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Narrowest 700 x 32c tire for gravel?

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Narrowest 700 x 32c tire for gravel?

Old 06-01-20, 12:33 PM
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brianinc-ville
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Narrowest 700 x 32c tire for gravel?

Forgive me if this question has already been answered:

I'm looking for a 32-622 (700 x 32c) tire with tread you'd want to use on gravel, and it needs to go on a bike with very tight clearance at the fork.

What's the narrowest/smallest tire out there in that size?

Alternately, is there a 28-622 that you'd recommend for gravel?
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Old 06-01-20, 01:56 PM
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assuming you want to use tubes, there are a lot of 28mm tires that are high quality and would work well on hardpack dirt and packed limestone.
Continental GP4000SII in 28mm size balloons out to 30-31mm in true size depending on the rim width. This is a great combination of weight, low rolling resistance, and price for smooth hardpack dirt road riding.
Panaracer has a Gravel King model that uses a file tread and is a 28mm size width that is true to size on a 23mm external rim.

...while I will ride gravel roads on my 28mm GP4k tires when its necessary to connect paved roads, I dont want to do it for more than a mile or two as it simply isnt fun. If the roads are hardpack dirt though- well thats doable and fun.
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Old 06-01-20, 02:50 PM
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Would be helpful if you can determine the inside width of your rims, as that can be all over the place these days and it has a strong effect

I certainly wouldn't look at GP4000 as it's a tarmac tire with relatively fragile sidewalls and zero tread. The GP5000TL I'm running for road wheels is tougher (haven't tried the tubed GP5000) but people like them for their low rolling resistance on pavement. It's just not a gravel tire for most people and most uses; but of course at appropriate pressures, you might like them OK depending on the road and rider. With tubes it's hard to go lower and not pinch flat, so few will recommend it. Gravel really goes better with tubeless for that reason.

FWIW on my 22mm internal road rims: the GP4000 28mm inflates to 32mm; GP5000TL 28mm inflates to 30.5mm.

Sorry, I don't have any specific recommendations for you. I use narrow road tires on road wheels and 650B x 47 on gravel wheels.
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Old 06-01-20, 03:35 PM
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Smaller sizes of the PanaracerGravelking SK are 26, 28 and 32mm. The current crop is normally true to size. I'll agree that 32mm is pretty narrow for anything beyond smooth dirt roads. May be worth a try but don't be surprised if you need a different bike.
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Old 06-02-20, 03:26 PM
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Thanks!
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Old 06-02-20, 04:06 PM
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Years ago, I ran 700x30C Kenda Kwick tires on my road bike. They barely fit and ran about 29-30mm wide, but were much better on gravel than the 25mm tires it had before.

Wire beads and 60tpi casing keep the price down to a reasonable $20-30 each: https://www.treefortbikes.com/Kenda-Kwick-Tire-700x30c
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Old 06-03-20, 06:08 AM
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It would be helpful to know the inside width of your rims. My experience is that most tubeless gravel and mountain bike tires will actually measure a bit wider than advertised. Also, besides width, watch your clearance at the top of the fork. I once had a road bike fork where I could accommodate the width of certain tires, but ran into clearance issues where the tire hit the top of the fork opening.

I have a pair of Panaracer GravelKing Plus 32mm tires (tubeless) on 20.3mm wide rims, and they actually measure out at 33mm. These are a second set of tires and are used for rides that combine pavement and the occasional smooth gravel road. However, I have used them on some pretty rough roads and they do pretty well as long as I am careful with my speed and avoid smashing directly into big rocks. So a 32 can work as a gravel tire so long as you stay within the tire's limitations.

If you go down to 28mm, I think the only GravelKing tires you can get are going to need tubes. I really wouldn't recommend 28mm tubed tires for gravel riding.
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Old 06-03-20, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Years ago, I ran 700x30C Kenda Kwick tires on my road bike. They barely fit and ran about 29-30mm wide, but were much better on gravel than the 25mm tires it had before.

Wire beads and 60tpi casing keep the price down to a reasonable $20-30 each: https://www.treefortbikes.com/Kenda-Kwick-Tire-700x30c
Yep, that is probably your only real bet in that size if you want tread. It is a fast tire with good traction. Not particularly long living nor does it have awesome puncture protection, but still - I love it for what it is. I've also used a 30c Ritchey speedmax that was similar, but don't think that is still made. If you want to go more aggressive, Michelin makes some 30c cyclocross mud tires. I've used gatorskins for gravel with good success - the 32mm versions run smaller than any 32mm tires I've seen (I have some 28mm tires that are bigger, lol).
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Old 06-03-20, 06:31 PM
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There's also the Schwalbe CX Pro HS 269 700x30 if you want something more aggressive
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Old 06-03-20, 07:51 PM
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The Gravel King Slicks, Challenge Strada Bianca and Rene Herse tires are possible candidates but I am not sure what they will inflate to on your rims. Shelbyfv has it though, do not be surprised if you find you need a different bike. We have all given up on making our road bikes work for gravel and turned to swim with the current.
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Old 06-04-20, 07:43 AM
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Vittoria Terreno Dry 700x31 if you're using a narrow rim. (And if you can find them)
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Old 06-04-20, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Years ago, I ran 700x30C Kenda Kwick tires on my road bike. They barely fit and ran about 29-30mm wide, but were much better on gravel than the 25mm tires it had before.

