Schwalbe Pro One TT tyre

A tyre created to roll fast without compromising on grip or puncture protection - how original!

Score

8/10

Pros

  • Puncture resistance
  • Easy set up (clincher and tubeless)
  • Smooth on rutted roads

Cons

  • A little sticky on smooth roads
  • Weight discrepancy

Price as reviewed:

£64.99

Schwalbe’s Pro One tyre has always been a firm favourite, and last year the brand made some key updates aimed at lowering the rolling resistance, optimising grip in the corners and improving ease of tubeless set up.

The model we have on test is the Pro One TT (time trial) Tubeless Easy tyre, which has been tailored for time trial riders looking for the ultimate in performance. Whilst the standard Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless has a claimed 13 per cent drag saving over the outgoing model, the TT version boosts this to another 21 per cent, at a lower weight.

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>>> Best road tyres

Of course, if you choose to spec a road bike with this rubber, you won’t find yourself immediately bucked to the floor. These tyres originally arrived at the Cycling Weekly office aboard a Canyon Ultimate Evo road bike, seated to DT Swiss PRC 1100 DICUT wheels. I’ve since moved them to a pair of Black Inc Black Thirty rims on my own personal long term test machine.

Schwalbe’s overarching theme in the evolution of this tyre was a desire to create ‘souplesse’ – which is defined by the brand as a feeling of easy rolling paired with reliability, grip and puncture protection. So, basically offering the holy trinity without compromise – like every other tyre brand has been trying to do since the dawn of time.

For this tyre, Schwalbe has used its new multi part rubber compound, called ‘Addix Race’. This sees a mix of varying compound formulations in specific parts of the tread and with an overall increased content of silica – the goal being to provide grip at the sidewall without impacting rolling resistance.

The brand has even invested in a new compound mixing plant and semi-automated tyre assembly machines to ensure product consistency.

We don’t have the equipment to test this in-house, however independent tests have shown this option to be faster than the likes of the Continental GP 5000 but not as speedy as the Vittoria Corsa Speed G+ 2.0 – the differences being less than 2 watts each side, at 80psi.

I tested these in the 25mm guise (there is also a 28mm option), and run as a clincher at 75 psi on a rim with an 18mm internal width, found the measurement to come in closer to the claim than most, at 26mm.

Switching to these from a few 28mm options I’ve been riding, the skinnier surface area was undeniable, and this did limit my confidence when leaning into the corners. However, when ridden head to head against a 25mm GP 5000 I’d say the level of crit lean assurance was equal.

In most cases I found the tyres rolled exceptionally well. I covered well over 1,500 kilometres on them, on smooth roads in Spain, and on the rutted lanes of Surrey and Kent around my local stomping ground.

On the glass like tarmac overseas, I did notice a slightly odd sticky, almost draggy, sensation. However, translated to the pockmarked UK lanes this dissipated and was replaced with comfort – so how suited this rubber is to you might depend upon your typical road choice.

The TT model provides less puncture protection than the standard version with its 14mm wide V-guard belt. But for me? The system worked just fine.

For a race tyre, I’d say these were exceptionally resistant to punctures. I rode through a winter and early spring, mostly running these as a clincher, and got just one flat tyre – and that’s despite all the gravel and flint washed up by February’s floods.

This is night and day to my experience with Schwalbe’s since discontinued Ultremo ZX tyre – this was a long term favourite for me until I experienced a run of race start-line punctures; it’s great to see the brand has improved dramatically in this area.

When it came to fitting, the tyre popped on to the rim fairly easily for me when run as a clincher. I did notice when fully deflated (to fit into a bike box) it took on a slightly strange, wrinkled shape – this was just a bit disconcerting but pumped back up to full pressure as expected.

In this tyre, Schwalbe has built in what it calls ‘Tubeless Easy’ tech. This sounded a bit too good to be true. However, in practice this was one of the easiest tubeless tyres I’ve had the pleasure of setting up. I did need to lube the bead to assist with seating the tyre, but was able to do so without the use of tyre levers – which says a lot based upon my puny thumbs.

The Pro One TTs have a claimed weight of 205g per tyre. However, on my scales (used for all tech weigh ins and generally matching up within decent tolerance), one tyre came in at 232g, and the other at 208g, with the same results after repeated re-weighs. This was post riding, but following a concerted brush down for debris. External weigh-ins came in at 222g. It’s normal for there to be variations between tyres based on batch production, but the differences here are greater than I’d expect.

These tyres come in at £65, that’s £5 over the market leading standard Continental GP 5000 which I tend to use as a go-to, matches the tubeless version of the same – and quite a chunk more pricey than my other favourite the Pirelli P Zero.

These tyres are very good – I enjoyed riding on them and they served me well despite a fair amount of abuse. As an all-rounder, they don’t quite cut it as a replacement for my all time top training partner, but I’d certainly not hesitate before fitting these on race day.

Verdict

A surprisingly reliable tyre which rolls well even on pockmarked UK roads - perhaps more so than overseas. The tubeless easy system does what it says on the tin. A quality option, but not likely to become our tech team's all time go-to.