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Panaracer Gravel King, World's Most Sadistic Tire?

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Panaracer Gravel King, World's Most Sadistic Tire?

Old 02-06-19, 12:10 PM
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Lemond1985
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Panaracer Gravel King, World's Most Sadistic Tire?

Third day and third set of wheels trying to mount these SOB's. They're the regular folding clincher version. I pride myself on being able to mount almost any tire using only my hands, time, patience, and some baby powder, But I'm ready to throw in the towel with these.

I've laughed at many an Amazon review where someone said a given brand of tires were impossible to mount. I fought probably 5 minutes just getting the opposite side of the tire onto the rim. I can only think of one other set of tires in 50+ years of wrenching on bikes fitting so tightly, and that was because they were the wrong size (anyone remember Schwinn's proprietary tires for 20" rims?)

Sent away for some Kool Stop tire levers, as a last resort. But these tires are just simply too small for any 700c rim that I own. And I know that if and when I do get them to mount, it will be a hollow victory once I get my first flat, and have to go through the same thing a second time, most likely while on the road in rain, mud or cold. And I predict that first flat won't be long, given the laughably thin tread on these. They're just a file tread road tire, as far as I can see. I have no idea why they're marketed as a gravel tire, since the first goathead or piece of glass I even see is gonna cause a flat, I predict. They might work fine in some parts of the US, but not in CA or anyplace with goat heads, or in any sort of urban setting with glass and debris on the roadway.

Thank you Panaracer, I bow humbly to your extreme sadism, and I hate your tires with the passion of a thousand rising suns.
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Old 02-06-19, 12:43 PM
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These are 700 x 28's. They've got to be a defective batch, they feel more like 695 x 28's. And they don't appear very wide either, more like 25's than 28's.

I was hoping to get some stretch once they got mounted, maybe I could even over-inflate them a bit. But this just seems like a lost cause, on a tire I can already tell is not gonna suit my needs or hold up very well around my old nemesis, i.e., goat heads.
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Old 02-06-19, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I have no idea why they're marketed as a gravel tire
Because it has reinforced sidewalls.

In lots of places, the only things on roads that are likely to stab through tread rubber are things left by humans, and gravel roads see low traffic. The result being that a sub-tread puncture-protection layer is largely irrelevant to the gravel riding in these areas.
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Old 02-06-19, 12:54 PM
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They absolutely require a Kool-Stop tire jack to install, in any size. I've tried a couple 32s in both SK and file tread as well as 43.
I'm a huge fan of the tires. Been on a set of 32s in a file tread for a year for commuting, gravel, and fast club rides. Only flatted once with a snakebite because I was playing around with low tire pressure. Once that was dialed, it's been smooth sailing.
I'm sure they won't handle goat heads, not much can I hear. It's probably worthwhile to run a tube with a removable core and add some Stan's sealant. Then you can have your supple ride with no headaches.
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Old 02-06-19, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by tiredhands View Post
They absolutely require a Kool-Stop tire jack to install, in any size. I've tried a couple 32s in both SK and file tread as well as 43.
I'm a huge fan of the tires. Been on a set of 32s in a file tread for a year for commuting, gravel, and fast club rides. Only flatted once with a snakebite because I was playing around with low tire pressure. Once that was dialed, it's been smooth sailing.
I'm sure they won't handle goat heads, not much can I hear. It's probably worthwhile to run a tube with a removable core and add some Stan's sealant. Then you can have your supple ride with no headaches.
I guess I will wait for the Kool Stop, but it seems like this tire is just too small. Nothing doing:

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Old 02-06-19, 01:11 PM
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Bigger picture... Any remount attempt later in the field under less than ideal conditions will be that much worse. Sure the tire may "stretch" a bit but if you are planning on going TL, the dried up layer around the bead will make it stickier and that much harder to handle.
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Old 02-06-19, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
The sidewall is regular, non-reinforced. Linked picture of cross-sectioned GK slick 700cx38 example shows sidewall between 0.6-0.7mm and lines up with the picture for Gravel King Slick and SK on Panaracers site. This thickness is about the same as a regular road tire, GP4KII shows the same thickness.

