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Marathon Extreme or Duremes?

EnglishChrisEnglishChris Posts: 210
edited June 2011 in Tour & expedition
Hey,

I'm planning a first tour down through France & Germany to eastern Switzerland. Then through Switzerland on the Panorama mountain bike route to Lac Leman, then possibly down through the Alps to the south coast.

The bike is an On-One Inbred with racks front and rear. I'll be taking camping gear. I'd like to do some of this off road (though realise I may decide I lurve tarmac after the first day of hauling weight on trails!). I suspect that in France I'll stick to smaller tarmac roads but in Germany I think I should be able to find cycle trails. The Panorama route is a mixture of tarmac, gravel and dirt with a small bit of singletrack.

My tyre choice is between Marathon Dureme in 2 inch or Marathon Extreme in 2 or 2.25 inch. I've read all the Schwalbe stuff and understand than the Dureme is more suited to road and the Extreme more suited to off road. But I've also seen people say how well the Extremes roll. The Extremes are easier to get hold of and a bit cheaper. And I know that Sarah Outen is using Duremes on her trip.

Has anyone ridden with both of these? Or with the Extremes on road? Or the Duremes off road? Its really hard to get a feel for how much difference there is in them on the road - i.e. would I be regretting the Extremes on about day 3 of slogging away on tarmac? My feeling is probably that once I start riding with weight, I'll be happy for a large proportion of this trip will be on decent surfaces and so I should go for the Dureme. But...maybe I'll regret it on the off road portions...maybe the Extreme would be the enlightened choice....?!

Any thoughts?
Offroad: Canyon Nerve XC8 (2012)
Touring / Commuting: On-One Inbred (2011)(FCN9)

http://uninspiredramblings.wordpress.com

Posts

  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    There's a page on the sjs webste that's helpful on this.

    But are you sure you need new tyres?
  • EnglishChrisEnglishChris Posts: 210
    andymiller wrote:
    There's a page on the sjs webste that's helpful on this.

    But are you sure you need new tyres?

    Can you point me to that page? I think I may have seen it but can't find it just now. Also, I have sometimes stumbled across some handy newsletters by SJS with quite a lot of useful info, but I've only come across them via google and can never find them on the SJS site. Do you know if you can find them on the site?

    My commuter tyres are marathon plus, but they're relatively heavy (and will be heavier when combined with the touring wheels that I've bought) and quite narrow for much off road stuff.
    Offroad: Canyon Nerve XC8 (2012)
    Touring / Commuting: On-One Inbred (2011)(FCN9)

    http://uninspiredramblings.wordpress.com
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    I did most of the Great Divide Trail with an Extreme on the front and a Dureme on the rear

    http://downthegreatdivide.wordpress.com ... interlude/

    It worked very well for all conditions. I think for the tour you are doing, two Extemes would be overkill - they are quite heavy tyres. I'd suggest a Dureme on both wheels, or a Dureme on the front for a bit of grip and a Supreme or similar on the rear. Get the fattest ones that will fit, you'll notice the extra comfort.
  • EnglishChrisEnglishChris Posts: 210
    GyatsoLa wrote:
    I did most of the Great Divide Trail with an Extreme on the front and a Dureme on the rear

    http://downthegreatdivide.wordpress.com ... interlude/

    It worked very well for all conditions. I think for the tour you are doing, two Extemes would be overkill - they are quite heavy tyres. I'd suggest a Dureme on both wheels, or a Dureme on the front for a bit of grip and a Supreme or similar on the rear. Get the fattest ones that will fit, you'll notice the extra comfort.

    Thanks. I think you're probably right about the duremes being fine. I can't access your blog at work (tho I can access these forums!?) but will have a look later... I thought that the dureme and extreme were kind of similar weights but with the extreme a bit heavier, as you say.

    Ok, now to deal with spending about £80 on bike tyres!
    Offroad: Canyon Nerve XC8 (2012)
    Touring / Commuting: On-One Inbred (2011)(FCN9)

    http://uninspiredramblings.wordpress.com
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Chris

    Here's the link:

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/schwalbe-mar ... es-blog44/

    But while it's very useful as an overview of the Marathon range it's no help for choosing between Duremes and Extremes.

    When I asked about existing tyres I meant your current MTB tyres. Gyatsola (if you're. Stll there - would switching from decent-quality MTB tyres to Duremes make much difference? I ask because I'm pondering making the switch myself).

