The tires you put on your bike are essential, especially for your gravel bike.
The choice ranges from smooth models for well-maintained asphalt roads to large models that will help you shed mud and sand better.
Generally, the gravel bike tire mixes a road bike tire and a mountain bike tire.
It is more comprehensive than a road bike tire, while its lugs are shallow so as not to affect rolling resistance too much.
28mm gravel bike tires are excellent and have some advantages for road riders. They are transitional, can be used in your conventional road bike, and you can ride them over finely crushed stone. The bike won’t give up much speed, and you’ll have a good sense of excitement riding on gravel. However, it’ll make the road’s vibrations noticeable.
Are 28mm Tires Ok For Gravel?
The 28mm gravel tire is an excellent option for riding on unpaved roads.
Whether on wet, muddy days or hard-packed gravel, the 28mm is a great all-around tire. And thanks to its wide-spaced center lug tread, it doesn’t roll badly on tarmac either.
Similarly, 28mm tires are suitable for rough and dry asphalt or smooth and wet. In addition, they are also for long-distance routes with more prolonged and steeper climbs.
Thus, a 28mm section tire is 15% more efficient in pure performance than its counterpart.
Moreover, wide road bike tires have more surface contact with the bitumen.
Not only but also, this larger tread eliminates micro-slip between the tire and the road. So, contrary to what you might think, there is no rolling loss.
Are 28mm Tires Good?
Most modern road wheels and bike frames are to take 28mm tires. Thankfully, this width becomes effective in most training and racing situations.
In addition, a 28mm tire can be the most acceptable option if you’re riding on smooth roads because it offers more comfort than its counterpart and will deform less, making for a quicker and less taxing ride.
Gravel riding covers a wide range of riding experiences.
Hard-packed dirt roads can be as smooth as pavement, rocky roads can have encrusted rocks or loose gravel, and some so-called gravel courses can take riders onto single-track stretches.
As there is a lot of terrain and many different tires to suit the various surfaces you may encounter when you leave the tarmac, choosing the right set of tires for your bike and the riding you regularly do will do more good.
Firstly, consider where you’ll be traveling before choosing gravel tires.
Then think about how much time you’ll spend on asphalt roads compared to gravel or dirt.
Next, consider how smooth or rough your paths are and what “gravel” means in your wooded area.
Are they soft and fast? Rough and bumpy? These include only a few of the possibilities.
As a result, having a simple, correct, and most important answer to tire choice will always have an element of compromise.
For example, tires suited to loose surfaces or mud will definitely move at less speed when you move them on the tarmac, while tires on the lighter, slippery end of the spectrum will be out of their depth on rougher terrain.
What do You Need to Know When Buying a Gravel Tire?
Often, gravel bike rides aren’t found exclusively off-road. You want a tire that can handle the abuse of off-roading but won’t slow you down (too much) once on the paved road.
The first thing in your tire selection is to ask yourself, “How many miles of unpaved road will I drive?”
Several events also announce the percentage of the road vs. garnotte upstream. This knowledge can guide you to the level of your choice.
The general rule of thumb is in the table below:
|S/No.||Asphalt (%)||Tire Width (mm)|
Some tips you need to consider before choosing/buying a gravel tire: remember that this is very simplified, but it’s a good starting point. Now, what are the other things to consider?
#1. Wheel Size
There are two popular wheel sizes in the gravel world. The standard is the 700c found on road bike tires.
Most gravel bikes have adopted this standard. But more and more gravel bikes are compatible with a smaller 650b wheel size.
The advantage of using a 650b wheel is that you can fit wider tires on the rim than on a 700c wheel without the risk of rubbing the frame and fork.
#2. Tire Width
Gravel tires are much broader than road and cyclocross tires. To choose the ideal width, you’ll have to monitor the clearance available on your frame and the comfort required.
The latest gravels on the market usually have room for tires up to 45mm wide on a 700c wheel and 60mm on a 650b wheel.
But, again, it’s worth checking with your dealer what size tires you can fit on a bike before buying it.
Using bigger tires means putting lower pressures on them, which is a plus for comfort and traction.
As a general rule, the rougher the terrain, the lower the pressure. However, you won’t lose out on rolling resistance either.
It may take some time to find the correct pressure. You have to try and sometimes make mistakes.
Begin by following the tire manufacturer’s suggested recommendations and adjust to your personal preference.
Riding on brittle gravel leads to a greater risk of punctures. The option of tubeless tires is an excellent defense against punches.
Tubeless also allows you to inflate with lower pressures without the risk of pinching an inner tube. Most tires have a tubeless-ready version, while others are not.
Fast Road Bike Tires For Gravel Bikes
The table below summarizes some fast road bike tires that suit a gravel bike.
|S/No.||Tire||Price ($)||Weight (g)||Size||Specifications|
|1.||Specialized Rhumbos Pro||60||575||700×42mm||Excellent for riding in different off-road conditions|
|2.||Maxis Rambler||54||660||650×47mm700×38, 40, 45mm||It offers good protection and beings a different size option for gravel riders.|
|3.||Vittoria Terrono Mix||53.99||512||700×31, 33, 38mm||A rounder tire designed for mixed conditions|
|4.||Hutchinson Touareg||65||490-585||700×40, 45||A fast-rolling French rubber with a low rolling resistance tread pattern|
|5.||Michelin Power Gravel||32.40||380||700×33, 35, 40, 47||Fast and secure with a rugged casing for secure riding on all terrain types|
|6.||Panaracer Gravel King SK||60||360-590||26×2.1mm650×48, 53mm||First to have been developed specifically for gravel riding|
|7.||Specialized pathfinder PRO2 Bliss||50||480-550||700cx38, 42mm and 650x47mm||A high-speed tire on dry hardpack routes|
|8.||Schwalbe G-One bite||80-84||480-550||650×1.5, 2.0, 2.1″ and 700×38, 45mm||Offer different wheel size diameters and a selection of widths.|
|9.||Vittoria Terrono WET G2.0||43||390-500||700×31, 33, 38mm||Narrow sizes will be helpful to dedicate wet-weather gravel riders.|
|10.||WTB Raddler||59.95||490-547||700×40, 44mm||Excellent combination of low rolling resistance and security concerning performance|
What Is The Best Tire Size For Gravel Bikes?
The tires that best adapt to gravel are 35 to 40mm thick, with a smooth tread and side knobs, and an ideal size for 700c wheels.
However, tires above this measure will cause you to lose running efficiency.
Although this can cause criticism, and some users want to get into all kinds of paths (even the most abrupt), mounting a larger size can’t be an ideal solution.
Therefore the many examples of ideal tires can include
- The Continental SpeedKing Cx
- The Challenge Gravel Grinder Race
- The Hutchinson Override
- The 700c Wtb Byway
- The Michelin Power Gravel
- The 700c Terreno Zero
- The Schwalbe G-One Speed for 700c, among others.
In short, the critical aspect of choosing the best gravel bike tire size should be summarized as follows:
- Wheel size: 700c
- Ideal size: 35-40mm.
- Tire Profile: Smooth tread with tall side knobs for better cornering grip. Also, those that have tiny blocks with low rolling.
- Tubeless if possible (minimizes punctures).
Bike riding becomes more exciting and memorable when your road bike tire is fault-free and has fitted your bike.
Now that you know more about different gravel tires and the best among them, go out there to explore it and enjoy your ride to the fullest in any terrain.
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