Happy cycling with the Schwalbe Marathon Plus puncture resistant bike tyres

Puncture resistant bike tyres - the Schwalbe Marathon Plus

You're out enjoy some of the UK's fabulous countryside on your bike, when you're suddenly aware that your lovely cycle isn't feeling quite right. Followed by that sinking feeling which only a puncture can bring. All of us who've spent a little time in the saddle will be familiar with that sinking feeling. And, as Sod's Law states - the day you get that puncture will be the day that you've forgotten your puncture repair kit.

Schwalbe Marathon Plus

One way to keep the puncture demons at bay is to fit a set of puncture resistant tyres to your bike. And, in my opinion, the best puncture resistant bike tyres out there are the Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Ever since discovering these little beauties a few years ago, I've fitted a set to all my bikes. And in the time I've been riding on my Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres I've only had one puncture. That's one puncture in close to 40,000 miles (40,000 miles, just had to make sure that was correct. I've been riding 4,500 miles a year on the Schwalbes for the last 9 years - no wonder my legs ache sometimes). One puncture in 40,0000 miles in the kind of ratio I like.

The Schwalbe Marathon Plus road tyre Schwalbe Marathon Plus puncture resistant bike tyre - the latest purchase for my road bike

Road bike or mountain bike - there's Schwalbe Marathon Plus

It doesn't matter what size wheel you have, whether you're looking for a little puncture proof for your mountain bike, or something to to keep you going on your road bike, there is a Schwalbe Marathon Plus for you. I have a couple of mountain bikes, and a couple of road bikes, all with the Schwalbe Marathon Plus puncture resistant tyres installed.

My latest set of Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres are what has promoted me to write this article. I've has my latest bike for the last 6 months - and, get this - kept the original set of tyres. I wasn't keen, but was persuaded that the tyres which came with the bike (a Specialized Sirrus) were really very good. I'm not convinced, but went with it anyway. The tyres are certainly OK (and the bike is fantastic) but after 3,000 miles I got my first puncture. The tyres must have getting worn anyway, so a couple of Schwalbe Marathon Plus 622x32 were purchased from Wiggle.

They're lovely looking tyres and are now fully installed on the Specialized - and are looking good! It was a fight though. Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres have got a bit of a reputation for being a pain to fit. Having fitted a few in my time, I knew it wouldn't be the easiest job in the world. Fitting them was much harder than planned though...

Sweat and tears, the joys of fitting a Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyre

After 1½ hours of trying to persuade my tyres to introduce themselves to the wheel, they still seemed to be having some serious disagreements. Thanks to the internet (where would we be without the internet) I found enough tips to get the tyres well acquainted with the wheels. And now there's nothing but matrimonial bliss in the bike department.

For those new to the pleasures and pains of the Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Let me share some of the tips which ceased the tears.

First of all, watch the video below. This fella makes things look easy - I still couldn't quite get the blighters on, even after watching three times, but this video will definitely point you in the right direction:

That makes is look easy, doesn't it. If you're still struggling, it's worth purchasing the "VAR Tool". This tyre lever (I know, don't think that) is perfect for getting that last bit of tyre over the rim. The unique design means you can use the VAR tool without nipping the inner tube.

The VAR tool The VAR tool is perfect for getting that last part of your Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyre on the wheel

The next tip is to get a little bit of lubricant over that last part of the tyre, a small splash of Fairy liquid seems to help slide the tyre a little bit.

And last, but certainly not least, get somebody to help! When you're trying to get that pesky last part of the tyre over the rim, you really need somebody to hold the rest of the tyre in place - or the whole blinkin' thing pops out of the wheel. I found using cable ties, toe straps and swearing didn't work for me, a second pair of hands, however, worked a treat.

Schwalbe Marathon Plus, worth the pain

Despite the difficulty getting the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyre onto the wheel, it's my opinion that the pain is worth it.

Just remember the tips for getting Schwalbe introduced to the wheel, and you'll be fine:
  • Watch the video above
  • Have some Fairy liquid handy
  • Use the VAR tool
  • Get a friend to help (or, in my case, get your teenage son out of bed to lend a hand)

Where to purchase your new Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyre

There are numerous places to get your cycle gear, and specifically, your Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyre. My Schwalbe Marathon Plus 622x32 were purchased from Wiggle. But you may also want to try that goliath of online shopping Amazon.

Have fun!