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09 Apr

Which tubeless tyres to pick and why.

Posted by Bold Apps

Being a bit a of a tubeless tyres fan here are my thoughts. They dont cover all tyres as I have not tried them all. For context I am 86 kg and most of my tubeless tyre riding in winter on heavy bikes with panniers on the back. In summer I have a tubular tyre habit, as expensive as heroin - could it be the glue? I do use tubeless tyres in summer too. Clinchers are banished.

I'll start with IRC because I distrubute these. I am biased. I love these tyres.

IRC have 4 road tyres, 6 CX tyres and several MTB tyres. IRC tyres are not the lowest rolling resistance tyres out there. I dont care about that because they are hard wearing and grippy, oh so grippy in the wet. 

IRC Roadlite tubeless- this is IRC fastest road tyre. It is also the least grippy of the 4. That's a relative term as it's still grippy. Cut resistant and good training tyre that you can race on. On Borg rims the 25mm tyre is 27.5km wide and 24mm tall. They hold air well being a butler lined tyre.oh they are comfortable too. I did PBP on these.

IRC Formula Pro X Guard - my favourite road tubeless tyre full stop. Its  grippy in ways other tyres want to be and it hard wearing too. The puncture protection belt keep the P fairy at bay most of the time. 6000km from the rear tyre on my pannier laden commutor is normal. No other tyre last me as long. On borg rims these tyres size at the size they should be. Comfort is quite good on these tyres. Enough for 200 mile rides. It's a lined tyre as well so holds air pretty well.

IRC Formula Pro RBCC - the wet grip on these is insane. Plush dugast tubulars or Vittoria Pave tubulars are as grippy.this is high praise. Grip is this tyres party trick. As durable as the X-Guard but not as puncture resistant. Comfort on these is fine and I done many 200+mile rides on these tyres. It's a lined tyre as well so holds air pretty well.

IRC Formula Pro Light - well it lighter than the other tyres in the range. It's meant to have lower rolling resistance but it's not a tyre that meets my needs. It has thinner sidewalls but this tyre is still more hard wearing and its sidewalls are thicker than many others. It's a lined tyre as well so holds air pretty well.

IRC Serac tyres. They come in Sand, CX or Mud version. There are X-Guard versions of all three 32mm only. These are CX tyres really and I don't do CX (horrible sport, tried it once and it was hard) but the sand tyre is a good narrow gravel tyre. 

IRC Boken and Boken + I dont own a gravel bike. Gravel to me is old fashioned XC riding so I do that instead. However I know many gravel riders that love these tyres for there grip. There are lighter and faster gravel tyres but for grip well this is your tyre. Grip = fun and it keeps you upright. 

IRC Mythos, Serac XC and Stingo since enduro and down hill scare me I have not tried IRC tyres for these disciplines but I do use there XC tyres. Like the other tyres there are lower rolling resistance tyres but once again IRC's party trick is longevity and grip. The mythos is my summer dry tyre and the Serac XC and Stingo are my winter tyres unless I am using Conti tyres.

Continental well they make the Competition tubular which is the best tyre in there range. The grip is insane. I love these tyres however Continental make some really good tubeless tyres now.

GP5000TL - I call this a  TT tyre because its quick. In fact its possibly the fastest relaible tyre out there. During my winter test on my commutor the rear lasted 2500km before it wore out. Longevity is not there thing. Grip is pretty good and they have a damped feeling. You want these because they are quick and reasonably reliable. That's it. Some people think they are tight so use an IRC tubeless tyre lever. You wont break one of these and these lever help you lever these tyres on. I have no trou le fitting them but then again I have no trouble fitting Conti tubs either. 

Race King and Cross King - I really like these tyres. Faster than the IRC's but conti tyres are thinner so punctures are more likely. Still for a fast decently grippy tyre there is nothing else I go for. 

Conti gravel tyres- no idea I still think gravel and XC are same thing. 

Hutchinson- back in 2006 the French and Shimano teamed up and established a tubeless standard so you think Huthinson would know what they are doing and they do.  Hutchinson make tyres for Pirelli, Zipp and Mavic.

Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performance- pretty quick and reasonably puncture resistant tyre. They wear out ( rear after 3000km) fairly quickly but they are one of the cheap road tubeless tyres so this can be forgiven. Grip is pretty good as well.the fit is pretty easy.

Hutchinson Fusion 5 Endurance - pretty quick for a winter tyre and decently reliable. I am still wearing my set out but it look like after 1500km they are half to a third there way through there life. Comfort is there down fall but that a relative term. They are way better than a Conti Gatorskin in any size. The fit is pretty easy.

Mavic Yskion Pro UST.the compound is the same as the Hutchinson tyre but the for is meant to be better. They however are just as easy to fit as the Hutchinson tyres. They hold air well, offer good wet grip and are fairly quick tyres. Puncture resistance is fair and they wore out (rear) after 3300km.I like them and would use again. 

Goodyear Eagle - tubeless tyres should really comfortable and most are. This is the only tyre that transmitted road buzz and a noticeable ammount. The bike buzzed. Grip was o.k and they reliable enough but after 800km they delaminated and the importer blamed it on my sealant choice. Its not the sealant. Oddly enough they are not for sale here. Unless the importer backs up retailers I cant be bothered selling them.sowhy sell a  buzzy tyre. 

Schwalbe - i have tried to like this brand but i cant stand any of there tyres. They hold air fairly well for a tubeless ready tyre and there fit is secure. Schwalbe do understand the ERTRO standards.

One tubeless - this older model punctured quite a bit but grip is its main problem. In the wet they scared me. Cornering on these in the wet is something best done slowly. They are quick though in a staright line, in  the dry. 

Pro One - I once tried selling these and customer after customer told me how shit they were and they are going back to tubes. I tried them and they are shit. Oddly enough I dont sell them now. The wet grip is O.K but nothing special. They are quick enough while they are holding air. The slowest tyre is one that puctures. One ride home(15 miles) i got 6 punctures on an unworn tyre. Nothing is slower than a flat.

Yes that's 6 flats in 15 miles, thats 6 plugs and I am sure there were more holes. They leaked from places I couldn't even see. If your light and lucky you might get away with using them but the conti GP5000TL is a better fast tyre. 

Schwalbe Rocket Ron and Racing Ralph. I cant understand what the fuss is about. Yes they are really quick but I go wide in the bends with them. Give me a Conti or IRC XC tyre anyday. 

Schwalbe Marathon supreme - I don't have a road bike that can take them. Given Schwalbe's compound choice I am not likely to like them. 

Vittoria Corsa Control G2.0TLR - grippy and comfortable but best used with inner tubes

Oh wait they do a tubed version which is cheaper so buy that instead. So what wrong, well they are tubeless ready and while that not a problem normally in this case it is. My pair were porous. Sealant never fixed this. The sealant dried out after a week or two meaning punctures never sealed. They punctured. After 3300km I got fed up and binned them. I'd use them again in tubular form though. In er tubes for me belong in  sew up tyres only. 

Vittoria Rubino Pro G2.0 TLR - I am only about 1000km into testing these and so far they are great. There are more comfortable tyres but in 28m. Form they are comfortable enough. There are tyres with better wet grip but these are grippy enough. There are faster tyres but you dont get the Rubino for speed. They are fairly low cost for a tubeless tyre, pretty reliable so far and they look as if they will do high miles. On wide rim the 28mm tyres only co.es up at 26.8mm which is why they probably loose on the comfort front a bit. These are pretty good tyres so far. They hold air well too. 

Vittoria's other road tubeless tyres are best off with inner tubes in. 

Vittoria do make some good MTB tyres however the ones I have used were branded Geax. Not tried there newer models. 

Tyres in stock for testing are Verdestien Fortezza and Challange Pris Roubaix. 

 I might have forgot a few on the way. Oh here's one Dugast ORI tubeless tubular MTB tyres. Hopeless. I love dugast road tubulars but there MTB tyres have never lasted well. The ORI tyres are puncture prone in the extreme and sealant never seemed to help. 



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