Road tubeless finally comes of age | Redesigned Schwalbe Pro One released

Revamped tubeless tyre said to faster and lighter, with improved puncture protection and durability

Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless Easy tyre

Schwalbe has updated its popular Pro One tubeless tyre, with a new design said to be faster and lighter than its predecessor, with improved puncture protection and durability. The latest Pro One utilises a new carcass construction and compound, and also conforms to the now-confirmed standard for road tubeless.

Advertisement MPU article

A new flagship tyre, the Schwalbe Pro One TT, has also arrived, which is said to be the lightest tubeless road tyre in the world. Schwalbe has achieved a headline claimed weight of 205g (25mm) by removing the Pro One’s puncture guard and reducing tread thickness.

Schwalbe claims the regular Pro One offers 13 percent lower rolling resistance than the outgoing tyre, with 22 percent more cornering grip. The Pro One TT is said to offer a further 21 percent improvement in rolling resistance.

The tubeless Pro One will be available in 25mm, 28mm and 30mm sizes, all optimised for a 19mm internal rim width. Schwalbe will also offer a Pro One for use with an inner tube, with the additional option of a 23mm version. The Pro One TT will be available in 25mm and 28mm widths, tubeless only.

Schwalbe Pro One TT Tubeless Easy tyre
The Schwalbe Pro One TT is said to be the lightest road tubeless tyre available.
George Scott/Immediate Media

Schwalbe Pro One key tech specs and details

  • Pro One Tubeless Easy and Pro One TT Tubeless Easy launched
  • New carcass construction and compound
  • Pro One TLE offers 13% lower rolling resistance, 22% more cornering grip than outgoing model
  • Claimed weight of 245g (25mm Pro One), 205g (25mm Pro One TT)
  • Non-tubeless Pro One also available, claimed weight 235g (25mm)
  • Schwalbe One also updated with improved puncture protection

The original Schwalbe One was introduced in 2013 before the Schwalbe Pro One arrived in 2015 as the German firm’s first Tubeless Easy road tyre.

“Light weight, suppleness and ease of installation make for the best road tubeless we have tested,” read our 4.5 star review in October 2015 and, since then, the Pro One has remained one of our favourite road tubeless tyres. 

With the rest of the tyre market now staking a claim for riders’ money, not least with the arrival of Continental’s long-awaited GP 5000 TL tyre, Schwalbe is attempting to re-establish its position as the torchbearer of road tubeless.

Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless Easy tyre
The new Pro One is also available in a non-tubeless (tube only) version.
George Scott/Immediate Media

New carcass construction and compound

While Schwalbe has sought to double down on the Pro One’s key performance parameters — weight, rolling resistance, grip, durability and puncture protection — with the development of the new tyre, the company’s engineers also set out to improve a less tangible quality of a tyre: feel.

“Our goal was to develop a tyre that has similar riding characteristics to a tubular tyre,” says Peter Krischio, Schwalbe’s product manager for road and gravel tyres.

“First, we questioned everything and determined we would not achieve this goal by using a conventional carcass construction. Therefore, we constructed an entirely new carcass.”

The new Pro One uses what Schwalbe calls a ‘turn-up’ construction. Unlike Schwalbe’s existing road tyres, which have three layers of overlapping carcass under the tread, the Pro One reduces that to two. The sidewalls still have three layers to resist cuts.

Schwalbe says this design has contributed to the Pro One’s drop in weight from 265g to a claimed 245g, and results in a supple ride quality that it claims is akin to tubulars.

Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless Easy tyre
The Pro One’s ‘turn-up’ construction reduces the number of carcass layers beneath the tread.

“Souplesse, the special feel on the bike that the pros always ask for, was the focus of our efforts,” adds Krischio.

However, a supple tyre is little use if you’re stood at the roadside fixing a flat, so the Pro One’s puncture protection belt beneath the tread has grown from 10mm-wide to 14mm, protecting the whole tread area, according to Schwalbe. Apparently it’s constructed from a polymer fibre that’s also used for bulletproof and anti-stab vests.

As a result, puncture protection has been improved by a claimed 30 percent, while wear rate is said to be 4,000 to 5,000km. 

Sitting on top of that puncture protection belt is the new Addix Race compound. Addix may be a familiar name, having first been developed for Schwalbe’s mountain bike tyres in 2017, but this is a new concoction for the Pro One and the multi-compound construction is said to balance the varying demands of rolling resistance, grip and durability.

The tubed version of the Pro One shares the same carcass construction and compound as the tubeless Pro One but uses a different bead material, contributing to a 5 to 20g weight saving, depending on the size. It cannot be used tubeless.

Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless Easy tyre
Schwalbe says the Pro One conforms to the new ETRTO tubeless road standard.
Irmo Keizer

ETRTO road tubeless standard finally confirmed

Schwalbe has also confirmed the ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation) standard for road tubeless is now in place, with the Pro One and Pro One TT designed to meet the new guidelines.

This, in truth, is more significant than the launch of a single tyre. Road tubeless has been something of a Wild West for tyre and wheel manufacturers, with no standard established to ensure rider safety (high-pressure tubeless road tyres present a unique challenge) and ease of mounting. Anyone who’s tried some tubeless combinations — and turned the air blue in the process — will attest to that.

“As a tyre manufacturer, it’s really important we know that, as long as the wheels are within the standard and tolerances, our tyre will be easy to install, easy to mount, easy to inflate and also easy to dismount,” says Schwalbe’s Felix Schäfermaier, who is part of the ETRTO’s working group.

