Second Look: Hutchinson Sector 28 Tubeless Tires

After analyzing three years of visitor stats for the GRAVELBIKE site, it’s pretty clear that people like reading about tires. This year alone, five of the top-ten articles have been tire reviews. One of the more popular pieces is last summer’s review of Hutchinson’s Sector 28 tires. With the increased interest in road tubeless setups, we decided to give the Sector 28s a second look.

When we first tested the Hutchinson Sector 28 tires, we paired them sans-tubes with Pacenti SL23 rims. That combination produced an extremely smooth ride, but the tires’ tight fit made us dread a roadside tube swap if the sealant failed to fix a puncture. So for this go-around, we opted to test the Sector 28 tires with and without inner tubes on rims of various widths.

Sector 28 front (tube)
Sector 28s installed with inner tubes on HED Ardennes Plus LT wheels.

Installed with inner tubes on both narrow and wide wheelsets, we were pleasantly surprised at just how lively the Sector 28 tires felt. Fitted with 80g Mavic tubes, the Hutchinson tires retained most, if not all of their supple tubeless feel. Despite a minor weight penalty, acceleration was on par with lighter tires of similar size such as the 700×28 Panaracer Gravelking (using identical rims and tubes). Interestingly enough, we ended up running the same pressure (70-75 front, 80-85 rear) with inner tubes and in tubeless mode.

For our tubeless testing, we used HED’s Ardennes Plus LT wheels and Caffelatex sealant. Mounting the Sector 28 tires was effortless with the 25mm-wide HED rims, and the beads seated at 50-60psi using a standard floor pump. As we stated in our original review, the Hutchinson tires can be run at lower pressures (in tubeless mode) without negatively affecting performance. This was even more apparent with the wider HED wheels, as the rims’ extra width gave the tire a more pronounced u-shaped profile.

Sector 28 (tubeless)
The Hutchinson tires set up tubeless using Caffelatex sealant.

Tire manufacturers may be slow to embrace tubeless technology for road use, but Hutchinson’s Sector 28 is a real bright spot in today’s market. The French company has succeeded in delivering the advantages of tubeless tires (puncture resistance, safety) without sacrificing the performance of lightweight clinchers. Riders looking to explore dirt and gravel roads without the worry of pinch-flats would be well served by the Sector 28 tires.

Disclosure: Caffelatex, HED, Hutchinson, and Mavic provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation in exchange for editorial coverage.

11 thoughts on “Second Look: Hutchinson Sector 28 Tubeless Tires

  1. Running tubes at low pressure = asking for pinch flats. The fact that your tire can be ran tubeless wouldn’t help at all.

    1. I occasionally run 28mm (tubed) tires at 50psi front and 60psi rear without pinch-flatting (on hardpack dirt and gravel roads), even at close to 200 pounds.

  2. How often do you need to inflate the Hutchinson’s in tubeless mode? I ask because I am use to running Conti Gatorskin tubulars and I only have to inflate them once a week or so. Seems like a good tubeless system should be able to reproduce that. Or, that is what will get me to go tubeless.

    1. I pump them up 2-3 times a week, which is on par with with the other 700×28 tires (with tubes) that I use.

  3. what was the tire width of the sectors on the Plus rims? I’m interested in the combination but only have 34mm clearance in the chain-stays…

  4. Im about 200 lbs and used to running 40 c at 60 psi.
    Just set the sectors up, the min pressure says 100 or so for my weight. Whats the lowest i can run these to get a non concrete feel from them? A little scared of burping or blow outs on big fast gravel hills… but at that high of pressure i feel i will fly off the road..

    1. For pavement, I typically run 70 psi front and 80 psi rear. On dirt or gravel I’ll drop the pressure 10-12 psi.

  5. I used to love them, but not a fan anymore….. Sidewall protection lacking. I’ve cut two sidewalls on two tires. Both times I have no idea how they were cut, but the sealer doesn’t have a shot at sealing it. I’ve heard Hutchinson is redesigning them thru the interwebs and my LBS, but the proof will be in the pudding of the next generation. Still looking something with the feel of the Sectors, but with increased durability. Life is too short to change tubes on a training ride.

    1. I’ve had the same problem. I blew through 3 rear tires in 1700 miles of regular all-around riding. Ironically, the longest stretch (probably 1000 miles) came on a patched sidewall gash. I do commute, partly through the city, and I ride a bit of dirt, but I used to very regularly get 2500+ miles out of my Contis on the same terrain. These tires ride great, but the durability is crap – especially considering what most folks running 28mm tubeless tires will want them to be able to do. And these are expensive tires at $100+ retail. Anybody have good suggestions for a 26-28mm tubeless tire for mostly road and some occasional dirt/gravel riding?

Comments are closed.