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Ultimate Gravel tire test

Old 02-12-20, 12:30 PM
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chas58
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Ultimate Gravel tire test

Gosh, I love how the German's test stuff to death.

Here is a link to an overview and a PDF (with a lot more detail) of the best gravel tire test I have ever seen (albiet in German): https://www.roadbike.de/rennrad-part...eifen-im-test/

What stood out:
Challange, conti, Maxiss, Panaracer and Teraval were a lot lighter than the others (getting close to 100g per tire)

Rolling resistance was about the same except the conti was noticably faster (at 22watts, its right between the test median (26.5W) and a "One" race slick (17W)

The light 38mm GK-SK did horrible on the puncture test. ~277newtons (I'm guessing the heavier larger ones might do better???) Although the Michelin and WTB were not much better (+20N).
While Conti, goodyear, Swalbe and specialized did great (~380 Newtons).

The test kind of matches my experience with the Rambler and the G-one all around. They roll the same (~25 watts), ride pretty similar, and the G-one is noticeably heavier and more puncture resistant.
I have a g-one "speed" and a g-one "all around" and I'm not too surprised to see they are both just as fast as the other (ok, the "speed" is a little slower (1 watt) than the "all around" run tubless). No need to get the speed.

I hate the ease of mounting category - it is so wheel dependent. My Scwalbies are a PITA to mount and the Ramblers are super easy - but others have vastly different experiences based on the rim used. And, it looks like the tests were run with inner tubes anyway.

Test winner: Conti Terra Speed TR (90pts)
Surprise test loser: WTB Riddler (60), followed closely by GK-SK (62) and Michelin Power Gravel (64) (mostly because they are relatively easy to flat)
(yeah, I'm ignoring that Mavic in all above as that tire shouldn't even be in the discussion).

Hats off to Jfranci for finding the test:
Originally Posted by jfranci3 View Post
I just got a set of these after I saw they were 5w/tire better than GK SKs (and everything else) on the roller test from RoadBike DE https://www.roadbike.de/rennrad-part...eifen-im-test/ (German, but it's all numbers - the PDF article has more detail)...

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Old 02-12-20, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
Gosh, I love how the German's test stuff to death.
:
i too love the Tour and RoadBike tests despite not knowing German. The frame tests in the jig and the half dummy aero tests are good too.

It’s a bit hard looking at the puncture test results because 1) the sidewalk and the center mass tests words are similar and 2) you don’t have a reference point for what a GP4000 or similar road bike and a common MTB tire would score in this test. I’ve never actually had a sidewall puncture, but if you’ve got thorns or rocks this might matter.

On the 100g difference is typically lined (TL) vs unlined tuneless (TLR) tires (as you see with a GP5000 vs GP 5000 TL). That glossy coating adds some weight, but makes the dried gunk easier to remove. The alternative is the tire eating ~50gr of the sealant when you first mount it.
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Old 02-12-20, 01:14 PM
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I wonder how the Conti fares against the Terreno Dry and Zero in terms of rolling resistance.
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Old 02-12-20, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jfranci3 View Post
i too love the Tour and RoadBike tests despite not knowing German. The frame tests in the jig and the half dummy aero tests are good too.

It’s a bit hard looking at the puncture test results because 1) the sidewalk and the center mass tests words are similar and 2) you don’t have a reference point for what a GP4000 or similar road bike and a common MTB tire would score in this test. I’ve never actually had a sidewall puncture, but if you’ve got thorns or rocks this might matter.

On the 100g difference is typically lined (TL) vs unlined tuneless (TLR) tires (as you see with a GP5000 vs GP 5000 TL). That glossy coating adds some weight, but makes the dried gunk easier to remove. The alternative is the tire eating ~50gr of the sealant when you first mount it.
I just scanned the article so far, but looked like the puncture test did the sidewall and the tread, and then lumped them into one number (unlike rolling resistance review that separates them).

That other word that looked like puncture was a snake bite test – but no one gets snake bites tubeless – so that is only meaningful if you are running tubes.

