Just before I began my latest self-supported tour from Pittsburgh to Washington DC, I decided it was time to replace the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires on my Surly Long Haul Trucker. After 5000 miles, the tires still had maybe 20% of the tread remaining. However, I did not want to take any chances with tire failure during my tour.
This is my fourth set of Marathon Plus tires and I got about 5000 miles from each pair. I have used tubes from both REI and Adventure Cycling Association and both have served their purpose. When I replace tires I always use new tubes. To me the chances of a flat due to deteriorating rubber are worse than the chance of a puncture. Between the tires and the tubes, I can’t remember the last time I got a flat tire.
This is another strong recommendation in favor of Schwalbe Marathon Plus bicycle tires from nearly 15,000 miles of use.
Since 2017 I have been running 700×35 Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires on my Surly Long Haul Trucker. I am a tall person and 225 pounds. I am on my second pair of the tires and I has just ordered my third.
Other tires that I have owned have suffered a number of problems. One is that the compounds deteriorate over time due to decomposition from exposure to air and the tires get brittle, developing cracks in the rubber. That resulted in a sidewall failure on a tour several years ago. Another is that for some reason other tires that I have used were much more susceptible to flats.
I have been getting 4,000 miles from my Schwalbes and have not had a flat since I began using them. The tires could go maybe another thousand miles before the rear tire gets bald, but I like to change them while they still have some tread. I suppose I could run the front another 4,000 miles because the tread is still in good condition after the first 4,000, but I don’t. That’s just a personal choice.
As far as comfort, who knows? I guess I am not as sensitive to that issue. I can say that the tires roll true and they are quiet on pavement. To me, quiet is an indicator that the rolling resistance is low. A tire that generates noise is expending energy to make noise. A good example is the knobby off-road tires used on mountain bikes and fat bikes. Those tires are not efficient on pavement or smooth trails.
The Schwalbe Marathon Plus does not have an aggressive tread, but they work well on pavement and packed trails. I can’t say how well they do on wet pavement because I don’t ride in the rain unless I get caught in an unexpected downpour. I do ride almost the entire year as long as there is no ice on the trail and the temperature is above 30 degrees F.
When I replace the tires I also replace the tubes because the tubes are more likely to fail than the tires. I can’t recommend a good brand of tubes to go along with your tires because they all seem to get brittle after a time, sometimes depending how long they have been on the store shelf. I date and throw away my spare tubes regularly because I feel I can’t rely on them as they age.
My opinion is that the Schwalbe Marathon Plus is a great tire for touring. I have confidence in the reliability of the tires. If I do get a flat, I always carry a spare tube with me. I have not needed my spare tube for the past 8,000 miles.