Versatility is the name of the game with the Schwalbe Magic Mary. It’s a top performer for aggressive riding in almost all conditions, but it can feel a little nervous at the extremes of wet or dry.
The Magic Mary comes in a host of versions: what we have here uses the Super Gravity casing, and is coated with the ADDIX Soft compound (as opposed to Ultra Soft). To cut down on confusion, it's helpfully colour coded with an orange stripe.
In this rather chunky 2.6” width, the tall knobs are fairly widely spaced to aid mud clearance and dig into the trail.
Installation is quite a pain with the Magic Mary, especially in the 2.6” width. As usual with Schwalbe, the tyre is really tight to the rim, and the extra width makes the whole thing unwieldy.
In the narrower widths the Magic Mary sits very square on the rim – in 2.6”, the profile rounds off little. Neverthless, the Mary is noticeably draggy – if not so much it’s painful – though it’s a worthwhile trade for the consistent, reliable grip it offers in almost all conditions.
Thanks to its tall centre knobs braking is impressive, and the angled shoulder knobs mean cornering is confident. The Super Gravity casing also helps the cause of cornering: while many wide tyres can feel a little floppy, the underneath of this beasty tyre is good and supportive, even with pressures down around the 20 psi mark.
The ADDIX Soft is Schwalbe's second softest compound, after the Ultra Soft. While I did find some noticeable wear after only a handful of rides, the Mary is holding up fairly well and promises plenty more good times as the summer rolls on.
I’ve found I have to do an awful lot to get the Mary to break traction in typical conditions, though in loose gravel it’s understandably liable to slip. Also, it’s not as confident on super dry hard pack or in serious slop, either – both perhaps cases for more specialised tyres – but it does a decent job in either nonetheless.
If you’re looking for a tyre that’ll keep you covered year-round, the Schwalbe Magic Mary is an excellent choice – especially in the changeable conditions the UK throws at us all.
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