Is it still safe to ride the below tire, or should I replace it?

big crack schwalbe marathon plus tire

  • 3
    How old is your tire? I ask because those cracks looks like the rubber broke apart at that point, not like it was cut. Tire rubber generally does not break unless it has accumulated more years than it should. May 21, 2021 at 15:07
  • it is less then 2yrs old, so not that old. and it sure does look like the tire broke apart there. maybe some sharp rocks or something i dunno.. i thought schwalbe was quality product, been using them for 10yrs or so, and never had something like this happen
    – tetrijeb
    May 21, 2021 at 15:36
  • 2
    Well, they are a quality product, there's no doubt about that. The photo just looked to me like rubber age could have been a factor. But 2 years is not old for tires, and definitely not for Schwalbe Marathons. As such, the only other possible cause for this sort of crack that I can think of is a large, sharp stone that somehow tore the lower part of the rubber away from the upper part in the image. All the more important to really check whether the threads within the rubber are still intact. May 21, 2021 at 17:33
  • I agree that the tire looks old. Is there a chance that it sat around for some years before you purchased it? What kind of conditions is it stored in?
    – RLH
    May 21, 2021 at 17:44
  • 1
    @tetrijeb Is the bike stored near a heater/radiator in the flat ? Such things can accelerate aging of tyres/brakes etc.
    – Criggie
    May 21, 2021 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


you can carefully prize the crack apart and see if it is just the rubber that is damaged or if it goes through to the casing. Your main focus should be where it extends to the sidewall as the tread area is protected by the thick rubber layer on a marathon plus.

If you conclude that it's only the outer rubber layer, i'd be happy running it as a rear tyre for shorter/local rides. I'd replace it if i were going on a longer or more remote journey.

If there is any sign that the actual tyre carcass is damaged then it is not safe to ride and should be replaced.

  • 1
    for the impaired by laziness people: here a scheme of how a tire is made, provided by one of the biggest tyre manufacturer: maxxis.com/media/984665/basic-construction-tech.jpg
    – EarlGrey
    May 21, 2021 at 14:50
  • looks like just the outer rubber is damaged, the crack goes until the blue silicon layer in the thread. sidewall crack doesnt seem to go deep. thanks for your answer
    – tetrijeb
    May 21, 2021 at 15:40

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