Easy to fit and great to ride. These are the best tubeless tyres on the market right now
Road tubeless is still an area into which many riders have declined to enter, but Schwalbe’s Pro One tubeless tyres might change all that: they’re fast, supple and pleasantly easy to install.
The thing is, as good as road tubeless might seem in principle, in practice there have been a few misfires that have put a lot of cyclists off. For a start, one of those things is mounting the tyres. Early on, tubeless tyres needed an air compressor to jolt the bead into place under the rim – not something that most cyclists just have lying around the place.
To make matter worse, if you’d already put sealant in the tyre and then failed to mount it properly it could result in a sealant shower for anyone and anything in the vicinity of the attempt. Funny as it sounds, it did get a little old after a while.
Schwalbe’s latest Pro One tubeless tyres come with ‘tubeless easy’ written on the box which, to the cynical, is about as comforting as the words ‘don’t panic’ stamped on the front of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Needless to say, I tend to approach claims of ease with the cynicism they deserve, but I cant honesty say that these are the simplest mounting road tubeless tyres I’ve used. All you need is tyre, wheel and track pump. Oh, and I used some Schwalbe Easy Fit Tyre Lubricant as well but if you don’t have that to hand some soapy water actually makes for a pretty good substitute. Basically, all that lubricant does it lower friction between tyre and rim, making it easier for the bead to slip into place.
Once I’d gone round the bead on both sides with the lubricant, I just pushed the tyre into place like you would with any standard clincher then pumped it up and watched it slip into place. So simple. None of that lessens the fact that a puncture can make for a messy situation with sealant jetting out of the tyre, but you can never have it all.
Schwalbe have lowered the weight on the Pro Ones considerably, claiming that they’re 70g less than the original One tyre. That’s a big bonus in weight terms because you’re not running tubes here either, and even if you put a generous helping of sealant in the tyres you won’t be approaching the weight of a standard inner tube.
As for ride quality, well it’s great. The best thing about road tubeless is that you don’t need to fear pinch punctures so you can run them at a lower pressure than clinchers and inner tubes, which is a real boon to comfort, particularly in the 25mm version tested here and even more so at 28mm. And they feel supple too, with stacks of grip. Pump these up to the same pressure you run your clinchers and I guarantee you’ll want to stop to check the pressure because they feel so good, while remaining very fast on the road.
While the fact the tyres are tubeless means the sealant should take care of small cuts before the develop into a full-fledged puncture, the Pro Ones don’t otherwise have a huge amount in the way of dedicated puncture protection. They’re race tyres, after all – but don’t get me wrong, I’ve not punctured these yet in a whole lot of riding but if you’re the type that fancies taking your bike through the odd field, into the gutter or across a bed of nails I can’t guarantee that won’t end in tears. Or tears. Read either as you wish.
Road tubeless has come a long way in its comparatively short existence and if you have a set of wheels that are tubeless ready, I urge you to give them a go. Schwalbe’s latest Pro One tubeless tyres are fantastic. Good enough, in fact, that it’s worth going tubeless just to ride these. I’m deadly serious.
– Fitting tubeless tyres has never been easier
– Wonderful compound conforms to the road beautifully and grips very well
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