Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performance tyre - review - Road Cycling UK

Expert road bike reviews and the latest road bike news, features and advice. Find rides & events, training articles and participate in our forums

Share

Tyres

Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performance tyre – review

Fast, light and versatile tyres featuring Hutchinson's impressive new 11Storm compound

Knowing, as we do, that tyres are a key factor in the overall ride experience, the new Fusion 5 tyres from Hutchinson intrigued us when they first arrived in the RCUK offices.

Boasting the French firm’s new 11Storm compound, developed specifically for the new Fusion 5 range of tyres, they’re designed to hit what the Hutchinson says are the five pillars of tyre performance: weight, grip, comfort, durability and puncture resistance.

Of course, we’ve heard these kinds of claims before, but our extended test period suggests that versatility and all-round performance is the new compound’s strong suit.

Hutchinson’s Fusion 5 Performance tyres are based around the French firm’s new Storm11 compound

The tyres are available in nine variations, with the race-ready Galactik, mid-range Performance and All Season constructions, each in three formats: clincher, a specific road tubeless rubber, and a tubeless-ready design that apparently allows seamless use regardless of whether you want to use a tube or not. And, naturally, you can have them in 23c and 25c formats, with some also to be had in 28c sizes too.

  • Specification

  • Price: £37.99
  • Sizes: 23c, 25c, 28c
  • Size tested: 25c
  • Website: Hutchinson Tires

To be honest, it’s a slightly confusing range to choose from. Nevertheless, my test set is the ‘bog-standard’ clincher version, in 25c format.

Perhaps that’s not quite on the money in terms of the latest tubeless trend, but what it does allow us to compare them directly to the likes of Michelin’s Power Competition tyres and Continental’s Grand Prix 4000II rubber – both standard-setting, performance-focussed tyres.

Centre-stage is that 11Storm compound, which features a particularly gummy texture to touch – something akin to GP4000IIs. Interestingly, you’ll find the same compound in the new Mavic UST rubber (Hutchinson, after all, make Mavic’s tyres), and as the name suggests it’s designed to hit those five pillars, especially in the wet.

Grip levels, in any conditions, are very high, with performance on greasy roads feeling very assured. You can attack downhill sections and off-camber bends with confidence thanks to the grip afforded even on the rounded shoulders of the tyre – and the bottom line is I’ve seldom ever been able to lean on a tyre in slippery conditions as much as I’ve been able to with the Fusion 5s. In the dry, it’s a similar story, although grip levels are much more on a par with those GP4000IIs.

Rolling resistance is also perceptibly and impressively low. While not quite on a par with the set of Power Competitions by my reckoning (that particular tyre’s raison d’être), they’re right on the bubble with GP4000IIs, while tyre roar at speed is virtually non-existent. In fact, it’s a slightly odd sensation not being able to hear at least a little noise from the contact patch, but it’s truly almost silent at any speed on a half-decent road surface.

In the 25c clincher test set, overall weight per tyre is kept low (a claimed 205g per tyre – 10g less than the equivalent Michelins), which results in a sprightly performance. If you opt for the tubeless or tubeless-ready versions, you’ll gain a full 90 and 50g respectively. When laying power down out of the saddle, and married to quality Ritchey WCS Apex II carbon clinchers, the natural responsiveness as a result of this low rotational mass is impressive.

Hutchinson naturally rates its tyres highly against the competition, but we also found the Fusion 5s to compare favourably against some of the best performance-minded clinchers on the market

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.

Conclusion

It’s on that concept – trustworthiness – that I think the Fusion5 Performance clincher tyres can be best summed up. The 11Storm compound that’s central to the whole experience is impressive on all fronts, from rolling resistance and weight, to all-weather grip levels and resilience. The result is a tyre that can really be relied upon in a vast range of conditions. At the end of the day, if you want a fast, light and versatile clincher tyre that can rival the best in being suited to everything from fast-paced rides to long sportives, there’s a fresh contender on the block.

Pros

  • Grippy in all conditions
  • Smooth rolling (and quiet)
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to fit

Cons

  • Ride quality a little duller than benchmark competitors

Share

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.

production