Technical > Wheels, Tyres and Brakes

Schwalbe Marathon Plus FAILURE!!!


I am an experienced touring cyclist of 50 years and tandemmer.   We have been using Schwalbe Marathon 700c x 32 tyres for the last 10 years on all our bikes.   Apart from the occasional puncture, they have been pretty well trouble free UNTIL.....This year we planned a tour on tandem   from Inverness to Leeds where we live.   Idea was to take train from York which is 26 miles from here to Inverness  and, well, cycle back home.   As usual before we went, I checked everything:  changed Rohloff oil, renewed link chain   and replaced a kinked spoke in rear wheel and re-tensioned and trued wheel.   We also went out for a test run including a 16% hill.  Day of departure we set off early for York..everything fine...then half-way to York it felt as if rear tyre was punctured.   We stopped and looked at tyre.   No normal puncture, the tyre had come off the rim and we had been riding on partly inflated inner-tube.   We changed the inner-tube but I could not  seat the tyre inside the rim.  On pumping up the tyre to minimal pressure, the tyre came off the rim.   It was clearly quite US!  It seemed that the beading had somehow failed although I could find no evidence for this.    So what to do?   We had a train to catch and fortunately had allowed plenty spare time.   By a miracle a Good Samaritan was passing by and she offered to take me to the nearest bike shop by car to get a replacement tyre.  Fortunately I was able to buy a Schwalbe Land Cruiser with Kelvar  700c  x 35 which fitted our tandem and off we went to catch our train with an hour to spare.   We arrived back in Leeds from Inverness  yesterday having had a superb trip with no further problems.

Moral of story:

(1) Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres are not invincible.  This one definitely failed.   I never man-handled it.  We are careful cyclists.   I always inflate it to 80 psi wherever possible.  It was only 3 or so months old   and I always use plastic tyre levers. From now on I shall take a spare lightweight folding tyre in case this happens again.
(2)  If you are leaving to catch unique booked once a day train, ferry or bus, always allow plenty plenty of time.

We have had many many other things happen   but never this!!!

Well done for making the train, I only live three miles from my local station and still never seem to leave enough time to fix a puncture. Good of someone to help out in that way.
I used to carry a spare tyre on tour, then stopped after never needing it, then of course you guessed it... split sidewall if central France, couldn't find a touring 700c touring tyre, plenty of 25's which were too narrow for the rim, or 40's which were too wide for the frame!  After three days of re-taping it every 20 miles and a few inner tubes I eventually found one. Lesson learnt, I'm back to carrying one and will probably never need it.
Sounds like a god trip, do tell more!


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