Schwalbe is a brand of bicycle tyre produced by the German company Ralf Bohle GmbH. Ralf Bohle took over the family business, producing affordable bikes and their parts, when he was just 20-years-old. He proved surprisingly adept for such a young age and led the company on a sustained period of growth, exporting their bikes around the world and developing key business relationships in Asia while doing so. These relationships, one of which was with a Korean tyre manufacturer, were to prove key to the future of the family firm. In the 1970s he was forced to react to market forces and move the company’s production operation to Asia and in 1973 this resulted in the birth of their Schwalbe brand.
Schwalbe tyres can now be found around the world and claim to be the market leading bicycle tyre brand in Europe. They produce a wide range of tyres, but are perhaps best known for their touring, commuting and all-purposes ranges. They also supply tyres for bikes with small wheels, such as Bromptons and other folding bikes, which often aren’t covered by non-specialist tyre companies. Their touring / city range ‘Marathon’ is perhaps their best known and most popular tyre. They also produce the usual lines of MTB, BMX, race and cyclocross tyres. Slightly more unusual is their spike tyres for snow and their ‘Energiser’ tyres for electric bikes.
Scwalbe sponsor and provide tyres for a huge number of professional teams and riders from the Team MAD stunt team and Team Raleigh GAC race team to wheelchair basketball team the Carlisle Panthers.