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Schwalbe The Green Marathon Tyres

654g (each) 32-622 (700x32C 28x1.25) £29.07 each (at time of writing €33.90)

Schwalbe’s Green Marathon Tyre is, according to Schwalbe, – and they have the evidence on their website – a fabulously eco-friendly tyre with green credentials embedded throughout the production process. Whether that matters to you or not, these are very good tyres that have served me well over the five months of testing. However, with the “Marathon” moniker, they’ve a lot to live up to.


Pros: eco-credentials, ready, wide range of sizes, marathon standards.


Cons: on the weightier side.

Spec and materials

I’ll not go into too much detail about the eco-cred that Schwalbe have had independently assessed – there’s detail on the website, with some wonderful detail. Some will be less bothered than I am, but I like the idea of greener tyres (and Schwalbe intend to continue along this road). Equally, I have used Schwalbe’s tyres for many years, so I have high expectations.


The Green Marathon is a wired tyre available in a range of sizes – from 23-622 to 60-584 and a 21 stops in between. That covers a lot of wheel sizes and disciplines.


Ours were the 32-622 version. As you’ve already guessed, these are aimed at the tourer, leisure rider, commuter, and with the significant but non-aggressive tread, it should deal with mixed surface riding. There’s a reflective strip for night-time presence.

test review tyres tire schwalbe green marathon bicycle

Around the carcass there’s a 3mm thick Green Guard layer for puncture protection made from India rubber (yes, some of it recycled) which reaches five out of seven on Schwalbe’s puncture protection scale. It’s also promises flexibility under the tread, which is made from Schwalbe’s Addix Eco compound. This is made from natural (ethically sourced) rubber and recycled carbon black from bicycle tyres. The whole lot is part of their Performance Line – “quality and intensive use.” They are ready, promising durability and strength for us mere pedallers. An EPI of 67 is not especially sexy, but given the tyre construction promises a good mixture of durability, rolling, and handling.


The pressure range goes from 65-95psi (4.5-6.5 bars). There’s a recommended 90kg load for each tyre (Do not take this too literally. This requires top pressure, and there’s usually a 60/40 back-front ratio of weight – depending on what and how you are carrying things, if anything at all). Of course, these vary across the range of sizes available.


Weighing in at 650g these are not the lightest touring tyre by any means. To mere mortals, such as I, this is unlikely to be an issue. If I had a super light-weight speed machine, I’d not be putting these on it: nor would anyone else. However, as someone who used to snap off most of the handle of a toothbrush to cut weight down in the camping gear, I’d understand perfectly if you’d look for lighter.

test review marathon schwalbe green eco bike tire tyres

Test bike and context 

Naturally, I stuck these on my Swallow tourer. Why naturally? Well, it is a mixed surface touring bike which generally sticks to the asphalt (highly variable along country lanes in the UK), but takes in forest tracks, packed dirt, and crushed lime paths, too.


The tyres have been tested over winter. In the UK that has meant some cold, icy spells, with a little snow, with some periods of extended rain that has resulted in extensive flooding on some road and plenty of mud when you get off-road. Early spring has been wet and chilly with even more flooded roads and dirty lanes.

Mounting 4/5

Dead easy. Gone are the days when the Marathon was a stubborn monster. I tried these on Mavic A217 and Ryde Sputnik rims – and they went on no trouble at all – no need for tyre levers. Then they took up their place on the tourer’s Son rims – again, fingers and thumbs only and no naughty words. 

Ride quality/handling 3.5/5

Wearing off the initial stiffness in the tyres may have taken fractionally longer than on other Marathons I have used. Equally, that could have been the cold weather when testing commenced, so I’d not make too much of it.


During this period steady cornering on asphalt was much appreciated, although hitting some iron works which had retained a fragmentary icy surface made for a brief heart-in-mouth moment; dropping the tyre pressure a little avoided repetition next morning. Away from asphalt, cornering at fifteen mph felt very stable, except where layers of leaf mould and much had built up. Heading uphill and hitting a couple of inches of mud for a few yards lead to lack of traction. In fairness, tyres like this are not designed for serious off-roading – and larger profile versions are available if that is your bag.

