Summer is here and so now is a good time to upgrade the tyres on your bicycle. The Hutchinson Fusion 3 x-Light tyres are a fast-rolling lightweight option.
As its name suggests, this is a lightweight version of the regular Fusion 3 tyre. Changes to the casing reduce the weight from 210g to 177g. It's a small saving, equating to to a 66g saving with both tyres fitte, but remember that it is a reduction in rotating weight which you're more likely to notice than 66g saved in a lighter handlebar or seatpost.
The tread features a three compound makeup. A hard rubber is used down the centre of the tyre to provide the low rolling resistance while also increasing durability, so they don't wear out too quickly or puncture too easily. On the shoulders is a softer rubber to provide plenty of cornering grip when you're leaning the bike over. An intermediate rubber provides a transition between the centre and shoulder.
The tyres lived up to their promise, providing a fast ride with good traction in a range of situations and conditions. Compared to the Michelin PRO 4 tyres they replaced, run on the same wheels and bike at the same pressures, and riding the same roads, the Hutchinson's don't quite feel as supple and smooth on the rougher road surfaces. They do have the edge when the gradient kicks up.
A Kevlar belt is laid under the tread and provides very good puncture protection. Certainly no punctures so far during the time I've been riding them. Now I've said that I'll probably get a puncture on my next ride.
After about 500km of riding, the tyres show no signs of the state of the roads, there's no cuts or slices in the tread, so durability is looking good so far so far. They're not cheap at £43 each, and it's likely, though this remains to be seen this early in the test, that they won't do as many miles as the regular Fusion 3 tyres. If you want to shed some weight and have some hilly sportives planned this summer, they're a worthy upgrade.
They're only available in 23mm width.
Fast and light tyre with impressive traction and durability. An ideal summer race/sportive tyre.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Hutchinson Fusion 3 x-Light tyres
Size tested: n/a
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?
The world beating Fusion tyre. Features a 3-compound tread to optimise durability, acceleration and cornering grip. Competition style slick profile.
Like the Atom Comp X-Light, the Fusion 3 X-Light is optimised for greater efficiency, reduced resistance and lighter weight.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Triple compound technology enables three rubbers with different properties to be used together to help get the best from your tyre.
The hard rubber in the centre increases durability and resistance to cuts and abrasion while also providing low rolling resistance.
The intermediate rubber guarantees progressive acceleration in corners and safety. The very soft lateral rubber offers unequalled grip, inspiring full confidence when cornering aggressively.
KEVLAR Pro-tech tyres are made from a casing reinforced with a soft and very dense 100% Kevlar belt. Enclosed under the tread, this under-layer increases the tyres' ability to withstand cuts and punctures by more than 50%.
A speedy tyre that excels on climbs but isn't the most supple, but we're splitting hairs here, they're really very good tyres.
After 500km they are in great condition, with no cuts or gashes, despite the poor condition of the roads I ride on regularly.
There are few clincher tyres lighter.
Compared to the excellent Michelin PRO 4 Service Course tyres, they didn't feel so good at absorbing the ripples in the road, with a slightly harsher ride, but the difference between them is very small.
Most top-end tyres cost about the same, so they're at least in the ballpark. However, it's perhaps not a tyre you'd want to ride all year, instead saving them for summer and Sunday best riding
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They delivered good performance that is on a level with most other top-end tyres.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The lower weight. Grip through the corners is very good.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing springs to mind.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.