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REVIEW | Schwalbe's One road bike tyres

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Road bike tyres work hard for a living, in South Africa. We tested some Schwalbes to see how they shape (Photo: R24)
Road bike tyres work hard for a living, in South Africa. We tested some Schwalbes to see how they shape (Photo: R24)

Schwalbe's One sits in the middle of the German brand's range of road tyres.

It has a spread of capability that makes it usable for commuting, training and even racing.

Fitting the Schwalbe One requires a fair amount of patience and strength. It is a particularly tight fit and puts up a worthy fight trying to get it over the rim bead. 

The One range is currently only available as a 25c width (hopefully other sizes become available as stock floods in). If you want something wider the Durano is available in a 28c, but more suitable as a training tyre than an out and out race tyre.

Recommended pressure on the One is anywhere between 6- and 9-bar. The best compromise for local roads, potholes, manhole covers and a 65kg rider seemed to be 7-bar. That provided a speedy roll while allowing just enough give not to jolt your spine over an unexpected bump.

Used through the notoriously wet Cape winter (with the rain extending deep into springtime), the Schwalbe Ones spent a fair amount of time eschewing water from their path. 

Wet roads never instil confidence to lean the bike too far over in turns, but these Schwalbe road tyres seemed quite confident in these conditions. These tyres speedily navigated the tight turns of Champman's Peak on several occasions and were clearly capable of more than I was willing to attempt, regarding lean angle. 

In the dry, cornering abilities never gave any cause for concern. The Schwalbe One's fast-rolling nature was evident too, from the slightly higher speeds achieved on my familiar Sunday route, with fewer watts required to keep up the pace. 

A few high-speed sessions at the Killarney race track in the evenings demonstrated how much lateral grip the tyre delivers on a perfect road surface. It's easy to turn tightly and apply quick corrections mid-corner (which happens a lot in crit racing). 

The Schwalbe One tyres always feel composed right up to the limit, nonchalantly taking direction with ease. 

Even after a few thousand kilometres, these Schwalbe tyres still have that central rubber strip, that usually only lasts a few rides, before wearing away. I think that is a sign of very decent tyre durability. 

Schwalbe's One comes fitted with Raceguard Protection, the brand's puncture-resistant nylon fabric, which sits just under the tread. So far, it has proved its worth with no punctures to report on (yet). 

Even glass-covered bike paths, usually littered with riders sat on the side replacing tubes, had no influence on these Schwalbes. Obviously, the rubber becomes thinner with time and protection wears away somewhat, but after around 2000km on the current set, there are no puncture issues to report.

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