Updated on August 18, 2022
In spite of their resemblance to road bikes, gravel bikes’ tyre specifications are more closely aligned with the top hardtail mountain bikes’.
As soon as you leave the asphalt, many of the accepted realities regarding rolling resistance and grip are thrown out the window. Dramatically.
Unlike road bike tyres, which are generally slicks, gravel bike tyres have a completely different tread profile since they are designed for different types of riding.
Road bicycles don’t have to worry about sidewall punctures, but they are a significant problem off-road. Climbing, braking, and cornering grip on slick surfaces can all be affected by the movement beneath your wheels.
This is the exact opposite of a tarmac riding surface with high friction.
We’ve compiled a list of the best gravel bike tyres available right now to help you find the right balance of rolling resistance, ride comfort, and off-road traction.
There isn’t a quick and simple answer in this guide because there isn’t a ‘best gravel tyre’ that is perfect for everyone.
While there are excellent gravel tyres available for a variety of riding styles, it’s helpful to have a general notion of the type of riding you intend to undertake before shopping for a tyre. This way, you can narrow your search for the finest gravel tyre.
In the process of looking, you will be confronted with numerous choices.
Do you prefer them to be slick or highly treaded? How big do you want it to be? 700c or 650b. Do you like them to be 38mm or 50mm in width? Do you like ‘tan’ sidewalls or black ones? Is there a certain tubeless sealant that works well in these things?
That said, we can assist you in narrowing down your choices.
Choosing the best gravel tyres is as straightforward as neatly folding a fitted sheet, given the range of terrain you’ll encounter on a particular gravel ride.
There are many different types of surfaces to experience on a gravel adventure. As a result, you must find the ideal balance between grip, rolling resistance and puncture prevention while designing these tires.
Choosing the incorrect tyres may ruin a ride, even if you’ve spent a lot of time and money on the greatest gravel bikes and wheels.
Additionally, there are tyres of all kinds, from fat road bike tyres to what is basically mountain bike tyres, making the options overwhelming.
If you’re not sure what to look for, go ahead to our buying advice for gravel bike tyres if you’re not sure what to look for.
This combination of off-road grip and cushioning with light tread is what makes the greatest gravel bike tyres.
The ideal gravel bike tyres for you will rely on a variety of factors, including the terrain you ride on, the weather, your goals, and your bike’s capacity; not all bikes can handle the newer 45mm and 50mm rubber.
The best gravel bike tyres in 30mm to 55mm widths are included in our guide, which focuses on off-road capabilities.
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Best Gravel Bike Tire
- Without feeling heavy, Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M tyres provide plenty of grip. This is the work of Immediate
- Media’s David Cauvery.
- As tested, the cost was £55
- 700 x 35, 40, 45 mm and 650 x 45, 50 mm are the standard sizes.
- A 500g weight (40mm as tested)
- Highs/lows: Compound with excellent traction; excellent puncture resistance; strong; stable ride at low pressures; difficult to seat during setup
- Reliability on all surfaces throughout the year
- This is one of the best all-around gravel bike tyres, with plenty of traction and excellent puncture resistance.
Its aggressive tread design incorporates sharp knobs with a softer middle line, which balances rolling resistance on smoother roads with traction and mud-shedding as the paths become more rugged.
While providing great puncture resistance, the tire’s strengthened sidewall helps it maintain rigidity even at reduced pressures, helping to prevent any uncomfortable squirming or rim damage.
You can choose from a variety of 700c and 650b wheel sizes, as well as black or tan sidewalls, to get the right fit for you.
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- Purchase from Sigma Sports (£30) or Amazon (£48.46) right away.
- Cyclocross tyres for gravel
- WTB’s Exposure as a plush road tyre with gravel potential surprised us greatly. Andy Lloyd is the author.
- Prices start at £49.99 / $59.95.
- 700 x 30 mm and 36 x 30 mm are the standard sizes.
- Weight: 305 grammes (30mm as tested)
- Highs/lows: This tyre is available exclusively in slimmer widths, yet it’s a versatile all-road and light gravel bike tyre.
- Most suitable for: Rough, dry roads and hardpack
- “Hang on a second,” you can be heard saying. Even if you’re correct, a robust classics-style road tyre may be an alternative if the most of your gravel riding takes place on dirt roads or calmer terrain.
If you’re looking for something that’ll fit most road frames, including those with rim brakes, while providing greater comfort and durability than a pure road tyre, the Exposure tyre might be the best option for you.
