review

Schwalbe X-One Allround

9
£66.99

VERDICT:

9
10
Fast, grippy and easy to set up tubeless, they're excellent tyres and well worth the money
Weight: 
781g

Designed to offer off-road grip in mixed conditions and speed on the road, the Schwalbe X-One Allround is pretty much the perfect tubeless tyre for the privateer cyclo-cross rider. These provide decent grip in slick mud, but roll really well when the course is dry.

  • Pros: A great tyre for the whole UK cyclo-cross season; easy tubeless setup; safe at low pressures
  • Cons: I still prefer tubulars for pure racing; price is rather high

Cyclo-cross is a great way to have some fun in the winter while getting in a good workout. It can get rather pricey for equipment, though, so having one set of tyres that will allow you to race and also head out on the road helps. The X-One Allround is that tyre. I found these to be capable in all but the heaviest mud, but also happy to buzz along the road with ease.

> Find your nearest dealer here

The Allround sits in the middle of the X-One range. You've got the Speed for bone-dry conditions and the Bite for the worst mud. The Allround leans a little more towards the Bite in design. You've got prominent knobs that are really soft and flexible. They're spaced closer together on the Allround, and there are more of them. The central knobs are shorter than those on the Bite and all of this combines to give you a tyre that is faster on drier courses.

In fact, this is a fast tyre in general and it doesn't lose much to a wider road tyre. I took this out on quite a few rides with a mix of tarmac, gravel, grass and muddy forest trails.

Before you head out on these tyres, you'll probably be wanting to make them tubeless. From flat, I was easily able to get them seated on some Prime Black Edition wheels and a set of DT Swiss rims. There's no fuss involved which meant I was straight out on the bike, not wasting time in the shed. Schwalbe's TL-Easy system works perfectly.

For my 62kg weight, I was able to run these down at 20psi with no issues. I could have nudged them down to 18psi, but felt that burping the tyre would be too risky. For general riding, I found the mid-30s to be a good sweetspot for mixed terrain.

Even down at those super-low pressures, I've had no punctures after bottoming out on some pointy rocks.

Having previously reviewed the X-One Bite Microskin, the Allround certainly feels fast and I think it's a better option for a full UK cyclo-cross season, especially if you've got a summer league near where you live. Sure, the grip in the worst mud isn't as great and these won't clear as quickly, but you can solve the first problem with careful pressure choice and line selection.

> Your guide to cyclo-cross racing - the bikes, races and skills

> 6 reasons you should try cyclo-cross this winter

The weight is still not as good as a tubular system but 340g isn't bad at all. The X-One Bites I tested were 378g each so there's a decent weight saving with these. Another option is the Challenge Grifo. These now come in a tubeless version, but if you're just racing then the much more supple 300tpi Grifo Pro clincher (£67) would be my choice with latex inner tubes.

I'd still pick my tubulars for racing, but the X-One Allrounds have certainly opened up my options for the 'cross bike. It's also clear that a good tubeless tyre like this is a much better option for a combination of racing and general riding.

Overall, they're a great option for a CX bike that you want to use for more than just racing. The grip levels are good in all but the worst (best for CX) conditions, they roll very well on the road and are easy to set up tubeless.

Verdict

Fast, grippy and easy to set up tubeless, they're excellent tyres and well worth the money

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Schwalbe X-One Allround

Size tested: 35mm

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

From Schwalbe:

"Tubeless Easy for Cylo-crossers. The exceptional profile and OneStar rubber compound make the Schwalbe X-One the most versatile and unbelievably fast cross tire ever. To make it the absolute high-flyer, mount it without a tube on a tubeless-compatible wheel.

"In combination with the right wheel you can run tubeless tires for cyclocross with extremely low air pressures without fear of 'Burping' (unwanted air leakage). For instance, it works extremely well with the Iron Cross from No Tubes."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Width tested: 35mm

Microskin sidewalls

TL Easy tubeless system

OneStar compound

700x33mm also available

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

The construction is very good which quickly becomes apparent when you go to mount them up and they seat easily. The shoulder knobs are also very soft which is great for finding grip.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Fast, with enough grip for most conditions. Where these score really well is when you take them on a ride with lots of surface changes. They never felt out of place, well, not until the mud made things near-unrideable!

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

I've really clouted some rocks and scrubbed at the sidewalls. They're still looking fresh.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10

They're lighter than the full mud tyre and you don't really feel it out on the bike.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

These are getting towards the pricey end for tyres, but they do provide great performance and the TL Easy system works well.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

These are very good up until the mud gets super-slick. Then you'll just have to drop the pressures as much as you can.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The speed over mixed surfaces is really good. You can easily go for a leisure ride on the road on a Saturday, then go racing on the Sunday.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Get between the race course tape and these just don't feel as good as a nice tubular.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

A little high: the Challenge Grifo TLR is £54.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Fast, grippy, easy tubeless setup and slightly lighter than the X-One Bite. These are still not as good as tubulars for racing, but they certainly open up more options for a cyclo-cross bike.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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