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Thread: Puncture resistant alternative to Schwalbe Marathon plus Tires

  1. #1

    Puncture resistant alternative to Schwalbe Marathon plus Tires

    I have always, 8 years, used Marathon tires. In that time, I have had only one or two punctures, even though I roll on the streets every day. I like the durability of the tires and the treadwear life. I do not mind the weight since I roll into a van. What I really do not like is how difficult the tires are to get on and off the rims. It is not just installation and replacement. I like to reverse mount the tires to even up the wear caused by the wheel camber. And right now I need to replace my pushrims, necessitating tire removal. With my level of hand function, mounting these tires myself is out of the question, and a friend who routinely helps me with projects does not like struggling with these. Last time I had a bike shop do it they damaged the bead and I had a blowout the next day.

    So, can anyone recommend an easier to mount alternative that has as good, or almost as good, puncture resistance?

  2. #2
    My husband has tried both of these options over the years.

    He thought that the SHOX solid tires didn't hold up as well in Texas heat.

    Marathon tires with airless urethane inserts add weight but hold up very well. They're difficult to install. The bike shop that did the work for us charged a good bit of $$.

    I also found these online but haven't purchased them:
    Last edited by 2drwhofans; 05-18-2019 at 03:27 PM.

  3. #3
    I still use Schwalbe's, so I can't help with your question, but I empathize. I have full hand function and am a somewhat fit dude in my 30s. I can't get them on or off and have broken about a half dozen of the plastic tire levers designed for bikes. So now I pay a bike shop to do it every time and apologize to them in advance (because they struggle with it as well, even with more specialized equipment and tons more experience than I have).

  4. #4
    I use thorn resistant tubes and right runs. I'm on a farm and in gravel and blackberry thorns as well as in town. works well. I have regular tubes in now filled with slime, also works except one of the tube valves is clogged up with the slime and i can't deflate or inflate it. When it gets low I guess i'll slit it and replace it.

  5. #5
    I was tempted to try airless inserts in Right Runs, but 2 things have discourage this. One is that I've heard airless inserts make any tire more difficult to install. The other is I've heard that the airless inserts reduce ride quality-- rougher ride and more rolling resistance. I'm not sure that either of these is true and would like some voice of experience to convince me to try.

    Light duty tires and thorn-proof tubes sounds like it's worth a try.

    This probably wouldn't bother me so much if I had not been an avid cyclist for decades before SCI and know very well that tires don't have to be so difficult to change.

  6. #6
    An airless tube may be at 90% rolling resistance efficiency compared to a conventional tube but it never gets worse. How often are your tires at 100% recommended pressure? Maybe for a few days and then they're down to 90% or worse after more time. In which case, airless inserts probably have lower rolling resistance. Unless you are pumping your tires every few days, they are not going to have much lower rolling resistance than airless inserts. But an air tube should be more comfortable. I never used airless inserts. But I have used solid tires. Any difference in rolling resistance was minor compared to the way they felt. They were a hard ride.
    Last edited by August West; 05-19-2019 at 01:58 AM.

  7. #7
    I switched to Primo Sentinals. Because they weigh less then the marathons. BUT they are just as big a pain in the ass to put on. They have a puncture resistant strip in them and so far the Fl stickers haven't gotten through. I use "a lot" of silicone spray and 3 spoons and zip ties to get these PIA tires on. And by spoons I mean the ones out of your silverware drawer. They work great and are available anywhere.

  8. #8
    My new Q-grips arrived so I decided to install them on my current Spinergy wheels which meant unmounting and then remounting the marathon tires. My brother came over for project day today and installed one of the rims without any unusual problems. I told him about the video someone had posted here of an old British guy changing marathon tires without tools. We surmised that he must have had favorable rims to work with. That seemed to shame my brother so the second wheel he did without tools. He seemed to have less trouble than with the first one where he used tools. He's an avid cyclist two months short of 70 years old but still an active rock climber so he's got plenty of tire changing experience and strong hands.

  9. #9
    Can anyone explain why marathons (possibly other wheelchair tires, though I've been brand loyal for a long time) are so hard to get on? There doesn't seem to be a good reason. Changing bicycle tires is stupid easy and as far as I know they don't go rolling off of the rims all the time.

    Are wheelchair rims inherently build differently than bicycle ones because manufacturers are worried about the lateral forces exerted on wheelchair tires whereas bicycle tires are theoretically never really experiencing a lateral force (at least so long as you're not skidding or crashing). That's the only thing I can think of, but it just doesn't feel like a realistic explanation.

  10. #10
    I have seen the video of the old British guy installing Marathons without tools. There's no special rims that he has. I have put them on myself without tools. It's possible but not worth it. It's worth starting the same way he uses. Because it sets the stage to make it easy to pop the bead on with tools at the very end. If you don't use tools at all, it will take extra time. What for?

    The rubber is thicker than most so the bead must also be thicker. That's probably why they are harder to put on. Trick is patience and prep. It's like painting. The majority of the work is the prep. If you do the prep right, the actual work is quick and easy. Otherwise, it's much more problematic.
    Last edited by August West; 05-23-2019 at 02:21 AM.

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