Dry-packed dirt and pothole-ridden back roads are ideal conditions for this type of tyre, but loose gravel or mud are not recommended.
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- Purchase Sigma Sports (£49.00) today.
- Cyclocross tyres for gravel
- The GR1 Team Issue tyres from Bontrager are available in either a 35mm or a 40mm width. This is the work of
- Immediate Media’s David Caudery.
- Price: £49.99 / $64.99 / €49.99 / AU$79.99 in our tests as determined
- Size options are 70035mm and 400mm (tested)
- 410 grammes is the weight of this device.
- Highs/Lows: Best in loose, dry situations; ok in water; not designed for muck.
- Suitable for: year-round use on a variety of terrain.
- The GR1 Team Issue has a low-profile block tread that performs well in loose, dry conditions on a variety of terrain, making it an excellent all-arounder.
The GR1 features lightweight nylon inserts in its structure for additional sidewall puncture protection, which is built on a 120 TPI casing.
- Now is the time to buy from Sigma Sports (£38.00), Chain Reaction Cycles (£38.99) and Wiggle (£51.00).
rim and tyre
- For dry situations, the Continental Terra Speed dirt bike tyre is ideal. In the UK, the book is priced at £59.95 / $64.95 / AU$99.50. Tested at $92.99 / €62.49
- Available in the following measurements: 650B 35, 650B 40, 700C 35, 700C 40
- A 450-gram weight is claimed (650b 40 grammes).
- Highs/lows: Dry-ish rides are ideal, but mud is out of the question.
- Ideal for: Dry, mixed-terrain cycling that avoids very rough sections
- Continental’s gravel bike tyre lineup includes the Terra Speed as well as the Terra Trail. Due to its low lugs, low weight, and the German company’s BlackChilli compound, we found it to be an outstanding tyre for dry conditions.
Speed is increased on tarmac thanks to the shallow lugs, but grip is decreased compared to other gravel bike tyres because of this. While the Terra Speeds perform admirably on wet trails, we wouldn’t recommend them for use in particularly thick muck.
We’ve driven over 3,500 miles on these Terra Speeds and they’re still going strong. However, if you ride over rocks and roots on a frequent basis, we recommend a set of more durable tyres.
Tubeless compatibility is built right into the Terra Speed, and we had no issues getting it mounted on our wheels.
- Cyclocross tyres for gravel
- On racing cobbles, the Hutchinson Sector was developed to replace tubular. I’m Immediate Media’s, Ben Delaney.
- As tested, the price was £45 / $79.99
- Sizes: 700 x 28 mm and 32 x mm
- 295g claimed, 280g as tested (28mm) or 315g claimed (28mm) (32mm)
- Highs/lows: a road tyre that can handle cobbles and gravel, but not deep muck or snow.
- Cobblestones and fast, dry soil
- This tyre was designed as a more comfortable alternative to tubular and is a good choice for mixed surfaces when you don’t require the harsh tread of a gravel bike tyre.
Although it’s built to last, it weighs less than specialist gravel rubber and is faster on paved terrain as well6. .
- Tredz and Tweeks Cycles both have it for £38.50, while Amazon has it for £34.94.
- Cyclocross tyres for gravel
- Lighter than many of its rivals, the Maxxis Rambler is an excellent choice. Price: £46.99, $49.99, AU$79.99, as
- evaluated by Russell Eich/Immediate Media
- Sizes: 700 x 38 mm and 400 x 40 mm (tested)
- 375 grammes is the approximate weight.
- Lightweight; flexible casing; best suited to slicker dirt and gravel, not muddy ground
- Ideal for: Dry, smooth hardpack and gravel roads
- As Maxxis’ first step into the gravel bike tyre market, their breadth of tyre knowledge can be clearly shown with the Rambler. This dirt tread is faster and lighter than many of its rivals.
In order to maintain a fast rolling speed, the Rambler’s low-profile blocks are tightly packed in the centre, with bigger intermediate and shoulder knobs for cornering.
Even on bumpy roads, the 120 TPI EXO shell is soft enough to glide over them. In spite of the advertised width of 40mm, our test rims actually measured less than that, making them an excellent choice for riders riding cyclocross or gravel bikes with minimal clearance.
Smoother dirt and gravel roads are more suited to the Rambler’s capabilities. Low-profile knobs operate well on hardpack and sand over hardpacked roads.
7. G-One R
- The G-One R dirt tyre from Schwalbe.
