Schwalbe is ceasing production of all tubular tyres, committing fully to road tubeless tech from here on out.
Speaking exclusively to BikeRadar, brand manager Nathan Forbes also confirmed that Schwalbe plans on sponsoring a pro team that will use its Pro One tubeless road tyres, potentially as soon as 2020.
When asked why Schwalbe has decided to cease production of tubular tyres, Forbes said the “sales numbers didn’t warrant the time, effort and headaches involved with producing” them.
He also added that with advancements in road tubeless technology as a whole, “for 99 percent of the riders… it’s a better product with less mess and fuss on their side [than tubulars]”.
In terms of sales, he also pointed out that “almost all of the [tubular] tyres we were moving were to sponsored athletes — people that have their own mechanics — not people that actually ride their bikes and buy their own tyres”.
Given the fact the brand has only just launched its headline road tubeless tyre, it should come as no surprise that Forbes said “[tubeless] is the way of the future for us” and the German brand is “fully committed to tubeless technology”.
Speaking more generally about the tubular tyre market, Forbes said he imagined brands would make the decision on whether or not to stop production of tubulars on an individual basis.
He also suspects “brands that have a close tie to a Pro Tour [i.e. WorldTour] team will likely take a little longer to phase them out”, but he estimates it won’t be long before all large tyre sponsors shift their attention towards tubeless tech.
Asked whether Schwalbe itself plans to sponsor a team that will use its tubeless road tyres, Forbes could only confirm it plans to, but couldn’t give any more details.
This announcement rings true with our findings on the state of the tyre market as a whole — in an article we published last week, pretty much every brand we spoke to confirmed that nearly all of its R&D investment was going into road tubeless tech.
Road tubeless is here to stay, whether you like it or not.