archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Schwalbe Tryker

Now and then, I receive a little shiny paper booklet from a company in Stevens Point, Wisconsin called Hostel Shoppe. One of these is mailed to me about every 365 days, although I need to be removed from their mailing list in order to further support my environmental preservation paradigm, as I purchase things in life if and when I genuinely need them, not based on slick advertising attempts to sell products to people.

Schwalbe TrykerSchwalbe Tryker tire 

In any event, whilst seated on my reading throne recently, I opted for some perusal of their catalog as last night’s dinner found a new home. On pages 22 and 23 of the 2013 ad campaign, I scanned the offerings from the Schwalbe tire company, and my keen mind observed a tire I had missed in prior issues, but had briefly heard about in the grapevine.

Sure enough, I noted with interest the new TRYKER tire, made specifically for … yes, you guessed it, recumbent trike pilots to mount on their trusty triangular steeds! Hostel Shoppe used some of the Schwalbe description in the catalog. Here is what I read about this tire:

The first special tire for tricycle recumbents. Tire construction and profile contours are co-ordinated with the special requirements of a multi-track vehicle in mind. Tricycle recumbents exert completely different loads on tires than conventional bicycles. Nevertheless the tires must be light and fast, because drive is still achieved through muscle power and should therefore be as effective as possible. Massive motor vehicle tires are out of the question. The Tryker takes on the challenge of minimal rolling friction and high durability for the recumbent tricyclist. It has ECE-R75 certification for faster E-Bikes.

Tryker SpecsTryker Specs

I noticed that the Tryker was rated less capable than the Marathon Plus tire in 50% of the categories Schwalbe uses to evaluate tires: Speed, Grip, Puncture Protection, and Durability. The Tryker provides a very minimal advantage in speed, and a slightly noticeable advantage in grip over the Marathon Plus, but does not have the puncture protection or durability. Regular readers of my random rants realize my ritualistic praise for the Marathon Plus tire revolve primarily on its ability to roll indefinitely without going flat due to its SmartGuard belt, a unique ingredient lacking in the Tryker.

Overland trikers, those who ride long distances away from home and far from rescue and supplies, may wish to opt for the Marathon Plus over the Tryker, but for local and recreational trikers, the Tryker seems like it may well fill a void that has long gone unanswered by the cycling tire industry until now. Fixing flats is not an enjoyable experience to be had out on the open road in the middle of nowhere, thus overlanders want the best protection they can get, which clearly remains the Plus.

The main real life advantage of the Tryker is its construction to handle the lateral forces placed upon it by trikes, which are vehicles that do not lean into the curves like bicycles. This is where the Tryker shines. The speed advantage will not be noticeable by anyone other than a researcher specifically measuring minute increases in a controlled manner. The grip advantage however, appears to be a different story, as reports suggest that the tire offers a more stable feel to the pilot in tight curves.

The Marathon Plus is about $10 more money than the Tryker in the Hostel Shoppe catalog, where items are sold for full retail. Both tires can be found for considerably less money elsewhere online. Bottom line for triker steve is that I prefer flat protection above all other aspects because I like to be pedaling instead of fixing. Yep, sure enough, I’ll take my old slow reliable stand-by tires, the Marathon Plus, but if you run Trykers on your trike, please comment to this post and let us all know your take on things.

Schwalbe webpage for Tryker, click HERE.


11 responses

  1. I recently replaced my Marathon Racers with Marathon Plus tires on my Catrike Expedition. While they’re noticeably heavier and take me a bit more time to get up to speed, once I’m cruising I notice little or no difference in rolling resistance. The confidence to complete my daily commute without the dread of changing a flat by the side of the road more than makes up for any perceived loss in speed.

    Besides, I was getting my doors blown off by road bikes on my route when I was running the Marathon Racers. Sigh…

    July 19, 2013 at 5:16 am

  2. Ivo

    You are right Steve when you say the Marathon Plus is more puncture-proof than the Tryker and that’s where it stops. I have been riding Trykers for over a year now and I must say they change your trike in a train on rails. Cornering is much more enjoyable and it rides more smooth and faster than the Marathon Plus. So if your not an adventurer and need a fast, nice riding tire on your trike the Tryker is the one to go for. By the way most (european) trike manufacturers use it standard on new trikes since it’s appearance.

    July 19, 2013 at 6:38 am

  3. tadpolerider

    I have used several different Schwalbe tires on my trike including the Tryker. I too am sold on the Marathon Plus and don’t have any plans of changing back to any other of Schwalbe’s offerings. Personally I think the Marathon Plus handles, rolls and rides great and there is very little difference in the way of improvement running any of their other tires. By the way, I have added a page on my blog (Tips/Info … on which I list the various Schwalbe tires (20 inch 406) and their computer settings for accurate mileage recording. This is something I have been unsuccessful finding online so I am hopeful that having this page available will be helpful to others.

