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Marathon Plus/GT/Mondial/Energizer... ??!#*&@#$*$&%@#$

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Marathon Plus/GT/Mondial/Energizer... ??!#*&@#$*$&%@#$

Old 04-21-19, 07:35 AM
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ripkin
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Marathon Plus/GT/Mondial/Energizer... ??!#*&@#$*$&%@#$

Ok.

So I’m sorry if I missed like 10,000 discussions of this in the forums already, but I honestly couldn’t find a bunch of posts in one place I could understand about this.

I have tried the Schwalbe website, the “rolling resistance” tire website (which is awesome btw, if the ppl who do that site are on here, kudos)—but I’m still not understanding why this company has made 300 different tires that are all supposed to be puncture resistant for commuting.

Can someone clue me in?

I am a 250-275 lb rider commuting about 80-90 miles each week, and hoping to find a tire that can support my weight, be comfortable for 45 min trips, and not be ridiculously heavy (the commute is hilly and has about 25% gravel). It also needs to be as flat resistant as possible — the city parts of the commute have some debris I can’t easily avoid: I have flatted on a weird industrial staple, shattered safety glass, and what I think was probably a crackpipe or else some kind of little beaker from chemistry class. Each time my tubeless setup (700x40mm gravel tires or 29” 2.0 MTB tires) sealed it enough to get me to the end of the commute, but after that the tires wouldn’t hold air at the pressure appropriate for my weight.

Needless to say, I’m sick of tubeless, so I’d like to just switch to tubes, and would probably swap out to a studded version for winter.

Is anyone willing to share some thoughts on the differences between the Marathon Plus/GT/Tour/Allmotion/Mondial tires?

I haven’t ever commuted on something skinnier than 700x40mm, I suppose I’d be open to trying that, but I guess I just figured since I’m a bigger rider I should stick to the fatter tires.

Thank you in advance for the info!!

Last edited by ripkin; 04-21-19 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 04-21-19, 10:59 AM
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I don't use tubeless and have only used the Marathon Supreme 2 sets and now the Mondial. No flats in 5 years. I weigh 318 and use the 26" D x 2" W tires. Mostly road and hard pack. 40psi front 55 psi rear. I live in the high dessert. There has been very little crap in the road until recently. I am know seeing large amounts of glass busted up on the shoulders of our roads. I bought the Mondial this time for a longer lasting tire.
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Old 04-22-19, 12:34 AM
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Schwalbe is a huge OEM supplier for European bikes and every bike manufacturer wants a different character.

I think that you need to decide if you want a race tyre (which people wouldn't commute with on the continent but is favoured in the US) and a touring tyre (which we'd commute with over here but people on the forum will consider slow).

Personally, I'd go with a touring/trekking tyre from the Marathon range.

They're all puncture-resistant for commuting as Schwalbe has a bunch of other tyres for racing/touring/etc...

The Schwalbe Marathon started as a Trekking tyre and went from there.

This catalogue is what you want to read:

https://www.schwalbe.com/en/cataloge...nglish_low.pdf

I would buy from bike24.de because they carry all the variants!
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Old 04-22-19, 04:42 AM
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Thanks Rick, I think the Mondial is less weight than the others, and looks like a good choice. Have you seen the full brochure acidfast just posted? It’s really helpful.
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Old 04-22-19, 04:43 AM
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AWESOME. Thank you for this — I wasn’t able to find anything like this on the US website just clicking around. I appreciate the help!
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Old 04-22-19, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ripkin View Post
AWESOME. Thank you for this ó I wasnít able to find anything like this on the US website just clicking around. I appreciate the help!
No sweat my man. I'm sure you'll find that people round these parts tend to disagree with/dislike what I have to say, but all of it is with the aim of helping people, so I'm glad that you've found it useful.

Have a nice Easter holiday (it's a double bank holiday weekend over here.)
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Old 04-22-19, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ripkin View Post
Ok.

So Iím sorry if I missed like 10,000 discussions of this in the forums already, but I honestly couldnít find a bunch of posts in one place I could understand about this.

