Skip to main content

Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Trail tire review

Schwalbe has reworked its mountain bike tire range under the ‘Decade of Super’ banner but what does that mean for the benchmark Magic Mary aggro tire?

Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Trail Tire
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

The same sensationally trustworthy grip and control in the toughest conditions. Much heavier weight and extra protection mean calling it ‘Super Enduro’ not ‘Super Trail’ would make a lot more sense though and it’s overkill for a lot of previous Mary fans

For

  • Outstanding all conditions grip.
  • Excellent ride feel
  • Serious protection
  • Easy setup
  • Great grip/wear balance

Against

  • Very heavy
  • Misleading name
  • No Ultra Soft option
  • No Midweight Mary anymore
  • High official price

The Schwalbe Magic Mary is already an outstanding tire with a popular knob profile, but has sometimes suffered from a fragile tread. Schwalbe improved consistency and durability with the switch to Addix compounds a few years ago. Now Schwalbe has added a whole new lineup of carcass designed to underline that performance, with Super Trail sitting between more XC Super Ground and gonzo Super Gravity.

Design and performance

The big change is that for a ‘trail’ tire the Magic Mary is now very heavy at over 1,250g which is comparable with the old ‘Apex’ gravity tire and 369g more than the old Magic Mary Snakeskin Addix tire in the same size. That’s a serious shock out of the box but less surprising when you learn that the new carcass now has ‘Apex’ reinforced sidewalls. It also gets pinch-flat protection chafer layer above the bead, a standard triple-ply wrap and then an outer wrap of Schwalbe’s proven cut/puncture resistant ‘Snakeskin’ material. This extra weight sucks if you ordered Super Trail expecting a grippy, lively and responsive mid-weight tire like the old Snakeskin that didn't dent acceleration and agility. There’s no Magic Mary (or Addix Soft compound version of any tire) in the lighter, Apex free Super Ground family though which leaves a big hole in the range that the new Nobby Nic doesn’t fill.

If you want the extra protection though the great news is that the new carcass adds it without killing the excellent feel we’ve come to expect from Schwable. It feels epically controlled in a ‘totally got your back’ way when rocks, drops or runaway train impact frequency is starting to freak you out, without ever feeling harsh, numb or uncommunicative.

The well-proven tread gives a similarly balanced blend of control. The block shape and spacing give an utterly predictable grip from fork bending braking to leaning right over onto the heavily buttressed side knobs. Siping (cuts in the knobs) mean there’s still enough creep and compliance for even the mid-stickiness ‘soft’ compound to connect and communicate on every surface we tried to get it sliding or slipping on. That’s lucky as the Magic Mary Super Trail isn’t available in the purple stripe Ultra Soft Addix compound that only the 1,330g (claimed) Super Gravity carcass (or Super Downhill) in 26 or 27.5 x 2.6in.

Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Trail Tires

Magic Mary keeps its tread pattern which has made it many riders favorite tire (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

The fact that Schwalbe still covers all diameters with a couple of width and compound/carcass options helps keeps old bikes charging hard and there are three width options in 29er, too.

Actual widths are closer to the expected/accepted standards too so you won’t find a ‘2.35in’ labeled Schwalbe jamming in a bike that would normally run 2.5in tires. Tubeless Easy set up is well named too and we’ve had zero puncture or split issues with any of the Super Trail tires we’ve been testing.

Verdict

The good news is that Schwalbe’s Magic Mary is still a benchmark tire in terms of control and feel for aggressive riders. The most aggressive of that rider segment will undoubtedly appreciate the extra armoring and not worry about the extra weight it brings either. Calling such an obviously ‘Super Enduro’ tire ‘Super Trail’ seems like a customer communication fail though. Especially as the compound, carcass and tread allocation choices leave a big gap in Schwalbe’s range for riders who loved the previous Magic Mary Snakeskin tire. Official pricing is also punishing although online deals are generally easy to find.

Tech Specs: Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Trail Tire

  • Price: $89.00 / £64.99
  • Weight: 1,254g (29x2.4in)
  • Width: 60.5mm (29x2.4in on 30mm internal rim)
  • Sizes: 26 x 2.35 and 2.6. 27.5 x 2.4, 2.6 and 2.8. 29 x 2.25, 2.4 and 2.6in
Guy Kesteven
Guy has been riding mountain bikes since before they were mountain bikes and is right handy on an offroad tandem (of course he is).