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Tires for gravel on road bike?

March 31, 2020, 12:28 a.m.
Posts: 18109
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

Posted by: PaulB
Thread resurrection... What size tires are you using on road/CX/gravel bikes on trails like Fisherman's, Spur 4, or grinding up Mtn. Highway?   

As big as you can to suit the terrain. Tubeless.

In order of decreasing speed and fun on smooth trail/medium gravel in the LSCR:

My 100 mm Ti hardtail has 29x2.5 tubeless

My Revolt has 700x38 tubeless

My Anyroad had 700x30 tubes

Of course, on the road the opposite order applies. For mostly road and smooth, light gravel, the tubeless 700x38 is superb. Tubeless is the key here.

We’ve also ridden rough logging road gravel on our 700x30 (bone-jarring) and our Reigns (2.5” with suspension is the way to go here!). Have yet to test out the Revolt, but I’m leaning toward a suspended MTB on heavy rough logging road type gravel. (FYI, I consider Fishermans & Mtn hwy a smooth, medium to light gravel).


 Last edited by: heckler on March 31, 2020, 12:29 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
March 31, 2020, 7:47 a.m.
Posts: 1781
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Have the schwalbe G one bite tires on my gravel bike. Great traction and rip pretty good on the road. Been very surprised on how well they perform.

March 31, 2020, 9:03 a.m.
Posts: 2278
Joined: April 2, 2005

gravelking slicks

March 31, 2020, 10:34 a.m.
Posts: 132
Joined: Feb. 8, 2016

Posted by: heckler

As big as you can to suit the terrain. Tubeless.

BIG is key IMO. I bought a Norco Threshold cross bike to race and ride some gravel and my big takeaway is that comfort is everything on gravel. I'm running WTB Resolute 42mm tires for everything and I've been pretty happy, although if they made them bigger, I'd size up. I'll ride bridle path, sticks and stones, high school league, greenland, bottletop on my cross bike (basically treat it as a late 90s xc bike) so more aggressive rubber the better for me. WTB Nano 40 also looks good with some more aggressive side knobs for cornering. 

Even if the tread is overkill for what you're after, the extra volume helps keeps the body from getting too beat up.

March 31, 2020, 12:22 p.m.
Posts: 140
Joined: Jan. 21, 2013

If 700 wheels:

700 x 42c is a common size, and for good reason. Maxxis Ramblers are nice and light, but tend to wear out a little quickly. Easy tubeless setup though.

650b is another realm altogether.

March 31, 2020, 12:32 p.m.
Posts: 1781
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Posted by: DangerousDave

Posted by: heckler

As big as you can to suit the terrain. Tubeless.

BIG is key IMO. I bought a Norco Threshold cross bike to race and ride some gravel and my big takeaway is that comfort is everything on gravel. I'm running WTB Resolute 42mm tires for everything and I've been pretty happy, although if they made them bigger, I'd size up. I'll ride bridle path, sticks and stones, high school league, greenland, bottletop on my cross bike (basically treat it as a late 90s xc bike) so more aggressive rubber the better for me. WTB Nano 40 also looks good with some more aggressive side knobs for cornering. 

Even if the tread is overkill for what you're after, the extra volume helps keeps the body from getting too beat up.

Just got the gravel bike not long ago. It's tons of fun on the easier MTB trails. Will try a knobbier tire in the fall.

The only thing that gets sore are my wrists when it gets janky. Next thing will be putting a seat dropper on it.

March 31, 2020, 9:08 p.m.
Posts: 18109
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

Posted by: Brocklanders

Posted by: DangerousDave

Posted by: heckler

As big as you can to suit the terrain. Tubeless.

BIG is key IMO. I'll ride bridle path, sticks and stones, high school league, greenland, bottletop on my cross bike (basically treat it as a late 90s xc bike) so more aggressive rubber

The only thing that gets sore are my wrists when it gets janky. Next thing will be putting a seat dropper on it.

And a 100 mm fork.  And flat bars. And wait a minutesss......

I tried Bridle and High School on the Revolt Advanced.  Wrong tool for the job. Made it plenty challenging and techy, and the gaping looks you get are fun but I was worried the whole time about the bike folding on me.   That what Mtb are for.

April 1, 2020, 11:53 a.m.
Posts: 1781
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Posted by: heckler

Posted by: Brocklanders

Posted by: DangerousDave

Posted by: heckler

As big as you can to suit the terrain. Tubeless.

BIG is key IMO. I'll ride bridle path, sticks and stones, high school league, greenland, bottletop on my cross bike (basically treat it as a late 90s xc bike) so more aggressive rubber

The only thing that gets sore are my wrists when it gets janky. Next thing will be putting a seat dropper on it.

And a 100 mm fork.  And flat bars. And wait a minutesss......

I tried Bridle and High School on the Revolt Advanced.  Wrong tool for the job. Made it plenty challenging and techy, and the gaping looks you get are fun but I was worried the whole time about the bike folding on me.   That what Mtb are for.

Haha , Yes I agree what you are saying,  I guess I like the challenge. Something new is always refreshing.

April 4, 2020, 2:28 p.m.
Posts: 13016
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Posted by: Brocklanders

Posted by: DangerousDave

Posted by: heckler

As big as you can to suit the terrain. Tubeless.

BIG is key IMO. I bought a Norco Threshold cross bike to race and ride some gravel and my big takeaway is that comfort is everything on gravel. I'm running WTB Resolute 42mm tires for everything and I've been pretty happy, although if they made them bigger, I'd size up. I'll ride bridle path, sticks and stones, high school league, greenland, bottletop on my cross bike (basically treat it as a late 90s xc bike) so more aggressive rubber the better for me. WTB Nano 40 also looks good with some more aggressive side knobs for cornering. 

Even if the tread is overkill for what you're after, the extra volume helps keeps the body from getting too beat up.

Just got the gravel bike not long ago. It's tons of fun on the easier MTB trails. Will try a knobbier tire in the fall.

The only thing that gets sore are my wrists when it gets janky. Next thing will be putting a seat dropper on it.

I treated myself to a Ragley Trig gravel bike two weeks ago, as a replacement for my pretty worn-out cross/hybrid commuter. And it really is a blast and tons of fun, once I got my head around the steering and position, not to mention the road bike gear-ratio feeling. 

But I think I replace the stock WTB Riddler tires (700x37c) for something a bit faster, Conti Contact Speed or back to Schwalbe Marathons. 

Anyone of you found anything a bit faster or slicker that holds up well to daily abuse and rough roads?

April 4, 2020, 7:40 p.m.
Posts: 1781
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Here is a good writeup and review of a bunch of different tires.

https://road.cc/content/buyers-guide/221961-25-best-gravel-and-adventure-tyres-30mm-tyres-go-anywhere-riding

April 5, 2020, 2:58 a.m.
Posts: 13016
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Posted by: Brocklanders

Here is a good writeup and review of a bunch of different tires.

https://road.cc/content/buyers-guide/221961-25-best-gravel-and-adventure-tyres-30mm-tyres-go-anywhere-riding

Thanks!

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