I have tried the Schwalbe website, the ďrolling resistanceĒ tire website (which is awesome btw, if the ppl who do that site are on here, kudos)óbut Iím still not understanding why this company has made 300 different tires that are all supposed to be puncture resistant for commuting.

Can someone clue me in?

I am a 250-275 lb rider commuting about 80-90 miles each week, and hoping to find a tire that can support my weight, be comfortable for 45 min trips, and not be ridiculously heavy (the commute is hilly and has about 25% gravel). It also needs to be as flat resistant as possible ó the city parts of the commute have some debris I canít easily avoid: I have flatted on a weird industrial staple, shattered safety glass, and what I think was probably a crackpipe or else some kind of little beaker from chemistry class. Each time my tubeless setup (700x40mm gravel tires or 29Ē 2.0 MTB tires) sealed it enough to get me to the end of the commute, but after that the tires wouldnít hold air at the pressure appropriate for my weight.

Needless to say, Iím sick of tubeless, so Iíd like to just switch to tubes, and would probably swap out to a studded version for winter.

Is anyone willing to share some thoughts on the differences between the Marathon Plus/GT/Tour/Allmotion/Mondial tires?

I havenít ever commuted on something skinnier than 700x40mm, I suppose Iíd be open to trying that, but I guess I just figured since Iím a bigger rider I should stick to the fatter tires.

Thank you in advance for the info!!

Schwalbe Marathon Plus offer fantastic flat protection but do so in the most low tech way. I mean, it's not that much of a stretch to simply add more rubber which is what they've done. Sure, the rubber they add is softer and more flexible to minimize rolling resistance, but the Plus' are pretty damned heavy as a consequence. I prefer a lighter approach and through my own long term research have found two legitimate alternatives.

Specialized Armadillos incorporate a Kevlar layer. Of course they're not the only brand to include a Kevlar reinforcement layer, but what sets them apart is their layer goes bead-to-bead and the Kevlar is woven in a patented way which they claim makes it far more effective against puncture and cuts. I have found their claims to be true. The Armadillos are incredibly flat resistant and at a much lower weight than Marathon Plus'. The Armadillos are also made of a very durable rubber compound while still providing very good grip in the wet. However, it's no secret that Armadillos are a stiff ride. The focus is decidedly on flat protection and durability with comfort an afterthought.

The Continental Top Contact II is another tire offering a fabric flat protection barrier. They use Vectran which they claim is superior to Kevlar for puncture and cut protection. They also use a special weave and claim that Vectran is more flexible than Kevlar. The Top Contact II's are also fantastically flat resistant. However, the Conti's Vectran belt does not extend bead-to-bead and as a result the tire is lighter and the ride is far more supple than the Armadillos at the expense of lesser sidewall protection. The rubber compound is very durable, but in my experience not as durable as the Armadillo. Conti's wet weather grip is superior to Specialized as well. I find the Top Contact II's to be a very comfortable tire offering excellent grip and decent wear.

Schwalbe also makes a Vectran belted tire; the Marathon Supreme (mentioned in a reply). I've no experience with the Supreme but note it's lighter weight and higher price than the tires above. I would expect at the widths you're considering the ride would be plenty supple. It would be reasonable to assume comparable flat protection. Availability is an issue for me so I've never really made the effort to seek them out.

Just a little background - I'm a Clyde regularly commuting through Oakland CA (aka The Broken Glass Capital of the World). Depending on the neighborhood, a flat can be a serious problem. Having used Marathons, Armadillos, and Top Contact II's I can say that flat protection among these three is essentially equal. Considering no pneumatic tire is 100% flat proof, at the level of flat protection these tires provide any difference is mostly hair splitting. I'm certainly no weight weenie, but if the protection is so very similar with all three choices, why would I choose the heaviest of the three? My fleet is a mix of Armadillos and Top Contact II's. I have been moving toward the Conti's for all new purchases. I've come to enjoy the more comfortable ride even if it means a slight reduction in wear (mileage). I realized a long time ago I could get excellent flat protection without the heft of the Marathon Plus so they haven't been in my garage in years.

I hope this helps.


