road tires you're using?
Thanks.
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: whittierider on November 01, 2009, 08:06:09 pm
johnsondasw, I'm using Conti GP4000's in 700x25, and although I haven't toured on them yet, I just finished off a rear one at 4,000 miles.  One of our son just finished off one at 5,000 miles.  These were both with a lot of climbing and hard riding, definitely not taking time to smell the flowers!  We have never gotten anywhere near that kind of mileage with any other brand on the rear.  This tire has one of the lowest rolling-resistance numbers you can find in performance tires, and is quite good in the puncture-resistance department too, thanks to its vectran breaker belt, which of course is all still there even when the rubber is worn away.  Conti really has a winner this time.
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: DU on November 04, 2009, 07:23:36 pm
I used to ride Conti Top Touring 2000's before they were discontinued. I switched to Marathon Supremes 700x35 this year and have 3500 miles and counting with no flats, 2200 of those miles were loaded touring. Very good on wet roads and ride real smooth. I'll replace them with the same tire. I tried a pair of XR's but thought the ride was pretty harsh, but that might just be me.
Title: Re: Tire Question
Post by: Westinghouse on November 05, 2009, 08:07:05 pm
I started to get Marathon Plus until I saw how much they weighed. You can do the PCBR on any good quality tires. However, if you get the $15.00 kinds of tires, you will be changing one back tire on the way. The cheap tires are dependable, but they wear out fairly quickly, and they seem to get punctured quite easily. Cheap 90 psi IRC tires or Kendas will carry you, but carry a spare or watch the wear and know when to change.