UKC

Gravel Tyre Recommendations

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 Boomer Doomer 24 Jul 2021

In connection to my previous post... what are peoples thoughts as to the best tubeless gravel tyre? I mix it up a bit and do long stints on tarmac, so rolling resistance is important, but then I also go on some fairly lumpy stuff and forest trails. I guess I'm looking for a very good allrounder.

In reply to Boomer Doomer:

> I guess I'm looking for a very good allrounder.

I think everyone is!  

My bike came with Schwalbe G One Speed. Smooth and fast on road and ok in dry conditions off road, but seemed really puncture prone. Annoyingly the ones that were stock on the bike weren't tubeless ready and I couldn't get the sidewalls to stop leaking sealant. I went back to my old Marathon Pluses (tubed) for a year I guess, but heavy and rigid feeling. So under peer pressure I bought Gravelking SKs, but found them poor in various ways - see: http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.com/2020/05/vittoria-trail-tech-g-tubeless-ready.html I've had the Vittoria ones on for a year with no issues at all. One slow puncture when I hadn't added any sealant for 6 months. Done maybe 3500 kms on them. The back has run smooth, the front looks like new still. 

I'm hoping to do some off-road bikepacking this summer so just bought some Goodyear Connectors, 40 mm at the back and 50 up front. They went on my rims really easily, and I rode them today on a local loop that I would normally take my MTB on. They seemed great, particularly the fat one at the front on rocky and loose stuff but I'm sure slower on road. Set a number of PBs on the off-road uphills. Can't say more than that, so far, but great first impression!


 Marek 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Boomer Doomer:

I mainly use 40mm Maxxis Ravagers on my 'sensible' bike. Might loose a few percent in speed on tarmac (against something like Gravelking slicks - which I also use occasionally), but the security, comfort and grip can't be faulted (tubeless @ 30/35psi). I don't race, so I'm happy with that compromise. The Ramblers are supposed to be slightly better for rolling resistance.

 Boomer Doomer 24 Jul 2021
In reply to TobyA:

I'm liking the look of the tread pattern on those Goodyears, looks like a good compromise, that I will definitely look into and also have a look at the Vittorias... of course sourcing them could be an issue, as it seems with most things bike related ATM. I definitely don't want slicks... I have a summer and a winter bike on 28s and 25s respectively for the roads and I have a mountain bike with 50s for messing around in the woods. Thanks for the tips.

Edit: Nice looking bike!

Post edited at 22:01
 Boomer Doomer 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Marek:

Thanks Marek... I will have a look at those. I have Maxxis on my MTB and they're great.

 Joez 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Boomer Doomer:

I've moved from 40c 700 to 47c 650b and the difference is astounding. Much more suited to UK gravels (which let's be honest is basically 90s mountain biking)

Currently running Vitoria Terenno Drys (not that I can spell it) which have a surprising amount of traction considering how slick they are. 

I'm liking the look of WTB Rangers for when everything starts to get muddy again, but haven't tried them yet.

 Boomer Doomer 24 Jul 2021
In reply to TobyA:

Is that your blog? Nice one if it is... now quite interested in the Vittorias as well. 

 greg_may_ 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Boomer Doomer:

WTB Nanoraptors, have been for the past 6 years or so! Excellent tyres, do well on both tarmac and not-tarmac.  Once you get the slightly more durable version they tend not to fall apart a lot

Have some Terravail Cannonballs as well. Great rolling tyre, but have torn sidewall once while taking it around a gritstone loop, so haven't really gone back to them.

Found most offerings from Maxxis and Schwalbe to be lacking in any substance. 

In reply to Boomer Doomer:

Yeah, the blog is pretty dormant these days but I still occasionally stick some random gear review or similar up there. Not much ice climbing or middle East politics these days though! 