As a sturdily built fellow, my default is to keep tyre pressure high. Lighter riders may drop these to 65psi, but, in my case, that generally results in punctures or stodgy riding. The lowest I rode these for any distance was at 80psi, but most of the time ran them at 85 or 90 psi. this was ideal on asphalt, even the corrugated surfaces of some country lanes, and gave plenty of grip on stretches of inundated road (a few centimetres deep), dodging clods dropped from tractor tyres, or following in the trail of Daisy the cow and her friends


On gravel surfaces cornering and general progress were less spectacular than with a proper gravel tubeless tyre, such as the Schwalbe G-One All Round. However, at a touring pace, things felt secure.


In short, eco-credentials did not seem to have diminished the qualities I have come to expect since fitting my first set of Marathon tyres all those years ago. The tread is like that on a Marathon tyre, so you might get a bit more from the Marathon Supreme Tour in terms of off-roading, or from the Marathon Racer for rolling on an asphalt tour.

tyre tire tread

Puncture protection/durability 4/5

Truth is that I have had not one puncture in a thousand miles of riding. A little lucky? Probably, but I have used in urban and rural settings with plenty of glass and hedge-cuttings. I’d rate the puncture protection as very, very good, as opposed to absolutely bomb-proof. Having said that, as with the original Marathons, it is worth checking the tread for small flinty stones or other sharps, that can become lodged in the tread. Equally, a brush round to remove detritus helps, too, although they do seem pretty adept at shedding lumpier muck en-route.

On the durability front, there is no damage to walls or tread. Beyond that, hard to say how many miles are left in them. Given previous experience, I’d say that they will be used for a couple more years of touring. This is suggested by the EPI (TPI), too.

Value 3.5/5

What value do you place on environmental amiability? I reckon it is pretty important. For the purposes of this section, I’ll set tha value at zero: it’s up to you to factor that in.


Schwalbe themselves produce a lot of touring tyres. The choice really comes down the balance of your riding: mostly gravel, mostly tarmac, faster touring, general exploring, comfortable cruising over rough surfaces, challenging endurance ….. Many of the Marathon family come in at a similar price point: The Marathon Racer, Marathon Tour, Marathon 365, are a little pricier than the Green Marathon and offer a little more specialism – more aggressive tread for dirtier work on the Marathon 365, for example. With similar qualities to the Marathon original, this is of similar value in the Schwalbe galaxy of tyres. 

schwalbe tires tyres green marathon

Old favourites, such as Conti Top Contact are pricier, but lighter and offer excellent durability (according to reports). Faster rolling tyres like the Soma Supple Vitesse are much lighter, but you need the SL version if you want more durability.


If commuting is what you do most, there are plenty of highly effective tyres, such as Oxford’s Mojo Stamina that come in significantly cheaper – and they took me on some tours as well. They are heavier and, rather unkindly, I suggested they were more stamina than mojo, but actually, they are durable, reliable, and very good commuting tyres.


Kenda Kwick Journey KS Plus are now £25 each and very durable, although without the same environmental credentials and a slight weight penalty.  Pirelli Angel DT Urban Tyre  is a a few quid dearer but features a thicker belt, albeit with a slight weight penalty. Similar story with the CST Xpedium, although they're also a bit dearer, heavier and only available in a more limited range of (bigger) sizes..


Green credentials apart, the Green Marathon are another highly effective tyre in the Schwalbe range. With the clue in the Marathon name, it is seemingly durable, has effective defence against most sharps (I have not come across so many hawthorns on my travels this winter), roll nicely and handle well in all conditions and on everything except for deeper mud and looser gravel surfaces. Good, I’d suggest, for general riding, commuting, and touring, you may find them discounted, as well.

Verdict 3.75/5 Very good general riding tyres, with impressive green pedigree.


Steve Dyster





Ryton On Dunsmore

Coventry  CV8 3FH


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