19 Aug Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Tire Review
With nearly 30,000 miles between both bicycles, we would like to share our thoughts on the Marathon Mondial tires from Schwalbe: model type – Evolution Line, Folding Bead, ETRTO 50-559 (26×2.0), weighing 740grams. The information that we will provide in this article is based on our experiences.
Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tires are designed for bicycle touring and worked great on any terrain that we encountered. During the course of our two year cycling trip, we bicycled on all types of road conditions from very nice asphalt to extremely rough paths. There were days when we were cycling on snow and ice covered roads and then there were times when the outside air temperature was above 100F, with the sun heating up the road surface even more.
The ultimate touring tire, made for roads, tracks and trails of all
continents. The tread pays homage to its legendary Marathon XR
predecessor. Construction and compounding are naturally the very
latest Schwalbe Evo technology. TravelStar compound for the best
handling characteristics, Double Defense technology makes it
light, but with an extremely robust construction.
The world is round. Ride it. (Schwalbe)
Handling, Issues, and Maintenance
I descended down mountain passes at speeds exceeding 40mph (60km) and the tires always hugged the road nicely. In sandy or gravel conditions we felt stable and confident, even with a fully loaded bicycle. Our Marathon Mondial tires always performed well above our expectations.
Over the course of our two year cycling adventure, we experienced only 7 flats between both of our bicycles and 4 of them were in Louisiana. While cycling across the Great American Southwest we met other cycle tourists that experienced many flats during their short trip cycling across the US. One cyclists we met just outside of San Antonio, experienced 17 flats already and he just started in Florida and was heading to California. If you have ever cycled across the Southwest then you are familiar with goathead thorns. These little thorns are the sworn enemy of many cyclists out west. However, we would pull them out of our tires, sometimes by the dozens, and they never caused a puncture.
When adding air pressure, we would inflate the tires to 4 bar (58PSI), which seemed to be the ideal tire pressure for us when cycling fully loaded. Normally, we would go several weeks at a time before having to add air and although the rolling resistance increased some, they still continued to roll very nicely. However, at 4 bar (58PSI) the ride can be a little stiff when you are unloaded, so we would deflate our tires to about 2 bar (30PSI) for a more comfortable ride. The sidewalls are strong and perform very well even with low tire pressure and under heavy loads. Although, I believe running the tires on low tire pressure may have been what caused the sidewalls to have small cracks.
Replacing the first set
Before leaving Germany and flying to Thailand we replaced our original set of tires. They had cycled more than 10,000 miles (photo above) and were still in good shape. We are fairly confident they could have logged another few thousand miles, based on tread wear. However, we were in Germany and since Schwalbe tires are made there the price was much better than we could ever get in the US. Furthermore, they were available immediately, so we made the decision to replace our original tires with a new set.
- Extremely well-made tire that works great in all weather conditions, from freezing to hot and from dry to wet roads.
- The width and profile handles well on all terrains from sand, dirt, to smooth asphalt or cobblestone.
- Extremely puncture resistant.
- Only 7 punctures between the 4 tires after nearly 15,000 miles per bike.
- Maintains tire pressure very well.
- Rolling resistance is good even with low pressure and with a fully loaded bike.
- Tread wears very good.
- Can be hard to get in the USA.
- Expensive in USA.
- Sidewall experiences very thin cracking, but this never caused us any issues.
- Some would consider it heavy at 740 grams per tire.
Having cycled so many miles on these tires and under all types of conditions we can honestly say that we are very pleased with Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tires. We will continue using them and have no problem recommending them to you based on our experiences. The quality, ruggedness, and durability of these tires have made us loyal Schwalbe customers.
Disclaimer – we are not sponsored, nor have we received anything from Schwalbe so our review is 100% unbiased.
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Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Double Defense Tire
with Folding Bead (expensive model)
Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Bicycle Tire –
Wire Bead (cheaper model)