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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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