Yep, you are right about the weight. Generally that thicker rubber (rather the equivalent of having a built in inner tube) makes the tire more air tight and sealant tight. It doesn’t seem to make it much stronger (specifically in Schwalbe’s case). I run both the Conti GP5000 Clincher and the TL in tubeless form – yeah there is a little more seepage with the standard tire (same with my Rambler and the G-One).

The only time I’ve torn a sidewall is in that chunky freshy graded gravel.
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Old 02-12-20, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
That other word that looked like puncture was a snake bite test – but no one gets snake bites tubeless – so that is only meaningful if you are running tubes.
They also mention setting tube pressure for the puncture test, so it does sound like they were tested with tubes, which would make the Speed still faster than that G-One, and put it around 18-19w tubeless.

I'm running the Speeds tubeless (40mm) and they are def a fast tire. I've ridden them on A+ group rides with sprints, and while they take some extra work over my 28mm GP5Ks, they have no problems holding speed. Haven't had any issues on the gravel yet, running them at around 37/38psi (I'm 185lbs).
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Old 02-12-20, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
They also mention setting tube pressure for the puncture test, so it does sound like they were tested with tubes, which would make the Speed still faster than that G-One, and put it around 18-19w tubeless.

I'm running the Speeds tubeless (40mm) and they are def a fast tire. I've ridden them on A+ group rides with sprints, and while they take some extra work over my 28mm GP5Ks, they have no problems holding speed. Haven't had any issues on the gravel yet, running them at around 37/38psi (I'm 185lbs).
I agree. Although the "all around" measured faster tubeless - its nothing I can feel. So for me there is no advantage to get the speed (and mine are too wide to ride in mud).

I've ridden the "all around" on A+ group rides with sprints," and they did fine. Really, not much different than my Conti 4Season. Not nearly as fast as the GP5K, but about as fast as a "normal" slick.

here is the graphic comparing slicks -> knobby. its not linear left to right - look at the tubeless numbers (blue)

smaller knobs are not always faster...
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Old 02-12-20, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
I agree. Although the "all around" measured faster tubeless - its nothing I can feel. So for me there is no advantage to get the speed (and mine are too wide to ride in mud).

I've ridden the "all around" on A+ group rides with sprints," and they did fine. Really, not much different than my Conti 4Season. Not nearly as fast as the GP5K, but about as fast as a "normal" slick.

here is the graphic comparing slicks -> knobby. its not linear left to right - look at the tubeless numbers (blue)

smaller knobs are not always faster...
Sounds like you can't go wrong with either one. Pretty impressive, imo, that we have choices among big offroad tires that can still roll fast.
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Old 02-12-20, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
I agree. Although the "all around" measured faster tubeless - its nothing I can feel. So for me there is no advantage to get the speed (and mine are too wide to ride in mud).

I've ridden the "all around" on A+ group rides with sprints," and they did fine. Really, not much different than my Conti 4Season. Not nearly as fast as the GP5K, but about as fast as a "normal" slick.

here is the graphic comparing slicks -> knobby. its not linear left to right - look at the tubeless numbers (blue)

smaller knobs are not always faster...
that graphic is misleading as stated in my post above. They didn’t do a good job picking the best incremental tires, as the commingled HD tires and light duty tires.
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Old 02-16-20, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
That other word that looked like puncture was a snake bite test – but no one gets snake bites tubeless – so that is only meaningful if you are running tubes.
The test may single out the problem with tubes but it certainly is possible to pinch flat tubeless tires on a hard hit. That's why the Enve G series wheels have a wide blunt edge, to help prevent that type of flat. Would have been nice to have that type of flat included in the test, it would have been more relevant than the tube snake bite failure mode
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Old 02-16-20, 01:52 PM
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My Terreno Dry 700x40 has been the best I have used so far. Wear good and roll fast on hard pack gravel. Great for the gravel roads I ride in this area.



They were a tough mount but after they broke in changing the tires were much easier. These Terreno Dry 700x40 new last spring.
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Old 02-17-20, 11:07 AM
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my 2 sets of WTB Riddlers (45mm & 2.25") are light, fast & easy to mount
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Old 02-18-20, 02:39 PM
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Yeah, all of the high end gravel tires (short knobbed) rolled about the same (except the Conti which was noticeably faster).

