Schwalbe Magic Mary ADDIX Soft 29in tyres review£59.00

A balanced tyre with staying power

BikeRadar score4.5/5
  • Weight: 890g
  • Width: 60mm (27mm internal rim @ 25 psi)

Schwalbe is finally releasing its Addix MTB tyre range into the wild and I’ve been tearing around on some to see how they’ve changed.

The new range follows the same family heritage — Magic Mary, Nobby Nic, Hans Dampf, Rock Razor, Racing Ralph and friends — as before. They’re based on the same Snakeskin, Snakeskin Apex, Super Gravity and Bike Park carcasses too. However, Schwalbe has poached a leading tyre technologist and invested in a new, more finely controlled production process to create its new Addix compound range.

Schwalbe isn’t revealing many details, including whether it’s a single- or multi-compound mix, apart from the fact there's more silica and other elements in a more finely controlled mix, which holds the tyre together so it lasts and rolls more effectively without affecting grip levels.

It's also increased the level of options from three (PaceStar, TrailStar, VertStar) to four (Speed, Speedgrip, Soft and Ultra Soft) each with a different GP-style coloured marker stripe down the tread.

The tyre on test here is the UK-favourite Magic Mary in orange-stripe soft compound on a Snakeskin Apex carcass. For a tyre labelled 'soft' it feels hard under a fingernail dig at first and Schwalbe characterises it as a more confident Trailstar rather than a full Gravity tyre.

However, initial doubts have been replaced with incrementally increasing confidence, and while it’s definitely not super sticky it takes a lot brake, turn or drive load to make it let go even in wet and greasy conditions.

Even though the wide-spaced square knobs growl on hard surfaces it’s not a chore to push along at a decent pace and I actually picked up some extended climbing KOMs with a Mary/Razor combo.

The Snakeskin Apex carcass is reasonably stable and well-damped too, so you can push pretty hard through rocky terrain without regretting it, and typically for a Schwalbe 2.35-inch, it blows up to the same width as most other 2.5-inch tyres.

What’s obvious about the Addix compound is how well the tyre is lasting in terms of tread wear, torn knobs and carcass distortion, which was definitely an issue with previous Marys.

While prices are high they have not increased over previous-generation tyres so they’re better value too. The only downsize for 29er riders is there’s only the Soft/Apex version in 2.25 and 2.35-inch, while 27.5, 27.5+ and even 26-inch receive various compound and carcass options.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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