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Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Tire Review

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.

schwalbe marathon mondial tire review

Tire tread looks good after 10,000 miles (16,000km)

 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.

cycling to Saigon

Flat #3, Cycling to Saigon

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.

schwalbe marathon mondial tire review

Just how deep is the water?

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.

 The Good

  • 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.

The Bad

  • 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.

petra_snow_ride-copy

 

For the complete specifications for the Schwalbe Marathon Mondial please follow this link

Summary

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.
If you decide this is something for you, then please continue reading. We always encourage shopping and supporting your local Mom and Pop store first. However, if you are keen on shopping through Amazon, please use the links provided below or the one located in the footer section of the blog homepage. We get a small kickback and all proceeds go towards maintaining our blog. Thank you!

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Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Double Defense Tire
with Folding Bead (expensive model)

 

Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Bicycle Tire –
Wire Bead (cheaper model)

8 Comments
  • Bobby
    Posted at 21:07h, 25 August Reply

    thank you for sharing your experience using these tires. i just ordered 2 of the 700c size for my bike.

    • Ron
      Posted at 06:43h, 27 August Reply

      You’re welcome Bobby and I hope you get the same results we had. However, I can’t comment on the 700c tires because we rode on 26″ and they may be a little thicker. Please let me know how they work for you. Also if you ordered them via our page thank you very much.

  • Karol
    Posted at 15:09h, 17 October Reply

    I use Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour and never had a puncture. How do you think it compares to Mondial tires?

    • Ron
      Posted at 06:14h, 25 October Reply

      Hello Karol, we can’t really comment on the Marathon Plus, but since they are both models from Schwalbe they are most likely great tires. Also if you’re not getting flats then that has to be a great thing. We only had 7 flats between both bikes over 14,000+ miles and 4 of those flats happened while cycling through Louisiana. Ron

  • Damon Bradley
    Posted at 02:36h, 01 December Reply

    Do you think there is a significant performance difference between the wire bead and folding bead versions other than the wire bead version being heavier?

    • Ron
      Posted at 19:13h, 05 December Reply

      Hello Damon and thank you for your question. Sorry for the late response. Having never used the wire beaded version, I can’t say with 100% certainty, but I highly doubt there is or any that you may notice while bike touring. You’re not breaking speed records when fully loaded, so you probably won’t notice a drop in speed. I would like to think the rolling resistance, puncture protection, and wear would be the same in both.

  • Michael
    Posted at 01:04h, 23 December Reply

    Terrible tires for the price point. Avid rider in Colorado putting on tons of miles and having problems with them also. Here is some more info:

    https://www.cyclingabout.com/review-schwalbe-marathon-mondial-tyres/

    Notice the comments at the bottom I put up.

    Also here is a Korean gal that has ridden across the world and through China on them and also had bad experiences:

    https://www.universewithme.com/china-travel-desert/#comment-3931

    She also got screwed by Schwalbe while in the outback. So these tires are extremely overrated for the price.

    And here is a review for the physics on the tire itself stating they are overpriced and not what they should be also:

    https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/tour-reviews/schwalbe-marathon-mondial-2016

    • Ron
      Posted at 13:12h, 06 January Reply

      Hello Michael and thank you for you post. We can only provide our experience with these tires. We’ve had nothing but positive experiences with our tires and will continue using this brand. As for the woman that got a flat after just 2 weeks! It happens!! Did she run over a nail or what? She is complaining because she got a flat, that she must have gotten a faulty tire! Really? If the tire was de-bonding or splitting apart that would be “faulty”, not a flat or two. Some people have unrealistic expectations. We got a flat on our second day on the road and that didn’t deter us from continuing on another 16,000+ miles on these tires. Overall, we experienced a total of 7 flats after 28 countries and 14 US States and we continue cycling on them today. Our daughter who joined us in Thailand and cycled all the back to Florida with us, never had one flat using these tires. When it comes to rolling resistance… I suppose when your cycling with 100+ pounds under your butt, does it really matter? We met a couple guys in West Texas, that had just been on the road less than a week and one of them already had 17 flats. I’m don’t remember what tire brand he was cycling on, but those “goat-head” sand spurs were making his ride a bad one. In the meantime, we would just pull them out of our tires and continue on.

      We wish you the best of luck with your tire choice. Also, should you ever hit the road and tour, we wish you all the best and safe travels.

      Ron

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