Just In – Schwalbe Magic Mary and Rock Razor

by Brian Mullin on October 25, 2013

Schwalbe introduced two new gravity oriented tires at Interbike, the aggressive Magic Mary and semi-slick Rock Razor.

Schwalbe  company fodder:

Magic Mary => Even in its prototype stage, it collected World Cup and World
Championship wins. The new Super Gravity technology makes it lighter,
yet it is still extremely sidewall-stable and snake-bite resistant. At
the same time, the flexible tread offers much better handling
characteristics. The new profile is even more versatile and feels at
home on any kind of Downhill trail.

Rock Razor => The fastest gravity tire. For the first time, we
brought a “real” semi-slick to the Gravity and Enduro scenes. It’s a
very interesting option especially on the rear wheel and for very fast,
dry trails. These is no better tire for low rolling resistance than Rock
Razor.

Magic Mary
The new Magic Mary is the successor to the Muddy Mary, and the big
chunky knobs and open tread design should provide excellent control and
traction in a wide variety of conditions. The tubeless ready 2.35″ width
tire comes in 26″, 27.5″ and 29″ sizes, in their VertStar and TrailStar
compounds, and Super Gravity and SnakeSkin sidewall protection systems.

  • 26 x 2.35 – Super Gravity VertStar, Super Gravity TrailStar, SnakeSkin TrailStar
  • 27.5 x 2.35 – Super Gravity VertStar, Super Gravity TrailStar, SnakeSkin TrailStar
  • 29 x 2.35 – Super Gravity TrailStar, SnakeSkin TrailStar

The Super Gravity versions weigh around 1050 grams each, while the SnakeSkin comes in at 800 grams.

The
tire is meant for loose or wet conditions, where traction, cornering
and braking in less than optimal conditions is paramount. The knobs are
monstrous, blocky and aggressive, and they have lots have siping for an
additional bite into the terrain. The open tread design has a two-three
center line-up design (the three are ramped), along with big beefy
angled shoulder knobs. All the large siped knobs, tread pattern and
design should provide increased grip in corners, better braking and
tractor pulling traction in soft, loose and muddy conditions. Of course,
the large knobs and heavy weight come with poorer acceleration and
rolling resistance, which is to be expected with a tire that isn’t meant
for cross-country racing or use on hardpack.

Measured specs

  • weight – 1058 grams,
  • width – 2.28″ carcass and 2.31″ knobs

Rock Razor
The
new Rock Razor is a semi-slick tire meant for the Gravity and Enduro
world, with low center knobs for fast-rolling and acceleration, and is
optimized for the rear wheel. The tubeless ready 2.35″ width tire comes
in 26″ and 27.5″ sizes (no 29″ as yet), in their TrailStar compound and
Super Gravity protection system, or their PaceStar compound and
SnakeSkin sidewalls.

  • 26 x 2.35 – Super Gravity TrailStar, SnakeSkin PaceStar
  • 27.5 x 2.35 – Super Gravity TrailStar, SnakeSkin PaceStar

The Super Gravity should weigh around 950 grams each, while the SnakeSkin comes in at 680 grams.

The
tire tread has a very low height along the center in a four-three
line-up design, and has large, tall and beefy shoulder knobs just like
the Magic Mary. The tread pattern should make for a quick roller, and
once rolled over for cornering; the monstrous side knobs should take
over for traction and control purposes.

Measured specs

  • weight 940 grams
  • width – 2.25″ carcass and 2.3″ knobs

Impressions
I
got a full set of 27.5″ Magic Marys and a 27.5 Rock Razor for the rear
for some testing, all in the Super Gravity TrailStar versions.
Initially, I am testing the Magic Mary in front and the Rock Razor in
the rear on my Ibis Mojo HD. The installation was straight forward, and
the Rock Razor popped up into tubeless mode quite easily. The Magic Mary
was a bit more stubborn, since the carcass was somewhat stiff and
inflexible. I removed the valve core and shot in some high psi from my
compressor to get it stretched out, and after that all was well.

Out
on the trail, the MM’s knobs felt stiff on rocky terrain, so I might
need to drop the pressure a bit to allow them to become more pliable.
The MM felt pretty tall, especially in direct comparison to the RR in
the rear, making for a rearward leaning bike. The Super Gravity
sidewalls are very stout, and I never felt any sort of issues banging
into anything, and I think it should improve longevity of the sidewalls
and tread. Once the MM is up to speed and are tossed into loose and
unforgiving terrain or just plain roughly handled, they really shined.
When cornering you had to man handle them to get the knobs to bind in,
but they might just need a short break-in period or a drop in air
pressure.

