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Best all around tire?

Old 08-27-20, 07:12 PM
  #1  
adamrobertt
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Best all around tire?

I have a Jamis Renegade Expert with 38c Panaracer Gravel King SK tires on it. I ride both on the road and on trails... maybe 70% road 30% trails. The tires are great on dirt/muddy trails, but sluggish on the road.

I知 looking for something that rolls faster on the road but can also handle some mud, dirt, and gravel. Should I be using a slick tire? A thinner tire? I知 interested in the Gravel King slicks, or some of the slick Rene Herse options, but I知 not sure what my best option is.

Anyone have any input? Thanks.
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Old 08-27-20, 07:58 PM
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Slick ReneHerse slide around across fine mud. I have their 38mm knobby extralight which is great in mud and climbing grip.
For that 3mm knob height it rolls pretty good on sealed roads. Whether its faster than an SK on road I don't know.
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Old 08-28-20, 01:48 AM
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Your choices are relatively limited, as the Gravelking SK is already one of the faster rolling gravel tires. According to Bicycle Rolling Resistance, only the Conti Terra Speed, Michel Power Gravel and slick Panaracers roll faster.
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Old 08-28-20, 06:44 AM
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Slicks will be faster, but limit your traction in the mud and loose surfaces, it's always a trade off. Terra Speeds are really fast and have good traction, but wear out fast, another trade off. Always have to comprimise somewhere, just have to find the right balance for your riding and conditions. I'm running Specialized Pathfinder Pros at the moment that are working out really well. Def faster than Gravelking SKs on the road due to the solid center block, but still have good traction off road. Had several muddy sections on my gravel ride the other day and they handled it reasonably well, for an all around tire (anything without aggressive tread isn't going to be great in the mud).
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Old 08-28-20, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Prodigy4299 View Post
Your choices are relatively limited, as the Gravelking SK is already one of the faster rolling gravel tires. According to Bicycle Rolling Resistance, only the Conti Terra Speed, Michel Power Gravel and slick Panaracers roll faster.
The Gravelking tire tested was the file tread version, not the SK. My only experience with the SK tires was in 650 x 48 and they were OK off road, but they were absolutely the slowest rolling tires I have ever used on pavement. My current favorite is the Terrene Elwood and I have used both the 650 x 47 version and the 700 x 40 version and they both roll extremely well on pavement and have good off road traction. They have more of a peaked shape than other tires, so they can tend to wander a bit in loose gravel, but that shape allows it be a bit better at absorbing small bumps, as well as only having the center section of the tread in contact with harder surfaces for less rolling resistance.
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Old 08-28-20, 12:07 PM
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Quite the dilemma. It starts with your off road portion. If the off road portion is slick or involves wet dirt and mud you will need some type of traction. There is no way around that. A good gravel/road tire does not have the traction needed for wet and loose/hardpack off road so there will have to be a compromise. Wet hardpack is a banana peel. How much do you want loose wet vs not being a slug on the road. You could put a more off road tire on the front and a road gravel tire on the rear. People have a wide range of opinions and expectations of what trail tires are good on road and what road tires are good off road that may not be the same as yours. For me... The limiting factor is the above mentioned wet hardpack. I'll compromise road rolling and performance to stay upright off road. A road/gravel tire just sucks and is not fun in that at all. I swap wheels sets and tires depending on the day.

It's an older tire and fell out of the spotlight but something like the Nano 40 is usable on both and decent on wet. Again, not great off road or on road but decent at both. A compromise on both ends.

Last edited by u235; 08-28-20 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 08-28-20, 01:01 PM
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I ride Gravel King slicks in 38c as my everyday tire. It is good, light and comfortable tire for pavement, dirt and gravel. It is not good in mud. The new Gravel King SS might have a bit more traction but then will be slower on pavement.
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Old 08-28-20, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
The Gravelking tire tested was the file tread version, not the SK. My only experience with the SK tires was in 650 x 48 and they were OK off road, but they were absolutely the slowest rolling tires I have ever used on pavement. My current favorite is the Terrene Elwood and I have used both the 650 x 47 version and the 700 x 40 version and they both roll extremely well on pavement and have good off road traction. They have more of a peaked shape than other tires, so they can tend to wander a bit in loose gravel, but that shape allows it be a bit better at absorbing small bumps, as well as only having the center section of the tread in contact with harder surfaces for less rolling resistance.
Did you check the link? The SK is the 4th fastest tire tested by BRR so far. 1st is the Gravelking slick, and only at extra low pressure. At low pressure it's the same rolling resistance as the Terra Speed, and at medium and high pressure the Terra Speed performs better. For a knobbed tire that has pretty decent traction, the Terra Speed is stupid fast, but also wears out pretty quickly. always a tradeoff.

