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May 27, 2009
Two months ago I was given some Fusion 2 Tubeless tires/tyres from Hutchinson and TFM and to try out. I’ve ridden these tires for almost 5000km now and it’s probably time I let you know my impression of these tubeless road tires.
Now I’m the last one to state that I’m some sort of qualified product reviewer. I don’t want to talk shit and bore you to death about all the pedantic details of rolling resistance coefficient, hysteresis, rotating mass, etc. I’m just a dumb cyclist so I’ll keep it short and sweet.
Again, these are the Hutchinson tubless road tires and they are mounted on a standard set of rims (front Campy Erus, rear Mavic Open Pro in this case). You don’t need to buy a set of Dura Ace or Falcrum tubeless specific wheels using the method described here.
At first when I went through the process of installing these tires I thought to myself that this probably isn’t worth all the effort. When I initially put these tires on it took me about an hour. Now that I know what to do and the valves and rim tape are already fitted on the rims it will take me about 10-15 minutes. Probably double that of a regular tube/tire setup. The part that takes a bit longer is getting the tire and rim lubricated with soapy water so that the bead fits properly. However, this is a great opportunity to clean your wheels. TIP: Scotch Brite pads work wonders at cleaning your rim breaking surface. It gets them looking new again. Brilliant! The other finicky part of the process is getting the Stan’s sealant into the valve and tire so that all leaks are sealed.
Sensational! I pump the tires up to about 100psi and it feels like I’m floating on 70psi. The ride is noticably smooth and fast but with the same amount of air pressure as you’d normally run. The tiny vibrations completely go away and I can definitely tell a difference in rolling resistance over any other set of clinchers I’ve ever ridden. I’ve used these in training (wet and dry), in criteriums, and in road races. I can’t say that I notice any difference in cornering or traction. I was a bit worried about using these in my first crit with the high speed cornering, but there’s been no need to worry now that I’m confident that they’re set on the rim properly.
Like I said, nearly 5000km and not a single slice or cut on the tire. Not a flat or a slow leak either. In fact, they hold their pressure so well I only need to pump these tires only about once a week .
Why??? That was my first simplistic view of this whole setup. Why would I go through this trouble and cost when I could simply avoid flats by putting the Stan’s sealant into a regular tube and install on a conventional tube/tire setup. Conceivably, that would work quite well. However, after doing many km’s on these and enjoying the way they ride so much I’d definitely recommend them. It’s not only about avoiding flats – it’s about the ride. They ride like a dream. The only drawback is that they may be a bit pricey for what you get. The first time you buy them you’ll need to buy the Stans, the tubeless valves, the rim tape and the tires themselves. Not exactly cheap. However, now that I have the rims set up to ride this tubeless setup I’ll definitely buy another pair. I don’t have to say this either. I don’t get a discount or freebies by giving positive feedback here nor am I trying to. It is what it is…