Super easy tubeless fit and beautifully floated, grippy ride make Pro One’s a great all-rounder even if they’re not the fastest
Fantastic floated ride feel
Super easy tubeless installation
Not as fast as the best in class
Sizing is smaller than before
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Schwalbe’s latest tubeless race tyre is light, it’s a cinch to set up, grips great and feels wonderful on the road, despite thicker tread for durability. It's pitched as Schwalbe's best road bike tyre, but it’s not as speedy as the best in class.
Construction and fit
Schwalbe’s latest Pro One is based on its Souplesse carcass, a double-ply 127tpi weave with a triple lateral layer for cut resistance. A 14mm wide V-Guard puncture protection layer also replaces the previous underperforming Microskin protection except on the 20 and 26in versions. Tread depth has also increased to 2.7mm from 2.3mm and it now uses an Addix Race compound rather than the previous One Star. Like many recent tyre compounds, this has an increased silica content and changes from the centre to the shoulder of the tyre to reflect traction/rolling requirements. The compound is ‘live mixed’ with an automatic blender to make sure the proportions are exactly right before the extruded tread is hand laid onto the tyre. There’s a light, alternating ‘arrow’ tread pattern on the shoulders too, as well as recessed wear indicator dots.
While the previous generation Schwalbe Pro One tyres tended to be oversized, tyre sizing has been ‘corrected’ too. Now the 28mm actually comes up slightly undersized and only 1mm wider than the previous generation 25mm Pro One’s. That does mean weights have come down for the listed size (our sample was just 1g off claimed weight too) and they’ve added (or perhaps just relabelled) a 30mm option that’s still sub 300g.
Where Schwalbe’s long experience in making tubeless road tyres becomes clear, is how easy they are to fit. We managed to peel them onto the rim without the need for a tyre lever, but they still sat in the rim bed neatly. There was no leak when we added 30ml of sealant through the valve and they blew up with easy strokes of an average track pump before popping uniformly into place at around 50psi. In fact, it was so easy, we even tried inflating with a mid-sized pocket pump and while we had to go full frenzy with the stroke rate, it did actually catch and pop onto the rim, which is the first time we’ve ever managed that. Once we’d spun the tyre down the road, it held pressure totally fine too, making it the easiest tubeless set up we’ve used (although Hutchinson, Pirelli and Specialized are close).
Even the quick spin-up ride made it clear that the Souplesse Carcass with its designed-in ‘life’ really does make a difference in ride quality. While some 28mm tubeless tyres are surprisingly firm even at 65psi front 75 rear (our default test pressures), the Pro One’s put an amazingly buoyant and fluid layer between you and the road. The rougher it gets, the more obvious the smoothness and relative speed sustain get. As a result, while independent lab tests on www.bicyclerollingresistance.com put the Pro One’s a long way behind the Continental 5000 TLs, actual on-road roll down and power meter comparisons put them closer.
That easy compliance also gives them excellent tactile grip as you tip them into corners. The Addix Race compound wastes no time in making you feel brave either, and even on wet and greasy roads, we didn’t worry about diving into turns harder than we normally would.
While the overall ride feel is limousine smooth, the low weight and no need for extra sealant also adds a useful pep when you punch hard through the pedals. Again this makes them feel faster than the lab figures would suggest and we certainly didn’t feel they were holding us back on ‘livelier’ group rides. If you want Schwalbe's best tubeless tyres for speed, you should be looking at the Pro One TT anyway.
While there aren’t many of the latest generation Pro One’s out in the wild yet, from our own experience and feedback from trusted riders and retailers suggests puncture resistance and general cut/damage is improved from the previous generation Pro One’s. The deeper tread should make them last longer in mileage terms too, which was definitely a downside previously. While official retail prices are high, actual online prices are often much lower too.
If you’re after a tyre that makes going tubeless as simple as possible and delivers an ultra floated ride quality with low weight and excellent grip, the Pro One TLE is the best option we’ve tested. Off pace lab test results don’t translate into excessive drag in real road conditions either so it still feels responsive and enjoyably lively on the road. Puncture protection and wear life appear to be improved too, so just remember to size up if you want the previous Schwalbe plumpness.
- RRP: £68.50
- Weight: 271g (tubeless ready 28mm)
- Width: (19mm internal rim): 27.5mm
- Depth: (19mm internal rim): 25mm
- Sizes: 20 and 26x1.1in (28mm), 650x25 and 28mm, 700x25, 28 and 30mm
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