Review: Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Tyres

When Schwalbe pulled the Marathon XR tyre off the market, bike tourers worldwide were up in arms that the best tyre around was no longer available. When Schwalbe came back a year later with the Mondial, long distance travellers around the world were relieved to say the least…


The Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tyres have a HUGE wear life. Lots of cyclists have achieved over 20,000km on these with very few punctures.

I recommend using the folding Schwalbe Mondial tyres for long distance, mixed-terrain touring – despite the higher price. The folding version uses Double Defence protection which works out tougher than the Performance protection of the wire bead model. Not only do you get superior puncture protection, but there’s always the risk that wire can blow out the side of your wire bead tyre on demanding tours. Folding tyres all the way!

Schwalbe marathon Mondial review
The Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tyre is extremely hard wearing.


– The longest lasting touring tyre I’ve ever used (25,000km+ on a loaded tandem).
– 9/10 long distance bicycle tourers agree that this is the best all-round touring tyre out there.
– I’ve only had 2-3 slow leaks (from thorns) in 25000km+.
– Fast enough on bitumen roads that you don’t feel like you’d be better off with a slicker tyre.
– A decent amount of grip on the rougher roads considering the hard-wearing properties of the tyre.
– Great grip in the wet.

Schwalbe marathon Mondial review
A brand new Schwalbe Marathon Mondial vs. my Mondial with 15000km+.

Why Not?

– Only available in wider sizes.
– The folding models are twice the price of the wire bead (US $90 vs US $45).
– Slippery in muddy conditions.

Schwalbe marathon Mondial review
A well-worn Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tyre on my touring bike.


US $90 (Folding bead)

Similar Products

Schwalbe Marathon Dureme
Schwalbe Marathon Plus


  1. Bought some stuff for my bicycle the last month. Also some a set of mondials. I wanna replace an XR which I have since 2008 and normal Marathon I think. Well the Marathon is not too old but shows the yellow protection layer already. The XR is still in a good shape. I lost the other XR in China because of some cuts in the side wall. Probably I collected some glass or stones on the highway. I spent not too much for the Mondials. I ordered it Germany.

  2. One thing missing in the Mondial that the XR used to have, and that I miss badly, is the dynamo strip on the side, so you could run lights on a bottled dynamo. Not important for many, I agree, but also a very small detail easy to add to any tyre.

  3. Hei. Im planning also to buy mondials but cant figure out wether to buy wired tyres or foldable?! What Alleykat suggests.

  4. May I know the width of Marathon Mondial tyres that you re using on the back and front during your tour?

  5. First off, thank you Alee for your website – it contains a tremendous amount of extremely useful information for cyclotouring. I rarely write reviews but after taking the plunge and buying a pair of Schwalbe Mondials I just had to get back to you….these tires are AMAZING (who gushes over a pair of tires? 😉 Seriously, these are the best tires I have ever ridden on (we have road racing, rando/touring, mountain and road tandem bicycles). I was initially a bit afraid of the price for the folding tires (we bought the 650b size) but you get exactly what you pay for. They are worth each and every penny. Later this year we hope to embark on the TransAm Trail, going west to east in July 2016. Once again, your website (and experiences and insights) have proven invaluable. Keep up the great work!

  6. I’d love to see a 2.5 version of the Mondial, but the 2.15 is pretty good.

    I found I can buy them online from a German retailer and, with shipping to the US, they’re still much less money than buying from Schwalbe. (IF Schwalbe actually has them in stock) Same tire, same wonderfully heft, same folding bead, same sloppy reflective strip, same tires that last so long one may forget how to fix a puncture.

    I ran a pair of Mondials on Surly Rabbit Hole rims (yup, 50mm wide rims) which worked out surprisingly well. I currently have the tires mounted on a pair of DT Swiss FR 570 (at about $60 each, they’re an epic bargain for wonderfully finished, super overbuilt rims) and they’re great on just about everything.

    As noted, they’re not so great in mud. But, one shouldn’t be riding muddy trails — that’s how I reason this minor shortcoming. But they’re also not bad in mud.

    I have this tire/rim combination on a single speed Surly Troll, which serves as a commuter, an adventure bike and “it’s just a bike.” I plan to ride this same set up during Burning Man and shortly after on the Great Divide.

    Right, so my point: Buy the Mondials in Germany online, where they’re at least half the price.

    Also, I’m thinking of dispatching tubes in favor of sealant (tubeless). The sidewalls and overall construction seem more than substantial enough (and I’m running tight-fitting, tubeless ready rims) … Has anyone tried it?

  7. Sorry Alee but I personally find them very sluggish, I used this tyres for about 6 months until decided to change them for some much cheaper Continental Travel Contact tyres and what a difference do this change made, is like I was riding pulling the breaks, I know some people might say the Schwalbes are better off road, but I have used the Contis on all sort of surfaces and weather conditions and I never felt a significant lost of grip compared to the Mondial, but again that is only my opinion.

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