Schwalbe have made a few announcements of interest to cycling tourists in 2014. The first being the updating of the Schwalbe Marathon Plus with a 2014 model and the big news being the Schwalbe Almotion which will be available in a 700 x 38C tubeless variant. There is also a new tyre with what Schwalbe refer to as a “strong trekking profile” coming in 2014, the Tour Plus.
Schwalbe Marathon Almotion
Schwalbe are describing the Marathon Almotion as their fastest touring to date. The tyre design is based on motorcycle tire technology, which has meant that it has been possible to reduce the rolling resistance to a new minimum. To add to this there is a tubeless variant as well.
The carcass structure used in the Marathon Almotion is one typically used for motorcycles called “dynamic casing”. What this means according to Schwalbe is that the approach used with trekking or touring tyres has been to have a carcass overlapping in the middle. The new design has two separate layers of different thicknesses with only one layer overlapping on the side wall.This results in three stable layers on each side, but only two layers under the tread. “This particularly flexible tread and the light structure as a whole were decisive as far as reducing the rolling resistance was concerned”, explains Gerrit Gaastra.
The Marathon Almotion also has the triple rubber compound from the Schwalbe One racing bike tire. A fast rubber compound at the centre and plenty of adhesion on the shoulders ensure a ride that is pure pleasure. A polymer basis specially adapted for touring rides provides the necessary service life.
The tyre is also meant to be okay on gravel as well as bitumen. It will be interesting to see how that claim pans out.
The puncture protection of the Almotion is based on well-proven technology: Under the tread, a two millimetre thick GreenGuard rubber layer, combined with an all-round fabric layer, ensures convincing puncture protection. It has a rating of four out of six in Schwalbe rating language.
The big development but is the introduction of the tubeless Marathon Almotion, albeit only in one size, 40-622 (28 x 1.50″). The folding tyre weighs in at 760 grams.
The other sizes available in the Marathon Almotion range are:
55-559 (26 x 2.15″) – 780 grams
40-622 (28 x 1.50″, 700c x 38) – 610 grams
50-622 (28 x 2.00″) – 780 grams
55-522 (28 x 2.15″ – 870 grams
Schwalbe Marathon Plus – New in 2014
It is a little unclear as to what the changes are to the Schwalbe Marathon Plus for 2014. Schwalbe refers to a new dynamic profile and “internal improvements” but it is not saying what those internal improvements are in any detail. There is a mention of an improvement in rolling resistance, use of recycled rubber from old latex products, an “anti-aging” side wall and being e-bike ready in some sizes. The profile change is clear from the look of the tyre.
There is still a large range of tyre sizes in the Marathon Plus range from 35-349 (16 x 1.35″) through to 40-635 (28 x 1.5″, 700c x 38) including recumbent friendly sizes in the 16″, 20″ and even a 24″ size.
As someone who likes to “chase the dirt” the Schwalbe Tour Plus caught my eye. There is little information on this tyre besides the normal specifications and ratings that Schwalbe provide, but the tread pattern looks appealing for sure. One possible downside is that these are a wire bead only and a slow tyre (as would be expected).
The tyre is available in 26″ and 28 (700c) sizes with the largest size being a 47-622 (28 x 1.75′).