Recently I got some new tyres for both of my favourite bikes for long distance.
The Setavento got some Schwalbe Marathon Supreme in 28mm flavour.
These are the top of the range in the Schwalbe Marathon group of tyres. They aim to do the difficult task of being light, puncture resistant and fast all in one tyre. First impressions are that they succeed. The tyres are light and fast and although it’s difficult to access puncture resistance after just a few hundred km they seem to score well there too. They are very expensive, I ended up getting them from a german online bike shop, http://www.bike-discount.de
Appearance wise they look like a Marathon! The casing is black with large white lettering on it
There is a minimal “light” tread. Some people say that tread is pointless on a road bike but in mild snow or light mud a little tread is actually quite nice.
Weight wise I didn’t weight them but they feel a lot lighter than Marathon Plus. Ok, so does every tyre in existence! I think they are light for a 28mm tyre designed for durability. The other two types of 28mm tyre I’ve used lately are Schwalbe Ultremo ZX and Marathon Plus. They are right in between these two extremes.
Comfort wise, they are much better than a Marathon Plus and about the same as a Ultremo. The sidewall flexiblity is good
On the Specialized Roubaix I’ve fitted some Michelin Pro Optimium
These are interesting tyres and as they are end of line you may see them on special offer
The appearance and casing is very much like the other Michelin Pro road tyres. Like the other Michelin Pro tyres they are completely slick
They are somewhere in between a Krylion and a Pro2/3 in weight and appearance. The recommended pressures are lower, like a Krylion.
They are supplied in front and back pairs. The front is extra grippy and the rear is more hard wearing. Grip seems to work, they feel good cornering fast and are sure footed in the wet. They are only available in 25mm. This suits me because I always get tyres in this size for this bike.
Michelin only introduced the Optimum model of tyre a couple of years ago but it seems it didn’t catch on and it is now out of production. It seems that Michelin this year are also rebranding the cheap and popular Krylion as an expensive “PRO4 ENDURANCE”
Compared to the Krylion the Optimum is grippier and more comfortable. Compared to a Pro 3 it is grippier but perhaps marginally slower. Pro3 are ridiculously fast however.
As for puncture resistance, limited testing doesn’t look promising.
On a recent 400km ride I had two punctures, one in the front and one in the back. Both tyres had similar very small holes within 15 minutes and no embedded sharps. It was dry but dark and I guess I ran over something nasty.
I’d recommend the Michelin Optimum Pro and the Marathon Supreme, they are both good.