    Did you do the Trial run on the SDW? How did it go?
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    andymiller wrote:
    Chris


    When I asked about existing tyres I meant your current MTB tyres. Gyatsola (if you're. Stll there - would switching from decent-quality MTB tyres to Duremes make much difference? I ask because I'm pondering making the switch myself).

    The Dureme/Extremes are really very different from mtb tyres. They are much better on the road, tougher, longer lasting and they roll better. But being fairly high pressure tyres they don't provide anywhere near the level of grip of an mtb tyre on rough trails. But they do the job fine in the majority of conditions.

    Extremes are just a bit heavier than the Duremes, but are noticeably grippier (or put another way, I had my rear wheel slip a few times unexpectedly, but the front Extreme always did fine).

    One odd thing i found riding the Divide is a real cultural divide in tyre choice. Europeans overwhelmingly rode Schwalbe, while I think the majority of Americans were riding tubeless mtb tyres. I can't remember the name of the brand, but one guy who did it said his tubeless mtb tyres were perfect for the entire trip, he never had a puncture. He thought that the loss of speed on paved sections was more than made up by being able to go faster, especially on downhills, on unpaved sections.
  • EnglishChrisEnglishChris Posts: 210
    Andy: Yeah, I think my Nobby Nics on my other bike are too nobbly for this trip! Not done the SDW yet - haven't bought tyres or rear panniers yet. But I'm getting there so will aim for something in a few weeks.

    Gyatsolo: Your blog looks interesting and I have lots of questions I could ask you!

    How was the iPad? I'm planning on taking one too and think I'll be able to backup photos to it, and upload them to to the web / flickr as well. Did you find it useful?

    I'm also flitting between taking my digi SLR or a much smaller & lighter, though still good compact camera. You mentioned something about wanting a bigger / better lense at one point? Do you wish you'd hauled one with you?

    I have just ordered a set of Duremes, so thanks for your help, both.
    Offroad: Canyon Nerve XC8 (2012)
    Touring / Commuting: On-One Inbred (2011)(FCN9)

    http://uninspiredramblings.wordpress.com
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    GyatsoLa wrote:
    andymiller wrote:
    Chris


    When I asked about existing tyres I meant your current MTB tyres. Gyatsola (if you're. Stll there - would switching from decent-quality MTB tyres to Duremes make much difference? I ask because I'm pondering making the switch myself).

    The Dureme/Extremes are really very different from mtb tyres. They are much better on the road, tougher, longer lasting and they roll better. But being fairly high pressure tyres they don't provide anywhere near the level of grip of an mtb tyre on rough trails. But they do the job fine in the majority of conditions.

    Extremes are just a bit heavier than the Duremes, but are noticeably grippier (or put another way, I had my rear wheel slip a few times unexpectedly, but the front Extreme always did fine).

    One odd thing i found riding the Divide is a real cultural divide in tyre choice. Europeans overwhelmingly rode Schwalbe, while I think the majority of Americans were riding tubeless mtb tyres. I can't remember the name of the brand, but one guy who did it said his tubeless mtb tyres were perfect for the entire trip, he never had a puncture. He thought that the loss of speed on paved sections was more than made up by being able to go faster, especially on downhills, on unpaved sections.

    Hi Gyatsola. That kind of expresses in a nutshell my dilemma: I'm riding with MTB tyres because I do off-road as well as on-road. But the reality is that most of my mileage is on-road - so, I ask myself, do the benefits on-road of using a tyre like a Dureme compensate for the disbenefits off-road? Or should I put up with riding a wee bit slower on-road in return for the benefits of proper MTB tyres off-road? (rhetorical questions - I not expecting anyone to have an answer).

    Interesting comments about cultural differences. I must admit that my impression from US forums is that they were obsessed with Schwalbe.
  • EnglishChrisEnglishChris Posts: 210
    andymiller wrote:

    Hi Gyatsola. That kind of expresses in a nutshell my dilemma: I'm riding with MTB tyres because I do off-road as well as on-road. But the reality is that most of my mileage is on-road - so, I ask myself, do the benefits on-road of using a tyre like a Dureme compensate for the disbenefits off-road? Or should I put up with riding a wee bit slower on-road in return for the benefits of proper MTB tyres off-road? (rhetorical questions - I not expecting anyone to have an answer).

