A great performer for aggressive riding in UK conditions
Schwalbe Magic Mary has always been super grippy and now lasts longer and rolls faster than before. It works really well even in the drier months.
Schwalbe totally revamped its line up for 2018 with new Addix compounds, denoted by the coloured stripes on the tyres. The new formulae address durability concerns and tread blocks shearing off, as well as cold weather performance. Among the multiple Magic Marys, tread patterns and the single-ply Snakeskin and, thicker on the sides, Super Gravity casings remain, plus there’s now a new in-between Apex e-bike casing also suitable for ‘standard’ bikes.
The orange Addix strip denotes ‘Soft’, which replaces the old ‘Trailstar’ compound. Damping is marginally increased according to Schwalbe, but the tyres feel noticeably faster, and wear life and durability is way improved. The 2.35in Magic Mary blows up bang on size, with a very aggressive tread rocking pumped-up, reinforced edge blocks. The new 2.6in versions we’ve also tried are more spaced out and look like a tractor tyre. These are a bit of a grip monster, especially in winter in the Ultra Soft Purple version, but the very open tread blocks bobble more and are less assured and drifty on hardpack.
For aggressive riding in UK conditions, the Magic Mary is a great performer. The moto-style blocks clear crud well, cornering and braking is excellent and the tyre never over or under steers on severe cambers or dragging brakes down ruts. The new Addix compound feels confident in the steeps on wet or dry rocks and roots, even if some testers reckoned there’s a slight sense it’s a tad springier and less glued to the ground than the older Trailstar rubber.
It’s a bit of a toss up with the Maxxis Minions and High Rollers for the crown of best aggressive, mixed conditions performer. There’s a strong argument for either brand, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference.