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Kit Review: Schwalbe Marathon XR Tyres
Our Rating: 9/10
Model
Schwalbe Marathon XR 26 x 2.0 wired tyre w/ HD CeramicGuard Reflective S/Wall.

Purchased April 2009

Description
Schwalbe Marathon XR Tyres
The Schwalbe Marathon XR tyres have long been the most popular heavy duty touring tyres on the market, until they were discontinued in 2010 and replaced with newer models. We used the old model 26 x 2 inch size and have been running them for around 8,400km.
Review
With their deep tread and thicker tyre walls they look quite bulky but are surprisingly sporty for their size. They feel rock solid on the road and have brilliant grip on lose and wet surfaces giving you that added peace of mind.

It took us a while to get used to them, as at 860 grams they are much heavier than our previous tyres. When the pressure drops you really do notice a degredation in performance, we found keeping them pumped up at the higher end of the pressure range (70psi) is essential to maintain that sporty feel. A pump with PSI gauge would have been handy as it was a little more difficult to judge the pressure through their thick tyre wall.

We had a large cut from a bottle top on one of the tyres about 4,500km ago and managed to fix it with superglue on the advice of the Schwalbe Marathon support team. We’ve also had a few smaller cuts since, which we patched up in the same way. Another cyclist we met fixed his Schwalbe Marathon XR by sewing it up with dental floss, which seemed to work very well.
Pros
  • Excellent grip in all terrains 
  • Durable
  • Puncture resistant
  • Foldable
Cons
  • Heavy when compared to other tyres on the market
  • Can be difficult to align correctly on the wheel as they are quite stiff (a small amount of washing up liquid on the inside of the rims can help). 
Reviewed On
10th April 2011
Comments
Comment by Delia on Tuesday, July 5, 2011  5:57 AM  

Extremely hepflul article, please write more.

Comment by revelo on Thursday, January 19, 2012  3:55 AM  

Thorn strongly advises against inflating 26" x 2" tires to more than about 50 PSI. See page 6 of the current Nomad brochure. High pressures push the sides of the rims apart. This is not a problem if the rim is comparable in width to the tire, as typically is the case with road bikes. But Rigida Andra 30 rims (which I think you are using) are not wide (about 19mm wide internally) compared to those 50mm wide XR tires you are using. Also, the "sporty" feeling at 70 PSI is something of an illusion. Backing off to 50 PSI should cause zero loss of speed on tarmac and will run much faster on rough surfaces. Lower pressures will help also protect your spokes and rim from damage. 70 PSI is the safety limit imposed by Schwalbe for the tires, and to hell with the rest of the bike.

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