Even the most frugal rider who resists the urge to upgrade, will still eventually have to spend some money on his or her bike. Things do wear out after all and one of those things that wear of course is your tyres. Much like on a car, it’s a gradual process that you don’t see happening, a process that can creep up on you unexpectedly. Unlike car tyres though, there’s no legal tread limit for bicycles, so forgetting to keep on top of things won’t be bringing you a nasty fine any time soon. I for one am happy about this as my departing rear tyre would have been well beyond it’s limit, with fabric casing showing through the bald patches.
The tyre I’d worn through was a Hutchinson Fusion 5 All Season in 700x25c and it served a good life, taking me through a total of 6557 km (thanks to Strava for the data!) as a rear tyre, the front one is still going strong. It was an excellent tyre choice and I deliberated a long time on whether to just replace it like for like, but then I wouldn’t have had anything to write about, would I?
So once I’d decided to switch I had to decide what exactly to switch to. Road Tubeless just about seems to be gaining some momentum, with a variety of new entries into the market. Zipp, Vittoria and Mavic in particular spring to mind and I quite fancied getting a tyre from one of those brands, to see what they were like. However it seems that my tyre need came too early for Mavic and Zipp with their models announced but very much unavailable. Vittoria on the other hand had released some time ago their ‘Corsa G+ Speed’, but being available only as a 23c and reviews showing it to be a low mileage race orientated offering, it wasn’t really something I could justify. Even though the reports of ‘fastest tyre ever’, made it very tempting.
So eventually I settled on another Hutchinson, they are after all great tyres. I could have gone for another Fusion 5 and had the new 11storm compound been available then I probably would have, but they don’t appear to have filtered through just yet. I also fancied moving up a size from 25c to 28c, assuming that my frameset would take a 28. So with a little research I determined that a Sector 28 would be a good choice. Reports suggested that it measures in just a little under 28 mm rather than a little over which I decided should give me a little more leeway for fitting, while still being significantly bigger than my 25s for added comfort and to allow for lower tyre pressures. Weight wasn’t a major concern of mine when choosing a tyre this time but it’s always going to be of interest of course. Hutchinson state 295 g +/- 7% and so I weighed the tyre that I received on my kitchen scales and got 288 g; nicely in spec!
On the rear of the packaging there is a good pictoral guide to fitting the tyre (as a tubeless) and additionally a guide to recommended pressures for light, mid and heavier riders. The tyre fitted on to my rims with very little effort, a far cry from the days of the 23c Fusion 3 tyre that you really had to fight with. With it being a larger volume tyre it also makes it easier to check that you’ve not snagged the bead on the sealing block of the valve too; you can easily fold the tyre back to check on this before you set about seating the tyre on the rim with a pump. I don’t have one of the new fangled ‘tubeless inflators’, I’ve only ever used my Topeak Jo Blow floor pump or my CO2 inflator to seat my tubeless tyres and this Sector was no exception. It’s worth pointing out though that this is a ‘tubeless ready’ tyre and not a fully sealed tubeless or UST tyre, so you will require sealant in order for it to become airtight and you will need to ensure the sealant gets well distributed around the inside of the tyre (note the pictures on the packaging).
Once the tyre is fitted, sealed and inflated I think it has a nice shape, even on my old-school narrower profile rims. Not too bulbous and I like the fact that there is minimal ‘pointless’ grooves on the tread, just an array of tiny knobbles around the shoulders. Clearance around the frame both at the seat tube and chainstays is ample in my opinion and I prefer the look of the bigger tyre closing those gaps anyway. Clearance through the brake calipers is a little more tight though and at the rear I’ve lost the adjuster screw so my caliper arm sits lower than it should, this does cause it to be very close, so I plan to replace the rear caliper to solve this issue. If I had a fully functioning caliper without any missing bits then this wouldn’t be a concern, so most people should be able to fit the 28c sector through their calipers without issue and without the needs for ‘long drop’ calipers.
As for tyre pressures, I’m quite enjoying running mine at around 60-70 psi. This is significantly less than recommended for my weight (68kg) on the packet, however I don’t have any feeling of drag or misshapen-ness due to the lower pressure so it’s good by me. Performance, longevity, grip, puncture resistance etc will all have to wait until a later date; I’ll ride it first for a good few km before trying to make a statement either way but all seems good so far, I have no initial complaints.
Although I only bought the one tyre and plan to keep my Fusion 5 on the front for a few kms to come. I did fit the sector to both of my wheels so that I could test the clearance front and rear. So I can confidently report back that the Sector 28 will also fit comfortably through the fork of my bike too, so when my front tyre comes up for replacement that’s what I shall be getting. I may not spend my money ‘willy nilly’ but I do like to have a matching pair all the same. I did of course get some stick from my riding mates about being tight and only buying the one tyre! Of course it’s actually for ‘environmental’ reasons! I can’t go wasting good rubber now can I?
If there’s anything I’ve missed out of this review or if you have any questions then go ahead and leave a comment below.