I'm looking forward to seeing BRR test more gravel tires.
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Old 09-01-20, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
The Gravelking tire tested was the file tread version, not the SK.
If you re-read what I wrote you'll see that that's exactly what I had written. The site tested both.
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Old 09-01-20, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Prodigy4299 View Post
Your choices are relatively limited, as the Gravelking SK is already one of the faster rolling gravel tires. According to Bicycle Rolling Resistance, only the Conti Terra Speed, Michel Power Gravel and slick Panaracers roll faster.
That's a pretty limited list. I bet there are many gravel tires faster than Gravelking SKs, like Gravelking SS, WTB Byway, Hutchinson Touareg, etc. (I'm just guesstimating based on tire weight and the tread.)
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Old 09-02-20, 07:11 AM
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Your choices are relatively limited, as the Gravelking SK is already one of the faster rolling gravel tires. According to Bicycle Rolling Resistance, only the Conti Terra Speed, Michel Power Gravel and slick Panaracers roll faster.
it depends a bit on the size. The 48mm GK-SK is slow (and loud). From what I can tell the 35mm is pretty fast.

Similar with Schwalbe. BRR tests the G-One speed at 11 watts and the G-One ultrabite at 27 watts (these are the high pressure readings). Huge difference.

OP: In my experience, the G-One all round is about perfect for fast mixed useage. Its as fast as the "speed," I can't tell much difference between it and Conti's terraspeed, other than the Schwalbe wears much better.
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Old 09-02-20, 11:02 AM
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Agree with Tyrion above.
It would be nice if BRR tested a few more gravel tires, including Gravelking SS (a relatively new model).
I'm actually considering the SS in 38mm, as a replacement for my stock 37mm WTB Riddlers.
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Old 09-02-20, 03:37 PM
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I can't wait to try mt SS's. I've heard good reports from my buddies so far.
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Old 09-03-20, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Longfellow02 View Post
Agree with Tyrion above.
It would be nice if BRR tested a few more gravel tires, including Gravelking SS (a relatively new model).
I'm actually considering the SS in 38mm, as a replacement for my stock 37mm WTB Riddlers.
Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I can't wait to try mt SS's. I've heard good reports from my buddies so far.
Good timing to see these as I just started looking and am interested in the 43mm GK SS.
My WTB Resolute 42 tires are closing in on needing to be replaced, at least the back is for sure. I like them a lot, but the GK SS looks intriguing.
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Old 09-03-20, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
the GK SS looks intriguing.
So far so good. We ripped our 24 mile Wednesday Night Worlds course at 20.1mph average last night. I kinda wish I had gotten the 38s instead of the 35s, but I haven't installed them yet so I might switch them out before doing so.
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Old 09-04-20, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrobertt View Post
I ride both on the road and on trails... maybe 70% road 30% trails.
A sluggish tire on the road won't make you wipe out like a slick tire on a loose surface will. I'm running Gravel King SKs on my cross, commuter, and gravel bikes, pavement efficiency be damned. Might have to try the SS model on the commuter...
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Old 09-05-20, 08:56 PM
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^ Yeah, I find this dilemma a bit odd, since I ride a roughly similar road/gravel split, and the Gravelking SK 38s are the best I've found.

