archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Mounting Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires

Mounting a Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire can be a real challenge, one that will rub your skin on your fingers raw if you are not really sure how to do it. I have mounted a few of these since 2009 (15 total to be exact), but the first attempts had me going crazy with disbelief that it was even possible to do! First-timers will swear that this tire is impossible to mount due to its stiff construction and rigid wire bead that holds it to the rim. In 2009 I too thought that, but as we live, we learn – adapt or perish.

(To read the TA page on tire mounting, click HERE)

Below are a couple of video clips I recently came across as I prepared to mount Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires on my new Catrike 700. I wanted a quick refresher course because I had not done this for three years. This is because these tires simply do not allow 99.9% of road junk and goatheads to get to the inner tube to flatten it. With never a flat on my trike (over 5 years now), I am one who will always run Marathon Plus tires. I recommend these to all trikers, without reservation!

The first video is specific to Schwalbe MP tires, and the second video is just bicycle tires in general. You will notice in the second video that the tire mounts much quicker and easier due to its less robust construction. However, the KEY TO SUCCESS to be learned from both these video clips is to make sure the tire bead (wire, in the case of the MP) is pushed all the way down into the deepest portion of the rim well so that the final difficult section pops over the rim. Without this technique, the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire cannot be mounted – typical bicycle tires (inferior to MP tires) are not so critical.

Oh, be sure you have the  MP tire facing the proper rotational direction prior to mounting!! Years ago, I had one all mounted, only to learn I had placed it on the rim backwards to the direction of travel – MP tires are directional! Actually, I’ve made this mistake more than once (blush).


7 responses

  1. Romy Quintyn

    Thanks for the video Steve! I also have mounted Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires a couple of times and it was very hard work! This will make it a lot easier! Have you by the way got the marathon plus winter tires? I have some and there great when it’s icy outside.

    April 23, 2014 at 7:17 am

  2. Alonzo Savage (Trike rebel)

    Great video that will help a pal of mine who struggled to fit a Marathon plus tyre to his mountain bike recently. In the end he took it back to the bike shop and the mechanic flipped it on without any problems. Some years ago when my son and myself were kart racing we regularly fit new tubeless tyres and used exactly the same principal of, with the wheel flat on the floor, pushing the ‘nearside’ bead into the well so that the ‘far-side’ of the tyre would slip easily onto the rim. We also found that washing up liquid helped ease the tyre on. Steve you are a mine of information, keep up the good work.

    April 23, 2014 at 8:35 am

  3. I found mounting my 20 inch 1.75 M+ on the rim after a flat was incredibly easy-no tools needed, just popped it on, and I don’t have strong hands-just my experience. NOTE: I think manufacturing differences of the M+ tires makes some M+ tires easier or harder to mount than others.

    April 23, 2014 at 9:50 am

  4. Hi Romy,

    I have never trike the Marathon Plus winter tires. It does snow here on the coast every year, but at most it lasts 2-3 days before total melt-off occurs (usually only a day). Snow looks really cool on the sandy beach, by the way. If I still lived in the Colorado high country, as I did for many years prior to moving here 19 years ago, I would indeed be using a snow tire on a trike.


    April 23, 2014 at 2:35 pm

  5. Mike Swierbut

    Excellent videos. Thanks so much Steve. Would you recommend in addition to the Marathon Plus tires to also install the tube protector strip????

    April 23, 2014 at 4:55 pm

  6. Howdy Mike,

    For the past five years, I have used the EarthGuard tire liners (like Mr. Tuffy liners) inside my Marathon Plus tires, and have never experienced a flat tire. Nor have I ever found any object to have even penetrated through the tread itself of the MP tire. This leads me to believe that the 5 mm of extra protection built into each MP tire is sufficient by itself to stop sharpies (goatheads, wire, etc) from reaching the EarthGuard tire liner. I have literally had hundreds of goatheads in my three tires (on a very unlucky day in 2009), but none got through, not even to the liner.

    I have an EarthGuard tire liner in my new 700c rear wheel on the Catrike 700, on which I am running a 700x35c Marathon Plus tire, and I chose to mostly do that because the tube inside is just a typical cheap bicycle tube, not a puncture resistent tube like I used to use on my ICE Q. On my new front MP tires on the 700, I am doing a little experiment, by not using EarthGuard tire liners (first time for me), for two reasons: 1) I have Schwalbe inner tubes that are of higher quality, and 2) EarthGuards may indeed not be necessary when used in conjunction with Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires (but recommended for other tires). I suspect this will work fine.

    If you wish extra peace of mind (always a good thing), go ahead and install EarthGuards according to instructions (do not cut, rather overlap ends), making sure nothing is pinched before you inflate the tire. They add a little weight, but it may be worth the freedom from worry. If you do install tire liners like Mr. Tuffy or EarthGuards with Marathon Plus tires, DO NOT tell anyone what you’ve done, however. Without exception, any time I’ve let on to my madness, everyone says I’m crazy because the MP tires will do the job on their own!

    See ya …

    April 24, 2014 at 12:24 pm

  7. Jerry Forster

    Thanks for the tip. I have mounted thousands of tires of all kinds on every kind of wheel in my bike shop days (some Saturdays 50 or more) but that toe strap idea is great. You can teach an old dog new tricks!

    April 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm