Starting in 2009 when I bought my Catrike Trail which came with Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires I started experiencing numerous flat tires. From there I tried other Schwalbe tires … Kojaks, Marathons, and Trykers. The Tryker tires were the worst of the bunch. With all of them I contained to have nemerous flats. Finally I decided to try tire liners which helped but I still got a few flats, especially “internal flats” … flats which were caused by something inside of the tire rather than a puncture or cut from the outside. It turned out to be the tire liners which caused the internal flats.
Finally I decided to try the tire I had been hearing about … the Schwalbe Marathon Plus. I made the foolish decision to use the tire liners inside of them. I guess my thinking was they add an extra measure of flat protection and I already have them so I might as well use them. Big mistake as once again I had internal flats. I removed the tire liners and never had anymore flats. I am sold on the Marathon Plus tires as being the best tire money can buy. They not only offer great flat protection but they wear excellent as well. I got phenominal mileage out of them. I used them for many years until I decided to go the route of balloon tires. I knew of the Big Apple tires but upon reading about them I found out about the Big Ben tires. And with further reading I found out about Big Ben Plus tires. They too offer some flat protection similar to Marathon Plus but they offer a lesser amount of protection. I decided to give them a try and have been using them since. I love them. I have never had a flat with them either.
I do use a heavy duty inner tube inside of them as there is plenty of room inside for them. They don’t wear nearly as good as the Marathon Plus tires but the ride and handling I really like. I keep reordering them so it is not likely I will change back to my beloved Marathon Plus tires anytime soon. Like so many things tire technology has came a long ways over the years.
Even some of the other tires like Marathons now have some flat protection built into them. It is so nice to ride and not have to deal with any flats.
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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.
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:
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