It is no secret that tadpole trikes are hard on tires … especially if you enjoy their handling characteristics they are capable of. Fast cornering does “scrub off” rubber. I just changed my right front tire after nearly 2 years of service on the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire. Over that nearly two years I racked up 7655 miles. You just can’t beat those Marathon Plus tires! I am sold on them. That is phenomenal mileage. I did good to get 2000 miles out of any other tires I tried. And the additional bonus is I have never had a flat tire the entire time I have been using the Marathon Plus tires.
I just ordered 3 new Marathon Plus tires from Germany at $37.42 apiece (including shipping). It it the lowest cost source I have found for these tires and their service is excellent. I have only ordered from them once previously so I don’t have a whole lot of personal experience with them, but I was very impressed with that first order.
If I appear to be “pushing” Marathon Plus tires that is because I am. To put it bluntly I don’t understand why anyone who rides a tadpole trike would even consider using any other tire on their trike. I have tried most of the other Schwalbe tires and there is just no comparison. If you like getting flats and inferior mileage the others are fine. I would much prefer to ride than deal with flat tires and low mileage as far as tire wear goes. You are just throwing money away using any other tire. I know that there are those that would not consider using the Marathon Plus tires as they claim that they slow them down a half mile an hour. Big deal! That is like the tortoise and the hare. Those of us running Marathon Plus tires will pass you by when you are broke down changing a flat tire. But hey, to each his own!
My friend I ride with won’t use the Marathon Plus tires. (At least not so far.) On downhill runs my Marathon Plus tires outperform his Tryker tires. I can’t compare any other situation because I out weigh him by nearly 100 pounds and I have bad knee joints while he doesn’t. As far as I am concerned there is no appreciable difference in rolling resistance and maximum speed obtained. I am sure there are those that won’t agree on this. That’s ok. If everybody used the Marathon Plus tires the supply available would be greatly reduced. I will continue to use them as long as I can obtain them. They help me …
As far as I am concerned the very best bicycle tire money can buy is the Schwalbe Marathon Plus. I have been using them now for several years and since I switched to them I have never had a flat tire caused from anything external. I have had one inner tube failure caused by the a Mr. Tuffy tire liner which I have since removed as they are not needed and do cause flats internally such as I experienced. Before I use to deal with a lot of flats. I joke about these tires being nearly bullet proof and I think they come close. They are indeed quite amazing!
I personally ride a Catrike Trail recumbent tadpole trike. Here is a picture of me on it.
It is a blast to ride and extremely comfortable. Many compare riding a tadpole trike to driving a go cart or sports car as they handle so well. I have ridden this trike over 33,000 miles. Before I bought this trike I made one similar to it although it was made out of mild steel. My Catrike is made out of aluminum.
Over the years I have tried various other Schwalbe tires on my trikes. All of the various types of Schwalbe tires are quite good … among the very best made in the world, but the Marathon Plus out does them all … very flat resistant and long wear. I highly recommend these tires. I run the 20 X 1.75 406 size. They also come in 20 X 1.35 406 as well as larger diameter sizes for those who have a larger size rear wheel. By far the best price I have found is ordering them online from a company in the UK … Merlin Cycles They offer excellent service and free shipping if ordering a minimum of $75. With three or 4 tires that is easy enough to meet the requirement. I used to buy them from a company in Germany … bike-discount.de They are the second cheapest prices I have found. They also offer excellent service. I think a maximum of 4 tires can be ordered at one time for the flat rate shipping charge they have. Even with the shipping charge they have always been much cheaper than prices I have found elsewhere with the exception of Merlin Cycles. With this German source the best price per tire is had by ordering 4 at a time. I have found that the price per tire varies from time to time so sometimes I pay more or less than other times. Early on I paid $37 something apiece. Recently I paid $29.45 apiece. Again, the cost thru Merlin Cycles has been better.
Here is a video by Steve Green, Trike Hobo as he talks about the Marathon Plus tire …
I will readily admit that these tires are probably the most difficult tires to mount that I have ever encountered. However, there is a way which once known and followed make it much simpler. Once you learn how to do this it is fairly easy. Here is a video showing how to do it: