Schwalbe Marathon - personal review

by pakennedy   March 28, 2014  

A while back I asked for recommendations for replacement tyres. I went with the suggestions and a Schwalbe Marathon 700 x 38c arrived free delivery courtesy of Wiggle.

First observation. Wiggle sent it as is. I was expecting it to be folded somehow, but no. I got an enormouse package.

Second observation it is bigger than the Raleigh tyres I had on the bike. This was noticeable twice. The first time was putting a little air in the tube to slot it into the tyre prior to installing it. The tube wasn't as big as the tyre so didn't tuck in all the way round.

Fitting it on the wheel was fun too. As it is puncture resistant it is also quite stiff and didn't want to engage on the rim but that was the case with the previous tyre too. One slight difference is that once it started to go into place, I was able to get the last couple of inches on by hand instead of needing levers like the Raleigh tyre did.

Then I put the wheel back on the bike. Did I mention the tyre is bigger? The wheel wouldn't go all the way on. It jammed pretty much all the way around the mudguard. 2 locking bolts off the front and everything else adjusted to the maximum was needed to get clearance. It was also clipping the brakes so they got adjusted too.

Use: The tyre has a bit more volume and seems softer so a little more pumping was required to get it to 50psi. The rubber is certainly softer and grippier. I have more confidence cornering and it is less likely to lock if I brake hard.

Oddly, in spite of the softer rubber and a touch more tread pattern it seems to have less grip in mud (I do a lot of miles on canal paths) and I get more wheel spins in low gears in the wet bits.

As advertised I haven't had a puncture in 400+ miles. My unprotected mountain bike can't go 5 miles on the canal path without getting a hawthorn in it. Its record is 25 punctures in 10 miles (just after British Waterways had been along with the hedge cutting barge). 2 replacement tubes and any number of patches used up that day.

I'm not a quick cyclist and my main bike is a Raleigh Urban 2; just a town bike really that's quite well built and comfortable. It eats up the miles with little effort. I was quite surprised the other day when i went out on a geocaching expedition with lots of stops, going across muddy fields, lifting the bike over stiles and ended up doing 34 miles when I thought I'd done maybe 15. I see these beautiful road bikes on here and find myself wondering how I would ruin them with a rack and panniers large enough for a week's shopping.

I am pretty proud that I ride enough that I've ditched the car entirely andthe only wheels in my house come in pairs powered by legs.

24 user comments

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tl;dr: yawn

posted by morethansonglyrics [56 posts]
28th March 2014 - 18:17

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Quote:
I got an enormouse package.

No need to brag mate.

posted by Nick T [789 posts]
28th March 2014 - 18:29

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You *had* to find the double entendre. I spent ages trying to make sure there weren't many in there. 'Difficult to get hard' etc... Applause

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posted by pakennedy [46 posts]
28th March 2014 - 19:16

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Nice review. Kudos for dumping the car and going everywhere on two wheels. This means you can now 'justify' spending more money on bike-related stuff Wink

Some riders can maintain grip in loose or muddy conditions where others don't, I believe it's partly down to how you apply the force during the pedalling stroke.

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posted by Simon E [1940 posts]
28th March 2014 - 21:56

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To be fair to Wiggle, any company posting wire bead tyres will send them in the round - I'd be upset if my brand new tyres were twisted into smaller loops or even folded so they could save a few bob on postage.

Kevlar beads are foldable and are packaged by the manufacturer like this, look in any lbs and you'll see the racks of wire beads hanging the like an Essex girls stirrup earrings.

posted by Nick T [789 posts]
28th March 2014 - 22:05

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I've only dealt with one company online for bike bits. I usually go to a local dealer. Wiggle were less than half the price they could offer. They couldn't even price match. The little dealings I had still left me feeling an impotant customer just like the Guy who just blew £1000 on a bike down the road. It may take decades for me to spend that much. It didn't take decades for me to suggest Wiggle. Good support at my end of the market got them a sale at the higher end.

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posted by pakennedy [46 posts]
28th March 2014 - 23:25

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morethansonglyrics wrote:
tl;dr: yawn

I'm sorry I don't ride a carbon speed machine and can't get close to Strava segments. (Although I'm a few seconds off on one). I cycle in a world where a budget tyre is a significant purchase. I can barely afford food so.. f*** off

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posted by pakennedy [46 posts]
28th March 2014 - 23:41

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pakennedy wrote:
You *had* to find the double entendre. I spent ages trying to make sure there weren't many in there.


pakennedy wrote:
...I was able to get the last couple of inches on by hand...
...a little more pumping was required...
...The rubber is certainly softer and grippier...
...it is also quite stiff...
Best wishes and happy cake weekend feelings Big Grin

posted by Argos74 [286 posts]
29th March 2014 - 10:11

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RRP on the rigid Marathon Greenguard is only £25. Or did the LBS give you a price for folding or one of the posher models?

http://spacycles.co.uk are always worth a look for bargain Schwalbe tyres.

I'd ignore the condescending comments. Ignorant people with money to burn on carbon everything often forget that not everyone on two wheels has disposable income to burn on posh brands and shiny stuff every month.

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posted by Simon E [1940 posts]
29th March 2014 - 12:26

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pakennedy wrote:
morethansonglyrics wrote:
tl;dr: yawn

I'm sorry I don't ride a carbon speed machine and can't get close to Strava segments. (Although I'm a few seconds off on one). I cycle in a world where a budget tyre is a significant purchase. I can barely afford food so.. f*** off

"the only wheels in my house come in pairs powered by legs"
you are a hoot mate. next you'll be telling us cycling is your religion - get over yourself. if I wanted to hear a review of a budget tyre, I could have found one on any old bike shop website.

