Product Review: Schwalbe Muddy Marry Downhill Vertstar
Initially looking at the thread design, I expected the tyre to have a big rolling resistance as it had much more knobs compared to the Maxxis Minnions. The 2.35 tyre size is similar to that of a 2.5 Maxxis so they were pretty wide to start with.
I expected the wideness to help on the corners, letting me lean the bike lower as the side knobs looked more aggressive than the Maxxis Minnions.
I managed to use them for a whole weekend of racing in Thailand of about 20 downhill runs. The track conditions changed greatly leading up to race day so this was a good chance for me to test the tyres performance in different conditions.
First day of practice –
and the track was just pure mud, it looked slippery as hell, I could barely walk without slipping on certain parts of the track. I was contemplating to try full on mud spiked tyres but decided to just go ahead with the Schwalbe Muddy Marrys for my first run down the track.
The track started off with a long flat corner on loose sandy gravel and the tyres had no problem with traction at all. The side knobs held the lines very well, no signs of washing even when leaning on the flat corners. The track then led into a tight forest section which was very loamy and slippery on the roots.
Once again, the tyres tracked the terrain very well. I was very much surprised to how much traction I had compared to previous tyres I’ve used.
Towards the bottom part of the track, the terrain changed to red earth but since it was raining everything was muddy and sticky. I had a problem with the 2.5 Muddy Marry because of the rolling resistance, I could feel the tyres slow down immensely once it hit the red earth.
The next day the track dried up quite abit and the track was noticeably alot faster than yesterday. I kept the same tyre setup as yesterday to try out the Muddy Marrys on drier conditions. The tyres hooked onto the terrain with no signs of losing traction at all.
The middle knobs held the straight lines very well but the side knobs dugged into the terrain very nicely when needed, especially the off camber sections. However, I had the same problem as yesterday with the rolling resistance of the 2.5 Muddy Marrys on the front. I could really feel the rolling resistance slow me down because of the bigger tyre surface and more contact with the ground. Besides that, I could feel the weight of the tyre significantly compared to previous tyres. The wider tyre helped on the steep technical terrain but not very much different from the 2.35 tyre’s performance.
On race day –
I decided to change the 2.35 Muddy Marry from the rear to the front and I had an extra 2.35 Muddy Marry which I put on the rear. I managed to put in one practice run before my seeding run and was very much impressed with the change in rolling resistance between the 2.35 and the 2.5 tyre size. The track was a lot drier than yesterday and rolled very fast compared to how it was in practice.
Although the tyres might be meant for loamy and loose terrain, I was very impressed at how it held traction even in bone dry conditions. The aggressive thread design played a very big role in the ability to hold its traction when needed. The side knobs held all the off camber sections and corners very well.
I only managed to use it over a long weekend of shuttle runs over vast changes of terrain but the tyres seemed new after the whole weekend. There was not much wear on the tyres even with the Vertstar compound. The compound seemed similiar to Maxxis 3C compound, very soft with a slow rebound on the knobs. It hooked onto the rocks and roots very well.
However, the only downside I could find was that on usage with the same setup on a dry day, rolling resistance on the 2.5 Muddy Marys was just too great on loamy soil. I was at a race at the Putrajaya Challenge Park and the trails were very dry with a thick layer of loose soil on the surface of hard packed ground. In this trail condition, the tyres had too much resistance on the straights and the soft knobs were unable to hold me from washing out in the corners.
- Great traction in wet loamy soil.
- Hugs roots and rocks very well.
- Slow rebound knobs help keep bike in line.
- Stiff side knobs for good traction on corners.
- Very high rolling resistance in loamy dry soil. Especially 2.5 sized Muddy Marys.
- Weight maybe an issue to some.
- Soft slow rebound knobs don’t hold lines well in dry loose soil terrains.
Overall, very impressed with the tyre and will definitely recommend it to any downhill rider in Malaysia as most of the tracks in Malaysia are very moist, loamy and rutted. I personally believe after using these tyres for the past 3 weeks, that is where these tyres will show their full potential.
Review by Zero 2 Hero - A team of world class coaches dedicated towards massively improving ride technique, bike control and speed. Coaching is performed for riders of all levels including those who have never ridden a bike before (Level Zero) up to specialized racing techniques (Level Hero) all in just One Day. Visit their website at www.zero2hero.asia for more info.