Those Vittorias seem unavailable now, I suspect Planet X bought up a load of old stock and that's why they were so cheap. Things like the Vittoria Terrano are probably just as good but cost about the same as all the other pricey models. When the school term restarts (I'm a teacher) I might put the Vittorias back on for commuting as they've been perfect for my 60/40 road/off-road commuting. I guess I can just swap them round so the tire that's still got tread goes on the back where it clearly gets more wear.

 crayefish 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Joez:

Wasn't there just a thread on this?  Maybe I'm thinking of mtbr...  anyway, agree with Terreno Drys.  Great grip, super comfortable (seems to be the super soft sidewalls), aggressive shoulder knobs for the slickness.  Overall great.

Only negatives for me are faster than usual wear on the rear (mine is a Terreno zero after only 500km) and average RR.  Still love them though.

 spenser 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Boomer Doomer:

I popped some 40mm continental Trail Terras on mine the other week. Really impressed with how much less rolling resistance compared to my 2.4 inch minions which were on before.

I would be happy riding the bridleway over the top of Froggatt on them (and did last weekend), probably not happy doing anything involving jumps on them (not that I do much of that anyway! 

In reply to Boomer Doomer:

I got good advice when I posted earlier in the year - https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/biking/tyres_for_road_and_easy_off_road-732562?v=1#x9431042

An update. I liked the Python2 and ran for some 1k miles. Coped with all I threw at them on “soft” off road use. A few punctures from thorns during hedge cutting period. I thought they had significant drag effect on road though and were quite noisy in relative terms.

Turned out with better weather I was actually doing more on road recently and so I put on Schwalbe Hurriances (they were available easily at the time) for a trial and have been impressed. Near silent on road yet, in dryer conditions of summer, have never felt out of their depth even miles off road albeit at the easier off road end - eg forest and farm tracks - although I’ve been over some pretty rough stony ground, steepish stuff, and the even done the occasional easy blue and red mtb trails that were on my routes.

I’ve only done something like 500 miles on the Hurricanes mainly in very dry conditions, no punctures, and have only two negatives. Main one is I’ve found they don’t like crossing the likes of uneven joins in tarmac with a height differential of up to 5mm or so at a very near to parallel angle; tenancy to be railroaded along the joint. I now am conscious of this so I make sure I increase the angle when crossing. Difference in height of more, eg off road banks, stones, etc. Are not a problem as the aggressive outer lugs bite.

Second negative, they weren’t easy to get on the rims and still are not it seems. I had to have a tyre off not long ago due to rim tape not sealing right, and was cursing the difficultly; even broke one of my plastic tyre levers in process!

HTH.

Post edited at 09:06
 ChrisJD 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Boomer Doomer:

I've been through quite a lot of gravel tyres...

This is my current go-to set up for Peak District MTB trails I ride on my gravel bike:

Front: Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M, 700 x 40mm (summer) 45mm (winter)

Rear: Hutchinson Touareg, 700 x 40mm;

Both Tubeless with liners: Front MSC Mousse; Rear Vittoria Airliner-gravel.

You can run surprisingly low air pressures, which really helps you to keep it together on the rougher stuff.

Post edited at 16:16
In reply to ChrisJD:

Tell me more about the rim inserts / liners please, I'm really struggling with tyre pressure and have had to straighten out a few rim dings so have been considering these. 

 ChrisJD 26 Jul 2021
In reply to thepodge:

Front: MSC Mousse. This is a very light liner; tried one in the rear, and shredded it.

https://terraventure.co.uk/products/msc-tires-mousse-insert-valves?variant=28324474519639

Great for the front providing just enough cushioning to minimise dings if you are running low pressures (I still get some, but worth it)

Rear Vittoria Airliner-gravel.

This is the DB. If you do spilt a tyre, you can ride home on it (which I've done).

https://www.vittoria.com/ww/en/bike-accessories/tire-inserts/air-liner-gravel

And still pretty light. Bit a knack to fit.

You'll need 40mm minimum for both these, else they will be a struggle to get them in.  I'm using with Pacenti rims, which seem to mount tyres really easily (still tend to use a compressor though).

