Saturday, December 15, 2012

Review: Hutchinson Atom Galactik



Two years ago, I had the opportunity to review the Hutchinson Atom tubeless tire. In that review, I noted that as a dedicated racing tire, the Atom " just isn't providing the  level comfort I am looking for."

Now the next generation of the Atom is here, the Atom Galactik. I was fortunate to receive a pair for review at Interbike, and I have since put hundreds of miles on them in Colorado and even in the hills of north Georgia. So far, I am impressed.

The Atom Galactik Road Tubeless tire sheds 25 grams a piece from the previous version that it supplants. And while I am a committed weight weenie, I am also a rational member of the reality based community. Therefore, I would be lying if I told you I could instantly feel the difference in weight between the old Atoms and the Galactiks; I can't. This is especially true since I had previously mounted the stunningly light IRC Formula Pro Tubeless Light which claims to come in at 240 grams vs. the Galactik's 245. Unlike machined parts, tires are soft goods subject to greater manufacturing tolerances, so the difference here is negligible.

But in terms of riding characteristics, the Galactiks are very different from the IRC offering and even the previous Atom. The original Atoms felt so firm that they were almost rigid. It was as if they beefed up the casing while reducing the diameter of the Fusion 3s. In contrast, the Atom Galactiks feel somewhat more supple than the original Atoms. They accelerate well, grip nicely in corners, and tolerate road imperfections to a much greater degree than the old Atoms.

But at the same time, they still seem to retain the narrow profile, which appears much more like a 21c tire than the labeled 23c.  The IRC counterpart appears to be slightly wider and thinner, while offering an even more compliant ride, but the IRC it is a very thin tire and it appears to wear faster than the Galactiks.

The old Atoms were like a sports car that has bald tires and was lowered. It was great for racing, but not practical for luxury touring. The Atom Galactik is more like having a Porsche. It meets the needs of racers while being an acceptable tire for long distance riding.

With greater comfort and less weight, I have to say that I like the direction that Hutchinson is taking with their road tubeless line. Since the invention of road tubeless, Hutchinson has been the clear leader in the field. And as the peleton of road tubeless tires grows larger, the Galactik appears to be Hutchinson's statement that they intend to lead the pack and try to break away.

34 comments:

  1. Good review, thanks. Seems the Hutchinsons and the IRCs have yet to hit the retailers. Do you know of any on-line?

    Tom

    ReplyDelete
  2. OK, I'm ready to start running new 28c road tubeless tires from Hutchinson. Where are they,when can I buy some?

    T. Guy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please see my latest post, they seem to be coming "soon". I hope to be one of the first to test them.

      Delete
  3. very nice blog abt tyres love this tubeless tyres how can i buy it?

    Tires Financing | luxury Car Rims

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey Jason, how about reviewing some road tubeless tires we can actually get in the stores today, like Specialized's Roubaix in 700x 23/25c or Bontrager's offering of two models in two sizes? These seem to be new tires, different from Hutchinson's carbon fiber bead design.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the great info! I appreciate your comments regarding tires abbotsford.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The IRC counterpart appears to be slightly wider and thinner?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Wider and thinner", Jason? Could you go into the differences between the Hutchinson Atom Galactic and the IRC Formula Pro Tubeless Light from your June 23, 2012 test? Is the IRC tire marked "Made in Japan" in raised letters, and is the Hutch. marked "Made in France" in similar raised letters? Can you see any difference between the rubber bead seat areas of the tires, maybe the Hutch. has a sharper, more defined hook shape molded in? Does the IRC have a carbon fiber bead same as Hutch. or does IRC use something else?

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Sorry for the late response. The IRC tire appears has a wider profile, but a thinner casing than the hutch. I don't recall about the raised lettering, but I can check. I believe they both have carbon beads.

      Delete
  8. I was really wondering if the IRC is actually made in Japan or is it a rebranded Hutch. made in France.

    It seems that the Roubaix Road Tubeless from Specialized is "Made in Japan" and it seems to have a different bead seat than the Hutch. I wonder if the Spec. is a rebranded IRC? It is labeled 700x23/25c, and is a bit wider than a Hutch. Intensive, which we know runs somewhat narrower than a true 25c. I'm finding the Spec. Roubaix wears a lot quicker than the harder thermoplastic rubber in the Intensive, and I need to run a little higher pressure in the Roubaix than the Intensive. When I wear out one of them I'll do some destructive testing to see what the bead is made of.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You mentioned American Classic Tubeless road wheelsets. Just took delivery of Easton EA90 Tubeless disc brake wheelset, 1620g pr without discs, straight pull spokes, sealed hub no rim tape.

    I am doing gravel road race anti-epic, what tires are good tubeless for that do you think?

    Thanks,

    Doug

    ReplyDelete
  10. The IRC tire appears has a wider profile, but a thinner casing than the hutch. I don't recall about the raised lettering, but I can check. I believe they both have carbon beads.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for the great info! I appreciate your comments regarding

    ReplyDelete
  12. The Atom Galactik Road Tubeless tire sheds 25 grams a piece from the previous version that it supplants. And while I am a committed weight weenie, I am also a rational member of the reality based community. Therefore, I would be lying if I told you I could instantly feel the difference in weight between the old Atoms and the Galactiks; I can't. This is especially true since I had previously mounted the stunningly light IRC Formula Pro Tubeless Light which claims to come in at 240 grams vs. the Galactik's 245. Unlike machined parts, tires are soft goods subject to greater manufacturing tolerances, so the difference here is negligible.

    ReplyDelete
  13. But at the same time, they still seem to retain the narrow profile, which appears much more like a 21c tire than the labeled 23c. The IRC counterpart appears to be slightly wider and thinner, while offering an even more compliant ride, but the IRC it is a very thin tire and it appears to wear faster than the Galactiks.

    ReplyDelete
  14. And as the peleton of road tubeless tires grows larger, the Galactik appears to be Hutchinson's statement that they intend to lead the pack and try to break away.

    ReplyDelete
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