Schwalbe Magic Mary

Schwalbe Magic Mary review

by 25

The Schwalbe Magic Mary is a trail tyre par excellence. Fear not, this is not a new ‘reworked’ version of The Mary. This tyre has been out for a few years now. It is still amazing.

This product was selected for our Editors’ Choice Awards 2022, as published in Singletrack Magazine Issue 146

Ross: “This spring I fitted a Schwalbe Magic Mary and Big Betty combo – both in 29 x 2.4in Addix Soft – and rode them until the rear was bald and missing half its side knobs and the trails were worthy of a proper spike on the front. Good volume, great tread patterns and sticky-enough compounds make them perfect for pretty much everything – for me and where I ride at least (AKA The Woods). They roll pretty well and offer predictable surefootedness across rocks, roots, dirt and dust. And while I’ll always revert to a proper winter mud tyre in the darker months, as soon as things start to dry out I’ve now got a go-to, all-conditions tyre combo.”

Schwalbe Magic Mary

  • Price: £67.00
  • Sizes: 26 x 2.35in, 26 x 2.6in, 27.5 x 2.4in, 27.5 x 2.6in, 29 x 2.4in, 29 x 2.6in
  • Compounds: Addix Soift, Addix Ultra Soft
  • Casings: Super Trail, Super Gravity, Super Downhill
  • From: Schwalbe

It’s no exaggeration to say that the Schwalbe Magic Mary was the tyre that finally turned the tide. Turned the tide away from the ubiquitous (and rightly so) tyre brand of choice, Maxxis

It’s fair to say that pretty much any half-decent tyre can be traced back to being ‘inspired’ by a Maxxis tyre. And as such, there was never ever any compelling reason to not just-get-the-Maxxis. And that’s what people (and bike OEM-speccers did).

The Magic Mary is different. There is no Maxxis version – let alone inspiration – of a Schwalbe Magic Mary. If you squinted and drank a certain flavour of Kool Aid, you could sort of see a bit of Maxxis Shorty in there. But even so, the original Maxxis Shorty is no more (the new very-MX Maxxis Shorty Gen 2 is here now).

There’s nothing else like a Schwalbe Magic Mary.

If you can live with sporting mixed tyre brands on your bike, there’s a whole lot to be said for ‘Mary up front, DHR II out back’ for 365 days of the British year.

I used to change tyres pretty much as frequently as my underpants. But for the past few seasons, on my own bike, I’ve just run a Schwalbe Magic Mary as a front tyre (in purple Ultra Soft compound) and a Maxxis Minion DHR II on the rear (3C MaxxTerra), and got on with my life.

The only negative aspect I can genuinely level at the Magic Mary is that it’s not best suited as a rear tyre. It lacks a bit of traction-drive and straight-line-braking effectiveness. If you never pedal, or brake, then feel free to run double Marys. Thankfully, Schwalbe now do a decent DHR II-alike tyre in the Big Betty (review coming soon by the way), so all you brand-matchers can run one of those as a rear tyre now.

What’s good about the Schwalbe Magic Mary?

Er. What isn’t good about it? My only petty gripe is that the orange Soft Addix compound is not actually that soft. It’s pretty much like Maxxis 3C MaxxTerra. Which is fine so long as you’re aware of this beforehand and don’t expect 3C MaxxGrip tenacity or slow-rebound calmness. The purple Ultra Soft Addix Mary is my rubbery weapon weapon of choice. But your type of terrain – and weather – may well be different to mine. And the orange Mary does last longer than the purple Mary.

It’s a great all-rounder. Particularly if you oft frequent loose and/or wet terrain. It doesn’t mind roots, rocks, ruts, loam, puddles, grass, whatever. It’s also a pretty good rolling tyre with none of the ‘needs 20% gradient to overcome itself’ qualities of similarly grippy rubbers. It’s not a tyre a find to be overkill or unwieldy when bashing along hard surfaces.

It corners really well – better than other brands’ squarer profile tyres, for me anyway. It clears mud really well, even though the relatively dense tread pattern suggests it might not.

What else can I say? It’s a great, great tyre.

If you have any specific questions (how does it compare to tyre x? how does it cope in condition Z?), leave a comment below.

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Review Info

Brand: Schwalbe
Product: Magic Mary
Price: £67.00
Tested: by Benji for 3 years+
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Cotic RocketMAXer. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

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  • This topic has 25 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by P20.
Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 25 total)
  • Schwalbe Magic Mary review
  • mboy
    Free Member

    It corners really well – better than other brands’ squarer profile tyres, for me anyway.

    I’m biased, but good to see a reviewer picking out what is an often overlooked quality in a tyre IMO… 👍🏻

    Free Member

    Im on a 2.4 MM and may replace it soon. Is the 2.6 the better bet?

    Full Member

    Am I wrong in thinking the Mary predates the Shorty? I think it has been around longer, it was originally the “Muddy Mary” but was renamed to sound like more of an all rounder.

    Schwalbe are getting better at offering soft compounds in lighter casing too, there’s a Super Ground Ultra Soft Magic Mary out there now.

    Free Member

    there’s a Super Ground Ultra Soft Magic Mary out there now.

    *Ears prick up*

    Full Member

    My bad, Super trail, not Super Ground, so it’s still as heavy as a DoubleDown DHR2 or an Argotal in Enduro casing

    There is a soft Super Ground Mary though, which is the new addition I was thinking of, not quite the sticky rubber but more like the older versions weight wise. 1087g so about 80g more than 3c EXO+ DHR2

    Free Member

    Righto, I thought that seemed a bit progressive for them George.

