Rather than using a breaker strip of Kevlar under the tread, the Marathon Plus has a thick layer of springy SmartGuard rubber. Because of this, any embedded objects tend to get forced outwards rather than being pushed in, and it takes something special – a police stinger, maybe? – to cause a puncture.
Even the sidewalls are pretty tough. While it’s heavy and quite awkward to ﬁt, rolling performance is fair. The sidewalls have a reﬂective strip – handy for winter commuting – and feature a dynamo track.
As well as 700c and 26in sizes, it also comes in 24in, 20in and 18in and 16in too: great news for Birdy and Brompton owners.
A Brompton rear wheel is tricky to remove so the ability to ignore thorns and bits of glass is handy. The thick, springy SmartGuard rubber sub-tread adds some weight – around 200g over a Kevlar-lined Brompton tyre – and the tyre doesn’t roll as quick, but it’s tough and grips well in the wet.