There are only so many miles you can eek out of tyres and I think with my recent set of Hutchinson Fusion 5 All Seasons I had pretty much reached that limit. A long time after they lose their peak performance, run out of tread and square off you start to spot patches of the tyre where there’s no longer any rubber and the carcass beneath shows through. This is when you’ve definitely got your money’s worth, for sure!
This tyre was on my front wheel, so it completed significantly more miles than the rear one did. When the rear needed replacing last year I chose to try out a Hutchinson Sector tyre. Just the one as I wanted to see if a 28c tyre would fit, which it did, although only just. The plan then being to move over to 28c tyres going forward. However having had plenty of miles on the 28 Sector, I finally decided that I didn’t like how they bulged on my narrow rims, I also didn’t like the Sector tyre as it really doesn’t grip well in the cold and especially in the cold and wet. We get a lot of cold and wet here in the UK!
So wanting to get rid of the Sector and needing to replace the Fusion 5, I decided to buy a new pair of Fusion 5 tyres. This time plumping for the ‘performance’ variation rather than the ‘all season’ that I’d had before. I do have the Tour of Cambridgeshire coming up after all. On top of the switch to ‘performance’ I also gained from the new 11storm compound which the new Fusion 5 has that the old Fusion 5 didn’t. Maybe they should have called them the Fusion 6 to avoid confusion. Or even Fusion 7 as there wasn’t a 4 and the previous ones were the Fusion 3. Anyway enough of the Hutchinson naming schemes!
So a pair of Fusion 5 Performance tyres went on to my road bike in size 25c, which I think is the size that best suits my wheel rims. This happened a couple of months back now so I’ve had a good amount of riding time to get a feel for them. I will give you my feedback and let you draw your own conclusions.
I am definitely quicker on the bike now than I was earlier in the year and this has coincided with the change to these new tyres. That’s the simple facts, now for the conclusion drawing! This tyre change coincided with a change in weather conditions here in the UK, I have been riding in better conditions since changing to the new tyres. I have of course also been training quite hard for the Tour of Cambridgeshire and so I am probably faster in part due to my own hard work – or at least I hope that’s the case. Then there is always the fact that an old worn out pair of tyres is going to be slower than even they were from new.
So here is my subjective opinion. These may or may not be quicker than my last tyres, I feel like they are, if only a little bit. These may or may not be quicker than other tyres on the market, who knows, but I do feel like they are at the quick end of the range of available option for clincher wheels. I have ridden a few tyres from various brands over the years and these seem to be among the best.
So far grip has been very good but I haven’t yet ridden through a winter on them. Fitting was very easy. They go onto my Campag Zonda 2-way fit wheels very easily and they pumped up, seated and sealed tubelessly without any issues. Although these days I do have one of those tubeless canister type things, so that probably helps. But then I’ve never had the issues with tubeless that other people seem to report, for me it’s just been an easy ride! When I say that they go on easily, I mean it – I can get these tyres onto the rims without any use of tyre levers (on a warm day in the spring; expect to need tyres levers on a cold winter evening in the rain by the road side).
I’ve run these tyres tubeless from day 1, so I have no experience of how they feel with a tube in. Of course you can do so if you prefer and I will continue to carry my spare tube with me just in case. You never know what might happen and having a tube on hand is also useful for other riders, who might need to ‘borrow’ one.
So in summary. I’m very pleased with these tyres. If you’re not going tubeless then there are a load more options to consider. If you are going tubeless then I can thoroughly recommend these Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performance 11storm 700x25c tyres! I will definitely be moving them across to my new bike when I get it built up. But that’s another post entirely.