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Rolling resistance of Gravel Tires! Is your tire "fast?" bicyclerollingresistance

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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 : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Rolling resistance of Gravel Tires! Is your tire "fast?" bicyclerollingresistance

Old 07-06-20, 10:06 AM
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chas58
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Rolling resistance of Gravel Tires! Is your tire "fast?" bicyclerollingresistance

I've been waiting for this for years. Now we can see how some of our favorite gravel & CX tires stack up with road and mountain bike tires. Obviously there are a lot of factors besides rolling resistance to make up a fast tire, but this is a good data point for decision making.

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...gravel-reviews

Seems to match up well with the TOUR tire test, with most tires being about 25-27watts rolling resistance, with Conti Terraspeed and Gravel King Slicks being noticeably faster.
I'm looking forward to seeing this list grow.

For reference - here is the TOUR test: https://www.roadbike.de/rennrad-part...eifen-im-test/

And the Grand Fondo test: https://granfondo-cycling.com/the-best-gravel-tire/
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Old 07-06-20, 01:38 PM
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The Dutch Test (Bicycle Rolling Resistance)


TOUR - The German Test (Rolling resistance @ 50psi, tubed, 30km/hr)


The Grand Fondo test (DE/UK?)


Last edited by chas58; 07-09-20 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 07-08-20, 02:16 PM
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What does the Puncture Test (Tread/Sidewall points) mean?
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Old 07-09-20, 08:09 AM
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Interesting that the 4 gravel tire tests I just looked at on BRR all measured narrower than the stated width.
The info is neat and all, but I think it really misses on the market, which is tires on the wider end of what they will test and some even wider than that.

The category is cx/gravel tires, but limiting testing to 32-40mm tires and having many(most?) at 37mm or smaller is missing out on a lot of the market.
Tires that are 37-45mm wide is where the gravel market has moved to with so many frames at all price levels being able to handle wider and wider tires each year.

Oh well, it isnt my work and very few others are doing it, so beggars and choosers kinda applies here. But the site does exist to get views and clicks- I just think tires that are more all around gravel oriented would be beneficial.
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Old 07-09-20, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
What does the Puncture Test (Tread/Sidewall points) mean?
how easy the sidewall and the tread are to puncture. ;-)
(using 1mm steel needle)
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Old 04-28-21, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Interesting that the 4 gravel tire tests I just looked at on BRR all measured narrower than the stated width.
The info is neat and all, but I think it really misses on the market, which is tires on the wider end of what they will test and some even wider than that.

The category is cx/gravel tires, but limiting testing to 32-40mm tires and having many(most?) at 37mm or smaller is missing out on a lot of the market.
Tires that are 37-45mm wide is where the gravel market has moved to with so many frames at all price levels being able to handle wider and wider tires each year.

Oh well, it isnt my work and very few others are doing it, so beggars and choosers kinda applies here. But the site does exist to get views and clicks- I just think tires that are more all around gravel oriented would be beneficial.
They use a narrow rim. The tire sizes are an estimated installed size for the rim they think you'll use. For every mm wider, you get an installed width about .25mm larger. They're using a 17mm internal rim, and most folks would use a 22mm+ now. They also need to spec based on max PSI, BRR tests at regular pressures. Finally, sometimes they call it a "40c" an the ETRTO is 38-622 (Continental).
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Old 04-29-21, 11:52 AM
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I was really surprised the Pasela PT tires at 38c actually had less rolling resistance than the GravelKing TLC, since I was debating between these two tires for my 2nd wheelset (posted a thread about which to choose). The TLC tires seem to be a tad wider in actual use, could that account for the discrepancy?