Wire beads and 60tpi casing keep the price down to a reasonable $20-30 each: https://www.treefortbikes.com/Kenda-Kwick-Tire-700x30c
These came stock on my old Nashbar cyclocross bike...not a bad tire for the price (if you want to run tubes). I agree with what chas58 says about them not being particularly puncture resistant...I think I ended up putting tire liners in them at some point.

I did my first gravel race with them, and they taught me that 30mm is insufficient for riding when the county road crews decide to dump a few inches of fresh gravel on the road the night before. Overall though, they do well enough when the gravel is within “normal parameters” and I would consider running them again if that’s all I could fit.
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Old 06-04-20, 12:03 PM
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28mm Continental GP4000 S II measured 31.5mm on 21mm internal rims
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Old 06-04-20, 02:56 PM
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28mm Continental GP4000 S II measured 31.5mm on 21mm internal rims
28mm Continental GP5000 measured 28mm on 22mm internal rims.

go figure.

(yeah, I can get the 5000 on my road bike, but the 4000 isn't even close).
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Old 06-04-20, 03:19 PM
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There's the Panaracer Pasela in 28c or 32c. From the BikeTiresDirect site:

"The trusted choice of touring cyclists, daily commuters, and roadies who aren't afraid of gravel, the Panaracer Pasela is all about durability and flat-resistance without giving up ride quality. "
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Old 06-04-20, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
28mm Continental GP5000 measured 28mm on 22mm internal rims.

go figure.
correct, the 4000 was widely known to be mis-marked (or more accurately, based on measurements on antiquated 15mm internal rims). GP5000 introduced a new 32mm width similar to the old 28mm. New 23, 25, 28mm marked based on modern wider rims.
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Old 06-04-20, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by fourfa View Post
FWIW on my 22mm internal road rims: the GP4000 28mm inflates to 32mm; GP5000TL 28mm inflates to 30.5mm.
Ohhhhhh what a great thread. I'm also looking to find the biggest tire that I can cram into my road bike. But I'm fine with road tires.

I currently have these tires on my 22.5mm (inner width) rims
  • Continental GP4000 25c measures 26.8mm
  • Continental 4-season 28c measures 27.5
It sounds like if I just upgrade to a 28c 5000 I might gain some significant volume.

I tried once to fit a 32 T-serve (I believe it measures close to 32) and it didn't fit.
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Old 06-05-20, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rumatt View Post
Ohhhhhh what a great thread. I'm also looking to find the biggest tire that I can cram into my road bike. But I'm fine with road tires.

I currently have these tires on my 22.5mm (inner width) rims
  • Continental GP4000 25c measures 26.8mm
  • Continental 4-season 28c measures 27.5
It sounds like if I just upgrade to a 28c 5000 I might gain some significant volume.

I tried once to fit a 32 T-serve (I believe it measures close to 32) and it didn't fit.
Nope. Those run pretty trueto size. See bicyclerollingresistance for specific measurements.

I have the 28mm 4-season, 4000, and 5000. The 4-season was a touch under 28mm as you mentioned. The 5000 is 28mm (+0.5mm), the 4000 is 30mm (+2.5 from you tire). Mine are on a 19c wheel. on my 22c wheel, the 28mm tire was closer to 31mm.

Interestingly I have some 32mm Gatorskins. the "newer" ones measure 30mm, the really old ones measure 28mm. I'm not sure the inner width of those rims, but they are a little narrower than the 19c wheels.
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Old 06-12-20, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelsmcgee View Post
These came stock on my old Nashbar cyclocross bike...not a bad tire for the price (if you want to run tubes). I agree with what chas58 says about them not being particularly puncture resistant...I think I ended up putting tire liners in them at some point.

I did my first gravel race with them, and they taught me that 30mm is insufficient for riding when the county road crews decide to dump a few inches of fresh gravel on the road the night before. Overall though, they do well enough when the gravel is within “normal parameters” and I would consider running them again if that’s all I could fit.
Oh yeah, you are definitely still "under-biking" on those tires if the rocks are big and loose.
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