As important to cycling as disc brakes and electronic shifting … that’s how R & D specialists at Schwalbe see tubeless tyre technology.
First looking to tubeless in 2010 then debuting their maiden tube-free tyre to the public in 2012, Schwalbe launched the tubeless One in 2014. In 2016 the Pro One tubeless was launched and that highly-respected tyre has been given a major makeover.
The latest Pro One TLE and tubed version feature a number of new additions including the Addix compound in the tyre itself.
“If you don’t go forward you go backwards,” Schwalbe Product Manager and former pro rider Félix Schäfermeier told Bicycling Australia in Italy.
“The tyre is the only interface between rider and road, so what can we do to improve that? … We can add what we are calling souplesse, or suppleness.
“This is a common word in cycling and has been through the ages. Suppleness is smoothness and this is what we have adapted to the tyre. To generate the most supple tyre and ride feel we’ve developed a completely new tyre with a new compound and new technology.”
Points Of Difference
All new products need a point of difference and with the Pro One this is crystal clear. A lighter tubeless tyre, that’s softer riding, easier to install and delivers increased performance.
“Below the thread of a typical tyre there are three layers of a carcass,” Felix continued to explain.
“With the new Pro One we have removed one of these layers – to obviously save weight – and also created a new level of puncture protection through a 14mm wide ‘V-guard’ belt. This consists of a high-resistance puncture material. It is a tight mesh weave to best prevent being pierced. With this we are relying more on the tightness of the weave over the thickness of the protective layer as was the standard in the past.”
The Feel Of A Tubular
‘Tubeless with the feel of a tubular’.
That’s how Peter Krischio of Schwalbe summarised the new tyre’s characteristics. He said the objective was to develop a fast, light-weight and safe tire that offered maximum souplesse – a “living” tire that ultimately leads to less fatigue and greater performance.
“In order to realize these characteristics we have constructed a completely new carcass, optimised its compounds and modernized the manufacturing process. The new Pro One is not a successor of the previous generation but an entirely new concept”, he said.
How Do They Ride?
The tyres are super smooth and hold up well under acceleration – the feel you might expect from say 100-110psi in 23 or 25mm tyres.
To several fast and twisty 3 to 4km descents and they hung on exceptionally well as we followed the fast wheels of the two professional riders leading the group.
Foreign roads and mystery sweepers we’d never ridden … it was comforting to know there was 30mm of grippy and reliable rubber under the bike.
We later found out the test ride pressure was 4-bar or 60psi.
Weights … And Size Options To 30mm
To the all-important weight details and the Pro One is 245grams in 25mm, 270grams in 28mm and 295grams in 30mm.
Designed to suit modern (wider) rims, 25mm will measure 27 to 28mm on a 19mm rim. Full compatibility charts including offerings from the world’s major wheel producers can be found on the Schwalbe website.
Tubed Version Still Alive
To other upgrades from Schwalbe, and traditionalists will be please to know tubed Pro One tyres will still be available.
“Typical road cyclists don’t tend to take up new technology too fast,” Felix told us.
“So we also have a tubed version incorporating the new technology but created for tubes – the Pro One tube type tyre. This tyre is clearly marked ‘tube only’.”
Pro One TT
In other exciting news – one certainly for those pushing the limits or looking for a lightweight race alternative, Schwalbe have released the world’s lightest tubeless road tyre.
The tan wall Pro One TT certainly stands out and weighs just 205grams in 25mm.
Totally eye-catching with tan walls, the Pro One TT weighs a tad over 200grams and is certain to receive plenty of attention from the weight weenie brigade.
“We removed the puncture later and have the tyre down to 205grams in 25mm,” Felix told us.
“Yes that means there’s puncture risk, but this is a tubeless and used with sealant which adds that protection.
“This is the fastest and lightest tubular tyre in the world,” he concluded.
Pro One Tubeless Easy was specifically designed for use without a tube and offers by far the greatest performance level. Summary: Addix Race Multi Compound, 245 g (size 25 mm), 13% lower rolling resistance, 22% more cornering grip, increased puncture protection and higher mileage compared to the previous model.
Pro One Tube Type is for all those who would (still) rather ride with a tube. Its specifications: Addix Race Multi Compound, 235 g (size 25 mm), 13% lower rolling resistance, 22% more cornering grip, 30% increased puncture protection, higher mileage. Important: The Tube Type tire is specifically designed for use with a tube and may not be used tubeless.
Pro One TT Tubeless Easy The world’s lightest tubeless tire, it is for time trial cyclists and triathletes. With its Addix Race Single Compound, it is designed for time-trials and extreme triathlon. The tire weighs 205 g (size 25 mm) and rolls 21% easier than Pro One Tubeless Easy. Patrick Lange rode a prototype of this tire to win the Ironman World Championship 2018 on Hawaii in record time.
The tyres are available from Bikebox & Schwalbe dealers. More info at www.bikebox.com.au