I just replaced a set of Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires. They were the "factory original tires" on my Cannondale T1 bicycle, and they served me over 2 winters and 3000+ miles. (Excellent mileage. I swapped them out for skinnier tires over the warmer months of last year.)
What I liked:
- Excellent mileage. In my experience, I tend to get 1500-3000 miles of life out of a rear tire (substantially more out of a front tire; I assume due to weight distribution and that the rear wheel provides the driving force). So the Marathon Racer is at the high end.
- Reflective sidewall. Visibility is always important, and the reflective sidewalls provide significant help at night.
What I didn't like:
- I was disappointed by the number of flats I got with these tires. I probably had 10 punctures over the life of the tires. Strangely, most were in front.
People who have commented on this blog have been very positive about their experience with Schwalbes. They make a "Marathon Plus" tire, with additional puncture protection, and I would hope they would fare much better.
These tires are quite expensive, as bike tires go. In the $45-50 range. You never know, but it seems unlikely I will buy a set. My new favorite tire is the Vittoria Randonneur. I got almost as many miles with a Vittoria, and didn't have a single flat over the life of the tire (!), and they're substantially less expensive at $27-30. (A reflective sidewall is available for a few bucks more.)