marathon supreme vs marathon greengaurd off road grip

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
richbrown
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marathon supreme vs marathon greengaurd off road grip

Postby richbrown » 14 Aug 2017, 11:39am

e on the best (700c) tyres

my bike currently has 35mm schwable marathon supremes which i've found to be excellent on road - fast and light for a touring tyre - and although can handle some rougher tracks get slowed down very quickly by them.

i was considering the standard ('greengaurd') marathons to get a bit more grip, but the trade off is slightly higher rolling resistance and quite a bit heavier. id also go for 40mm, for a bit more cushion.

excellent reviews and comparison data for these tyres is available at http://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/tour-resistance

however by much comment is made as to the difference between the two tyres handle off asphalt

the original marathon has a deeper tread pattern than the supreme but i'm still not sure if it really adds that much and wonder if it's largely cosmetic (the tread on the supreme is definitely cosmetic!). schwable themselves rage the 'off road grip' of the supreme as 1.5/6 and he marathon as 2.5/6, but i never really trust in house rating scales.

the supremes are pricier but are available on discount currently putting the two tyres at a similar price. so i'm not sure whether to switch to marathons, or just go for slightly fatter supremes (42mm). if i can convince myself there's a definite off road benefit of the marathons i'll go for them, if not i'll choose the lighter and faster rolling supremes.

does anyone have any experience comparing the two?
Last edited by richbrown on 16 Aug 2017, 1:23pm, edited 1 time in total.

simonhill
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Re: marathon supreme vs marathon plus off road grip

Postby simonhill » 14 Aug 2017, 1:37pm

I am happily using Supremes at the moment. Mainly on road touring, but also some tracks and some bad roads.

I have not had a problem with the Supremes grip, but I am not sure I would want to ride them on something slippery like red slime. (Red slime is what I call the compacted clay you get in the tropics. Its fine in the dry, but like ice when it rains.)

My main concern for using the Supremes off road would be that the sidewalls are a bit fragile. I dropped down a pothole and badly scuffed the sidewall, exposing some threads.

willem jongman
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Re: marathon supreme vs marathon plus off road grip

Postby willem jongman » 14 Aug 2017, 5:28pm

How about the Marathon Almotion? It is far more comfortable and seriously faster than the Marathon Plus, and has a fair amount of tread. I fitted them to my wife's touring bike to replace a pair of Big Apples, and she is very happy: faster, more comfortable and better grip. I reckon they are the best all round touring tyre of the moment. Unfortunately they are only availble in a limited number of sizes. And they are not cheap.

thornie1543
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Re: marathon supreme vs marathon plus off road grip

Postby thornie1543 » 14 Aug 2017, 6:23pm

when I know my touring is going to be a bit rough I put on the pair of marathon mondail I have,lets face it if your touring then the bike is heavy anyway,and they are 17.99 on chain reaction now instead of 30 odd quid(not quite sure if they are the thinner version of the ones I have tho)

geocycle
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Re: marathon supreme vs marathon plus off road grip

Postby geocycle » 14 Aug 2017, 9:41pm

I've not noticed much difference off road between supremes, standard marathons and marathon racers, none are great. IIME you need knobblies to really get traction on mud and grass. That said, the supreme is my preferred touring tyre and it is fine on modest off road, forest tracks etc. You just to have to be careful on rocky roads where the thin sidewall could be vulnerable.

slogfester
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Re: marathon supreme vs marathon plus off road grip

Postby slogfester » 15 Aug 2017, 10:50pm

I have all of those, plus more! Very much depends upon the predominant road surface. Mostly road, stick with the supreme. If its half-half road-offroad, then the mondial is a great compromise, so long as the off road is not too rough. If it is, you're going to need fat marathon plus.

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mjr
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Re: marathon supreme vs marathon plus off road grip

Postby mjr » 16 Aug 2017, 11:22am

I'm confused: the title says "vs marathon plus" but then the post seems to discuss standard marathons (currently greenguard). They are not the same tyres!