    Still I’d like to try the ST version to see how it compares with my personal favourite WTB Verdict for enduroing.

    Full Member

    I’m definitely not a serial tyre changer, just tend to use whatever’s cheap. My Focus e-bike came with 2.6 Magic Marys both ends and they have been superb. Seem OK in mud, too. Particularly at the front. Rear is knackered now at 1400 miles. I’m going to go for 1500, though. Front looks like it will do another 1500.

    Full Member

    @Blackflag – I’ve never found the 2.6 to be better than the 2.4 anywhere. And it’s certainly worse (more vague) in loose stuff IME.

    Full Member

    “It lacks a bit of traction-drive and straight-line-braking effectiveness.”

    I don’t understand this – surely straight-line braking effectiveness is pretty important in a front tyre?

    Free Member

    Thanks Ben

    Free Member

    Rubbish cornering……on tarmac…. Probably polluted with diesel….
    Short story shorter I’m a smashed up mess
    I’d post pics but it’s teatime 😂
    Honestly though, my favourite tyre

    Free Member

    Have generally been able to get them for reasonbleish prices. Once the money bags STW pile on gathers pace that’s that ****!

    I agree and have said so in the past, the MM DHR 2 combo is arguably the best UK do it all setup.

    Full Member

    I really liked my 2.6 until i replaced it with the 2.4 which just worked better , especially in anything resembling mud .

    Free Member

    I really liked my 2.6 until i replaced it with the 2.4 which just worked better , especially in anything resembling mud

    I’ve never found the 2.6 to be better than the 2.4 anywhere.

    2.6 works better on bigger, heavier bikes, especially eBikes. The pay off is increased braking performance and a little more comfort. On a lighter bike, they can be a bit more vague in the corners though, agreed. You also need to pay attention to pressures a little more too, I’d typically run say 24 in a 2.4 up front but around 20-21 in a 2.6.

    I agree and have said so in the past, the MM DHR 2 combo is arguably the best UK do it all setup.

    Until you try the Big Betty on the rear…

    Rear is knackered now at 1400 miles. I’m going to go for 1500, though. Front looks like it will do another 1500.

    Again, try the Big Betty on the rear next… Lasts a lot longer, rolls faster, better braking performance… Great rear counterpart to the Mary up front.

    Free Member

    I’ve never found the 2.6 to be better than the 2.4 anywhere.

    Better on Lakes rocky gnar, I thought, as the extra width bridges little gaps and whatnot.

    Did have drawbacks elsewhere though, I will admit.

    Once the money bags STW pile on gathers pace that’s that ****!

    U wot mate?

    Full Member

    I’ve recently swap over from DHRII in favour of the MM Purple. Two rides in and I’m liking it very much. I’ll be looking for a full DH version for an Alps trip in the summer as I won’t have to drag it up hill.

    Full Member

    I’ve put a Magic Mary Addix Super Trail TL 29×2.6″ on the front of the BFeMax.
    What a tyre! Grip is fantastic. Just did a day at BPW and felt super confident pushing it into the corners and features. I haven’t noticed the weight or drag people speak of, plus it clears well.
    I paired it with a Minion DHR II 29×2.35″ in the back. Also plenty of confidence and rolls fast.
    Lovely combo! Should add that I’m rarely impressed by a tyre, or kit/components in general.

    Free Member

    Whether it sheds mud well depends on your mud. The shorty is markedly better at shedding the claggy clay based mud I have, but then its a bit weaker in other areas than the Magic Mary.

    I think Ben is bang on. The MM is one of my two favourite front tyres, the other being the DHF.

    Free Member

    Wonderful tyre; certainly more than capable or my riding (I don’t think I’ll be signing up for Rampage any time soon).

    I am also rather liking the carbon rims that actually display the weave. So often you pay top dollar for carbon rims and then they’re painted matte black and look no different to alloy. If you’re going to pay a premium it’s actually nice to see the carbon.

    Free Member

    It is a brilliant tyre but I would class it at the extreme end of “trail”. You can’t get away from the fact that it is heavy and draggy compared to a tyre at the other end of the “trail” spectrum. Which may or may not be an issue for a “trail” rider.

    Edit. I thought it was heavy but in fact it looks like it is heavier than I thought at 1250g. Not sure what size though.

    Full Member

    Has anyone found an ultra soft super trail 29″ MM in the wild recently? Can’t find anywhere with stock.

    Full Member

    Can anyone tell me what the real world widths are between the 2.35, 2.4 & 2.6 tyres?

    I’m running a 2.35 which replaced a WT(2.5) DHF. I bought the 2.35 to trial and like it and now would like to go wider.
    I can’t too wide though as my 2017 Pike has limited clearance.

    Full Member

    I know there are only som many ways to arrange lumps of rubber on a tyre, but it looks an awfully lot like a Bontrager Jones ACX from the 00’s…..

    But given I’m still on 26ers, I’m always glad that someone is still producing decent quality tyres at a reasonable price for my bikes!

    Free Member

    Good review, I’ve just moved from Specialized butcher and slaughter tyres which always did me fine when I was a fair weather rider to a Magic Mary and Big Betty combo now I’m riding in all weathers, went for Super Gravity on the Betty and Super Trail on the Mary, first ride out on them tomorrow excited to feel the difference, been challenging riding this winter with a semi slick on the rear 😀

    Full Member

    Mary is overkill for me a lot of the time, but it is a damn impressive tyre. I found it quite draggy, but for the level of grip it’s not a surprise. I don’t think my current forks would take a Mary anyway

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