Death of a Bicycle Tire

Some tires die of blowouts, large rips, but others just die of wear and tear. Perhaps you’ve noticed my banner photo: a drywall screw lodged in a bike tire. That was an actual flat I got on Green St. in Jamaica Plain a while back (watch out for construction zones!).

After that flat, I finally decided to retire that tire (pun!). Aside from the loss in flat-resistance, riding on it was starting to feel pretty sluggish. As you can see,

two years of daily riding had totally worn the tread down to the blue “Smartguard” Layer, the point where Schwalbe says the tire will be much less effective at protecting against flats.

Rest in Peace, Schwalbe Marathon Plus. You’ve served me a total of 16 months of flat-free cycling through the broken glass jungle of Allston, pothole cities of Boston and New York, as well as up and down the East Coast, scoring a grand total of zero pinch flats and zero puncture flats. I rode you all the way down to your naked blue flesh, and you will be missed.

It was an outstanding two years. Your brother up front is still going strong, but your replacement in the rear will be a slimmer, faster, and almost-as-bomb-proof version of you, a 700x23c Schwalbe Durano Plus.

P.S. I highly recommend the Schwalbe Marathon as a flat-resistant tire. I have them running on both my bikes, and haven’t had to deal with a flat tire (minus a valve break) in over two years. I hate the idea of losing time changing a flat in the cold, rainy, dark, and I couldn’t have been happier with these tires. Hopefully the Durano Plus, with its slightly thinner “Smartguard” layer, will last just as long.

P.P.S. I was really impressed by the crystal clear instructions included with my new Schwalbe Durano Plus on how to properly install a tire:

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