Here at Cycle Art we have always sought out brands that stand out from the crowd and offer some of the very best quality in their sectors. Le Col is one of those brands. This is their story in their own words.
“After over 20,000 thousand hours in the saddle as a professional cyclist and rider for team GB, Yanto Barker founded Le Col in 2009. We are a team of performance, design and cycling specialists united by a desire to create a cycling apparel brand with a single-minded focus on performance. We take real pride in what we do and our purpose is simple but enduring: We deliver the best possible technical products to help you to achieve your potential on every ride.
And because it’s aimed at supporting you through toughest hours in the saddle – our brand is named after some of toughest climbs around the world: Le Col.
At Le Col, we’re determined to design and manufacture the best technical kit in the world. That means we’re continually searching for ways to make to improve our products. It’s why we bought our own factory in Treviso, Italy – an area with renowned expertise in high performance sporting apparel and the latest technical materials. We believe whole heartedly in investing in expertise, which is why we bought the factory at a time when many other cycling brands were abandoning the area in search of cheaper alternatives.
Thousands of hours of ‘road testing’ in the pro peloton have gone into each one of our products, and no detail is ever too small. Everything we do is informed by rider experience, market research, and technical development, which is why we support a number of professional cycling teams in their bid to be the best too.”
Mavic appear to be late comers to the tubeless party but Mavic established to UST standard way back in the 1990s. Only recently have new materials and greater accuracy in manufacturing allowed the UST rim and tyre standard to be brought to the road. Mavic claim that UST is the only true tubeless standard and the dimensions of the rim and tyre must meet very strict standards to be branded UST. Bold claims like this are one thing but it is what happens out here in the real world that really counts.
So how good is UST road? Very good is the answer. These are by some distance the easiest road tubeless wheels and tyres to set up. Anyone who has struggled to get their tubeless tyres on the rim and then inflated will know how difficult this can be for some combinations of rims and tyres. The Yksion UST tyres are reassuringly snug but not frustratingly tight. The go onto the Ksyrium Pro UST rims easily with no need to resort to tyre levers and take just a little more persuading onto the new Open Pro UST rims, probably due to the rim tape needed to seal the rims. The trick for those of you new to tubeless is to push the tyre into the well in the middle of the rim where it will become slacker making the tyre much easier to fir and remove. Once inflated, which is easily achieved with a standard track pup or even a mini pump the tyre will pop over the step in the rim and seal. Just add about 30-40mm of sealant and you are good to go.
So what happens if you puncture? Well you probably wont as pinch flats are eliminated and the sealant in the tyre will deal with most small punctures before you even notice you had one. If the tyres dont seal just add an inner tube in the normal way-its that easy. Just carefully check for thorns and debris as there may be more than one. Living with tubeless is a bit like living with latex tubes in my experience, they will need topping up with air more often and once in a blue moon the sealant will need a top up. This can be done through the valve once the valve core is removed or the even simpler way is to just pop a little bit of the tyre bead off the rim and pour some in.
Right our tyres are on, sealant in and we are ready to ride. What are they like? If these tyres could be summed up in one word it would be smooth, or even smoooooth. Tubeless tyres can be run at lower pressures and the wider internal width of the excellent Open Pro rims supports the 25mm tyres tested-24.8mm measured-very well. I ran them at around 70psi according the the pump gauge and they felt sublime. There was an instant difference compared with the 25mm Clement LCVs on Ksyriums that they replaced. Grip levels were also improved with no slip at all on damp autumnal roads. The only criticism I could find was that they dont make that delightful “singing” sound that you get with many high end tyres, more of a low hum.
The Open Pro UST rims are also an excellent update to the Mavic range. Slightly wider than previous Mavic offerings with causing any clearance issues, much stiffer than previous Open Pros and of course tubeless ready these rims built into a 1450g wheelset using 24 DT Super Comp spokes on superb DT 240hubs. The 2 cross spoke pattern enhances the smooth ride from the tyres and make a wheelset that should last many years. Indeed these hubs have covered many thousands of miles wearing Stans rims until the rims wore out-the hubs have had zero maintenance and feel great.
The future is tubeless. If you want to see for yourself how easy tubeless can be or feel the benefits on your own bike come and see us. We have test wheels from Mavic and if your bike is compatible you can try my hand-built wheels. Just bring them back for 5pm so I can ride home on them.