-Kedosto
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Old 04-22-19, 02:31 PM
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As kedosto says "plus" tires are very rarely needed. I think if you were to ride all the way to china and back on gravel roads, plus tires are what you need.
I ran a continental plus tire (that looks similar to the contact today) for several years for city use. But its not really needed. And they are 1kg each.

Then I ran these https://www.continental-tires.com/bi...-tires/contact for several years. They ride much better and weigh half. Very good grip.
Never a flat.

I would get either those or the https://www.continental-tires.com/bi...s/top-contact2 from continental.

And for thinner tires like 25-28mm I would get. https://www.continental-tires.com/bi...rand-prix-5000 I have the older 4000 gp and those are really good tires.

However one of the best tires out there imo is the Schwalbe marathon supreme. https://www.schwalbe.com/en/tour-rea...n-supreme.html very durable and puncture proof tire. I have at least 10000km on several bikes. Not a single flat.

these look good too if you have lots of glass https://www.schwalbe.com/en/tour-rea...rathon-gt.html
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Old 04-22-19, 03:14 PM
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I own four Marathons at the moment in utter disregard of what acidfast7 thinks I think. Anyone riding along a major artery in shattered headlights and road gators can justify it.
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Old 04-22-19, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I own four Marathons at the moment in utter disregard of what acidfast7 thinks I think. Anyone riding along a major artery in shattered headlights and road gators can justify it.
My urban conditions are harder than yours, I would imagine, and the thread is almost worn off over what I'd consider a lower mileage.

I'd be happy to post a photo and we could compare tomorrow if you would like.

I also have several cuts down to the green guard showing that it is working.

I find them excellent value for money (at Ä15 each) but I find that the originals don't live up the hype of flatless.

However, in the end I strongly recommend them and have found Gatorskins junk on the rear under the same conditions at double the price.

Edit: unless your saying that I think people stateside don't ride them, which is true based on the responses in this thread. On the continent you'd be hard pressed to find a decent commuter bind without a Schwalbe tyre.

Last edited by acidfast7; 04-22-19 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 04-22-19, 03:19 PM
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The only Marathons that I have tried are the "Plus" variant and I found them to be horribly heavy and slow.
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Old 04-22-19, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
My urban conditions are harder than yours, I would imagine,
I didn't say they were. You live by your own account in a teeming beehive. I don't. I have one particulary badly designed intersection to ride through where there's always a lot of crap in the bike lanes from rear end accidents... the pavement is also wrinkled into "brake bumps." I had a flat there where my tire got sliced. Just before then, elsewhere, I had a scare riding with my kid (take note) where I came upon a full length piece of angle iron lying across the bike lane on a fast downhill. Swerving to avoid the obstacle was out of the question and a bunny hop was impossible, and we got a pinch flat. I've been running a Marathon on the rear of that bike since and I'd put one on the front too if it weren't for sale. The trike I'm riding now is impossible to avoid potholes with since it has three tracks and any "dodging" means going into traffic, so it's got Marathons too. And like a lot of the USA we get goatheads here

Edit: unless your saying that I think people stateside don't ride them, which is true based on the responses in this thread.
Yes, that is what I meant. So far in this thread every respondent has used one.
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Old 04-23-19, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post



Yes, that is what I meant. So far in this thread every respondent has used one.
Instead of looking at a tiny forum with low traffic.

Look at OEMs and most people replace like for like.

Like these: https://www.fahrradmanufaktur.de/en/...g_trekking.php

or these: https://www.cube.eu/uk/2019/bikes/trekking/urban/

or any other of the bajillon German/contintenal bike makes.

Now show me a few US brands that run Schwalbes as OEM tyres and then we can make a comparison. (Most owner probably don't get through a single Schwable tyre ... I didn't on my MTB with 5k km before I left Germany.)

I would also assume that most bike shops don't stock them to check them out in person?

Last edited by acidfast7; 04-23-19 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 04-23-19, 05:07 AM
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Here we go, in the work bike rack.