I can run as low as 20 ish front, 25 ish back; great for when it get really rough / techy.

Post edited at 10:35
 Boomer Doomer 26 Jul 2021
In reply to ChrisJD:

Hmm... might have to invest in this for all of my tubeless set ups. Do you still use sealant with the Vittoria Airliner?

 ChrisJD 26 Jul 2021
In reply to Boomer Doomer:

> Do you still use sealant with the Vittoria Airliner?

Yes, set up just like normal tubeless.

 ChrisJD 26 Jul 2021
In reply to Boomer Doomer:

On my MTBs, I use Nukeproof Ard.   Right balance of cost & weight.

In reply to ChrisJD:

I'm running 38c which the website says is fine so I might give the Vittoria a go. Have you adjusted sealant volumes much?

 ChrisJD 26 Jul 2021
In reply to thepodge:

> Have you adjusted sealant volumes much?

I just pour it in, lol.  Measuring is not my strong point.

 Run_Ross_Run 26 Jul 2021
In reply to Boomer Doomer:

Clement (now know as Donnelly) X'plor mso.

In reply to Boomer Doomer:

Did about 60 kms yesterday evening, at times on pretty rough stuff; and then 50 kms home again today, again quite a lot of rocky and rough bridleways, and the Goodyear Connectors worked flawlessly. 50 mm at the front looks hilariously fat through the drops but makes the rough stuff a lot more approachable.


 Boomer Doomer 26 Jul 2021
In reply to TobyA:

Haha, yeah... it does look a bit "phat"!

I took the plunge and ordered a pair today (both 40mm). Thanks for the recommendation, I also saw lots of positive online reviews. I was quite tempted by the Vittoria Terrano Drys as well, but they were more expensive, harder to source and I was put off by their apparent short longevity.

Thanks everyone for the recommendations, if things don't work out with the Goodyears I now have more of an idea of what's hot and what's not.

In reply to Boomer Doomer:

They are a bit oldskool but WTB Nano 40's are great for mixed terrain riding, grippy in the corners, rolls reasonably well on smooth stuff because of the central ridge.

 Marek 27 Jul 2021
In reply to Boomer Doomer:

So to sumarise the thread so far (I'm also looking for a new gravel tyre and can't get the same as I've currently got) ...

The general consensus is that the best tyre is: (a) the one I've got - for a given definition of 'I', and (b) different than the ones everyone else recommends. Plus perhaps a liner.

Is that about right?

Of course the other key criterium is "whatever you can get at the moment", see above 

 Boomer Doomer 30 Jul 2021
In reply to TobyA:

The Connectors arrived yesterday. I put them on this morning and they both inflated first go with my chargeable foot pump. I then went for a 100K ride on mixed ground... tarmac, gravel, rocky roads, dirt, mud and grass. The only time they failed me was when I had to do a standing start on a 1 in 4 slope which was also wet and muddy, I couldn't get going, but then full on knobblies might have struggled. I was particularly impressed with the rolling resistance or at least my perception of it. They felt pretty fast on tarmac... it was fairly easy to hold 17 or 18 mph on the flat. Just have to see how they hold up over time, but at present I'm very pleased. Thanks again for the recommendation. 👍

In reply to Boomer Doomer:

I'm just home from a 2 night/3 day 350 km bikepacking trip, out through the northern end of Sherwood Forest, Lincoln, the Lincolnshire Wolds, Humber Bridge, the Trans Pennine Trail to Selby, then down to Doncaster, and home from there. The tyres were great, and appreciate the grip of the 50 mm one on the front in the forest sections which were a bit muddy under the trees, and going over any ruts and bumps when feeling a bit saddle sore! 


 Boomer Doomer 02 Aug 2021
In reply to TobyA:

Great effort Toby... that's the kind of biking I want to do more of. That 50mm looks even bigger in the first photo... HUGE!  😄 I stuck with 40s front and rear, but I doubt I'm anywhere near as extreme as you... though knowing me, I'll probably end up with a 50 on the front as well.


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