While exact details of the ETRTO standard (and its impact on the international ISO standard) are to be officially announced, Schäfermaier says it is based on the UST design introduced by Mavic in 2017.

The Pro One itself has a sealing lip on the tyre bead which, Schäfermaier says, secures itself to the rim flange for an air-tight seal. Schwalbe’s tyres are also designed to be mounted by hand and inflated with a standard track pump (no tubeless chamber required), when used with an ETRTO-compliant rim. 

At the launch of the Pro One, we successfully mounted a 28mm tyre onto a DT Swiss R24 Spline db wheel, with an 18mm internal rim width, in a matter of seconds and quickly inflated it to 80psi using a track pump, with no problem seating the bead.

Schwalbe Pro One TT Tubeless Easy tyre
The Pro One TT comes in this rather nice tan wall design.
George Scott/Immediate Media

What about the Pro One TT?

We’ve focussed largely on the Pro One here, given that it’s a (albeit premium) everyday tyre, but the Pro One TT sets a new benchmark for Schwalbe’s tubeless line-up.

The company says it’s the lightest tubeless road tyre on the market at a claimed 205g (for a 25mm tyre; 215g claimed weight for 28mm) and offers an additional 21 percent reduction in rolling resistance over the standard Pro One.

The Pro One TT uses the same ‘turn-up’ construction as the Pro One but uses a single Addix Race compound and loses the puncture protection belt.

Numbers and compounds aside, the Pro One TT comes in a rather fetching tan wall design. It’s a shame the same can’t be said of the standard Pro One.

Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless Easy tyre
We logged 110km on a set of 30mm Schwalbe Pro Ones at the launch in Italy.
Irmo Keizer

Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless Easy 30mm first ride impressions

I rode a set of 30mm Schwalbe Pro One TLE tyres mounted to Mavic Comete Pro Carbon wheels on a Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc for two days in Tuscany, totalling 110km in the saddle.

The two routes included a mix of steady ascents, steep pitches and technical descents, on roads ranging from silky-smooth to quite-frankly atrocious, with crater-sized potholes. Oh, and a few stretches of the strade bianche synonymous of the region.

In truth, limited conclusions can be drawn from such little time on a new set of tyres, not least when it comes to puncture protection and durability, but my time in Italy did give me the opportunity to form some early impressions.

Road tyres have been getting progressively wider over the past few years but 30mm is still on the chunky side for what is ostensibly a race tyre – it’s the widest Pro One offered by Schwalbe. 

Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless Easy tyre
Our test ride took in some of Tuscany’s iconic strade bianche gravel roads.
Irmo Keizer

However, it felt like the natural choice on the varied terrain encountered, rolling quickly on the flat and shaking off the region’s pockmarked tarmac and white gravel roads. The lighter weight of a narrower tyre might win out on particularly hilly terrain, but 30mm of rubber didn’t feel like a hindrance here, despite a not insignificant amount of climbing.

I deliberately pointed the Canyon at some of the worst stretches of road encountered and the Pro Ones handled everything with aplomb, although one journalist in the group did suffer a puncture on a rough stretch of strade bianche. Bad luck? We’ll find out with a full test.

Conditions in Italy were (very) hot and dry, so I can’t comment on the Pro One’s wet weather performance, but grip wasn’t a problem for me on a series of tight, steep and technical descents.

As I’ve already mentioned in this piece, I had no issues mounting a Pro One to a spare DT Swiss wheel, slipping the tyre on and off the rim in a few seconds, and quickly seating the bead with a track pump.

We’re awaiting samples of both the Pro One and Pro One TT tyres, so will report back in due course once we’ve subjected them to a true test on our local roads.

There’s no shortage of rough, thorn-riddled back lanes in these parts, so we’ll see how the Pro Ones stand up over time, but early signs point to Schwalbe producing an impressively fast, supple and, not least in this 30mm size, comfortable tubeless tyre.

Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless Easy tyre
The Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tyre is available in 25mm, 28mm and 30mm widths.
Irmo Keizer

Claimed weights, prices and availability

Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless Easy

  • 25mm, 245g
  • 28mm, 270g
  • 30mm, 295g

Schwalbe Pro One Tube Type

  • 23mm, 215g
  • 25mm, 235g
  • 28mm, 250g
  • 30mm, 275g

Schwalbe Pro One TT Tubeless Easy

  • 25mm, 205g
  • 28mm, 215g

Availability is expected in September 2019. Pricing for the Pro One TLE has been set at €69.90 but we’ll update this article with further details and currencies as soon as we know.

Schwalbe One also updated

One thing we can tell you about the Pro One and Pro One TT’s pricing at the moment is that neither will be cheap. However, Schwalbe has also updated the mid-range One tubeless tyre, describing it as “the ideal all-rounder for road bikes”.

It’s based on the outgoing Pro One and gets an additional RaceGuard puncture protection belt, a MicroSkin carcass and a new Addix compound (not the Addix Race compound of the Pro One, but said to balance the performance and durability demands of high-mileage riders).

The One TLE comes in 25mm (275g), 28mm (295g) and 30mm (305g) sizes, with the former two available in black and tan wall options. 

Advertisement MPU article

The tube-type One is offered in 23mm (225g), 25mm (245g), 28mm (265g) and 30mm (290g) widths, while there’s also a wire-bead One (25mm, 405g) to complete the range.