Schwalbe Pro One review
Tubeless tyres are becoming increasingly popular with road bikes, and Schwalbe has firmly set a new standard with the Pro One. The Schwalbe Pro One MicroSkin TL-Easy -as its full name goes- offers low rolling resistance, is lightweight, and extremely resistant to punctures. How have they done it, and could this be the perfect tyre for you?
The Schwalbe Pro One is made using a MicroSkin carcass. This new development was first seen with mountain bike tyres and is extremely strong. It uses sturdy microfibers which, together with the rubber compound and carcass, are given a vulcanisation treatment. This makes the tyre capable of withstanding the high pressure used in a road tyre, and if an object punctures the tyre, it will quickly seal the leak as well. The tyre has received numerous awards, including the Eurobike Innovation Prize of 2015. It came out on top in a head to head comparison by the German Tour magazine, scoring a 1.4 out of a possible 1 (lower is better, in this case).
The Schwalbe Pro One tyres have been labelled “Tubeless Easy”, which aptly describes the installation process; it was a doddle! I’ve been using these for 500 km now, and I’ve fitted them to two different wheelsets. A pair of Edco Aerosport Umbrial wheels first, and later on a set of Easton EA90SLX’s. Something I noticed when I first installed the tyre was how they tend to “balloon” outwards when you seat the tyres. This makes inflating the tyres a lot easier: the rear could be done with a regular floor pump (Lezyne Sport Floor Drive), but the front ultimately required a compressor. The regular pump simply didn’t have enough power to properly seat the tyre on the rim. Tubeless wheels have a small lip on the inside of the rim which the tyre needs to hook on to. This lip creates an airtight seal and secures the tyre to the wheel. I only needed the regular pump for the Easton wheels however!
I run these tyres at 7 bar and with 30 ml of latex. Thusfar, I’ve yet to experience a puncture, and the tyres show no outward signs of wear.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve tested numerous tyres such as the Continental GP4000 SII, Michelin Power Competition, and the Hutchinson Fusion 5 Galaktik. The main thing about the Schwalbe Pro One that really stuck with me, is just how comfortable these tyres are. On smooth tarmac, any tyre will feel good. On rough roads however, tyres can really set themselves apart when it comes to comfort, and these cope really well with bad surfaces! Durability is something I can only assess over a longer period of time, but for now they seem to hold up pretty much like any other tyre.
Is this the Perfect Tyre?
The Schwalbe Pro One is the perfect tyre to me! I’m a big fan of tubeless road tyres and I enjoy trying out new products. On top of that, I tend to run my tyres at a slightly lower pressure compared to my friends, and I always appreciate a little extra comfort. Whether this tyre is perfect to you, depends on a simple choice: are you currently running tubeless tyres? If you are, this will probably be the best tyre you can get. If you’re not, but are open to trying out something new, then why not check out your options here. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to your inner tubes just yet, the Schwalbe Pro One will be too heavy and expensive for what you need. You’ll be better off going for the Michelin Power Competition, a tyre recently tested by my colleague Niels Berenschot.