- Compared to Schwalbe’s other gravel bike tyres, the G-One R has a unique tread design. Immediate Media / Warren Rossiter
- Cost: £70 for the evaluation unit
- Sizes: 700c x 40, 45mm; weight: 482g; possible options: (40mm as tested)
- Highs/lows: Installed quickly, these tyres deliver impressive speed and cornering stability, but at the cost of a
- higher price tag than other gravel bike tyres.
- Ideal for: Faster, smoother gravel rides.
- The latest tyre from Schwalbe is a gravel racing tyre designed for tarmac and light gravel conditions.
There is no shoulder on the G-One R, which has a thick, delicate tread pattern with close-spaced knobs.
The Super Race carcass protects the tyre against punctures while still providing a quick, smooth ride. Schwalbe’s dirt bike tyres include a special carcass that is said to reduce rolling resistance.
An excellent all-around player. Its sole drawback is its high cost compared to other gravel bike tyre options.
- Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
- Sigma Sports (£45.00) is the place to buy now.
- Cannonball Light and Supple Gravel Tire Teravail Teravail
- To set up tubeless, the Teravail Cannonball is one of the simplest tyres. This is the work of Immediate Media’s David Caudery.
- Cost: £50 in the tested condition
- Available sizes include: 650b x 40mm and 650c x 220.127.116.11 millimetres.
- Weight: 450 grammes (42mm as tested)
- Highs/lows: a breeze to install tubeless; excellent traction even when wet; excellent puncture resistance; heavier than advertised
- Suitable for: All-year-round mixed conditions
- Tires like the Teravail Cannonball provide excellent grip in wet or slushy conditions, and their tubeless setup is a breeze.
Chevron pattern tread is identical to the 2.1/2.2in Sparwood tyre, which is bordered by L-shaped shoulder knobs.
In spite of the fact that there are more winter- or mud-specific tyres on the market, the Cannonballs provide excellent grip in mud and puddles, as well as cornering confidence and a terrific pace on smooth hardpack and asphalt parts.
Choose between this version, which is light and supple, and a more sturdy one, which provides more resistance against punctures.
Methods for determining the ideal gravel tyre
The variety of gravel bike tyres on the market might be overwhelming. Using this guide, you may determine which tyre tread design and size, is most suited to your riding needs.
Is it better to have a bigger house or a bigger car?
The kind of terrain and frame clearance determines the appropriate tyre size. Increasing numbers of dirt riders have come to appreciate the benefits of a larger tyre casing in terms of ride comfort and reduced rolling resistance.
Exactly what is the best size?
To get the most out of your gravel bike, it’s a good idea to experiment with the widest tyres you can fit on the bike. When going from a 33mm to a 45mm casing, there isn’t much of a penalty in rotational mass, but the improvements in ride comfort over a five-hour gravel tour will be significant.
It’s important to note that larger tyres function best on wider rims, so make sure your rubber and wheel widths are compatible.
Injuries from pushing a few grammes are far worse than punctures
It is always preferable to have a rotating component with a low mass. In the case of gravel tyres, on the other hand, you should think twice before choosing a lighter casing with no additional layers of protective material attached.
In order to prevent a fun day out on your bike from turning into a series of puncture repairs, we always recommend adding nylon or composite layer to your tyre. There is a greater risk of a puncture or sidewall cut on a more adventurous gravel route because you are more likely to run into rougher trails or terrain.
Gravel tyres with extensive sidewall protection aren’t as heavy as ultra-lightweight gravel tyres. Punctures can be annoying, but they can also save you a few gramme. Using our reasoning, the slightly heavier gravel tyre with its
the protective sidewall is always the victor in this situation.
Keep it at the edge of your comfort zone
For the most part, the design of a gravel bike tyre is an evolution of the XC mountain bike tyre. For the least potential rolling resistance, most gravel tyres are real semi-slicks, with some having a completely bald central region.
Consider a track pattern with low centre knobs if you’re planning an off-road adventure ride because of the wide range of terrain.
Wet pebbles and roots will benefit from the braking bite provided by these tyres.
Edge blocks are by far the most critical descending element of any gravel tyre.
With sipes, the tread blocks may form and curve more flexibly over rooty or rocky terrain, improving grip and boosting your confidence in your riding abilities.
Hey, all I am Joe Marino I love to ride bikes and teach others how to ride them. Most of my articles are about which bike is best for others. I am passionate about cycling and it shows, whether I am writing about a $25 bicycle from any random website or a $5000 Santa Cruz.
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