Schwalbe Marathon Original with Greenguard (HS420)
size: 23-622
installed on 26 MAR 2015
cost: £19 shipped to my door from amazon
distance travelled: 1899km/1174mi

synopsis: greenguard has stopped several pieces of glass/metal from getting into the tube. have still had a few tubes get flat. One when I wa run over by a van and bent the wheel (the tyre was reused) and one in a different accident with a parked car.

I am a little surprised by the tyre wear for that short distance of usage.

How does this compare to other people's wear?




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Old 04-23-19, 07:18 AM
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I ride various bikes for my commute. I have flatted with every tire except the Schwalbe Marathon Plus 37mm's that I have on my main commuter. Are the tires heavier than most? Yes. Do I notice this difference at all? No.

The OP weighs between 250 and 275 lbs and will have another 25 lbs in bicycle (likely more) plus whatever is carried. Do we really think that another 14 ounces of tire will make any difference at all? Go for flat protection and reliability. It's a commute, not a race.
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Old 04-23-19, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
The only Marathons that I have tried are the "Plus" variant and I found them to be horribly heavy and slow.
I'm riding Marathon Pluses in 700x38 right now, and I can confirm - they are very slow. Conditions on my commute suck, so I wanted something tough as nails, and I'm not riding a fast bike anyways so it doesn't matter all that much to me. If you're on a real roadie and want to get going fast, I would steer way clear.
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Old 04-23-19, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I ride various bikes for my commute. I have flatted with every tire except the Schwalbe Marathon Plus 37mm's that I have on my main commuter. Are the tires heavier than most? Yes. Do I notice this difference at all? No.

The OP weighs between 250 and 275 lbs and will have another 25 lbs in bicycle (likely more) plus whatever is carried. Do we really think that another 14 ounces of tire will make any difference at all? Go for flat protection and reliability. It's a commute, not a race.
That's why I run them. My city is full of bad roads and much shattered glass from 12 pubs per square mile or well over 100 in our small city!

Shame they don't make a 23-622 any longer :/
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Old 04-23-19, 08:06 AM
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For commuting, I'd rather get to work every morning a little slower, than have to stop and repair a flat on a regular basis. I'm not in a race on the way to work.

I'm looking at those Conti Tops, since they offer them in 20 and 26 inch sizes (my velo has 20 inchers up front), so this has a lot of good info.

I might try a set of Contis and Schwalbes back to back and see which I like better, or if I could even tell the difference.
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Old 04-23-19, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Now show me a few US brands that run Schwalbes as OEM tyres and then we can make a comparison.
The largest bike-store brands in the USA each have their own brand of tires. On hybrids, city bikes, lower end mountain bikes, and so on, the bikes most people own, and don't go on forums about, the manufacturers put armored tires. If I had to guess, most of these tires never get ridden enough to wear out before they dry out and crack. But if they do, a bike shop will have a replacement much like it. Your thesis that Americans prefer racing tires isn't borne out, and I think it's also based mostly on other users of this forum.

As for Marathons specifically... Marathons are a name brand that has no cachet here for the person who walks into a bike store looking for "just a bike that's not too expensive." So an OEM isn't going to use them when they can install something cheaper for no penalty. Schwalbe themselves have a cheaper tire that's just as thick as a Marathon but is made entirely of tread rubber instead of having the soft layer, as well as cheaper tires with other kinds of armor. In the aftermarket, there's a few problems here for Schwalbe. First, our remaining bike stores are gradually becoming one-brand or two-brand dealerships that will also sell the brand's tires. Years ago when I converted my MTB to a commuter I walked into a Specialized dealership and so I walked out with Nimbus Armadillos, because that's the tire they had in my size. Also, Schwalbe tires in other categories don't have as good a reputation as their other brand competitors, so a bike store might skip the brand entirely.
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Old 04-23-19, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
The largest bike-store brands in the USA each have their own brand of tires. On hybrids, city bikes, lower end mountain bikes, and so on, the bikes most people own, and don't go on forums about, the manufacturers put armored tires. If I had to guess, most of these tires never get ridden enough to wear out before they dry out and crack. But if they do, a bike shop will have a replacement much like it. Your thesis that Americans prefer racing tires isn't borne out, and I think it's also based mostly on other users of this forum.

