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Review: Schwalbe Marathon Plus

I’ve been riding a set of 700 x 28 Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires over the winter. They have been on my rain bike- which gets 100-150 miles a week and is a true work horse when it comes weight carried and the roads traveled over. A fully fendered bike- single speed with a coaster brake. A 5-rail Cetma rack up front and a basket on the back…. It hauls beer, groceries, flowers for my lady, packages bound for the post office, and whatever else that needs to be hauled. These tires have run over glass, rocks, potholes, whatever the winter Seattle roads can throw at them- and have come into spring unscathed. They roll smooth and feel fairly fast, even with all that protection. Though they may not be a bulletproof Ferrari, they could maybe be compared to something of a bulletproof Subaru.

I love the reflective sidewall and I found them grippy throughout this winter in Seattle. Granted, we didn’t get the same snow fall that we did in 2008, but it was a wet one and I was impressed with their traction on the road. These tires are killer commuter tires if you run through industrial areas or areas prone to collecting glass or other sharp objects on the side of the road. Schwalbe has dubbed these puncture proof- which is a pretty big statement, but I have been impressed so far.

As for skidding- even when riding fixed, I don’t skid that often. Tires are expensive, man. On the coaster brake bike I only skid when I’m goofing off. I haven’t had any odd wear patterns on these tires from the long skids that I have pulled. Though I can’t speak from experience on it, I have been told that if you skid through the outer layer, the inner blue layer is spongey and lends an unfavorable ride characteristic.

The Marathon Plus tires do add some weight to your wheel. The 28c tires weigh in at 740g. If the specs are correct, the 25c is much lighter at 580g. Personally, on a commuter bike a little extra weight is worth the piece of mind if changing a flat in the rain is a possibility.

All in all, a great tire, retailing at $54.95. You can find them in Seattle at Wright Brothers and other quality shops.


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