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Old 04-29-21, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jonathanf2 View Post
The TLC tires seem to be a tad wider in actual use, could that account for the discrepancy?
No. At like-for-like pressure, a wider tire will have lower crr on the drum. If anything, that makes the Pasela look better.
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Old 04-29-21, 12:25 PM
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I really don't have a gravel bike per-say but it looks like I have transitioned into one with all the changes I have had to make in riding on my country roads. I have been through many brands of cheap tires and have found the best tire for my rides. The tire is not on your list but should be considered. The center ridge offers little resistance on pavement and there is just enough grip on the sides to help in soft terrain. About 30.00 USD...

Continental Tour Ride Urban

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Old 04-29-21, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Interesting that the 4 gravel tire tests I just looked at on BRR all measured narrower than the stated width.
The info is neat and all, but I think it really misses on the market, which is tires on the wider end of what they will test and some even wider than that.

The category is cx/gravel tires, but limiting testing to 32-40mm tires and having many(most?) at 37mm or smaller is missing out on a lot of the market.
Tires that are 37-45mm wide is where the gravel market has moved to with so many frames at all price levels being able to handle wider and wider tires each year.

Oh well, it isnt my work and very few others are doing it, so beggars and choosers kinda applies here. But the site does exist to get views and clicks- I just think tires that are more all around gravel oriented would be beneficial.
BRR comes out of road riding in the early days and they were slow to buy into wide for gravel, hence the slow creep-up to wider tires in their ratings. I remember their first 35mm rating and they thought that was really wide at the time when we were all riding 38-42 mm.

It is common for manufacturers to have tires that measure narrower than their rated size. They do this to offer a lighter tire at an advertised width. But we are all smarter than that.
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Old 05-02-21, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jonathanf2 View Post
I was really surprised the Pasela PT tires at 38c actually had less rolling resistance than the GravelKing TLC, since I was debating between these two tires for my 2nd wheelset (posted a thread about which to choose). The TLC tires seem to be a tad wider in actual use, could that account for the discrepancy?
Unfortunately when you are comparing touring and gravel tires you can get misled from how data are presented on that site.

The TLC's "20.8" number is at what they call low air pressure which for the measured width of that tire (36.5mm) is 36psi. The Pasela PT's "20.6" number is at 60psi and it measures 35.2mm wide. So, you can't really compare these numbers. These tires are not far off in width but they consider the sweet spot for a touring tire to be at higher pressure due to road use, whereas gravel tires need to handle bumps so they are using lower pressures.

The Pasela at 45psi is 23.6 watts which shows it is inferior for rolling resistance compared to the TLC: more psi but more watts compared to the 20.8 watts at 36psi on the TLC's. The TLC on the road would be run at a slightly lower pressure than the Pasela due to the 36.5 vs 35.2mm width, but that is only 1.3mm difference in width which will be minor psi difference, so the TLC should be a better tire overall for rolling resistance.

I wish they would just use absolute psi values for the gravel tires, it gets confusing trying to understand the data they way they do it now.
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Old 05-02-21, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
Unfortunately when you are comparing touring and gravel tires you can get misled from how data are presented on that site.

The TLC's "20.8" number is at what they call low air pressure which for the measured width of that tire (36.5mm) is 36psi. The Pasela PT's "20.6" number is at 60psi and it measures 35.2mm wide. So, you can't really compare these numbers. These tires are not far off in width but they consider the sweet spot for a touring tire to be at higher pressure due to road use, whereas gravel tires need to handle bumps so they are using lower pressures.<...>
I wish they would just use absolute psi values for the gravel tires, it gets confusing trying to understand the data they way they do it now.
Just to add to that the difference between 20.8 and 20.6 is not quite 1%. They don't specify but I'd call that well within MOE. And while I'm at it, being a certified dork and all, the plural of anecdote isn't data. Given the paucity of other measurements, BRR provides a valuable data point, but that's all it is, a data point. Furthermore, it's from a rolling drum. Different real world surfaces with different impedances will likely give different results, quite possibly even different relative results.

Not to be harsh on BRR -- they cannot possibly account for everything, they do a good job with what they can do, and they do provide useful information. But as with everything else, mind the precision, and don't take the numbers too seriously.
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