As the successor to the classic Muddy Mary, Schwalbe praises the new Magic Mary as a versatile all-round tire with excellent grip in muddy soils. Sounds like the perfect tire for the wet season? – We challenged them to a test!
Even at first glance the massive blocks of the Magic Mary create trust, the aggressive tread patterns awaken the desire to plow them through deep forest soils. The center blocks are spaced apart in order to prevent sticky mud from clogging the tire. The side-blocks are massively reinforced to prevent them from unwanted bending on hard surfaces and thus prevent a spongy ride.
The tested tires use Schwalbe’s all-new Super-Gravity-carcass: Reinforced Sidewalls are designed to provide high stability, while the tread is more flexible to adapt perfectly to the ground. To reduce weight, Schwalbe has also replaced the wire core in the tire with an aramid core. The 27.5″ x 2.35″ version of the Magic Mary weights in at a respectable 1064 grams. This is certainly not a new weight record, but based on the massive tread and the great Snakebite resistance it’s acceptable. If you want to save some weight at the expense of puncture resistance, try the lighter Snake-Skin carcass in stead of the Super-Gravity.
Taking the Magic Mary to the trail quickly shows that the promising appearance of the tread was not a false promise – the traction of the tire is impressive! Due to the stable sidewalls we were able to ride the Magic Mary with relatively low pressures, the blocks literally dug into the ground. The tire convinces with outstanding traction and good braking performance.
Even during aggressive direction changes on hard grounds, the massive side knobs always offer a good grip and never bend abruptly – quite the contrary, the Magic Mary enables really controlled cornering. Even if the tire slides away, it does so in a controllable way.
The downside of the grippy tread is the higher rolling resistance. Accelerating the Magic Mary is subjectively tougher than accelerating more moderate tires. The low hum on asphalt almosts replace a bell and if you plan on riding the Magic Mary on longer uphils and tours you should consider packing one or two extra powerbars. As always, everyone has to find his own compromise between grip and rolling properties. For our local trails, the combination of Magic Mary as front tire and Schwalbes Hans Dampf at the rear worked best for us.
The Magic Mary is available for all wheel sizes (26″, 650B and 29″) in two different compounds. But as the tested TrailStar compound was worn out rather quickly, we can recommend the even softer VertStar compound only for professional racers.
Schwalbe’s Magic Mary is a recommendable all-round tire that works well on nearly every soil-condition. Those who place more emphasis on superior traction and cornering behavior than on a low rolling resistance will find the Magic Mary as their perfect tire for the autumn season, both at the front and the rear wheel. But even in combination with a faster rolling tire on the rear wheel, the high-traction Magic Mary is a good choice for the upcoming wet season!
Words: Aaron Steinke | Photos: Robin Schmitt