Schwalbe Ultremo ZX HD - Useless

Secteur Posts: 1,971
edited April 2013 in Road beginners
Someone on here commented that I am the unluckiest cyclist ever. I agree.

Previously rode "stock" tyres with no problems at all.

Decided I wanted to upgrade so bought these Schwalbe tyres as they were "best on test" in Cycling Plus magazine.

After 100 miles I had a puncture through the armoured part of the tyre.

Fair enough, I thought - bad luck. Bit annoyed, but bad luck.

40 miles later, I have now seen side wall damage on both front and back tyres which has exposed the weave and the tyre is bulging at these points.

So, bad luck, or tyres not actually that good?

All I know is I spent £60 on these 2 weeks ago, and another £60 shortly after on another pair for my second wheel set.

I now have to bin £60 worth of tyre.

Can anyone tell me what rubber I should have bought (something bomb proof and that wont slow me down)



  • dude get a refund.

    I have previously used conti ultra gator on my commuter. no puncture except once in the warehouse at work where i rode on a pin. Very good tyres i think.

    Otherwise I am currently using GP4000, bloody amazing, quick and light and puncture proof, i do feel they are a bit soft seems to wear out quicker than the ultra gator might be just me.
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  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    They're either faulty in which case you can return them for a replacement or you did something that caused the damage. Based on your posting on here my money is on the latter
    More problems but still living....
  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    Well they didn't puncture themselves, so it was definitely something I did, but the point is that I only do "normal" road cycling on "normal" roads, but to wear out £60 worth of rubber in 2 weeks / 140 miles is a bit naff.
  • I've done over 2000 miles on my ZXs, still going strong.
  • colsoop
    colsoop Posts: 217
    To wear the sidewalls out in 100 odd miles is bizarre what are you using to fit the tyres ?

    Are you brake pads properly set up ? check to see they are not making contact with the tyre when you apply the brakes.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,858
    I'm getting 2-3000 miles out of mine, and that's not gentle riding. I think so far only one slow puncture in 5000 miles. It's time to change them when the rubber's just about gone (which tends to be at the time when any little cuts start to get a bit bulgy too). The worst I've had is to change one after 1000 miles because of a larger cut that bulged badly. Maybe I've just been lucky ... though I do watch the road very carefully for stones etc.

    I know there are cheaper tyres out there, and maybe they're a bit of a luxury, but I like them.
  • flasher
    flasher Posts: 1,734
    Punctures are something that just happen unfortunately, but sidewall damage is usually a user problem, brake rub?
  • You must be one fat fcuker! :lol:
  • merak
    merak Posts: 323
    I don't think there is a road tyre sold, no matter how cheap, that will have worn sidewalls to bulging after 140 miles if properly fitted and inflated on a bike that's properly set up. That's two rides or one good ride. I'm betting on brake rub.

    Set up the brake shoes and buy Conti 4000S or Conti GP 4 Seasons
  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    Schwalbe have had quality control problems before. It's therefore not beyond the realm of possibility that your tyres are faulty.

    I'd insist on a refund, personally.

    It's certainly not unknown for tyres manufacturers to go through phases of faulty products; I've had instances of Continental and Panaracer tyres disintegrating. It does not mean that their products are generally poor.
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  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    amaferanga wrote:
    They're either faulty in which case you can return them for a replacement or you did something that caused the damage. Based on your posting on here my money is on the latter

    +1... I'm also for operator error(somehow, someway). Just doesn't sound like a manufacturer problem.
  • MRadd
    MRadd Posts: 205
    Working the Southern Sportive at Wantage today as neutral service. Sorted out two guys with the same issues.

    First guy had just had a massive blowout on a descent (lucky to not be on the deck when I got there). The tube had managed to rip through the sidewall. No, he was not over pressure (I had checked his tyres earlier and they were 100psi). Looking closer at the tyre there was signicficent damage and tearing along the sidewalls. Sent him on his way with a Conti ultra sport (he was delighted by that!).

    2nd guy, was changing a tube when I got to him. Noticed as I was finishing the job off for him, that his sidewall was also damaged. Changed his tyre over for a cont as well.

    Both riders had done less than 500 miles on their respective tyres. Interestingly, it was only the rears damaged. The fronts were spotless on both, no sign of wear. I did check calipers for alignment and both were spot on!

    I'd say, from a mechanics soupbox, that Schwalbe have mucked up again. Going to email the rep for the area and see what is said. Will report!
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  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    No break rub - guaranteed - I am very cautions about this, and it's something I check regularly.

    I can be 99.999% certain this is not user error.

    Anyway, the area of side wall damage is localised, not linear (i.e. not in a line around the tyre as it would be with rub on a rotating wheel).

    I will try to take photos.

    MRadd - I would appreciate your feedback. I have emailed Schwalbe twice, they ignored my first email a week ago. Hopefully I will get further with my second email.
  • mroli
    mroli Posts: 3,622
    Secteur - where did you buy the tyres? That should be your first port of call....
  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    Merlin - will email them today
  • nferrar
    nferrar Posts: 2,511
    Hmm interesting, I'm a big fan of Schwalbe Ultremo's and the ones I had were fine even during the previous recall. Photo's would be good but even with them it's probably difficult to tell if it was road debris that caused the damage (vs a manufacturing defect), I'll be keeping a close eye on mine though.
  • merak
    merak Posts: 323
    Secteur wrote:
    No break rub - guaranteed - I am very cautions about this, and it's something I check regularly.
    Ok, I take it back and apologies for doubting your spannering. If you can be equally sure you didn't damage them when fitting then +1 for return to the shop and demand a refund.
  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    How can they be damaged during fitting? You mean by physically tearing them with the tyre lever etc? If so, I check them all over once fitted & inflated and they looked fine - would fitting damage appear immediately? I didnt have much difficulty getting them on.
  • vorsprung
    vorsprung Posts: 1,953
    As I am doing Paris-Brest-Paris next week on 28mm Ultremo ZX I am hoping I have a pair of the "lasts 2000 miles" tyres rather than the "instant side wall destruction" type!

