How comfy were early bicycles to ride before the advent of the pneumatic tire? Well, given that a euphemism for the new-fangled machine was “boneshaker,” the answer is transparent — not very.
In 1839, more or less accidentally, Charles Goodyear discovered the vulcanization process and manufactured the first rubber and, as early as 1845, a Scotsman named Thomson applied for a patent for a pneumatic tire; but due to the fact that bicycles were still little known, he did not find anyone interested in his idea. Fifty years later the British veterinarian John Boyd Dunlop developed a pneumatic tire which made cycling much more comfortable. However, the economic breakthrough came with the French Michelin brothers, who developed a pneumatic tire with a separate tube in 1889. More advances followed and in 1904 the first tire with tread was built by Continental.
The history of Schwalbe tires started in 1973. Up to that time bicycle tires were hardly a high-quality product; mid-ride punctures were the norm. This is what Ralf Bohle, the founder of Schwalbe, wanted to change. Bohle set his sights solely on bicycle tires and Schwalbe was soon renowned for making numerous key innovations, such as the redevelopment of balloon tire equipment, the invention of the Flat-less tire, the advancement of the tubeless technology and the ever-popular Marathon series.
THE ORIGINAL SCHWALBE MARATHON
With Schwalbe’s commitment to excellence came the Marathon series, the archetypal high quality touring tire. The highly elastic GreenGuard layer is 3 mm thick. One third of the GreenGuard is made up of recycled latex products. The “Anti-Aging” sidewall can withstand the typical cracking that results from overloading — due to insufficient inflation pressure — for much longer. Thanks to Endurance Compound and DualGuard puncture protection technology, the tire performs well on almost every terrain, be it paved or not.[/vc_column_text]
THE FLAT-LESS TIRE SCHWALBE MARATHON PLUS
While the Marathon has proven to be a favourite choice among commuters, Schwalbe’s Marathon Plus has become the company’s best selling model. No surprises here as the Plus is the most puncture resistant pneumatic tire there is. In addition to the superior puncture protection it features many other values:
- Rolling resistance. The patented, 5 mm thick SmartGuard layer, when compared to all generic products, has a significant advantage in rolling resistance.
- Recycling. Also in the SmartGuard, Schwalbe employs a proportion of recycled rubber from old latex products.
- “Anti-Aging“ side wall. The tire now lasts much longer before deveolping unsightly cracks when subjected to use with insufficient air pressure.
- E-Bike Ready. Due to its great properties, the Marathon Plus is the best choice for E-Bikes (E-25). The main sizes are approved and tested for E-bikes up to 50 km/h.
So, whatever you throw at it — be it the daily grind to work on wet, gritty streets, an e-bike excursion to Saltspring Island, or a Mongolian bike odyssey — Schwalbe has the rubber to fit your needs.