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.
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.
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.
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?
"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
TL Easy tubeless system
700x33mm also available
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.
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!
I've really clouted some rocks and scrubbed at the sidewalls. They're still looking fresh.
They're lighter than the full mud tyre and you don't really feel it out on the bike.
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.
About the tester
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. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.