Tire Test - Schwalbe Marathon (GreenGuard)

Published: |

Schwalbe Marathon (GreenGuard) Touring/E-Bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

The Schwalbe Marathon is probably the most popular touring bike tire of the last 10 years. Almost all bicycle shops fit the Marathon as the standard replacement tire when the time comes to fit new tires. With the rise of the E-Bike, the need for high-quality low rolling resistance tires has become even more important. The bigger sizes of the Marathon (37-622+ ) come with the E-Bike Ready 25 and 50 ratings which means they can withstand the higher loads and higher speeds of e-bikes.

Check Schwalbe Marathon (GreenGuard) Prices at Amazon.com

For this review, I've tested the original Schwalbe Marathon 622x37 (35C) with the 3 mm thick GreenGuard anti-puncture layer. The idea behind this thick, but soft layer is that objects that penetrate the tire do not reach the inner tube. This should work brilliantly to prevent flats from small objects like glass or small pieces of steel. When you happen to ride over a long nail or screw, you're out of luck. There is also a Schwalbe Marathon Plus (read review) which has an even thicker anti-puncture layer of 5 mm.

The Schwalbe Marathon has been on my list for a long time. With this test also comes an entirely new Tour/E-Bike section. There is also a new kind of puncture score called 'Puncture Factor'. Because of the large differences in the construction of the tires in the Tour/E-Bike class, I've found the normal puncture resistance test -which is based on the force required to puncture the tire, to be insufficient. Puncture Factor is simply the force required to puncture the tire, multiplied with the total thickness of the tire. This should provide a more realistic puncture resistance score.

Manufacturer Specs
Brand Schwalbe
Model Marathon (GreenGuard)
Year 2015
Supplied By Supplied by Schwalbe
New or Used New
Mileage 0 km
Price Range Med
Price Amazon.com
Part Number 11100007
TPI 67
Compound Endurance
Bead Wire
ETRTO 37-622
Size Inch 28"
Width mm 37.00
Specified Weight 730 grams
Max Pressure 85
Made In Indonesia

Test Results

Schwalbe Marathon (GreenGuard) Touring/E-Bike on a rolling resistance test machine

Size and Weight Measurements

Size and Weight Measurements (Bike Wheel: 622-17C, Pressure: 60 psi / 4 bar)
Measured Weight 729 grams
Measured Width 35 mm
Measured Height 36 mm
Tread Depth 2.3 mm
Total Tire Thickness Center 7.3 mm
Total Tire Thickness Sidewall 1.65 mm

The Schwalbe Marathon used for this test comes in at a weight of 729 grams, this is almost spot on to the advertised weight of 730 grams. The total width of the 37-622 Marathon on a 17C rim and at an air pressure of 60 psi (4 bar) comes in at 35 mm. Measured total height is 36 mm.

I've measured tread depth at 2.3 mm, which is a higher than average score and means there is plenty of rubber on the tire. The total thickness of the tire at the center of the tread comes in at 7.3 mm -tires without a thick anti-puncture layer seem to come in at 4 - 5 mm. The sidewalls have a thickness of 1.65 mm.

Rolling Resistance Test Results

Rolling Resistance Test Results (Speed: 29 kmh / 18 mph, Load: 42.5 kg)
Rolling Resistance 90 psi / 6 Bar 18.8 Watts
Rolling Resistance 75 psi / 5 Bar 19.6 Watts
Rolling Resistance 60 psi / 4 Bar 21.3 Watts
Rolling Resistance 45 psi / 3 Bar 23.8 Watts
Rolling Resistance 30 psi / 2 Bar 30.6 Watts
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 90 psi / 6 Bar 0.00564
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 75 psi / 5 Bar 0.00588
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 60 psi / 4 Bar 0.00638
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 45 psi / 3 Bar 0.00713
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 30 psi / 2 Bar 0.00917

Rolling resistance is very low. The 3 mm GreenGuard anti-puncture layer doesn't seem to affect rolling resistance all that much. The Marathon even has the lowest rolling resistance of all tires that have been tested to date. Even the Schwalbe Marathon Racer (read review) has a higher rolling resistance than the plain Marathon, which is something I totally didn't expect.

The only tire that comes close to the rolling resistance of the Marathon is the CST E-Series Reach (read review). The CST has a slightly lower rolling resistance at 75 psi but loses out at lower, more useful air pressures. When you take into account the CST is pretty much a slick tire with only half the tread depth and puncture resistance, the performance of the Marathon is very good.

Puncture Resistance Test Results

Puncture Resistance Test Result (higher is better)
Puncture Resistance Tread 14
Puncture Resistance Sidewall 5
Puncture Factor Tread * 102
Puncture Factor Sidewall * 8
* Puncture Factor = Puncture Resistance * Total Tire Thickness
Puncture Factor provides a more realistic puncture resistance score for touring tires

How does a tire with a 3 mm anti-puncture layer perform in the puncture test? Because the anti-puncture layer which is used in the Marathon is made of a soft material (latex), the force required to penetrate the tire with a 1 mm thick, steel needle isn't spectacular. The Marathon scores 14 points in the tread puncture test and 5 points in the sidewall test, which is still a decent result.

When we also take the thickness of the tire into account, the Marathon gets to a Puncture Factor score (Puncture Resistance * Tire Thickness) of 102 points in the tread test and 8 points in the sidewall test. Only the Vittoria Randonneur (read review) and Schwalbe Marathon Plus (read review) are able to get higher Puncture Factor scores.


Schwalbe Marathon (GreenGuard) Touring/E-Bike on a rolling resistance test machine

The Schwalbe Marathon GreenGuard is THE tire to beat in the Tour/E-Bike class. Rolling resistance is in another class entirely, which is something you might not expect when you only read the specifications. The Marathon even outperforms tires like the Marathon Racer (read review) and Continental TopContact (read review) which appear much faster on paper. On top of this low rolling resistance also comes a good protection against punctures, which makes it a very balanced tire.

I definitely recommend this tire. It's fast, has a high puncture resistance, more than enough tread and to make it even better, pricing is very decent as well. It will be very hard to beat this tire.

Check Schwalbe Marathon (GreenGuard) Prices at Amazon.com

RATING: 5 / 5
Highly Recommended

Did you like this article?

Please consider to share this article with your friends.

Or Like/Follow us on Facebook or Twitter


Schwalbe Marathon (GreenGuard) Touring/E-Bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine
Schwalbe Marathon (GreenGuard) Touring/E-Bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine
Schwalbe Marathon (GreenGuard) Touring/E-Bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

(click to enlarge)

Chain Reaction Cycles Clearance

Chain Reaction Cycles Road Bike Tire Clearance - Up to 50% Off

Free worldwide shipping, Large selection, Up to 50% off View Road Bike Tire Deals

Leave a comment

Get updates on new articles