The Magic Mary mountain bike tyre is Schwalbe’s most aggressive tread pattern that isn’t specifically a mud spike tyre. It’s aimed at all-mountain and trail riders through to enduro demands.
While good all-rounders can sometimes be a jack of all trades and master of none, the Magic Mary SuperTrail UltraSoft seems to be a master of nearly everything.
It’s not surprising that this tyre has performed so well in reviews over the years, and this version impresses too.
If this particular model isn’t to your liking, Schwalbe offers the tyre in many other compounds and casings, with something to suit most needs.
Schwalbe Magic Mary SuperTrail UltraSoft EVO TLE 29×2.4 specifications and details
Schwalbe says the Magic Mary is best suited to soft and mixed dirt conditions, which if you’re a UK rider, will fit the bill most of the time.
The tread profile on the Magic Mary hasn’t changed over the years, but if it isn’t broke, why fix it? It features motocross-style tall, square blocks, with pairs of solid knobs down the centre that are alternated with siped and angled studs in sets of three and wider-spaced pairs.
The angled tread is there to minimise rolling, and the sipes help the blocks deform to the ground and provide greater traction.
The tall side blocks are also siped to provide maximum grip through turns and along cambers, where they need to be digging in.
There are two compounds for the Magic Mary EVO line, each identified by a coloured band that runs around the tyre. The purple band here represents the softest of the two compounds, aptly called the Addix UltraSoft. The Addix Soft we’ve also tested has an orange band.
Tested here is the SuperTrail construction. This features a triple-ply carcass under the tread and a dual-ply on the sidewalls.
There’s a full wrap of SnakeSkin, a material used with the intention of reducing cuts to the tyre, and the side walls are protected with Apex, a substance designed to add stability and puncture protection.
Finally, a chamfer around the bead helps keep the rim/tyre contact area protected for easy tubeless setup.
The EVO in the name stands for Schwalbe’s Evolution line of tyres, which all use a folding Kevlar bead.
All these features mean the Magic Mary SuperTrail Addix UltraSoft EVO TLE 29×2.4 weighs in at 1.23kg, which is pretty beefy for a ‘trail’ tyre.
I measured these at 2.3in inflated to 25psi on a 30mm internal width rim. The tread depth of the internal edge of the side blocks measured 6mm high, and the inner-most edges of the centre treads measured 5mm deep.
Schwalbe Magic Mary SuperTrail UltraSoft EVO TLE 29×2.4 performance
I tested these as part of a winter mountain bike tyres test, focused specifically on the front wheel. I put them through their paces in the gloop and slop of a British winter. I set them up at 21psi on a 30mm internal width rim.
There’s not much to dislike about the Magic Marys, but one drawback is the tight fit. This isn’t an issue once riding, but I did have to wrestle the tyre on with tyre levers.
For the gravity-inspired riding this tyre is designed for, the 1.23kg weight isn’t such an issue, and is very similar to the Maxxis Shorty Gen 2 Double Down casing tyre. However, I can see there being some confusion if people are looking for a grippy ‘trail’ tyre, with that weight throwing some people off.
Out on the trail and pointed downhill, there’s a lot to like about this tyre. The predictability of its grip is just as impressive as the amount of traction it finds. This gave me a lot of confidence and trust in the handling of my bike.
The tread blocks seem to dig into every surface and cling onto it. The tyre clears thick mud well, which means its aggressive blocks can bite into the dirt on their next revolution.
The Addix UltraSoft compound also helps here by conforming supply to wet rocks and roots without flinching. Sure, it’s not a miracle tyre, and it will slide out when you hit a slippery object at the wrong angle, but it does so less than other tyres I’ve tested.
Braking traction wasn’t a big priority for this test, being front-wheel specific, but the Magic Mary handled the additional load of having extra weight thrown onto it on steep descents without threatening to wash out or squirm.
Performance on hardpack trails was decent too. The well-supported side tread provided good support and didn’t let the tyre become vague-feeling as the blocks and sidewalls deformed under high loads.
The side walls did an impressive job of damping down trail chatter, and the tyre has a nice and comfortable ride feel. The Magic Mary never felt as though it was pinging off roots and rocks, and had good composure.
The UltraSoft compound does make the tyre quite sluggish, but that’s a trade-off for having such good grip. You could buy the Addix Soft version – that we rated five stars – if you prioritise better rolling speed and more durability.
Schwalbe Magic Mary SuperTrail UltraSoft EVO TLE 29×2.4 bottom line
If you’re looking for a seriously grippy front tyre that’s going to deliver great performance in nearly every trail condition, it’s hard to look past the Magic Mary, especially if the ground is soft.
It’s comfortable, well damped and offers plenty of grip and predictability. Plus, there are tons of options out there, so you should be able to find one to suit your riding.
How we tested
We assembled six tyres made for wet-weather conditions and muddy trails, and pitched them head to head on the same tracks to see how their performance stacked up.
Also on test
- Pirelli Scorpion Enduro S
- Continental Der Baron Projekt
- Vittoria Mota 2Ply
- Michelin Wild Enduro Racing Line Front
- WTB Verdict TCS Light/HighGrip
|Weight||1,230g (29x2.4in) – as tested|
|Features||Casings: SuperTrail, SuperGravity, SuperDownhill
Compounds: Addix Ultra Soft, Addix Soft TLE Tubeless Easy
|Bead||EVO Kevlar folding|
|Puncture protection||APEX puncture protection, Snakeskin cut protection|
|Sizes||26x2.35in, 26x2.6in, 27.5x2.4in, 27x2.6in, 29x2.4in, 29x2.6in|