    July 19, 2013 at 10:46 am

  4. First, I want to mention that I just bought my first trike (after you explained how safe they are), an entry level TerraTrike Rover that I use for commuting to work. In my situation, I ride on straight, flat roads and don’t need grip but I do need flat protection because I tend to ride where there is a lot of road debris.

    July 19, 2013 at 11:45 am

  5. Steve Newbauer

    I think that the Kojaks do even better than the Tryker when it comes to handling and the running on rails effect. They have amazing traction (grip) even in the rain (wet pavement) which really surprised me.

    July 19, 2013 at 10:32 pm

  6. Ivo

    I thought this post was about people who actually use Schwalbe Trykers and their experiences. Everybody already knows that the Schwalbe Marathon + is the most puncture proof tire in the world, so I think this post’s intention was to give the Tryker tire a forum and the users experiences. Thanks.

    July 20, 2013 at 12:36 am

  7. Ivo

    You are right Steve, but the difference is in cornering and steering. While other tyres tend to roll over in corners, the Tryker due to his “square shoulders” keep you more steady and in control.

    July 20, 2013 at 1:58 am

  8. Steve Newbauer

    Well, I can’t agree with you on this. I think the Kojaks outperform the Trykers in cornering as well. That being said, I still won’t run anything but the Marathon Plus tires as in my opinion there is very little difference in handling, ride, etc. and they last and last. All the other tires require/involve frequent flat repair and glass cuts which take much life out of the tires. I had one Tryker tire that only lasted 652 miles due to glass cuts. And the other tires all suffer greatly loosing rubber from scrubbing when cornering hard. I have not had that with the Marathon Plus tires. Also the sidewalls of all the other tires are much weaker than the Marathon Plus and damage easily taking life out of the tires. The Marathon Plus tires cost more initially but one recoups the money fast since they last and last while the others fail and have to be replaced. To each his own as they say.
    Here is something Schwalbe provides concerning expected tire life:

    What mileage can be achieved by the various tires?
    It is difficult to answer this question, as mileage is influenced greatly by tire pressure, load, road surface, temperature and the rider. For example, when used in hot weather with a heavy load and on rough asphalt, a tire wears much faster.

    As a general guide, you can expect a tire mileage of 2000 to 5000 km (1240-3100 miles) from Schwalbe standard tires.

    The tires of the Marathon family usually last between 6000 and 12000 km (3720-7440 miles).

    With the light Marathon Racer and Marathon Supreme, the performance is a little lower (approx. 5000 to 9000 km)(3100-5580 miles).

    The Marathon Plus is outstanding with its extremely high mileage of approx. 8000 to 15000 km (4960-9300 miles). (Note: I have over 5000 miles on my Marathon Plus tires at this time and they are still looking great.)

    Our racing bike tires Durano and Ultremo last from 3000 to 7000 km (1860-4340 miles).
    I was reading about Schwalbe tires and the subject of the sidewalls failing before the tire itself was worn out was mentioned. This webpage mentions it as well. I got about 2300 miles out of these Tryker tires and could have got more, but I decided to change them. The sidewall of the right front concerned me as it had gotten worse. It actually had a hole all the way thru it. I could stick my finger thru it when it was off the wheel. Also I read that the Tryker tire has not been very impressive and most are going back to other tires. I definitely am not impressed with the sidewalls … very weak. Also the tires sure cut easily and the rubber is really thin and seems to wear down too quickly.
    Yes … to each his own as they say.

    July 20, 2013 at 4:35 am

  9. Steve Newbauer

    I was curious about which tires come on various trikes so I looked up several. Here are some of them:

    Azub trikes come with Schwalbe Tryker tires.

    Catrike still comes with Schwalbe Marathon Racers except the 700 model which comes with Schwalbe Durano.

    Greenspeed trikes come with their own brand with the exception of one model which comes with Schwalbe Big Apple tires and their most expensive and fastest model which comes with Schwalbe Kojaks.

    ICE comes with Schwalbe Tryker tires with the exception of the Vortex model which comes with Schwalbe Durano.

    KMX trikes come with Kenda tires. One model comes with Schwalbe Big Apple and a couple of their lowest cost models come with their own brand.

    Sun tadpole trikes come with Kenda tires.

    The more expensive models of TerraTrike come with Schwalbe Marathon and one model comes with Schwalbe Durano. The lower cost TerraTrikes come with CST tires (I have never heard of them).

    Windcheetah comes with Continental Grand Prix tires.

    With that I stopped looking.

    July 20, 2013 at 3:57 pm

  10. Steve Newbauer

    I just found this and thought I would share it. It is Schwalbe’s technical information page and is chucked full of useful info.

    July 20, 2013 at 4:49 pm

  11. Ivo

    To make the list more complete: HPVelotechnik uses Trykers on all trikes except the S-Pedelec which comes with Schwalbe Energizer Plus and they use Marathon Racers for their 26′ rear wheels.

    July 22, 2013 at 12:46 am