Schwalbe one tubeless testing
About 14 months ago I was asked by a friend to test new Schwalbe one tires. Namely the tubeless version. A complete kit was provided and we were eager to start putting the tires on. After several failed attempts and a very messy garage, we managed to fill the tires with air and sealant. A word of advice, PLEASE DON'T TRY TO DO THIS IN YOUR MOMS KITCHEN. OR WORSE, YOUR WIFE'S KITCHEN.
For those of you who are not familiar with tubeless set ups, a little explanation. Tubeless basically means without inner tube, Just like a car tyre. On race bikes it's a relatively new principal but it's been used successfully in Mountain biking for several years.
The main reason for going tubeless on a bike is simply the fact that you're able to loose the inner tube. Instead of an inner tube you fill the tyre with sealant. In case you do get a puncture the sealant is suppose to seal the hole. Also, tubeless is great for pinch flats. Because there is no inner tube. And therefor you're also able to run lower pressures. Which in theory makes the tires more comfortable.
The tyre does feel very different. They are somehow lighter and seem to run more easy. And the noise is great as well. Because of the air chamber, the tires make great noises when cornering. Handling wise, they feel different to clincher and more similar to tubes. But they feel light in steering. Rolling resistance they feel to me more like tube then clincher. Although I must say, that a good clincher tyre with light inner tubes does feel very fast these days.
The sealant works, or does it?
After a couple of rides I experienced a first puncture. Firstly the sealant was doing it's job, sealing the hole. But after just a few miles it opened back up and all the air escaped. So I had to fit an inner tyre to get back on the road.
At home we discovered the extend of the problem. The sealant was transformed into a sort of gummy bear substance. After sending an email to Schwalbe they kindly send me 2 new bottles of sealant. Excellent service.
After 12 months of testing and a lot of kilometers covered my verdict about these tires.
In my opinion tubeless can be the future. Why? Because they are a good mix between tubes and clincher.
And when they because more apparent and a little bit cheaper, then people will buy and try them. Nowadays the install process is a lot easier and also the choice of tires is bigger than 12 months ago.
Personally I'll keep running a set of tubeless tires and a set of clincher tires. Both of them, Schwalbe one's.