A routine tyre test almost ended in a high-speed spill for Wiggle staff member John Bann-Lavery. But was it the Hutchinson Performance 11Storm Tubeless Ready road tyres that made the difference?
As a rider who first used tubeless tyres on a gravel bike recently, I was really keen to see how tubeless translated onto proper tarmac on a road bike.
I used tyres from the French tyre manufacturer in my early cycling days in the 1990s. At that time, Hutchinson’s Kevlar reinforcement technology was an innovative feature for puncture resistance, and it’s been so successful that it’s still used on some models today.
Hutchinson has a long and strong heritage in road tyres, having been in operation since 1890. With that kind of experience I was expecting great things.
First up, the packaging of the Fusion 5 Performance tyre is impressive – the suppleness of the tyre is evident at the front while all the key information you need to know is clearly shown on the side panels of the box using some handy graphics.
Easy tubeless installation
I’ve fitted a few tubeless tyres before on gravel wheels, but this was my first go at setting up tubeless tyres on road specific wheels. It was an absolute breeze with the Hutchinsons. Notably, once the sealant was in, the tyre fitted easily over the rim without the struggle we are all too familiar with when fitting some tyres.
When it came to getting them to pressure, I used a standard track pump and the tyres went up first time to 85psi in the front and a more solid 90psi in the rear tyre.
It is important to pump quite vigorously at the beginning but there’s a sense of satisfaction when it works well, as was the case here with the Fusion 5s.
On the Road
After the stress-free installation, it was time to get these tyres on the road. The first thing I noticed was that they felt very lively and energetic, as opposed to some of the dead-feeling road tyres I’ve used in the past.
Comfort-wise, the nice 25c width and the tubeless aspect of the Fusion 5 Performance Tyre made for a relaxed ride. What really rounded off the experience was the sense of suppleness on even the bumpiest parts of the road, which matched the in-the-hand feeling when the tyres came out of the box.
At one point on my second ride with these tyres, I was cornering left on a dry road at just over 35kph when the rear wheel hit a small stone.
Once the tyre regained contact with the smooth road surface, it gripped immediately, and I couldn’t help but wonder if another tyre might have slid-out from under me.
I can’t say for certain whether the high level of grip and stability I needed in that moment was purely down to the Fusion 5 Performance tyres, but I was very happy to have them on the bike.
They certainly measured up to the test, and – at that speed - I was very glad they did.
Puncture Resistance and Durability
I’ve raced on various brands and levels of tyre over the years, and I can honestly say these are just as race worthy as they for use as a training tyre. The claimed weight of the tyre is 245 grams.
After around 300 kms of riding, some of which was on small lanes with hedges recently cut, I had no punctures or nicks in the tyres. Hutchinson claim the Fusion 5 Performance tyre will last beyond 4,000 kms and, while I didn’t ride that far on them, they are still in great condition after my test rides on a mix of smooth and rough roads.
Easy Set-Up, Excellent Performance
All-in-all, the Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performance Tubeless Ready Road Tyre is a great choice for any road rider looking for an easy tubeless set-up with excellent on-road performance at a reasonable price.