I'd not be that happy taking plus off-road because it's a harsher ride even on lumpy chippings or stonedust, but I've taken greenguard off-road often with plenty of grip. Not done much seriously deep/loose stuff but I'd hesitate on any non-MTB for that.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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willem jongman
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Re: marathon supreme vs marathon plus off road grip

Postby willem jongman » 16 Aug 2017, 1:09pm

I agree that the Marathon Plus would not be my choice. It is a stiff and harsh tyre, particularly suited for the urban jungle. It is e.g. the standard tyre on the ubiquitous rental bikes in Paris. You do not want punctures on those. But they are not fun to ride, and certainly not on gravel etc. The ordinary Marathon Greenguard is better in this repect, but it is still a quite heavy and stiff tyre. The Mondial is a different case. It is a great very strong do everything expedition tyre. Its biggest advantage is that it lasts forever, but that is also its biggest disadvantage: it is really slow. If you are in Outer Mongolia, that does not particularly matter, but at home I think there are better choices. To repeat myself, I think at the moment the Marathon Almotion could be the ideal allround touring tyre. It is fast and comfortable, sufficiently puncture proof, and with enough tread to be safe on gravel etc. Of course, it is not a tyre for wild off road adventures, but those require something altogether different.

richbrown
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Re: marathon supreme vs marathon plus off road grip

Postby richbrown » 16 Aug 2017, 1:22pm

apologies for the confusion!

No idea why I wrote marathon plus, I meant marathon original/greengaurd

thanks for all the helpful comments, everybody

Rich

iandriver
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Re: marathon supreme vs marathon greengaurd off road grip

Postby iandriver » 16 Aug 2017, 2:30pm

I think any of the Marathon / + / supreme range would struggle off road for any significant grip over a full slick. I've always found the tread pretty much pointless. The conditions off road vary so much that anything can do a job on the right day. I've ridden off road mountain bike trails on Big Apples in the bone dry in summer no problem. Totally different in the wet. If you want all round off road grip, you need an off road tyre. I use Smart Sam double defence when doing a lot of paths. They roll surprisingly well on tarmac.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

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531colin
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Re: marathon supreme vs marathon greengaurd off road grip

Postby 531colin » 17 Aug 2017, 8:15am

Perhaps unsurprisingly my experience is the opposite of some posters.
The old Kevlar Marathon is my default choice for mixed road and roughstuff. Marathon Racer is lighter and nicer to ride, and its fine in the dry as long as you take care of the sidewalls, but will just let go without warning on mud or even wet grass. The "tread" on the Racer is really only about a millimeter deep. Supremes have no real tread at all, so its dry tracks and mind the sidewalls.
Marathon Greenguard are really heavy in wide sizes

willem jongman
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Re: marathon supreme vs marathon greengaurd off road grip

Postby willem jongman » 17 Aug 2017, 8:33am

I agree that the old kevlar Marathon was rather more enjoyable than the new heavy and stiff Greenguard version. Schwalbe must have discovered that puncture protection is apparently so important for many inexperienced consumers of budget and mid price level tyres, that these consumers are happily giving up ride quality (if they ever realized that there was such a thing). To compensate, the tread on the newer Marathon Racers is a bit deeper than on the old ones, so some people who do not want to use the Greneguard now have the option of the more versatile racers. However, compared to all these the Almotion really is the nicer tyre, even if rather more expensive.

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mjr
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Re: marathon supreme vs marathon greengaurd off road grip

Postby mjr » 17 Aug 2017, 11:01am

531colin wrote:Perhaps unsurprisingly my experience is the opposite of some posters.
The old Kevlar Marathon is my default choice for mixed road and roughstuff.

Not really opposite of mine. I've just got no kevlar Marathons left, so the kevlar Delta Cruiser has become my first-choice tyre but I was asked about Marathons ;)

531colin wrote:Marathon Greenguard are really heavy in wide sizes

I'm generally running 37-622. A Greenguard is 760g. Delta Cruiser is 690g. Hmmm... Citizen is 560g - I wonder how they roll.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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