They are a bit slower than a slick on the road, but still fastest tire I've tried that is also very competent on gravel. I don't think you'll do better by going to the gravelking slicks or a rene herse tire.
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Old 09-06-20, 07:12 AM
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Did a 100k gravel race yesterday on the 42mm Pathfinder Pros, they performed fantastically. Also noticed that most of the front pack I was with were riding Pathfinders, they were all on the 38s. We were pacelining on the pavement at 28-30mph, and no one had grip issues on the gravel, it was pretty loose and dry and we were hitting it hard.
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Old 09-09-20, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Longfellow02 View Post
Agree with Tyrion above.
It would be nice if BRR tested a few more gravel tires, including Gravelking SS (a relatively new model).
I'm actually considering the SS in 38mm, as a replacement for my stock 37mm WTB Riddlers.
Please post how you feel about these SS if you install them, I was also thinking of them.

I just swapped out my 37mm Riddlers for 38mm GravelKing SK. I prefer the GKs, they're faster on and off pavement. The center tread looks similar but the GK is wearing better. It seems to have better traction, but it picks up and throws a lot of tiny pebbles.

It's hard to figure out one tire for all my riding. I'm starting to think that two wheelsets is the best way. GravelKing SK on one, GP5000 on the other in a 28.
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Old 09-09-20, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Did a 100k gravel race yesterday on the 42mm Pathfinder Pros, they performed fantastically. Also noticed that most of the front pack I was with were riding Pathfinders, they were all on the 38s. We were pacelining on the pavement at 28-30mph, and no one had grip issues on the gravel, it was pretty loose and dry and we were hitting it hard.
Sounds like another I need to look into. Here's a great write-up I found:
https://cyclingtips.com/2019/08/spec...l-tyre-review/
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Old 09-06-21, 11:21 AM
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I am sorry that I am using this thread to ask my own question, but I am not sure what I am doing wrong.
I have just bought Sirrus X with stock Pathfinders 70X42 that are great.
I have recently bought WTB Resolute 700X42 with hopes to convert my previous MTB to a more of a gravel bike, but sold it.
Since Resolutes are slightly lighter and I like tan wall, I decided to put them on my new bike.
I am using Conti tour tubes in the correct size, the inner rim is 21 mm. Resolutes are much narrower than Pathfinders.... There are not opening to 42 mm for me...
I really like Pathfinders, and looks like I will just be sticking with them. But I still want to understand why my Resolute tires are so narrow.
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Old 09-06-21, 11:59 AM
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Odd. My rims are 25mm outer and I think 21mm inner. When I used Resolute tires, they measured out to 43mm.
I doubt you are doing something wrong. There just isn't bunch that can be done wrong and still have the tire be usable.
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Old 09-06-21, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Odd. My rims are 25mm outer and I think 21mm inner. When I used Resolute tires, they measured out to 43mm.
I doubt you are doing something wrong. There just isn't bunch that can be done wrong and still have the tire be usable.
thank you for your response. I am at a loss myself. Pathfinders in the same size, with the same tube, same PSI, on the same rim are larger.
Different question. Would it be insane to try to use those WTBs on my husband's fitness bike with the rims that have an inner width of 15 mm?
My previous bike had wheels with inner rims of 21 mm and tires that were 29X2.4. The ratio is about the same...
The width between the chainstays on the bottom is ok.
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Old 09-06-21, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady82 View Post
I really like Pathfinders, and looks like I will just be sticking with them. But I still want to understand why my Resolute tires are so narrow.
WTB's gravel tires are pretty underwhelming in general. The actual width installed on many models is way off, problems with sidewall weeping, and they just don't do anything better than the competition (the slick tires are slow, the knobby tires don't grip better).

As far as I'm concerned, the Pathfinder Pro is the #1 all-around gravel tire now outside extreme situations that warrant a bigger, knobbier tire or mud. It's fast, durable, predicable, reasonably comfortable, and last a long time. The only real downside is the weight, but the rolling and puncture resistance compensate for that many times over.
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Old 09-06-21, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady82 View Post
thank you for your response. I am at a loss myself. Pathfinders in the same size, with the same tube, same PSI, on the same rim are larger.
Different question. Would it be insane to try to use those WTBs on my husband's fitness bike with the rims that have an inner width of 15 mm?
My previous bike had wheels with inner rims of 21 mm and tires that were 29X2.4. The ratio is about the same...
The width between the chainstays on the bottom is ok.
Yeah it'd be fine to try a 40mm on a 15mm internal rim.
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