They have managed several thousand kilometres without any punctures or slide-outs in the wet, despite our tester donning his old college volleyball knee-pads and seeing if he could lose the front wheel on fast roundabouts. Come rain or shine, they have provided comfortable riding, with smooth rolling and decent acceleration, and while they are not the lightest tyres on the market, they don't seem to suffer because of the extra weight.
The Strade Bianche race uses the white gravel roads of Tuscany and this 30mm racing tyre is just what you need for that kind of thing. It's a brilliant all-rounder that's fast enough for nearly any road use, but with hugely improved comfort. Out on the road they're fantastic. You can run them at hitherto-untried low pressures with little or no danger of flatting them on potholes.
They roll extremely well and at g they're not heavyweights. It's not like sticking a set of Marathons on.
These feel like race tyres, they really do, except loads more comfortable. If you want comfort on long rides but still want to go fairly fast, there aren't many better tyres we can name. Schwalbe makes the bold claim that its One tyres are the fastest the company has ever manufactured. Our roll-down testing confirms that they're fast and they feel extremely rapid with good traction in a range of conditions, with impressive puncture protection and durability. They're now available in a wide range of sizes, up to 28mm and in clincher, tubular and tubeless.
In normal use, riding the tyres daily in training, the km Liege-Bastogne-Liege sportive and a road race, the tyres really impress.
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It's the sensation of speed and lack of resistance that is most noticeable. In a range of conditions too, they show incredible performance, from sun-baked to rain-sodden roads. Despite a puncture-resisting layer, the Bontrager AW3 Hard-Case Lite tyres roll quickly and grip securely in all conditions. They're secure in wet corners and the Hard Case puncture protection has proved more than capable of dealing with the variety of grit washed onto the roads. Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres are essentially heavy duty, ultra reliable commu-touring tyres that inspire unprecedented confidence without feeling sluggish or barge-like, as the g weight for a pair would imply.
Much of this is attributable to the Smart Guard system. This is essentially a clever subsection of supple rubber designed to force sharps out, rather than drawing them in as deep-treaded Kevlar types can, especially with age. Designed for comfort, wet grip and resistance to punctures and impacts, this is a lightweight fat tyre for riders who want speed on poor roads and don't care about a little extra mass. It uses Vittoria's extremely supple tpi casing, Isogrip tread compound and is constructed like a tubular, hence the 'open' designation, short for 'open tubular'. Vittoria tags it as a tyre for extreme conditions, but as far as we're concerned that means British roads all year round, especially in the 27mm version.
They're billed as suitable for wet weather. Call us pessimistic, but to us, European wet weather tyres means year-round UK use, and the GP 4 Seasons are excellent do-everything tyres. The aim of road.
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Email John with comments, corrections or queries. Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception.
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I have fitted many tyres but fitting new Marathon plus defeated me and I had to get a dealer to put them on, it was interesting to see him struggle as well. They are less difficult after they have been on the bike for a while. No punctures over miles whereas the tyres that came with the bikes, well known, suffered punctures after miles.
G-ones on non-tubeless rims gave me a bit more trouble but that was due to leaking around the valve, not an issue with the bead seating, and was fixed by tightening up the valve bolt at which point the tyres seated with a track pump. Continental s tyres are my go to for all year round.
Even on gritty road in the Chilterns in the Winter they are superb. I run Conti Grandprix GT as my go to summer tyre.
Even took them to Lanzarote to put on a hire bike. Copy and paste article. My take is that graphene may have a higher resistance to wear - but crucially not cuts. Works for other tyres too, of course. I had the same ordeal with my 20" x 1. The problem is while you try to lever in a section of the wire bead into the rim's bead hook either by hand, tire levers, or a tire bead jack , it simply walks out of it elsewhere around the circumference of the rim.
The above method of kneading bead into central valley of rim works, but by Jove it took more a lot effort with these and that method compared with initial fitting of other tires. They're billed as the lightest of the Marathon lineup, although considering their focus as durable hard-wearing tires I don't think that's much to brag about vs.
Touch wood, I've had no issues with my Corsa's to date and been using them over a year now. One set have gone a bit bald so will be replaced asap, but the traction you get is top of the class for me. A colleague swears by GP II's yet he's had at least 4 punctures whilst out riding the same roads as me, I might just be lucky? I've seen people use the straps from toeclips to stop the popping out thing.
Don't suppose many people have those nowadays though! A ziptie might work though? All you need I reckon I could notice 20g difference on the front tyre on a light wheelset.
On tread patterns, there is evidence that there coud well be aero benefits to e. GPS style tread around the sides. Also latex. You need latex inners. Faster, smoother, lighter, make a great noise, and stones ping out from under your wheels like little bullets. I purchased a pair of 28mm and they barely came up to 26mm on my 13mm Mavic ksyrium's.
I swapped them for a pair of folding Giant PSL2s, a full 28mm when inflated on the same rim, have much better rolling resistance, no flats so far and the join is done off centre and has a wear indicator in the compund itself.
Interesting that Vee Tire Vee Rubber as was entered the market with quality cycle tyres a couple of years ago when they were synonymous with very cheap tires, certainly in the UK. Wonder why they haven't really done anything in the UK, I can't say i've seen any bike shops tocking them that's for sure. Agree on the 4 seasons. I had no luck with flats and they barely lasted a year before disintegrating. Considering the premium price, I don't think they offer enough. Much preferred Michelin Pro4 endurance for a fast, puncture proof road tyre.
I also agree.
The 4 Seasons gripped well but I still got loads of punctures. I replaced them with the new Michelin Power Endurance which are way faster and have suffered far fewer punctures. Really strange to see so many negative comments about the 4 seasons! I found them incredibly grippy and smooth rolling, the 28mm came up at 30 mm on my 24mm outer width disc wheels. They are damn expensive though, so I'm expecting them to live for many 's of miles!
I've got a very good first impression, let's hope that doesn't change over the year. I'm rolling good old conti gatorskins. Have done for 5 years now. The contis last me about between miles. Thanks for the comments folks, I should explain that I had no problems fitting 4 Marathon Plus to my road bikes, they had x32 tyres but the problems came when I tried fitting the x I used straps, getting the tyre deep into the rim but to no avail.
Recently I had to remove one of the x25 and had no problem replacing it.