Schwalbe Aerothan Tube & Pro One 28″ Tyre
by Chris Galley
by Chris Galley
Spring and summer usually means that you can look forward to removing those all season or winter tyres and replacing them with that fast rolling and lightweight set of tyres ready for pushing your limits. Personally, I’ve ridden Continental tyres pretty much all my cycling life for good reason. They cover all bases and give superb resilience, grip and weight. So when I was asked to have a look at Schwalbe Tyres it was an opportunity to get out of my comfort blanket and test a new tyre manufacturer to me and see how other tyres stack up against my tried and trusted tyre manufacturer.
First box to open was the Schwalbe Aerothan inner tubes. These are extremely light at 41grammes for the 28″ 700cc tube. A futuristic looking translucent compound designed to work with the Schwalbe Pro 1 tyre and which drastically reduces weight from my previous Vavert inner tube at 136 grams. That might not seem a lot but it really does liven up the steering but I’ll talk about the ride shortly. The compound appears sturdy too and fits well into the tyre. These tubes are designed to minimise rolling resistance, increase puncture protection and are set to deliver new standards with inner tubes. Best of all, they’re 40% lighter than previous tubes, and more resilient too.
Aerothan tubes consist of 100% thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), including the valve, and are therefore fully recyclable. Like all Schwalbe tubes, Aerothan tubes may be returned to Schwalbe at no cost using the tube recycling programme. The material of used tubes is recycled to make sealing or insulation material. In a world where we all need to do more, this is a good move from Schwalbe.
The Schwalbe Pro 1 tyre is not the lightest tyre (weighing in here at 263 grams for each of my test tyres), giving a heavier weight than the 235 gramme publicised. The Continental all season tyre I removed weighs in at 240 grams and our other test tyre, the Pirelli P Zero Race SL, is 245grams. However, it does have a decent grip pattern and is packed full of technology to mark this tyre out as a potential great product. This tyre installs easily, but you have to remember to watch for the directional arrow as they only fit one way. In usage, these tyres deliver everything they say. The overall weight saving with the tyre and Aerothan tube takes a couple of rides to get used to as the wheels become prone to dancing around a little, and it needs a new level of fine motor skills to control. In terms ofthe protection offered, I’ve experienced no punctures as yet, they’re grippy and stable in the corners and are notably fast rolling.
Climbing and sprinting is easier than ever on these boots, and fellow riders have told me they give off a distinct sound as the tyres bite into the tarmac. Tyre pressures are lower than most tyres and I do find myself checking those pressures more often now as they continually feel soft to the touch; but once checked I have to keep reminding myself that they play well at lower pressures. They bite well into the tarmac and handle the rough country lanes well. Cornering is confident and they basically just roll really well. With the Aerothan onboard, you’ve got a feisty mix that wants to race; but once you’re aware of this, the fun begins.
Overall then, in terms of both value and performance, these are excellent tyres and perform well – especially with the Aerothan tubes. I’m no scientist, so I really have no way to support Schwalbe’s claims on their data for these tyres; but in reality they are well worth the money, they fit well and on my Canyon Endurance CF they’ve changed the riding dynamics of the bike – especially when climbing and sprinting and that’s always a win for me.