Say good-bye to punctures with these almost indestructible road tyres from Schwalbe! Just before I left to cycle around Europe my rear tyre had become very worn. I was using Continental Gatorskins which have Kevlar layers and are Britain’s most popular road tyre. They are very good however are still prone to the problem all cyclists dread…punctures.
I elected to choose a different style of tyre, as I would be touring I wanted something slightly more rugged that would hopefully puncture a lot less. Luckily I found the Marathon Plus. After hearing great reviews and them claiming they can even withstand drawing pins, I ordered one.
I decided I would only need one, as the weight would all be on the rear of the bike, I could keep a lightweight racing tyre on the front. Immediately after unpacking I was shocked at the weight of it, a very heavy tyre, 940g each! However what you gain with this weight is a VERY thick layer of rubber which is impregnable to almost anything. The second drawback I found was when trying to fit the tyre; it took an awful long time. With the rubber being so thick the tyre is not very malleable, making it hard to fit it into the rims. However eventually with the aid of 4 tyre levers I secured it in place and pumped it up. Hoping that it really was puncture proof and I wouldn’t have to repeat that again.
I have now ridden about 5000km on the tyre and it is yet to have a puncture! What a success, I have never experienced anything like it. I have ridden on everything, expecting it to puncture numerous times, but nothing. I can now ride my road bike anywhere without the nagging thought of getting a puncture. Spare tubes and repair kits are a thing of the past once you get a Marathon Plus tyre. So what you gain in tyre weight you lose in tube/repair kit weight. Also with the additional tread it makes a super winter tyre for my road bike.
Another slight drawback is that as it is so thick you need a pressure gauge rather than just a simple thumb test when pumping it up to max pressure, but this means that it can work fine at lower pressures. However I like to ride with my tyres at 120psi and they perform great. When it comes time to upgrade again I know what tyre I will choose, the puncture-proof Schwalbe Marathon Plus.
PROS: Puncture-proof, Good tread.
CONS: Heavy, hard to get on.