A kind of tire review: Schwalbe X-One 700X32 tubeless

 A kind of tire review: Schwalbe X-One 700X32 tubeless
Shwalbe X-One Tubeless tires after a season of use

Shwalbe X-One Tubeless tires after a season of use

These funny named German rubberballs, Racing Ralph, Kojak, Rocket Ron, Muddy Betty , and the rest of the Schwalbe rubber gang and myself have a long lasting love/hate relationship. From being the overpriced Nazi tires that I will never have, to being sponsor provided goodies that for a brief spell ended up being the best loved pair of racing tires (old 26in Racing Ralphs). Until they ended up being so ephemeral that I had to chuck them out after a few MTB marathon races.

The only Schwalbes that I’ll say I respect now as a grown-up velocipredator are Schwalbe Ones, which can take epithets like pretty fast and comfy and at the same time pretty puncture resistant, and Marathon Plus tires, the tires I would take on a world tour for their puncture protection regardless of being as supple as a tombstone on a cold day.

What annoys me about most brands these days is how they always claim to have the most innovative, greatest shit on the planet that will make your teeth grow back, your hair to stop falling off, and in the bike world, make you the best, fastest bike rider in the universe. Only of course it doesn’t. And Schwalbe is very much like that. Weird novel technologies that end up not being that great, or just stuff that everyone else is doing anyway. Only they are Schwalbe tires so they cost twice as much. Only they are often not worth it.

What about the X-Ones? Well let’s cut to the chase, they are definitely not worth it. At $72.59 retail, this rubbah is definitely overpriced. But…

I got these tires stock on my Felt F3X, and having ridden them for a full cross season I had the chance to try them in all sorts of conditions and on all sorts of terrains. And they are definitely not bad. They are just, also, not great.

But let’s start from the beginning.

They are tubeless, right? So after I got them de-tubed I quickly got my tubeless magic kit and went about pairing them with the DT Swiss stock wheelset, and after a lot of struggling, and having to consult an untrusty old shop compressor, success. However, when being mounted on my Industry 9 race wheelset the install is smooth and easy with just a floor pump, and as my dude Francis also has them on his Stans and also mounts them using just a floor pump I assume that with wider rims they are easy-peasy to mount.

I tried running them as low as 20 psi, and then they felt squirmy and like they were going to burp off the rim (the DT again), but at anything around 23/24 psi made me feel confident, and usually I ran them at 25/27 for my 162 lbs fat ass, and never had any issues with folding-burping-squirming.

This tire is supposed to be one of those one tire does it all for all season riding, and it’s as simple as that. They seem very average on all surfaces, road, roots, you name it…

In the mud they definitely don’t inspire, and the mud shedding capabilities are very bad, but I still had some grip although the tires were completely caked after 6 laps. The only case where I found I had a little bit of an upper hand on people with other tires was just slightly slick grass, and that’s about it, although even then they didn’t inspire confidence, just that everyone around me was crashing on their fancy tubulars…and I was just sliding. In dry conditions they felt just a little skiddish, on asphalt sections they felt a little sluggish.

The durability seems to be surprisingly good, they got through a season of riding without a glitch, not even a significant sign of wear, and no flats. And yes did I mention they are light, 370g per tire, super light for tubeless cross tires, so for tubeless weight weeners not bad at all. Still, I just never fell in love with these…

But if you get them for free, I’d definitely say don’t throw them away…