They were pretty much all 25-27watts at 50PSI with tubes

Not that anyone here would ride with that much pressure or with tubes. ;-)

Here is a Rolling resistance chart (left) and puncture resistance (right)
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Old 02-18-20, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
My Terreno Dry 700x40 has been the best I have used so far. Wear good and roll fast on hard pack gravel. Great for the gravel roads I ride in this area.



They were a tough mount but after they broke in changing the tires were much easier. These Terreno Dry 700x40 new last spring.

I run these same tires. They roll pretty well, get decent traction, but wear pretty fast for me. On my 3rd rear tire in 1200 miles. Front is wearing well. No flats or punctures of any type.
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Old 02-19-20, 12:07 AM
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Interesting update from Tom A https://bikeblather.blogspot.com/202...ravel-fun.html

Verifies the conti data to some extent, and finds the Victoria terreno dry the worst of the bunch
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Old 02-19-20, 05:23 AM
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Interesting article on rolling resistance tire testing methods.

https://www.renehersecycles.com/test...res-isnt-easy/
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Old 02-19-20, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by srode1 View Post
Interesting article on rolling resistance tire testing methods.

https://www.renehersecycles.com/test...res-isnt-easy/
TomAs data pretty much shows the roller test has better results than Tours rig. Tom uses an actual bike outside and has had pretty good reliability. Hes obviously the least controlled experiment and the roller is the most controlled. It doesn’t mean any of them are bad tests.
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Old 02-19-20, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Interesting update from Tom A https://bikeblather.blogspot.com/202...ravel-fun.html

Verifies the conti data to some extent, and finds the Victoria terreno dry the worst of the bunch
Well crap. I think the test is wrong because it doesn't support my preconceived notions.

I'd love to see the test done on a Terreno Zero.
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Old 02-19-20, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by srode1 View Post
Interesting article on rolling resistance tire testing methods.

https://www.renehersecycles.com/test...res-isnt-easy/
Interesting, yes...but not exactly accurate in some senses, and totally missing the point in others IMHO. For example, the claim of the Bon Jon Pass being so fast based on testing with it inflated to 90psi (!), among other things...

Here's the deal. When tested at appropriate pressures (e.g. below the expected impedance "breakpoint") roller testing (including small roller testing) is an efficient way of ranking tire constructions based on the material properties that affect their performance on flat surfaces. In fact, one of the advantages of small roller testing is that the "amplification effect" of the small diameter rollers minimizes the influence of other uncontrolled variables (such as bearing losses, etc.) in the results, thereby making it possible for a "home hobbyist" like myself to get accurate and reliable results.
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Old 02-19-20, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by jfranci3 View Post
TomAs data pretty much shows the roller test has better results than Tours rig. Tom uses an actual bike outside and has had pretty good reliability. Hes obviously the least controlled experiment and the roller is the most controlled. It doesn’t mean any of them are bad tests.
Actually, I use a small roller test...the procedure as outlined here: https://bikeblather.blogspot.com/201...-chartand.html

The only difference for this round of tire testing was the use of the Frank Berto 15% drop pressure (based on load and tire width) instead of a fixed pressure to "normalize" the results, due to the relatively wide range of measured tire widths.
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Old 02-19-20, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Interesting update from Tom A https://bikeblather.blogspot.com/202...ravel-fun.html

Verifies the conti data to some extent, and finds the Victoria terreno dry the worst of the bunch
OTOH....I wouldn't sweat the puncture resistance of a Terreno....where as all the Rene Herse (ex. Compass) tires are basically paper. Wonderfully supple, but I would want to risk riding over anything sharper than a pencil eraser with them.

The semi-slick market has gotten very crowded nowadays, and it is great to have competition. Need to try Challenge tires sometime
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Old 02-19-20, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
OTOH....I wouldn't sweat the puncture resistance of a Terreno....where as all the Rene Herse (ex. Compass) tires are basically paper. Wonderfully supple, but I would want to risk riding over anything sharper than a pencil eraser with them.

