Author Topic: Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .  (Read 2030 times)

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Offline Rixtoy

Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .
« on: February 18, 2021, 05:08:12 pm »
I have recently purchased a new Trek 520 and it comes with 700c X 38mm Bontrager tires.

In considering a self-contained tour of potentially the Pacific Coast route this fall and/or Southern Tier a year from now, I have decided after extensive research to go with Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires for a number of reasons - some technical, some practical.

My question is this - they only come in 35mm and 40mm at the high end of widths.
My routes should be 99% paved. Can anyone speak from experience or anecdotally which tire might be preferable?
Or, is there really enough of a difference to be meaningful?

I may be over-thinking all of this, but sometimes little differences can have big penalties or big dividends.

Thanks for any input.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2021, 05:12:22 pm »
Unless you are carrying a ton of stuff and/or you yourself are pretty heavy, 35mm would be fine.  Be sure to factor in fenders if you use them as they will take up some of the available space.

Offline Rixtoy

Re: Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2021, 05:16:23 pm »
Unless you are carrying a ton of stuff and/or you yourself are pretty heavy, 35mm would be fine.  Be sure to factor in fenders if you use them as they will take up some of the available space.

I do have fenders, but they are specified to handle 35-45mm tires. should not be a problem.
Thanks.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2021, 05:21:17 pm »
Right but my point is that if the chainstay width is say 40mm, and then the fenders take up 5mm of that, the widest tire you can have without rubbing is 35mm.  Probably best to wait until you get the bike and then see.  Regardless, the 35mm would work fine.

Offline Rixtoy

Re: Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2021, 09:54:00 pm »
Right but my point is that if the chainstay width is say 40mm, and then the fenders take up 5mm of that, the widest tire you can have without rubbing is 35mm.  Probably best to wait until you get the bike and then see.  Regardless, the 35mm would work fine.

that makes sense - Thanks for the clarification.

Offline hikerjer

Re: Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2021, 10:29:47 pm »
I ride Schwalbe Marathon Spremes, 700 x 35s, on my fully loaded (32 lbs-35 lbs) Kona Sutra and they work great on asphalt and on fairly good gravel roads. You'll be fine. I've never had a flat with them.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2021, 03:47:15 pm by hikerjer »

Offline Rixtoy

Re: Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2021, 11:17:02 pm »
I ride Schwalbe Marthn Spremes,  700 x 35s on my fully loaded (32 lbs-35 lbs) Kona Sutra and they work great on asphalt and on fairly good gravel roads. You'll be fine. I've never ad a flat with them.

Thank you, Sir.
Very helpful.

Rixtoy

Offline wildtoad

Re: Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2021, 07:27:02 pm »
Congrats on your new 520.

A quick glance on the Trek website and a few newish review articles of the latest 520 indicate that your 520 will likely have clearance for up to 700x50mm tires (without fenders).  Trek apparently recently upped tire clearance on the 520....in line w/ so many newer bikes in general. So 40mm Supremes should be no problem w/ your fenders, but it's always good to confirm once you have the bike.

Based on my general preferences, I would pick the 40mm variant of the Supremes for touring, without question.  I don't see a meaningful downside and you will gain a little bit should you encounter variable conditions.  Point of anecdotal reference, my 2017 touring bike came stock w/ 700 x 40mm tires, the well regarded Clement MSOs.  Good, stable setup, particularly for typical road touring.  I did encounter some variable conditions on my tours w/ those tires (e.g., dirt, gravel and muck)....some planned, some not...and the bike handed quite well, although there were a few instances when I would have liked something wider.

Now, not to get too off track, but there are occasions when I like to use my touring bike in a more bikepacking/"adventure" type orientation for short overnight/weekend trips. In that context, I found the stability provided by the wider 700c tires to be a bit of a minus, and was looking for some more lively handing.  I eventually found a great deal on a decent 650b wheelset and put some good 650x48mm tires on the bike.  Really excellent and provides more nimble handling as it has effective circumference similar to 700x28 road bike.  But, overall, the stability provided by wider 700c can be an asset for typical road touring, which I think is your primary usage.

Bottom line, I would advocate against downsizing from your stock size, and instead upsize by a couple mm.

Either way, have fun and I hope you enjoy your new ride!

j

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2021, 09:28:55 am »
Not to hijack this thread but I just want to confirm what I am seeing on the tires on our Surly Disc Truckers. We bought a pair to tour together and since my wife needs to ride a 26" wheel for stand over we both went with the 26" for parts compatibility.

The bikes came with Conti Ride Tour with Extra Puncture Belt. I have never been a big fan of Continentals on my bikes or cars, crappy handling and poor wear. The tire size is 47-559 (26 X 1.75). From what I can tell these are 47 mm wide tires based on charts and research. Any feedback on the size or quality of these tires would be great. We will probably tour with them this fall but replace them before we do the TransAm.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline ray b

Re: Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2021, 10:55:54 am »
I know you wnjoy thinking about details, so when it comes to tire size, I wanted to reiterate the importance of rim width.

General recommendations are for 1.5 to 2 times the rim width.  On pavement, I like to run closer to lower ration. The smaller tires also handle somewhat higher pressure.

I would add to the discussion of clearances the possibility you might need to run a slightly damaged rim. You might want an extra 5 mm clearance on either side to the stays - just in case.

Have fun.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline wildtoad

Re: Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2021, 11:50:42 am »
26 x 1.75" is a decent size for 26" wheels.  I toured for many years on 26x1.6 and 2.0 tires; both were good, I preferred the wider tires (an important consideration in smaller wheel sizes IME/IMO).  And that was on notably narrower rims than what you will find prevailing on newer bikes today; zero issues w/ rim width. 

Haven't used Conti Ride Tours. Plenty of experience w/ other Conti tires. They make some gems and some duds, IME. In many respects, it boils down to you get what you pay for, LOL.  For many years, I toured w/ the Conti TopContact II tires in 26". I was reasonably happy w/ them at the time, typical overbuilt German touring tire, long lasting, zero flats over many tours. The compromise was heavier weight and mediocre ride quality. That was okay for my purposes then. But my preference re tires has changed.

So if you look at reviews online for the Conti Ride Tours at sites like BikeTiresDirect, they appear to be good value tire that folks seem to like most for urban use. They appear pretty darn heavy and I would speculate are a bit lacking in the ride quality department. So, for a long distance tour like TransAm, yeah, you could probably do better.  But no reason not to give them a try this Fall.  Maybe they will be fine.  Sometimes its good to ride what you've got and wear them out, unless you absolutely hate them.

If you decide you want something else, Panaracer Paselas w/ the Protite puncture protection in 1.75 width will be a solid, relative value option.  I have very good experience w/ older Pasela TourGuards in 700c size.  Or a more spendy option would be the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes in 26 x 1.6 or 2.0 widths.  Those are the only tires in the Marathon line that I would recommend.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2021, 11:54:57 am »
Thanks Wildtoad -

The Schwalbe Marathon Supremes are at the top of my list. Surly has now come out with a touring tire as well that I have been considering.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966