Created by the French tyre manufacturer as a tubeless alternative to a racing tubular for cobblestones and rough roads, the Hutchinson Sector is a plush, 28mm tubeless clincher that can handle dirt- and stone-road abuse while still feeling fairly fast on smooth tarmac. If you like riding dirt roads – or if your everyday rides include a fair amount of bombed-out road – then you’ll likely appreciate the Sector.
After a few months of testing on and off the tarmac, we can recommend the Sector as an excellent multi-surface road tyre. Unlike some wide, all-weather road tyres that seldom flat but ride like solid rubber, the Sector’s dual-compound rubber and pliable, 127tpi casing make for a cush, grippy ride.
The dual-compound rubber has a slightly harder center tread for respectably low rolling resistance with softer shoulders for better grip. There is a thin protective layer under the centre tread to reduce cuts, but it isn’t so thick as to substantially compromise suppleness.
For its girth, the Sector is surprisingly light. With a claimed weight of 295g, we weighed our test set at 282g and 280g. For context, we weighed Hutchinson’s new Fusion 3 25mm tubeless tyre at 302g. Still, compared with a 23c (often 200g) or even a 25c ( 230g) tyre, there is no getting around the extra rotating mass on the Sector. As you’d expect, the weight is most noticeable when accelerating, be that in sport for a road sign or just starting up from a stop light.
The Sector shines on long road rides that mix in rough, dirt-road stretches with standard paved roads. In Colorado, we tested the Sectors on Panache Cyclewear’s Mustang Ride, a 108-mile ride with about 35 miles of dirt and gravel included in the gran fondo format with ‘game on’ race sections. Multiple riders flatted from thorns or pinch flats as we rattled over washboards while the Sectors came through with flying colors. In one particularly rough, dirt-road spot, we were dropped by four riders who were much fitter and faster… but then passed three as they flatted, one by one. The fourth? He was on Sectors, too.
This writer has been lukewarm on road tubeless in general (see My Meh-Affair with Road Tubeless), but the proposition is much more appealing for mixed-surface conditions where you’d want a beefy tyre like this.
We tested the Sectors on Easton EA90 SLX wheels, one of 18 wheelsets Hutchinson lists as compatible with its tubeless tyres. Installation was a bit of chore, requiring more force to mount the tyres than standard clinchers, and an air compressor (instead of a floor pump like you can get away with for some tubeless tyres) to get the tyres to seal. For whatever reason, the rear tyre took a few days to fully seal. Hutchinson recommends letting the wheels sit for 24 hours the first time you install the tyres to allow the sealant to make the casing air tight.
Once sealed, we have had zero issues with the seal. We regualrly ran the tyres at 70 to 90psi, depending on where we’d ride. Interestingly, the tyre comes with PSI suggestions based on weight, running from 80psi for riders under 132lb/60kg up to 100psi for riders over 165lb/75kg. With two testers at 185lb, we usually settled for 80-90psi for long, multi-surface rides.
All told, for multi-surface road riding, the Hutchinson Sectors are an excellent choice. And for the price, they should be!