© Schwalbe

Schwalbe

Schwalbe is a market-leading manufacturer of bicycle tyres. From road to mountain biking, it creates products for a range of disciplines and is partnered with multiple professional cycling teams.

Schwalbe
Schwalbe

History

Schwalbe is a relatively newer tyre brand, founded in 1973. By that point pneumatic bicycle tyres had been around for over 80 years, but the technology had remained largely the same and still lacked in quality. That’s something that Ralf Bohle wanted to change, leading to the foundation of the German company.

Bohle already had experience in the industry, holding the reins of his family’s business which manufactured low-cost transport bicycles and accessories. In 1973, with a desire to target the tyre industry, Bohle struck a deal with a South Korean tyre manufacturer, Hung-A, and from that Schwalbe was born.

Not long after its foundation Schwalbe was already making inroads in the industry through its release of the Marathon tyre in 1983, before it was rolled out through mass production two years later. It’s still a staple of the brand’s offering today and has since been ridden millions of miles across over three decades, although it has undergone some developments in that time.

By the 1990s it had expanded its scope to off-road riding, creating its first mountain bike tyre. Many more have followed, usually with one of the brand’s eye-catching names, including the Nobby Nic, Racing Ralph, Billy Bonkers, Dirty Dan, Magic Mary or Hans Dampf.

Throughout its history Hung-A has been responsible for the production side of the business, starting out in South Korea before moving to Indonesia in 1993. It’s since opened another production facility in Vietnam.

Those plants manufacture a large number of tyres across a range of disciplines and, from mountain biking to road cycling, Schwalbe’s products have become the tyres of choice for many professional teams.

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Did you know?

The first tyres imported from South Korea were called ‘swallows’, and the company takes its name from the German name for the bird. It’s since taken on an important meaning for the company: “In Korea the tiny little bird is a traditional sign of good luck. For us it symbolises that cycling is a wonderful way of moving: fast, light-hearted, with confidence, naturally and free.”

Pro cycling

Current road sponsorships:

  • Canyon//SRAM
  • Uno-X
  • SEG Racing Academy
  • Nippo Delko One Provence

Current mountain bike sponsorships:

  • Cannondale Factory Racing
  • Nina Hoffmann Racing - Stif
  • FMD Racing
  • Cube Factory Racing
  • Commencal Enduro Project
  • Dorval AM
  • Thömus Maxon

Highlights

  • First mass-produced in 1985, the Marathon tyre was an instant hit. Its popularity has remained to this day with commuters and urban riders around the world taking advantage of its enhanced puncture protection.
  • Another of the brand’s popular offerings, the Pro One, was released in 2013. It’s since become one of the most popular road tyres available, combining speed and grip into one performance package.
  • Its innovative designs have led to plenty of success in professional racing, including at the 2020 Mountain Bike World Championships where Schwalbe-sponsored athletes took two gold, two silver and two bronze medals, with Pauline Ferrand-Prévot taking one of those golds in the Olympic cross-country event.
  • Those numbers became even more impressive in the 2022 MTB World Cup where eight of the overall winners used the German brand’s products, and there were plenty of victories at individual rounds to add to that list too.

Top Schwalbe Stories

Link to Schwalbe launches Pro One Aero, their most aerodynamic tyre yet
The new Pro One Aero tyre.

Schwalbe launches Pro One Aero, their most aerodynamic tyre yet

Tyre developed in collaboration with Scott, Syncros and Radiate

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Link to What are the latest bike tech trends that you should know about?
What are some of the hottest trends in cycling right now?

What are the latest bike tech trends that you should know about?

The bike industry is never stagnant with new tech and trends emerging all of the time. Here, we take a look at the top five current trends

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Link to Paris-Roubaix Femmes tech: How did teams set up their bikes for a day in hell?
Paris-Roubaix sees riders set their bikes up in ways not seen anywhere else in the season

Paris-Roubaix Femmes tech: How did teams set up their bikes for a day in hell?

Paris-Roubaix is like no other race on the calendar, leading riders to set their bikes up in unique ways

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