After having been placed on the backburner for a couple of years Schwalbe have finally released their much awaited ProCore tyre system aimed at the aggressive trail rider through to downhill racer.

The system revolves around their patented core, an inner chamber of the tyre that is inflated to relatively high pressure around which the ‘tubeless’ tyre is mounted. This results in a small tubeless chamber that can be run at extremely low pressure without fear of rolling off the rim or flatting. System requirements are rims with an internal measurement of at least 23mm and you’ll need to run tyres 2.3 or wider.

While you may have seen initial prototypes featuring the requirement for a second valve through the rim, one to inflate the core, the other for the tyre, Schwalbe have developed their ProCore tube which features a smart two-stage valve that allows inflation of either chamber with a simple twist.

Procore

Fitting

This is a LOT simpler than you’d imagine, especially given that Schwalbe provide everything you’ll need in the box. Basically you fit rim tape as usual, make a small hole for the valve and DO NOT throw away the small piece of sticky plastic that covers this hole – it seems useless but it’s actually pretty vital to the sealing around the ProCore valve.

Fit the rim tape. Fit the rim tape.

Fit the ProCore inner tyre with its tube inside, making sure that the Air Guide lines up with the small release hole in the inner tyre and give the tube a few psi just to give it some shape. Fit your chosen tyre around the whole thing using some Schwalbe easy fit to keep the whole thing slippery and beading up and you’re pretty much done. Pressure wise I started the test at 45psi in the core and 15psi in the outer.

Fit the inner tyre Fit the inner tyre

Lube the bead Lube the bead

Inflate the inner, then the outer  -then go! Inflate the inner, then the outer -then go!

On the Trail

Holy traction batman! The instant difference in grip on all surfaces is immediately noticeable but grip under hard braking is where I noticed the difference the most. The ability to stay off the brakes longer and know you can slow down a lot faster is a pretty good fun experience. I found very quickly that I could lean my bike further, corner harder and take the less groomed lines on ProCore. Playing with pressure, using a digital gauge as the pressures were so low, in the outer chamber I settled on 10psi for the duration of the test. At these low pressures the only initially off-putting thing is that the tyre makes lot of noise like it’s flat. You know that flappy rubber noise you get when you ride on a flat? ProCore makes that sound pretty much every time you hit a rock or root but you get used to it pretty fast.

Yes, it is kind of expensive but I would not compare ProCore to other tyre options as much as I would to new wheels. ProCore on the relatively narrow Stan's Flow rim rides easily as well as, if not better, than a pure tubeless tyre set up on a much wider rim. So if you have been considering going to a wider wheel set, $349 to achieve similar ride quality actually makes it seem reasonably inexpensive.


Hits: -

a huge increase in traction

wide rim benefits without the upgrade cost

relatively simple setup

Misses:

Rim and tyre restrictions

RRP - $349

Sizes – 26, 27.5 and 29 inch

From: bikebox.com.au