https://drandalls.files.wordpress.co...2/img_5722.jpg



That's where you're stuck? Should be no problem to pop on with Pedros tire levers. What rim tape or strip are you using, that looks like the kind of rim wrapped in Velox.
You are correct sir, that's a Velox-wrapped Mavic CXP 21. I have never had to resort to thinner rim strips before. But if that's what it takes to snatch victory from the hands of defeat with these tires, so be it.
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Old 02-06-19, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
Bigger picture... Any remount attempt later in the field under less than ideal conditions will be that much worse. Sure the tire may "stretch" a bit but if you are planning on going TL, the dried up layer around the bead will make it stickier and that much harder to handle.
I think you're probably right, but I guess it's just stubbornness and ego driving me at this point not to give up. Practical concerns may need to take a back seat, when my pride is on the line.
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Old 02-06-19, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
The sidewall is regular, non-reinforced.
It's not especially thick, but I think they're using a tougher outer fabric layer than on a normal road tire. That's what Panaracer's diagrams claim, and the cross-section photo you linked also shows the casing consisting of two layers of different material. The sidewalls of most road tires look homogeneous when viewed in cross-section.
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Old 02-06-19, 02:17 PM
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Does the rim have a central trough? If so, is the entire bead in that central trough before you try to mount the tire? Are these tubeless tires?

Also, it takes two to tango. Tight tires are often a tire/rim combination problem, not a tire rpoblem. For example, for me mounting Hutchinson tubeless road tires on Shimano WH-6800 was an unbelievable exercise in frustrations, ripped up hands and broken levers. I later mounted a similar set of tires to WTB rims without issue. Some rims (like Shimano) are notoriously oversized.
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Old 02-06-19, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Does the rim have a central trough? If so, is the entire bead in that central trough before you try to mount the tire?
+1. This is the single biggest lesson Iíve learned about tire mounting problems, particularly on tubeless compatible rims (never had a major problem on non-tubeless tires/rims ).


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Old 02-07-19, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
These are 700 x 28's. They've got to be a defective batch, they feel more like 695 x 28's. And they don't appear very wide either, more like 25's than 28's.

I was hoping to get some stretch once they got mounted, maybe I could even over-inflate them a bit. But this just seems like a lost cause, on a tire I can already tell is not gonna suit my needs or hold up very well around my old nemesis, i.e., goat heads.
Don't give up! I run maybe 6-7 sets of these tires..4 sets of 700 x 28-slicks and a few in the 35-40ish size (sk;s). They can be a beast to mount, but they stretch and the second time mounting is MUCH easier. I've managed to mount all of them without the kool stop jack(suggestion..a "personal lube" does help), but the struggle led me to but the kool stop device. Used it once..a big help.
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Old 02-07-19, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
These are 700 x 28's. They've got to be a defective batch, they feel more like 695 x 28's. And they don't appear very wide either, more like 25's than 28's.

I was hoping to get some stretch once they got mounted, maybe I could even over-inflate them a bit. But this just seems like a lost cause, on a tire I can already tell is not gonna suit my needs or hold up very well around my old nemesis, i.e., goat heads.
What rims?
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Old 02-07-19, 10:48 AM
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Mavic CXP 21, Mavic Aksium, DT Swiss r1800. I also have some tubeless-compatible HED rims I may try, but I need to wait until next week before I have my Kool Stop tool, which I fully expect to break while fighting with these tires, but if that's my fate, so be it.

Not helping things, is the weirdly-shaped rim hook that the beads of these tires have. It just doesn't want to engage with any of my rims very well. All of my various rims have a tendency to spit these tires right back out without engaging the bead very well at all. Whoever designed that bead hook needs to be fired immediately, IMO.

I tend not to return items I buy through the mail, but I may need to make an exception with these so-called "gravel tires".
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Old 02-07-19, 11:33 AM
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I thought the light file tread was why it was marketed as a gravel tire.