    I have already done 180km on these tyres just to try them out and they aren't showing any wear.
  • phelim12
    phelim12 Posts: 16
    if you bought through merlin these are grey imports and as such as far as i know are not covered under warranty.
  • Slack
    Slack Posts: 326
    I've done about 400 miles on Ultremo ZX HD's and yes they have started to cut up. I generally run them at 110psi.

    I have a damaged sidewall, with a slight bulge. Something has made a thin line scar, not very deep, perpendicular to the normal rotational direction of the tyre, which also goes down on to the side wall. This has weakend the side wall at that point, and subsequently caused the bulge.

    These tyres are very thin, it would only take the slightest nick to weaken the side walls. I just view this as being the price to pay for wanting light tyres. I knew they wouldn't be durable; my only remit is that they see me out until October.
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  • Nuggs
    Nuggs Posts: 1,804
    Interesting thread.

    I've done about 500 miles on my Ultremo ZX HDs and have had a couple of recent visits from the puncture fairy (most recent one was yesterday).

    They grip like poo to a blanket but I find them soft. Mine are starting to cut up and there are a number of gouges out of the better protected part of the tyre. The sidewalls remain fine but I'll keep an eye on them.

    Like Slack says, I reckon these are great tyres if all you want to do is go fast, corner hard and are prepared to replace them more regularly than other tyres.

    I'm going back to my favourite Conti GP4000S tyres once the Ultremos are properly dead. I find they give a good blend of performance and longevity.
  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    Currently in email conflab with Dave the man at Schwalbe - very helpfu - have sent him photos but beforte he received them he sent me this, which is interesting so I thought I'd share (I didnt realise that the ultremo ZX HD were essentially race tyres with minimal armour - d'oh - I thought they were actually meant to be heavily armoured)

    "The HD SpeedGuard is our very lightweight puncture guard protection
    for competition tyres. Although effective against small shards and
    thorns, anything larger will of course penetrate the puncture guard
    layer. Something like the Durano Plus will have faired better but the
    weight compromise is substantial.

    If what you can see are loose threads that you can pull away from the
    sidewall then this is part of the chafer. It's made up of woven cotton
    material, which prevents the carcass chafing on the rim. Some of these
    cotton yarns are not clamped in between the rim and tyre bead and
    become loose, because of insufficient rubber coating. You can simply
    cut the yarn and go on riding

    It is not dangerous because the chafer is a separate part of the tyre
    and doesn´t belong to the carcass. Some tyres don´t even need a
    chafer. Even if you completely remove the chafer (and this is only
    possible if the tyre is off the rim), the bead is still completely
    hidden by the carcass."
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Nuggs wrote:

    I'm going back to my favourite Conti GP4000S tyres once the Ultremos are properly dead. I find they give a good blend of performance and longevity.

    I find the GPS4000s tyres to be fairly soft and prone to cutting up too and was hoping the Ultremos would be a good move next time round. The 4000s's are lovely tyres though, which is why I have been buying them and putting up with the other 'features'. The Michelin Kryllions on my training bike are much more durable (and cheaper) but I can understand why some folks find them a little lifeless.

    I guess that there are not many tyres out there that manage to combine speed, light weight, durability and price...and if someone solves that we will all be buying them.
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    You didn't seriously complain to Schwalbe that you got a puncture with your new tyres did you? The sidewall 'damage' may or may not be an issue, but any tyre can puncture at any time - makes little difference if you've ridden 1 mile or 500 miles.
    More problems but still living....
  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    Nope - I mentioned that I had a puncture, but I also said that it was probably just bad luck. It's the side wall damage I was more worried about.

    Will see what they say, and will post photos if get a chance, for others with similar probs to compare. It is useful to have Schwalbe's input into what is and is not "tolerable".
  • as stated, it could just be a single batch that were missed in QC

  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    as stated, it could just be a single batch that were missed in QC


    As stated, this is in the beginners forum, the OP didn't know what kind of tires he had bought(racing vs heavy duty), doesn't seem sure what he's looking at as far as "damage" goes, and possibly doesn't understand mounting procedures, I'm still casting my vote for operator error of some sort.
  • brettjmcc
    brettjmcc Posts: 1,361
    Nuggs wrote:
    I'm going back to my favourite Conti GP4000S tyres once the Ultremos are properly dead. I find they give a good blend of performance and longevity.

    Just a thought for you, the same Cycling Plus article also rated the Hutchinson Atom's, but the 4000S won out on price per tyre. Decathlon are knocking them out (as well as the slightly heavier Fusion) for £39.99 for a pair, which would make them an easy winner.

    Got a pair the other week, and so far so good (I'm running them with latex tubes)
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  • All The Gears
    All The Gears Posts: 163
    edited August 2011
    I've had a sidewall blow out on a ZX .The tyre had done less than 300 miles.
    I emailed Schwalbe,as I'd read another thread on here about the R1 which had had similar sidewall issues and they had replaced.
    Schwalbe very courteously decided not to reply to my email !

    But it does sound as if they've got some serious quality control issues.