I personally like a very informative ride experience from my performance tyres – some may call it slightly harsh – but did find the compound sucks a little of the rawness out of the ride. However, that’s both a good and bad thing depending on how you look at things. The Fusion 5s don’t feel quite as raw and lively as the Power Competitions or GP4000IIs – you just don’t get that same directness with the road – but then I can easily see that the upside in that the extra insulation you get from the texture of the road is a real advantage for longer rides, so shouldn’t be sniffed at if you like a smooth rolling tyre.
In fact, ride comfort is a surprisingly impressive aspect of the Fusion5s. It takes a few decent rides to get used to if you’re initially expecting, as I was, a rip-roaring, super-involving experience, but it’s not long before you’re appreciating the little extra insulation they provide. Given their low weight, it’s an impressive dichotomy that Hutchinson has achieved – frankly, they’re almost luxurious.
As such, given the well-publicised benefits of running wider rubber, I strongly suspect the 28c versions in both clincher and tubeless-ready formats would build upon this experience. If you’ve got the clearance and wheels to match, they’re a good bet if performance comfort is high on your ride characteristic wish-list.
For the record, I’ve not experienced any punctures during this test, helped by the 127tpi Kevlar Pro Tech reinforcement (Hutchinson itself claims it’s good for at least 4,000km of use), and the compound itself seems remarkably resilient to the flints – and the resulting knicks and cuts – that are so prevalent in my local test area, making these a trustworthy set of tyres.