Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Schwalbe Marathon Plus mounting and review

I live in the land of broken glass and stickers, so I've become pretty darn proficient at changing (and patching) bike tubes. I can get most road tires mounted without even using tools. I've done it in the dark, and in the rain. Not to say I love it, or I'm the best, but I know what I'm doing. At least I thought I did.

Marathon Plus

After my last tire wore out I did some research and decided to try a 700c 28mm Schwalbe Marathon Plus for my commuter bike. It's the darling of commuters and tourists because it is, apparently, bullet-proof and lasts almost forever. At over $50 (discounted!) it isn't cheap, but if it lasts as long as its fans claim, it will be a cost savings in the long run. I'd used their Marathon Racer and Marathon Green Guard (they cost less) and been satisfied. I figured I'd step up to the Plus as not flatting on my commutes would be really really nice.

I'd read that they were hard to mount. Heck, just click this. Google has a lot of hits for mounting. But, as I said, I'm really good.


I tried using no tools. No luck. I couldn't even get it started. I tried using one, then two, then three levers, but couldn't get it going. I'd think I had, but it would just pop off the other side.

I was eventually inspired by this video. (I might have realized there could be issues when there's a YouTube video, but there are YouTube videos on boiling water...)

Living in 2014, I had no extra toe straps hanging about to use as the video suggests. But I did have some serious Velcro waiting for a useful purpose. And that's what it took.


Using three levers, and tying down the tire with several velcro strips ever time I got another inch settled in the right spot I was eventually able to get the blasted thing mounted.

Maratho Plus mounting

It's all good now. But what will I do if I hit the biggest thorn ever? How will I repair it on the road? Should I carry three levers and a bunch of velcro strips? I'll need a bigger seat bag...

If you have any hints about mounting this tire, let me know. And seriously, don't think you could do it easily if you haven't actually tried.

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