Let me cover the “other tires” first:
The left rear tire on our mini-van has a slow leak. It won’t pass inspection in December because of the tread, but I’m trying to nurse it along until just before, then I’ll spring on a pair of new tires. But until then, I have to daily take a look at the tire and see if I have to pull out the little electric compressor we have and pump it up. What a pain!
Next is the log splitter. This thing basically sits in one spot most of the year, and somehow the one tire developed a leak. I pulled it, put it in a tub of water, and discovered that it is leaking all around the rim. Last night I partially disassembled it, scoured the rim with a wire brush and pumped it up. This morning, out on the work bench…one very flat tire.
NOW ON TO BIKES: One of the upgrades that I was contemplating for the Trucker is to replace the Paselas with a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus’. The Paselas are a great tire, but the Schwalbes are said to be better because they have a thicker tread, and more importantly, they have a “solid” sidewall as opposed to the fabric ones that make the Paselas such a comfort to ride. The Pasela sidewall are known to fail occassionally and are not as resistant to puncture. I was thinking of getting the 41mm Marathons to maintain the cushy ride and give me a bit more for rougher trails.
But my Paselas have 3500 miles on them with no end in sight, so replacing them at this point seemed a bit of overkill. Still, there was the issue of the X bike being outfitted with knobbies, and I wanted to have a lighter roadbike around just for kicks.
So along comes an opportunity to buy a used set of 35mm Marathon Plus with around 1000 miles on them, for about 1/3rd of the best price I could find elsewhere. Too good to pass by. They show up, and look great. I figure the reason no one ever flats out with a Marathon Plus is because its basically got a solid thick rubber tread, creating a tall oval profile. Sitting next to a similar 35mm tire on the same rim off of the Marin, the Schwalbe sits quite a bit higher, requiring more clearance. That clearance is an issue, since I’m also moving the PB 45 fenders from the Marin to the X bike. Thinking this through further, the clearance of a set of 41mm Marathons on the Trucker with fenders might be an issue as well.
But that’s neither here nor there because the X bike has a bit of room to pull the fenders out further. But…putting those Schwalbes on the rims was almost as bad as the pair of Kendas I have on the Cannondale. I had tire irons self-ejecting off the ceiling, I skinned a knuckle pretty bad, and I punctured not one, but two, tubes trying to pry those suckers off and on the Alex single walled rims. I thought that maybe it was the rims, so I tried mounting one on an Alex DC19 wheel that I have…just as bad. I don’t know what or why, but this for me is a deal breaker and now has me thinking that the Paselas on the Trucker are just fine, thank you. Sure, the Schwalbes may never get a flat, but if they do, trying to fix them on the road is not going to go too well. The Paselas, on the other hand, can be changed easily without any tools. So call me spoiled.
FWIW, the X bike is now sporting a pair of nice Schwalbe Marathons along with a pair of PB fenders. The knobbies are readily available if we want to do some trail riding, but it better be a darned nice trail if I have to go through the pain of taking off those Marathons again. Pictures to follow.