For early adopters of road tubeless, there has been one common request: larger tires. Thanks to their puncture resistance and sealing abilities, road tubeless seems like an excellent choice for gravel and dirt roads if there were simply tires suited for the purpose. Hutchinson looks to have answered that request with their long awaited Secteur 28. Originally created as the Intensive 28, the new Secteur promises 28mm of ride comfort, traction, and durability.
Does it deliver? Find out, next.
Designed more as a fat road tire, the Secteur has a completely smooth center section with knurled shoulders. You’ll never lean far enough over on the road for the shoulders to touch, but if you’re riding off road and the tires dig in a bit there may be some added traction from the texture.
As far as real world sizing is concerned, mounted to 23mm wide Bontrager TLR rims the Secteur 28 measured only 27.3mm even after fully stretched (both front and rear). Considering the Bontrager R3 25mm tires measured 25.9mm, the smaller than advertised sizing may leave some hoping for large tires disappointed. On the plus side, the tires are still pretty light for even a 27mm tire at 285g.
The good news is that once seated the tires hold air incredibly well with Hutchinson’s Protect’Air Max. It’s worth noting that the fluid installation method mentioned in the last post with the ketchup-style vavle works surprisingly well. No need for cups, straws, or tools, just open the valve, push the bottle over the valve stem, and squeeze. No mess, no fuss. To inflate the tires, you will need an air compressor and some patience to seat the tires at least in my experience with the Bontrager rims (the Bontrager tires were much easier to mount on the same rims).
As for tire clearance, the Secteur 28s were mounted to a Raleight Revenio 4.0 we have in for review. Installation through the Ultegra brakes was simple with the brakes opening wide enough to not have to force the tire through the pads. Clearance in the frame is adequate, though on a muddy mulched trail that linked two sections of pavement I was riding, I was able to pick up enough crap that the tires completely jammed. In this case the smaller width might actually be beneficial because if they were any bigger they probably wouldn’t fit in most road frames.
Overall, as the current leader in fat road tubeless the Hutchinson Secteur 28 is great choice for riders looking for something bigger than a 25. Ride quality on the Secteurs isn’t the best on the market, but at the 80-90 psi sweet spot (80 for me at 150 lbs) the tire rides pretty comfortably and feels fast for its size.