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travails with tyres

I haven’t had a lot of luck with my tyres over the years. My original wire beaded Schwalbe XRs did really well, clocking up around 17 000 and 20 000 kilometres respectively, but the two folding XRs that replaced them, as needed, both had massive blowouts within around 4-5000 kilometres, which was far less satisfactory.

I bought a couple of Marathon Mondials, recently.  One replaced one of the original XRs – which had made it all the way from Alaska to Panama – and has now, in Ecuador, seen around 3 500 kilometres. The other came along as a spare, which I managed to lose off the rack, on a long bumpy mountain descent, only days before one of the blow outs referred to above – but I guess I can’t blame Schwalbe for that.

When I contacted Schwalbe US and sent them photos of the blown tyres they didn’t hesitate to offer me replacements. Unfortunately, however, they could only offer to send the replacement tyres to a US address and so they ended up as quite costly freebies by the time they got to me in Ecuador.

Still, I’m curious to see how Schwalbe Marathon Mondials end up holding up over the miles here in the Andes. But I’m also curious to see how the Kenda Small Block 8 that I bought in Colombia as a stop gap measure compares. It’s a bit noisy on paved roads but so far I don’t have any other complaints. It was pretty cheap and – best of all – available on the spot. It feels a little flimsy compared to the Schwalbe heavy weights but … let’s see … so far the heavy weights haven’t proved as reliable as their reputation would suggest.

Marathon Mondial are hailed as the successor to XRs. I've had good XRs and bad XRs. Let's see how Mondial shapes up. Word is they aren't as durable as (a good) XR.

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