Hiding in plain sight at the launch of Scott’s all-new Addict RC was an as-of-yet unnamed prototype 28mm-wide tubeless tyre from Schwalbe that is widely expected to be an updated version, or successor, to the Pro One.
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There were representatives from Schwalbe on hand at the launch and they confirmed it was indeed a new tubeless tyre with a casing construction that differs from the current, much-loved and long-standing Pro One.
Schwalbe also confirmed that the new casing should better reflect real-world sizing when mounted to a rim — by that, Schwalbe means that, with the new tyre, a 25mm should measure 25mm when mounted to an appropriate rim.
This is in reaction to a common issue where, when mounted to a modern wide rim, a 25mm tyre could measure wider than expected. This can cause clearance issues on certain frames.
Looking closely, the tyres also appear to adopt Schwalbe’s Addix compound. This has, thus far, only been seen on its mountain bike tyres. Assuming the orange colour of the Schwalbe logo relates to the compound, this would suggest the tyres are constructed using the soft version of the compound. The tread pattern appears identical to the original Pro One.
Other than that, we have no details at this time. We have been invited to a road launch with Schwalbe later in the year and will bring you information as soon as we have it.
However, for now, we think it’s safe to speculate that…
A new road tubeless ETRTO standard is imminent
We also suspect that the new tyre is being designed to meet the ETRTO’s (yet to be announced) tubeless road tyre guidelines.
The European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation is the industry body that regulates and determines specs for tyres and rims across many industries. Most big players from the European automotive and bicycle tyre industries sit on its board.
No ETRTO standard currently exists for road tubeless tyres. This means that tubeless specs and standards are currently a minefield, with Mavic’s (essentially proprietary) UST standard being the only thing that resembles a universal standard.
A unified industry-wide ETRTO-ratified standard for road tubeless specs that moves away from this has been a long time coming — Continental claimed at last year’s launch of its GP5000 road tubeless tyre that the ETRTO board, which it sits on, was coming close to a conclusion.
That was seven months ago and all has been silent since then.
However, we spoke to Hunt — who’s new wheels are fully compliant with the new standard — which is close to the development of the standard and it confirmed that, while it does not have a set date, it expects the specs of the standard to be announced soon.
All of this may not sound like much to your typical consumer but, if you’ve ever tried to make a stubborn road tubeless setup work, it’ll be extraordinarily welcome news.
As for the new Schwalbe tyres themselves, we’re sure they’re bound to be interesting and, if they’re anything like the original Pro One, they’ll perform well too. Let’s just hope they come in a tan wall version as well.
What would you like to see from a new tubeless road tyre from Schwalbe? Easier fitting? Better durability? Wider options? Lighter weight? As always, leave your thoughts in the comments.