The tubeless tyre trend is gaining momentum and Schwalbe are the latest manufacturer to join the party after launching a tubeless version of their top-end Ultremo ZX tyre at Eurobike.
Hutchinson were the first road tyre manufacturer to go tubeless in 2006 and Maxxis, Kenda and, earlier this year, Bontrager have since followed suit. Now it’s German brand Schwalbe’s turn.
The tubeless Ultremo ZX uses Schwalbe’s RaceStar Triple Star Compound – their “best and most sophisticated compound” – which is designed to be fast and grippy. A carbon bead helps make the tyre easier to mount and ensures an airtight seal against the rim.
Tubeless tyres are said to offer less rolling resistance than a traditional clincher and inner tube combination, and Schwalbe claim the ZX is quicker than their super-lightweight Ultremo ZLX, while puncture protection is significantly improved and, as there is no inner tube at risk of a pinch flat, the tyre can be run at a lower pressure to increase ride comfort. As a result, Schwalbe call the tubeless Ultremo ZX not only the fastest tyre they’ve produced, but the safest too.
Tubeless tyre can be heavy, however, and the new Ultremo ZX is a claimed 295g. That’s 100g heavier than the traditional Ultremo ZX but take away the weight of an inner tube and the two are comparable.
Tubular tyres have long been the preferred choice of rubber for professional riders but Schwalbe have eyes on changing that with the tubeless Schwalbe ZX. Radioshack-Nissan-Trek’s Fabian Cancellara tested the tyre earlier in the year and, as for the rest of us, the tubeless Schwalbe ZX will be available later this month for €65 or as a pair with Doc Blue sealant and Easy Fit lubricant for €130.
But if you want to stick with a traditional tyre then the existing Ultremo ZX clincher is now lighter and more resistant to punctures thanks to the new V-Guard puncture protection layer under the tread. The layer is located directly on the carcass and Schwalbe reckon that provides more effective protection than the layer of aramid which was embedded between carcass layers in the previous model. The V-Guard technology is also said to reduce rolling resistance.
The updated Schwalbe Ultremo ZX clincher, which is also available in a new white version, will be available in 2013 for approximately £45.