PART 1 – HUTCHINSON FUSION5 ROAD TUBELESS-READY TIRE
This review will be in 2 parts, (a) Understanding what a tubeless ready is, and testing how easy it is to install, (b) how did they ride, how long did they last?
Hutchinson currently (9/2018) offers 6 FUSION 5 road tires; 3 Tubeless Ready and 3 Tube-type. For this review, we will be looking at their FUSION 5 tubeless ready PERFORMANCE tire. The table below includes all 3 FUSION 5 tubeless ready tires currently offered. For comparison, WEIGHT shown on first row are Tubeless Ready, second row is the weight of the Tubeless.
BUT, BEFORE WE GET TOO FAR AHEAD …
When putting this article together, I had several questions for Hutchinson.
Q1) What is the difference between a TUBELESS “READY” road tire and a TUBELESS road tire?
A1) Great question. Below are the advantages and disadvantages
- BUTYL casting – can patch the inside of tire with a standard butyl tube patch
- BUTYL casing liner completely seals tire so no sealant needed (but is still recommended)
- HEAVY – a tubeless tire weighs more than a tubeless ready tire
- CHANGING TIRE – With added butyl ‘layer’, tires are hard to remove/replace
- HARSHER RIDE – Slightly harsher ride than Tubeless Ready tire
- HIGHER COST than a standard Fusion 5 clincher
- TUBELESS “READY”
- LIGHTER – No added Butyl casing nor liner
- SUPPLE – Lack of an additional layer gives tire a suppler ride, better ride than a tubeless or clincher
- EASY ON/OFF – Tire has less mass (no butyl liner/casing) so it is easier to install and remove
- FLAT FIX – cannot patch inside of tire for a cut larger than sealant can fix
- FLAT FIX – you need to run this tire with a compatible (both tire and wheel) latex sealant like Hutchinson’s Protect’Air Max.
Q2) What is 11STORM® (ElevenSTORM®)?
A2) ElevenSTORM® is a new exclusive performance compound that increases performance of the tire with respect to rolling, grip and mileage.
Q3) What is difference between HARDSKIN, KEVLAR PRO TECH and REINFORCED?
A3) Each flat protection system offers advantages and disadvantages. Since most race courses in the USA are groomed (glass and debris picked up), Hutchinson recommends the following;
- HARDSKIN uses a puncture resistant fabric from bead-to-bead and is Hutchinson’s ultimate puncture protection system. Best for all weather training.
- KEVLAR is only in the center of the tread and offers a 50% improvement in puncture resistance over no protection. Best use for racing and training.
- REINFORCED uses a polyamide fabric under the center of the tread which yields only 25% increase in puncture resistance over no protection. Best use for racing.
Q4) Do I have to use Hutchinson Protect’Air Max?
A4) A compatible latex sealant is mandatory with the TUBELESS READY tires. Protect’Air can block a perforation up to 3mm (0.12” – a little smaller than 1/8”).
Q5) Since TUBELESS READY is definitely different than TUBELESS, what is your recommended process for installing the tire(s)?
A5) Here is where the “KIT” is the ideal solution.
- Many wheels are clincher-type, so the TAPE is needed to seal the spoke holes (tape not needed if using Tubeless Wheels).
- Next, install the supplied TUBELESS VALVE
- Pop tire on, will mount A LOT easier than Tubeless – see MOUNTING below…
- Fill with air until tire seals, you will hear several “clicks.”
- Deflate and fill with an ounce or so of compatible sealant (Protect’Air).
- Inflate to 80-115psi (5.5-8 bar).
- Max is 115psi, Ideal/recommended pressure is 99-100psi (6.8 bar).
- Rotate tire 360° several times so that sealant is evenly distributed.
As you can see from the video, these mounted as easy, if not easier than a standard clincher. This is due to the lack of an additional butyl layer. When unmounting the tires, I had to use my favorite Pedro’s plastic tire iron. A quick flip of the tire iron and the tire was easy to remove by hand.
So far, a 5 / 5 stars!
=”color: #333399;”>Stay tuned for Part 2 where we let you know how they worked.
I have always enjoyed bicycling and, through a series of coincidences, became a Bicycle Industry Consultant and Product Tester. I test prototype products for companies and have published only off the shelf production products on biketestreviews.com.