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Performance outdoor clothing. 100% made in New Zealand for adrenaline junkies, multi-sporters, adventure travellers and urban prisoners. Created by experienced outdoor enthusiasts from the world's best high tech fabrics

Schwalbe Marathon XR tyres

23 October 2010 () by Kendon Glass

Schwalbe Marathon XR tyres

Photo: The Marathon XR taking a rest on the worlds largest saltpan in Bolivia!


Article number: 11632448 : ETRTO Size: 50-559

Maximum load weight: 140 kg

Min to Max pressure: 45 to 70 psi

Weight: 800 grams


The first sign of trouble in a bicycle-touring tyre is usually with the sidewalls and not the tread. The weakening of the sidewalls is as a result of the heavy loads. I weigh in at: bicycle 15kg, baggage 30 to 35kg and body weight 90kg. With these sorts of weights it is crucially important to keep the bicycle tubes inflated to their maximum capacity. Having the correct pressure means fewer punctures and reduced rolling resistance.

The Schwalbe Marathon XR is the expedition tyre. It is modestly marketed as Conceived and built to withstand extreme loads and terrain. The versatile tread is at home on any road. After one year cycling with a heavy load along the worlds most derelict roads in Bolivia, Patagonia and the Amazon I am able to testify to the bulletproof construction of the Marathon XR. It has given me great confidence when wandering off the beaten track.

+ The Schwalbe Marathon XR handles well in a wide range of conditions. Its tread has a good compromise between tarmac and off road, performing well on both services.

+ The Schwalbe Marathon XR has a built in Kevlar strip that gives maximum puncture protection that is needed on longer journeys.

+ The Schwalbe Marathon XR is an especially designed expedition tyre and the most robust I have used. It's reliability is highly regarded amongst long distance, 'back of beyond' cycle tourists.

Performance Update

5 Years on the trail & 50,000 Kilometres later

Very rarely have I got a flat tyre over the past three years. Since trialling the new Marathon XR it has been an absolute exception. Perhaps a flat comes along every few months, however when it happens you can be guaranteed with the XR it is not going to be a thorn, a piece of glass or a wee prick. It has always been a rigid metal object of some length, and I am yet to see a tyre on the market that can prevent that.

All those years ago at the kitchen table during the planning of the expedition I remember the hard choices that needed to be made. One was this; what tyre has the goods to get me all the way around the world? There are many, many tyre brands out there marketing the 'all expedition' tyre but few can match what the Schwalbe Marathon XR has proven to offer.

Over time Schwalbe has gained the confidence and respect of Round the World cyclists [RTW] and earned the reputation as an extremely dependable tyre. The reason for this is simple. The quality of this tyre not only lies in its ability to endure on long hauls with maximum loads [40kg +], but also because the Marathon XR has been designed to cover all types of terrain. Due to the addition of Aramid fabric [used in bullet proof vests] the newly engineered XR can handle serious off road penetrations, steaming tarmacs at forty five degrees or the thorn riddled landscapes that make the other brands go psssss.

Conclusion | Extreme journeys with Marathon XR

I can go anywhere with the Marathon XR, this tyre has earned a respect through what it is able to endure. From the Amazon to the Himalayas and covering more than 50,000 kilometres that respect continues to grow. The Marathon XR and Schwalbe have given me peace of mind that the way forward is in good hands. 

Thank you

Go to the Schwalbe website to find more information on this product

Thanks Carsten and Willy from Schwalbe, Germany who sent a new set of tyres to meet Kendon in Gibraltar and again in Kathmandu. Go to the Schwalbe website to find more information on this product.

Thanks also to Mark Sturt of Dot Com Sports, the Australian distributor of Schwalbe tyres, got us underway for the South American leg of our journey. Thanks Mark.

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