    It sounds like the Extreme might be a good compromise for you if you're already using nobblies - you would still maintain some grip but it would be much better on the road.
    Offroad: Canyon Nerve XC8 (2012)
    Touring / Commuting: On-One Inbred (2011)(FCN9)

    http://uninspiredramblings.wordpress.com
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    andymiller- I think my impressions were a bit biased from talking to a lot of ultralighters - they are more inclined to seek out real single track and so prefer mtb tyres. Also, a lot of people who tackle the Great Divide trail are pushing very hard, and are 'completists', so they avoid the road where possible, unlike wimps like me who were constantly getting tired of forest roads and so I hopped onto roads frequently so I could get to a bar quicker. Also, the more weight you have, the more you really need tough high pressure tyres.

    I think that the Marathons are better unless you are pretty sure you are doing at least 90% off road. Its not just speed - I think most knobblies wear down very quickly with too much road riding, they use very soft compounds for 'stickiness'.

    Check out www.whileoutriding.com. Cass, the blogger, has tried a lot of combinations on his trip down through the Americas.

    EnglishChris - fire away with any questions you have. I like my iPad a lot, but I found it limited for some uses, especially writing emails or blogs. I think if I was doing it again, I'd go for a proper laptop. But it really depends on where you use it. 3G reception was non-existent or terrible in most of the remote places I went to in the US, so that element was a waste of time. I couldn't get the Wordpress App to work properly, so all my blogging was done in libraries. I also found (after a lot of investigation), that I couldn't charge it up with my hub charger.

    That said, it was great to have - battery life is very good, so I enjoyed having all my reading and mapping material on it, and using it as photo storage was a breeze. The GPS was great to have arriving at towns, I could immediately check where i was with googlemaps, it made finding things very easy.

    Cameras are another issue. I really like my NEX-3, but I got very frustrated with using the pancake lens. I think if I was doing it again I'd go for a bigger lens, but with a little camera for quick shots. In hindsight, the only real advantage of the NEX was the panorama shots, and the night/low light shots (which it excels at). If starting again, I'd probably go for one of the little Lumix compacts - they do photo's almost as good, but in a more compact form, and with zoom.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    GyatsoLa wrote:
    I think that the Marathons are better unless you are pretty sure you are doing at least 90% off road. Its not just speed - I think most knobblies wear down very quickly with too much road riding, they use very soft compounds for 'stickiness'..

    Just a quick observation: I've been using Continental Gravities and/or Verticals. My experience is that they are good for well over 5000 kms - at least if you swap front and rear before the rear gets too worn. On a long expedition to somewhere remote then the there's a strong argument for the extra durability of Duremes, but for other purposes I'm not convinced.
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    andymiller wrote:
    GyatsoLa wrote:
    I think that the Marathons are better unless you are pretty sure you are doing at least 90% off road. Its not just speed - I think most knobblies wear down very quickly with too much road riding, they use very soft compounds for 'stickiness'..

    Just a quick observation: I've been using Continental Gravities and/or Verticals. My experience is that they are good for well over 5000 kms - at least if you swap front and rear before the rear gets too worn. On a long expedition to somewhere remote then the there's a strong argument for the extra durability of Duremes, but for other purposes I'm not convinced.

    Duremes haven't been out there long enough I think to know how long they last for certain, but from what I understand from various reports out there, they don't last as long as the XR's (which are going cheap right now on Planet X, btw). I've heard it suggested that the Dureme may last well up to around 7,000 km, but will fail quite quickly once its hit its limit.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Ooh interesting tip about Planet-X. Thanks.

    Chris re iPads and cameras. I have a netbook with me, but I don't use it very much. I mainly use an iPod Touch in combination with an unlocked 3 MiFi. (if you've ever wondered about typos in my posts that's the reason). I suspect that for the sort of trip you're planning it's all you need. I would love an iPad, but it has important limitations which rule it out for me. If it had the ability to write to an SD card or external HD, and process photos in RAW format and run something like Basecamp then I'd buy one.

    I have a Lumix LX3 which I love - although there are times when I would like some sort of telephoto lens. That said there is now a bunch of decent small cameras around that are potential contenders.

    But. ... It's definitely time to get out there on that trial run. You'll be in a much better position to make choices about what to take (and what not to take).
  • EnglishChrisEnglishChris Posts: 210
    Andy - where are you by the way (didnt realise you were away as we speak)?