"can't get close to Strava segments. (Although I'm a few seconds off on one)" you are comical.

posted by morethansonglyrics [56 posts]
29th March 2014 - 14:39

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If this review is so unappealling to you then why bother commenting twice just to deride the OP?

Instead of cheap shots at someone who has made an effort why not post something constructive? Or start your own thread.

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posted by Simon E [1940 posts]
29th March 2014 - 15:36

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Deriding the OP? I must be mistaken, but I believe it was he who told me to "f off".

posted by morethansonglyrics [56 posts]
29th March 2014 - 15:46

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This website truly is the Daily Mail of cycling. Such mock outrage.

posted by morethansonglyrics [56 posts]
29th March 2014 - 15:47

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Good on ya PA. Great down to earth review.

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posted by giff77 [1045 posts]
29th March 2014 - 16:04

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Dull, too!

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posted by harman_mogul [121 posts]
29th March 2014 - 19:35

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LBS doesn't do scwalbe and the cheapest offreing was £40. Not sure what make it was.

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posted by pakennedy [46 posts]
29th March 2014 - 21:26

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Nick T wrote:
To be fair to Wiggle, any company posting wire bead tyres will send them in the round - I'd be upset if my brand new tyres were twisted into smaller loops or even folded so they could save a few bob on postage.

Kevlar beads are foldable and are packaged by the manufacturer like this, look in any lbs and you'll see the racks of wire beads hanging the like an Essex girls stirrup earrings.

Not true - I have ordered wire bead tires online, only to receive a smaller package, with them folded up (figure of eight, squashed flat, then zip tie holding things together). Don't think it was wiggle, but other online bike shops definitely do this.

Once i had the bead then snap, and stab its way out of the tire, only a month or two after fitting. Not impressed! I wish they would not try to fold non folding tires.

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posted by PJ McNally [586 posts]
30th March 2014 - 19:26

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Wondering what on earth happened to road.cc after reading the comments section here. It used to be a friendly community, none of the stupid sniping on lots of cycling forums, no point scoring in the comments, just a constructive bunch who were interested in the topic. Now, more often than not, the comments sections seem doomed to descend into the usual forum tripe which no-one would ever consider acceptable in a face-to-face conversation. Can we go back to the enjoyable road.cc please?

posted by step-hent [671 posts]
30th March 2014 - 21:09

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morethansonglyrics wrote:
This website truly is the Daily Mail of cycling. Such mock outrage.

I had a scan through some of your other posts and found them to be a mixture of dull, unnecessary, and occasionally completely inappropriate. Of the forty-odd I reckon less than a dozen were worth reading.

For the benefit of our Daily Mail reading membership I'm going to summarise this into a short review of your contribution to and behaviour on this website, thus:

.

(In order to avoid mock outrage, the word "Twat" has been removed from the above review)

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

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posted by Jack Osbourne snr [304 posts]
30th March 2014 - 22:05

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step-hent wrote:
Wondering what on earth happened to road.cc after reading the comments section here. It used to be a friendly community, none of the stupid sniping on lots of cycling forums, no point scoring in the comments, just a constructive bunch who were interested in the topic. Now, more often than not, the comments sections seem doomed to descend into the usual forum tripe which no-one would ever consider acceptable in a face-to-face conversation. Can we go back to the enjoyable road.cc please?

Indeed.

People not interested in a topic or thread need only stop reading it or indeed not read it at all.

Positive criticism should never be discouraged, but comments such as "yawn" are unnecessary.

Mind you, so is suggesting that someone is at twat... Whoops..oh well, too late now.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

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posted by Jack Osbourne snr [304 posts]
30th March 2014 - 23:40

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Why so harsh? You seem to be going out of your way to have a go here.

morethansonglyrics wrote:
pakennedy wrote:
morethansonglyrics wrote:
tl;dr: yawn

I'm sorry I don't ride a carbon speed machine and can't get close to Strava segments. (Although I'm a few seconds off on one). I cycle in a world where a budget tyre is a significant purchase. I can barely afford food so.. f*** off

"the only wheels in my house come in pairs powered by legs"
you are a hoot mate. next you'll be telling us cycling is your religion - get over yourself. if I wanted to hear a review of a budget tyre, I could have found one on any old bike shop website.

"can't get close to Strava segments. (Although I'm a few seconds off on one)" you are comical.

posted by Chuck [364 posts]
31st March 2014 - 9:59

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step-hent wrote:
Wondering what on earth happened to road.cc after reading the comments section here. It used to be a friendly community, none of the stupid sniping on lots of cycling forums, no point scoring in the comments, just a constructive bunch who were interested in the topic. Now, more often than not, the comments sections seem doomed to descend into the usual forum tripe which no-one would ever consider acceptable in a face-to-face conversation. Can we go back to the enjoyable road.cc please?

Hear hear! It's getting a bit much.

Anyhoo, @pakennedy - thanks for the review! Always enjoy a good 'real world' review - not enough folks take the time to write 'em these days! Smile

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [542 posts]
31st March 2014 - 10:19

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morethansonglyrics wrote:

if I wanted to hear a review of a budget tyre, I could have found one on any old bike shop website.
quote]

If you didn't want to hear a review of a budget tyre, why did you click the thread titled "Schwalbe Marathon - personal review"? Rather obvious, no? Or you just trolling?

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3079 posts]
31st March 2014 - 10:24

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morethansonglyrics wrote:

if I wanted to hear a review of a budget tyre, I could have found one on any old bike shop website.
Quote:

If you didn't want to hear a review of a budget tyre, why did you click the thread titled "Schwalbe Marathon - personal review"? Rather obvious, no? Or you just trolling?

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3079 posts]
31st March 2014 - 10:24

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