The RR is an interesting beast. They actually have
pretty good traction in deep loose terrain, and when you roll them over
and push in with the big knobs, they really hold a line in corners. I
did find that they sometimes would spin out from underneath me, usually
when climbing on step like rocks or steep terrain, when you had the
weighting rolled slightly forward. They are certainly fast, and
accelerate and roll well, which facilitates quick snaps of power through
the drivetrain. Currently, we have some hero dirt, so I can’t vouch for
how they’ll react when things get dry and loose, though things are
still deep enough in the dirt and gravel that they do seem pretty
nicely. I am surprised of the amount of traction and braking I can get
out of the RR, specifically on downhill sections, and when the monster
side knobs are pushed over to hook them up for cornering it can really
hold a line.

Conclusions
I am pretty happy
with the tires so far, and the big tall MM came to life with a drop in
pressure, gaining some much-needed pliableness and softer ride feel. The
MM aggressive knobs offer great braking and control, letting you rip
down anything, and really excelled in loose, soft and muddy conditions.
The RR did just a hair better with the dropped pressure, but not nearly
as much as the MM, so it’s not really a necessity for the RR. The RR has
great traction and braking on downhill sections and I liked how they
drifted if used properly, but feel like they slip out from underneath
you occasionally on some climbs. The tires certainly go well together,
with a super meaty and grabby one up front, and a faster one in back
that shines for traction and braking and cornering. The meaty Super
Gravity protection system makes for an overall tough and robust tire,
and I am not used to the feeling of the less flexible sidewalls, so I
need some additional acquaintance time to become familiar with their
characteristics. The SG gives more of a deadened feedback in direct
comparison to their normal softer and more flexible SnakeSkin sidewalls,
though when rolled up to higher speed that characteristic is less
noticeable. I must admit its nice to have a seemingly indestructible
tire.

Update Jan 22, 2014 – The MM does great in loose, wet, and snowy conditions, and excels when traction is uncertain and poor; it just digs into the terrain like it has big fangs. I found that if the terrain was full-on continual rock gardens, the MM knobs got tiresome, giving a harsh ride and sometimes unpredictable control. Surprisingly, it does alright in smooth hardpacked conditions, but they feel ponderous trying to spin and roll. Cornering was brilliant with those massive knobs, and it was easy to hook them up at just about any angle. The RR continued their great snappy quick response, laser-like control and great rolling. The short middle tread would occasionally spin out when climbing loose conditions and slip when braking (the latter not too much), but it was easy to control, predictable and could be countered with some extra finesse. With the large side knobs, cornering was great once they were hooked up, and those tall side knobs helped in sloppy wet conditions.

I need to try a Hans Dampf in front with the RR in rear, and see if that combo works better?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Pajo November 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Could you give an update on how the tires are holding up so far? I consider this combo for my own 650b conversion.
Thanks…

Reply

Pajo November 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Could you give an update on how the tires are holding up so far? I consider this combo for my own 650b conversion.
Thanks…

Reply

Pajo November 8, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Could you give an update on how the tires are holding up so far? I consider this combo for my own 650b conversion.
Thanks…

Reply

Martin Stadtmueller November 14, 2013 at 4:33 am

How wide are the Rock Razors? Are they hans dampf 2.35 wide (aka 2.5) or closer to a true 2.35?

Reply

Martin Stadtmueller November 14, 2013 at 4:33 am

How wide are the Rock Razors? Are they hans dampf 2.35 wide (aka 2.5) or closer to a true 2.35?

Reply

Brian Mullin - Gram and Pastajet November 14, 2013 at 8:21 am

Martin,

Here are some width comparisons:

Magic Mary 2.27" carcass, 2.31" knobs
Rock Razor 2.25" carcass, 2.3" knobs
Hans Dampf 2.3" carcass, 2.39" knobs

Gram

Reply

Martin Stadtmueller November 15, 2013 at 2:39 am

That helps—thanks!

Reply

Anonymous November 18, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Did the rock razor have sufficient room on the back of your HD? I'm trying to figure out if they'll fit on the back of my HDR.

Reply

Pavle December 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm

How is the rear tire clearance your Mojo?

Reply

Brian Mullin - Gram and Pastajet April 17, 2014 at 7:59 am

Pajo – The Rock Razor fit, but there isn't much room. It's fine on the new HDR though.

Reply

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