Review: Schwalbe Muddy Mary Tyres
February 29th, 2012
By Olly Forster
Tyres are our first point of contact with the dirt below and running some predictable rubber can make or break your day on the hill. The Mudy Mary is probably Schwalbe’s most popular and versatile gravity tyre and one that is designed to cope with far more than what it’s name suggests. We’ve been running these alongside the Dirty Dan for the last few months and we’ve been rather impressed…
Words: Olly Forster
Photos: Jim Newby and Olly Forster
The ramped centre knobs decrease rolling resistance while maximising traction and the outside knobs follow a traditional pattern aiding cornering. Schwalbe have designed the Muddy Marys to roll quickly without dragging on hard-pack and with enough space to avoid any excess accumulation of dirt – a balance that’s hard to get right!
Our test tyres came in the DH specific Vertstar compound and in 2.35 – Schwalbe do offer several options of compounds and sizes, but for maximum traction and clearance we went for this option. At this point it’s worth noting that the 2.5′s measure up pretty big, which seems to be a reaccuring theme with Schwalbe tyres coming up a tad larger than say Maxxis or Michelin. The rubber’s stickiness never struck me as anything less or more than what the competition are offering, but in all honesty, they never gave me any concerns so I never gave them a second thought. The sidewalls and general robustness of the tyre never came into question either with zero flats and zero issue with installing them too and I must admit, I forgot they were on my bike the other day. Fit, forget, shred…
What’s in a name? It might have mud in it, but the Muddy Mary’s have got far more going for them than being able to handle the wet stuff. We found them equally at home in a variety of conditions, but loose over hard terrain is where we found the Muddy Mary came into it’s element and ideally suited to the average downhiller or racer looking to keep tyre changes down to a minimum.
Ripping loam and shredding the brown stuff, the Muddy Mary loves it! The other massive advantage to having one tyre that can do so much is that you inevitably spend a lot of time on them and in doing so learn their limits. All tyres, no matter how many podiums they’ve helped achieve at the world cups have their limits, but knowing how far you can go is priceless. The Muddy Mary’s versatility also means you’ll forget they are on your bike as you’ll struggle to see the advantage of removing them unless you’re in spike tyre territory.
If you had to sum the Muddy Marys up in one word it would be versatility, but these are far more than a jack of all trades and master of none; on the contrary. Like I’ve previously said, these are so good and can perform to a high standard over a variety of differing conditions, which will be enough of a reason to leave them on your bike ride after ride and the magical bond between rider and bike becomes that little bit more cemented. Knowing where your going to end up smashing into off camber sections littered with roots and dodgy exits from slimy berms is the difference between a top ten and a top thirty. Tyres are pretty damn important on downhill bikes, perhaps more important than many gravity enthusiasts actually know and getting some smart rubber on your bike will make you faster and ultimately a happier rider.
Back to the Muddy Marys – they’re also tough, well made and the other great thing about these is the price, which at around £45.99 makes them fantastic value for money considering the average price of downhill tyres these days. Wear wise, they have taken a beating and do show signs of a winters abuse, but they’ll continue to do their job into the summer when dust replaces mud (fingers crossed) and continue to offer a high standard of grip over the loose stuff.
So, do the Mudy Mary’s get the ‘FJ’ recommendation? They sure do and we’re not alone with praising these awesome tyres. With an increasing number of riders we inevitability bump into, swearing by their German rubber, Schwalbe have certainly landed in the DH scene and done so with a bang! With the likes of Danny Hart, Brook Macdonald, Stevie Smith and Brendan Fairclough running these ‘grip monsters’, it goes without saying that if your career’s on the line, you run the best. Get ‘em while they’re hot folks and go hit the mud, dust, loam and have fun!
For more information on Schwalbe’s range of gravity rubber, hit the logo below: