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Schwalbe has been at the head of the tubeless road movement for several years now with its Pro One line, but it’s not quitting while it’s ahead. Rather, the company is forging on, releasing a new Pro One Tubeless Easy line of tires that is lighter, more comfortable, faster and, as the name implies, a breeze to setup.
- Truly easy tubeless setup: It can be done with a floor pump and without tire levers.
- Drops 30g compared to the previous Pro One tubeless (size 25mm).
- More supple ride quality to mimic the feel of a tubular.
We didn’t expect much French to be tossed around at a German company’s product launch, but we soon learned the importance of “souplesse,” or suppleness, to Schwalbe’s latest Pro One Easy tubeless tires. It’s a core design goal of the new tires, creating “souplesse,” and as such it was repeated a lot. Really, it just boils down to wanting to match the ride quality of tubulars.
To achieve this, Schwalbe redesigned the layup, cutting the tire carcass down to two layers from four. Those reduced layers are then topped that with a new Addix Race compound that, among other features, increases cornering grip.
On the durability front, a 14mm-wide V-guard belt and a triple layer sidewall add protection against punctures. Schwalbe says that the new Pro One tires will last 4,000-5,000 kilometers (depending on the terrain they’re ridden on), with some of their athletes experiencing over double that life span.
This tire may well be a tipping point for tubeless technology. Sure, the benefits of tubeless are well known at this point—lower rolling resistance, ability to run at lower pressures, etc.—but many people have still foregone the benefits because of the hassle of setup, especially the need for an air compressor which necessitates a trip to the bike shop for all but the most well outfitted home mechanic.
We can confirm Schwalbe’s claims of easy setup, and without an untoward amount of hand or arm strength required. Not a single tire lever was used. Impressively, the new Pro One Easy tires hold a seal, even before introducing sealant, just by inflating them with a standard floor pump.
The caveat here is that all rims have slight variations in size and we only tried mounting on a single DT Swiss wheel supplied by Schwalbe. But that’s a universal theme for any tire, some fit better on certain wheels than others. The difference here is that Schwalbe publishes a chart showing compatibility of its tubeless tires with every rim it has tested to date.
After talking about tubeless tires and “souplesse” all morning before testing these new Schwalbes, it might have been a bit of a placebo effect at play, but we felt a noticeably forgiving ride. The roads we tested on are frequented by tractors and other heavy machinery; they have the pock marks and surprise-potholes to prove it. We tested the 30mm version, allowing us to flirt with the lowest 55 psi pressure recommendation, both front and back, which further aided the smooth feeling of the tire. It’s not going to convince the most stringent purists to stop sniffing tubular glue—nothing will—but we think these provide a seriously smooth ride.
Even when running at sub-60 psi pressure, the tires felt very confident through turns. There was no loss of ride feel at this pressure, rather it allowed us to ride more smoothly over uneven surfaces and feel more grip through corners.
On a gravel segment—part of none other than the Strade Bianche course—during our test ride, the suppleness of the tires was able to show through, especially as the beauty of watching that race on TV soon gives way to the realization of how bumpy and uneven those roads really are.
Specs and Pricing
The Pro One Easy is available in three sizes: 25mm, 28mm, and 30mm, each costing $81. The 25mm version weighs 245g (30g lighter than the previous Pro One tubeless), while the 28mm version weighs 270g and the 30mm version adds an additional 25g.
There is also a tube type version, labelled “TUBE ONLY” to abate confusion, that drops 30g (comparing the 25mm versions), and which costs $72.
One (or Two) More Things
For situations that call for speed over everything else, Schwalbe is introducing a new Pro One TT tubeless tire. With a size and shape that is updated for modern 19mm internal rim widths, these tires are more aerodynamic. The TT also drops rolling resistance by 21 percent and weighs just 205g (25mm version). Some of that weight savings is coming from ditching the safety puncture guard, leaving only the tubeless sealant to stop leaks. With that in mind, these really should be for special occasions only—like winning the Ironman World Championship, which Patrick Lange did in 2018 on a prototype of this tire.
Schwalbe also has new tubeless gravel tire coming soon: the G-One Ultrabite. With a more aggressive tread than the G-One Bite or Allround, It will be available in 40mm and 50mm versions.