It's all right in hardpack, better than an actual slick. But not great in anything more textured than that. I'm also running the 26mm version on my road bike, though.

Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Don't give up! I run maybe 6-7 sets of these tires..4 sets of 700 x 28-slicks and a few in the 35-40ish size (sk;s). They can be a beast to mount, but they stretch and the second time mounting is MUCH easier. I've managed to mount all of them without the kool stop jack(suggestion..a "personal lube" does help), but the struggle led me to but the kool stop device. Used it once..a big help.
I had to resort to wiping motor oil on the tire, but I suppose something water or silicone based would work...
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Old 02-07-19, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
I had to resort to wiping motor oil on the tire, but I suppose something water or silicone based would work...
Schwalbe Easy Fit helps.



-Tim-
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Old 02-07-19, 03:19 PM
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https://www.crankbrothers.com/products/speedier-lever

I love this lever. The key feature to me is the knuckle guard to prevent skin loss if the lever slips, especially on bladed spokes...
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Old 02-07-19, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
https://www.crankbrothers.com/products/speedier-lever

I love this lever. The key feature to me is the knuckle guard to prevent skin loss if the lever slips, especially on bladed spokes...
Ordered 2, thanks. I'm always losing / breaking tire levers. Can never find one when I need it.
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Old 02-07-19, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Schwalbe Easy Fit helps.



-Tim-
I was fresh out of this stuff, and personal lube too (as luck would have it). So I tried smearing some Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the rim and the tire bead, and the tire slid right on. So it was more a matter of overcoming friction than anything else with this tire, as opposed to the bead being too small. I guess the rubber on a new tires has a tendency to not want to slide easily over aluminum rims. Learn something new every day, I guess.
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Old 02-07-19, 05:19 PM
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My mounting fluid of choice: bubble juice. Cheap, cleans up easily, doesn't leave a sticky or slippery residue.
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Old 02-08-19, 09:25 PM
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I had GK 38s on my bike and got four flats in about 6 months (tubed). 99% paved and the rest some smooth dirt and gravel. Before and after the GKs I used G-One 35s on the exact same routes and never got a single flat. About 1000 miles on each set I think.
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Old 02-08-19, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelsmcgee View Post


+1. This is the single biggest lesson Iíve learned about tire mounting problems, particularly on tubeless compatible rims (never had a major problem on non-tubeless tires/rims ).


Same here my tubeless rims are a SOB to mount tires on especially since I use tubes. I purchased another wheelset for my mountain bike that had regular old fashion clincher rims now changing tires is easy. So a flat in BFE will be a snap. Luckily in off road nowhere in Big Bend NP I never had a flat I would have manage but it would be a bloody finger endeavor. I know go tubeless but I donít want to mess with it plus my MTB can sit for weeks as I mostly ride my gravel bike these days. When the MTB bug hits me, I hit some trails to mix it up and want rims that tires can easily be mounted to.
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Old 02-09-19, 05:02 AM
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For motorcycle tires I use dish soap mixed with water applied with an old paint brush. Probably about the same thing as bubble juice. Can't recall using it for a bike tire, but I'm sure it would work the same.
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Old 02-09-19, 06:09 AM
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I tried to mount the 32 mm SKs on Sun CR 18s with tubes. I couldn’t do it - first time in my life to fail to get a tire on a wheel. I finally got them to fit on Mavic Open Sports using soapy water, Pedro’s steel reinforced levers, and every other technique I coulf find. Then had a flat, probably due too overly aggressive use of the tire levers. They went on easier the second time and have worked fine since.
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Old 02-10-19, 03:06 PM
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I am glad I am not the only one to have adventures mounting these tires. I ended up mounting them sans tubes and leaving them for a couple of weeks. Then came back and dismounted to install tubes. They were a bit easier but a tire jack was used. I thought they were only bears to mount on older 700c rims. So they are a PITA on newer rims? Seems all the new "hot tires" are a PITA to mount. I have recently mounted Vittorias and Specialized Turbo Cotton with similar efforts involved. I did try using tubeless tape on the Vittorias and cannot say it made much difference.
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