HUTCHINSON ATOM COMP Tires Review
High quality tires. Quality construction, lightweight tire.
Product Tested: 2014 ATOM COMP
Price: view here
Source: Bike shops, websites
Made In: France
Features: Extremely fast tires. 7 colors available (black/black; black/yellow; black/silver; black/red; black/blue; black/pink and black/white).
How obtained: Sample from company
- Ultralight at 190g
- Dual Compound, Harder in the middle (increased durability) and extremely soft “sticky & grippy’ side tread for increased traction when high speed cornering.
- Abrasion resistant and puncture protection rubber compound in the center.
- Rides like they are on rails!
- 127tpi casing
- Due to softer tread compound and light weight, this is considered a performance / racing tire which equates to short tire life.
- 700 x 23 only
User Review( votes)
WHATS IN THE PACKAGE:
Hutchinson categorizes the ATOM COMP as a “narrow profile clincher racing tire that excels on dry roads and pavements.” Hutchinson claims 4*’s (4 out of a total of 5) in efficiency, lightweight, puncture resistance and wear.
So, after 1,200 miles, I agree with one exception, Wear & Longevity. The rear tire lasted 1,200 miles vs. 2,000 miles for a Hutchinson Fusion 3 Tubeless vs. 2,800 miles for a low cost Performance Forte Pro+ road tire. This is pretty poor mileage for a tire, so the bottom line is don’t use this as a training tire. This tire is for racing only.
I recently tested the Essor PACE 32mm Carbon Clincher wheels mounted onto a VeloVie Vitesse 500, and the Hutchinson ATOM COMP tires came included. Being that the wheels are carbon fiber, I mounted the tires by hand.
This is because a friend of mine bought a set of Reynolds Attack carbon clincher wheels (pictured to the right) and took them to a bike shop to mount a set of racing tires. The mechanic used a tire iron to mount the tires and the results are shown as marked in red. The mechanic had cracked off several layers of carbon by using a tire iron.
Personally, I found no need to use a tire iron to install these tires onto the PACE wheels. The tires popped right onto the rims with no problem. When it was time to uninstall this tire, I was able to grab the tire between both thumbs and index fingers and pulled up and over and they popped right off the rims.
HOW DOES THE ATOM COMP TIRE RIDE/PERFORM?
With an MSRP of
$65 (check latest price here), these are by far the best riding and handling tire for the money. They have a 127tpi casing and a soft compound which makes for a very supple ride. Since they are so light, they respond to the slightest pressure of the pedals. They also handle like they are on RAILS! You can lean the bike into any corner and these tires stick like glue!
I rode these tires to 1,200 miles in which the rear tire was almost to the cords. During this long term test, I ran over some pretty gnarly stuff in the road including potholes, dirt, sand, gravel, glass and not a flat!
Hutchinson advertises that there is a ‘polyamide puncture protection layer which makes it highly resistant to punctures’ and they hit the nail on the head – no pun intended. Without this puncture protection layer on these racing tires, I am sure I would have had half-a-dozen flats in 1,200 miles.
The ATOM COMP’s sister tire is the ATOM X-LIGHT which comes in at 160g, a full 30 g lighter than the ATOM COMP. Researching the specs on this tire, my guess is that these two tires are basically the same except that the ATOM X-LIGHT does NOT include the polyamide layer – which could account for about 30g.
Unless you plan to only use these tires on a race course only, stick with the ATOM COMP’s which can be ridden on the road.
IS Hutchinson ATOM COMP WORTH THE MONEY?
If you look at the chart above, the ATOM COMP achieves about the same cost/mile that the Fusion 3 achieves. This surprised me as well. The Fusion 3 is a much heavier tire (210g heavier for a pair) which means the Fusion 3 is not as responsive nor does it accelerate as quickly as the ATOM COMP.
The ride of the Fusion 3 is good, but still no where near that of the ATOM COMP, but, since the Fusion 3 is a tubeless tire, it will have a better ride than a pure training tire such as the Forte Pro+.
There are still more tires to test, but as for now, the best clincher that I have ridden in this price range is the Hutchinson ATOM COMP.
In order for a manufacturer to make a tire lighter, they need to either replace materials with lighter equivalences or use less materal. In other words, a lighter tire will usually yield fewer miles than a heavier tire.
The other factor to consider is how soft the compound is. A softer compound will also yield fewer miles, but, there are abrasion resistant materials that a manufacturer can add to the tire compound to push the miles back up.
For the price, these tires yield about the same MPD (Miles Per Dollar) as the Fusion 3 tubeless. Where the ATOM COMP stands out is (a) the ultra-quick acceleration and (b) they make it feel like you are riding on rails.
I have always enjoyed bicycling and, through a series of coincidences, became a Bicycle Industry Consultant and Product Tester. I continue to test prototype products for companies and publish only off the shelf production products on biketestreviews.com.