The semi-slick market has gotten very crowded nowadays, and it is great to have competition. Need to try Challenge tires sometime
the tread itself is pretty thick ime. Combined with orange seal they have been pretty good in my hands. I'm riding the 650bx48s though so pretty wide and pretty low pressures and not a lot of sidewall exposure
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Old 02-19-20, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
OTOH....I wouldn't sweat the puncture resistance of a Terreno....where as all the Rene Herse (ex. Compass) tires are basically paper. Wonderfully supple, but I would want to risk riding over anything sharper than a pencil eraser with them.

The semi-slick market has gotten very crowded nowadays, and it is great to have competition. Need to try Challenge tires sometime
In practice though, I've found the Rene Herse tires to be quite durable...my only issue has been with the sidewalls of the EL models suffering cuts. A switch to the standard model of the same tire, with it's thicker rubber layer solved that (at ~5W rolling resistance hit per pair). I've only suffered one puncture on the Snoqualmie Pass tires in a LOT of riding, some of it on SoCal fireroad rocks which (I've been told by DK riders) are every bit as bad as the Kansas Flint Hills rocks...and that was easily plugged with a small length of cotton butcher's cord, and I was quickly on my way.
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Old 02-19-20, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by tanhalt View Post
Actually, I use a small roller test...the procedure as outlined here: https://bikeblather.blogspot.com/201...-chartand.html

The only difference for this round of tire testing was the use of the Frank Berto 15% drop pressure (based on load and tire width) instead of a fixed pressure to "normalize" the results, due to the relatively wide range of measured tire widths.
I guess that would answer my question if you had CDA penalty for a 32 / 38 / 44 Slick/knobs.


Do you think some tires are uniquely penalized here for:
1) lower psi “eating” more roller as they bounce with your rhythm?
2) higher psi losing something as they deflect rather than bounce on the rollers?
3) knob edge profile pre-break-in?
4) mold release compound/finish pre-break-in?
5) higher PSI rubber compound stretch?

thanks again for sharing
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Old 02-19-20, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jfranci3 View Post
I guess that would answer my question if you had CDA penalty for a 32 / 38 / 44 Slick/knobs.


Do you think some tires are uniquely penalized here for:
1) lower psi “eating” more roller as they bounce with your rhythm?
2) higher psi losing something as they deflect rather than bounce on the rollers?
3) knob edge profile pre-break-in?
4) mold release compound/finish pre-break-in?
5) higher PSI rubber compound stretch?

thanks again for sharing
Based on the well over 100 roller tests I've done now...combined with some field testing confirmations, it's my opinion that none of those things greatly affect the results and ordering. Interestingly, if any of those items have an effect (especially things like the knob profile and mold release) they are most likely minimized by the approximately 3:1 roller power to predicted flat surface power calculation (in other words, divided by ~3X) for my setup.
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Old 02-19-20, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Interesting update from Tom A https://bikeblather.blogspot.com/202...ravel-fun.html

Verifies the conti data to some extent, and finds the Victoria terreno dry the worst of the bunch

Wow. Nice.
WTB and Vittoria not looking too good. Especially when a knobby tire can do better (i.e. Compass Steilacoom)

Conti is impressive. The new Terra speed getting kinda close to the GP4000s (within 5 watts)? That is impressive.

Odd that the CHallenge Gravel Grinder had such a spread (10W).


Originally Posted by tanhalt View Post
Here's the deal. When tested at appropriate pressures (e.g. below the expected impedance "breakpoint") roller testing (including small roller testing) is an efficient way of ranking tire constructions based on the material properties that affect their performance on flat surfaces. In fact, one of the advantages of small roller testing is that the "amplification effect" of the small diameter rollers minimizes the influence of other uncontrolled variables (such as bearing losses, etc.) in the results, thereby making it possible for a "home hobbyist" like myself to get accurate and reliable results.
Yeah, I have wondered about that, as I get a lot of sidewall deflection on my small rollers. Seems like it would emphasize the efficiency of the casing (or inefficiency there of).

I did love that BRR normalized the data for the 15% drop. I had often summarized that different sizes would have the same resistance at the 15% drop (i.e. not at the same pressure) - It was awesome to see them actually show it.
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