    I have got an iPad now, with 64 Gb of storage so I think that will be enough for photos. I'll just use it to transfer my photos to, and then to upload to Flickr / blog. That's probably enough for me.

    I also have an LX3 which I agree, does take lovely photos. BUT with my Nikon and a prime lense I can get some much better arty shots - blurred background etc. So I'm debating taking the Nikon and one lense. But thats a slippery slope I think - "maybe I need just one more lense with me..." etc!

    My Duremes turned up today. The tread isn't as deep as I had expected, though its always hard to tell until they are on and inflated. I will stick with them I think, unless I end up hating them on the dry run. Am tempted by a pair of cheap XRs but my wheels are fairly heavy so I was hoping to save some weight with the Duremes (which are much lighter than the XR's).

    My plans for the next couple of months are becoming clearer (I'm selling a flat and buying another one before my trip!) so I think I'll hit the SDW one weekend in June. Just waiting for a couple of extra bits of kit to turn up - rear panniers, bar bag etc.
    Offroad: Canyon Nerve XC8 (2012)
    Touring / Commuting: On-One Inbred (2011)(FCN9)

    http://uninspiredramblings.wordpress.com
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Arty shots and boku is all very well, but if pushing a full-loaded bike up a steep tarmac slope is bad enough, pushing a bike *up* a slippery slope is even worse... You will curse yourself for every extra kilo.

    IIRC my first foray onto the SDW was on Conti Sport Contacts so I wouldn't worry about the Duremes. Just put them on and go for it - after all I'm sure you could always sell them on if you really don't like them.
  • satanassatanas Posts: 1,303
    While I haven't used the Extremes or Duremes, I have used XRs and Ritchey Crossbite 1.4 and 1.9 in the Himalayas. I had no problems with grip off-road with any of these, with the exception that the Crossbites would occasionally slide unexpectedly when cornering hard on ball-bearing gravel(!). There's no way known I'd be prepared to use knobbies for any sort of mixed on/off road use. BTW, I also found the XRs amazingly slow - I frequently checked to see if they were flat.

    If it was me, and I was going to be riding mainly on any sort of maintained paths - bitumen, gravel or otherwise - I'd do as GyatsoLa suggests and get easier rolling tyres. These will roll faster off-road as well! And get the bigger ones; I've found 2.0"/50mm is plenty.
  • PongoPongo Posts: 28
    I used the extremes 2.25 on the GDMBR ``last summer and they saved me from wiping out on quite a few occasions. The tyre recommended most by experienced divide riders was the Kenda small block 8. The 2.10 is 100 grams lighter than the Schwalbe and rolls on tarmac like a semi slick. A few of the riders with me were using these and wiped out in gravelly and muddy conditions.
  • satanassatanas Posts: 1,303
    One shouldn't necessarily "wipe out" when using less-knobby tyres off-road. What *should* happen is that one should modify one's riding style to suit the available traction, or lack thereof. If conditions are ball-bearing gravel I'd be exercising a degree of caution whatever tyres I had!
  • PongoPongo Posts: 28
    Satanas, The other riders were very cautious, I, not so.
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    A bit of caution on the GDMBR isn't a bad idea - one rider was killed last year (hit by a truck), although I don't think the details of the accident have ever been revealed.
  • satanassatanas Posts: 1,303
    Thanks Pongo! That's a good recommendation for the Extremes. Feedback I've seen for these has all been very positive so far. 8)
  • EnglishChrisEnglishChris Posts: 210
    Andy: going to do a day on the SDW unloaded but with new wheels and gyres on this weekend. Can't manage the whole weekend due to other plans but will do that in a few weeks. A day will at least be good to see how the tyres do.

    GyatsoLa: I was looking at your blog again. How did you find the H bars? I did contemplate them but at the moment just have an old bar and stem, with ergon grips with bar ends.
    Offroad: Canyon Nerve XC8 (2012)
    Touring / Commuting: On-One Inbred (2011)(FCN9)

    http://uninspiredramblings.wordpress.com
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Andy: going to do a day on the SDW unloaded but with new wheels and gyres on this weekend.

    Doing it loaded will give you a much better feel for the practicalities.
  • weeveweeve Posts: 393
    had same dilemma. bought extremes. go slow but good for off road tracks. pumped up theyre ok on road, but with heavy touring wheels I reckon they are bit of an overkill.- however, im not buying more..and will be good if tracks get wet.
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