As for Marathons specifically... Marathons are a name brand that has no cachet here for the person who walks into a bike store looking for "just a bike that's not too expensive." So an OEM isn't going to use them when they can install something cheaper for no penalty. Schwalbe themselves have a cheaper tire that's just as thick as a Marathon but is made entirely of tread rubber instead of having the soft layer, as well as cheaper tires with other kinds of armor. In the aftermarket, there's a few problems here for Schwalbe. First, our remaining bike stores are gradually becoming one-brand or two-brand dealerships that will also sell the brand's tires. Years ago when I converted my MTB to a commuter I walked into a Specialized dealership and so I walked out with Nimbus Armadillos, because that's the tire they had in my size. Also, Schwalbe tires in other categories don't have as good a reputation as their other brand competitors, so a bike store might skip the brand entirely.
We can debate all day and I'd still be correct. The market share is substantially greater in the EU than the US. There are several well-heeled people here who have given Schwalbe and a shot and stuck with them, but my generalisation holds true, which is why I made it.
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Old 04-23-19, 02:50 PM
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I've seen Schwalbe's stocked at a number of bike stores, mostly in the PNW and SW parts of the US, but these stores also were bike shops that really catered to recumbent bike and trike riders, so that may have influenced my small sample size.
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Old 04-23-19, 10:14 PM
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I would advise anyone thinking of running Marathons to seriously consider a quality Vectran belted tire instead. In real world conditions on some of the toughest streets in the world, Vectran belted tires provide flat protection comparable to other companies “Plus” tires, be they Schwalbe, Continental, Goodyear, or Michelin. And the belted tires do it while offering a better ride, faster acceleration, and more nimble handling.

In my experience, the only area where “Plus” type tires beat Vectran belted tires is in price. The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme is not an inexpensive tire. The Continental Top Contact II is only slightly less expensive. I could save a few dollars and run the Marathon Plus’ but my real world experience has proven it’s not worth it.


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Old 04-24-19, 01:28 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
I would advise anyone thinking of running Marathons to seriously consider a quality Vectran belted tire instead. In real world conditions on some of the toughest streets in the world, Vectran belted tires provide flat protection comparable to other companies “Plus” tires, be they Schwalbe, Continental, Goodyear, or Michelin. And the belted tires do it while offering a better ride, faster acceleration, and more nimble handling.

In my experience, the only area where “Plus” type tires beat Vectran belted tires is in price. The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme is not an inexpensive tire. The Continental Top Contact II is only slightly less expensive. I could save a few dollars and run the Marathon Plus’ but my real world experience has proven it’s not worth it.


-Kedosto
Vectran is simply V-guard in the Schwalbe nomenclature system.

As seen in this link: https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting...-overview.html
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Old 04-28-19, 12:47 PM
  #24  
trailmix
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Originally Posted by OhLylo View Post
I'm riding Marathon Pluses in 700x38 right now, and I can confirm - they are very slow. Conditions on my commute suck, so I wanted something tough as nails, and I'm not riding a fast bike anyways so it doesn't matter all that much to me. If you're on a real roadie and want to get going fast, I would steer way clear.
I was running 700x38 on an old Cannondale hybrid and the gyroscopic forces that those tires generated was surprising. I never had a flat on them but I haven't had a flat on Panaracer Paselas either at half the price and weight so for me the Plus is just unnecessary weight and expense.
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Old 04-30-19, 07:56 AM
  #25  
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Looking through the Schwalbe catalogue (thanks @acidfast7), I assume that the tires with the greenguard layer are all the same technology (for the greengaurd). Obviously, the tread, possibly sidewall, and other features will vary.

I just noticed that my rear really needs replacing, and I'm probably going to go ahead and swap the front out as well. I love the contis I have on there now, but I've been getting a lot of flats around here (and I run tire liners), so I'm looking for a decent compromise between the near slicks I've got, and the pluses that just seem heavy.

I'm leaning towards the Conti Top Contacts, if only because I'm sure they come in the sizes I need (I ride recumbent with a 32-559 on the rear and a 32-406 on the front).
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