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Trying to Decide GravelKing: SK vs Slick

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Trying to Decide GravelKing: SK vs Slick

Old 04-01-19, 01:15 PM
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bobin
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Trying to Decide GravelKing: SK vs Slick

My bike will fit up to 32 - so looking at a GK tire for 50% paved / 50% gravel with one a couple big gravel rides coming up. Takes me some long miles on pavement to hit the gravel - so wondering which one I should get. Any advice appreciated!
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Old 04-01-19, 02:06 PM
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I have 38mm SK's.

I can cruise pretty comfortably on the road with them. They are definitely an aggressive tire though.

How is the dirt on the rides you've got planned? Packed without a bunch of gravel or climbing? Get slicks. Loose and climbs? Sections of singletrack? Get the SK.

One other thought, I bet you could sit in with a pack on the road portion, if other people are with you. That might cancel out the higher drag you'd get with the tires riding alone.
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Old 04-01-19, 03:05 PM
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SK on the front, slick on the back.
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Old 04-01-19, 03:13 PM
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SK on the front, slick on the back.
Sometimes I even go bigger in the front as our front forks can take a bigger tire than our rear. 32 seems a bit small a non slick (in dry conditions). Maybe put a 35 or 38 in the front if you need some flotation and/or grip.

Jan Heine wrote up an interseting article explaing why size of the tire is more important than tread on a bicycle, claiming that with the right size and pressure a slick tire had as much gravel traction as a tire with knobs.
In my personal experience, while the breakaway point may be the same on on many surfaces, the breakaway characteristics of a tire with deep tread is much different. Slick tires tend to let go quite suddenly while treaded tires can have large slip angles before finally giving up.
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Old 04-01-19, 04:12 PM
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SK or Clement USH for a 32. I run the GK slicks but in a 38 on smooth gravel. A 32 seems too narrow to get any sort of traction in mixed conditions
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Old 04-01-19, 04:19 PM
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I'd take knobs. They aren't that much slower on pavement, especially in 32 width. 40+ would more open to debate but narrow widths have been pretty much a wash for me with respect to speed differences on pavement compared to the traction and confidence gains on gravel.
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Old 04-01-19, 04:34 PM
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"Gravel" covers a lot of conditions, but if it were for here, SK all the way-- as we don't have proper gravel. We have sand over clay, clay sometimes on it's own, and clay mixed with sand. If you have something like crushed limestone, either would work. And while SKs certainly don't roll on pavement like a high-pressure road tire, they do remarkably well for what they are. Go as wide as you can in the front. My frame will only clear a 38 between the chainstays, but fits a 43 in the fork with room to spare. That extra cushion in the front is well worth it.
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Old 04-01-19, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
SK or Clement USH for a 32. I run the GK slicks but in a 38 on smooth gravel. A 32 seems too narrow to get any sort of traction in mixed conditions
The 700x32 Gravelking is about 35mm wide on the wide rims found on most gravel bikes.
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Old 04-01-19, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
The 700x32 Gravelking is about 35mm wide on the wide rims found on most gravel bikes.
then that tire probably won't even work for the OP. My GK 38's don't measure that much wider(41ish?) but only on 23mm wide rims
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Old 04-01-19, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bobin View Post
My bike will fit up to 32 - so looking at a GK tire for 50% paved / 50% gravel with one a couple big gravel rides coming up. Takes me some long miles on pavement to hit the gravel - so wondering which one I should get. Any advice appreciated!
What bike do you have?

Most gravel tires are wider than 32mm. Only the 700x31Vittoria Terreno Dry is about 32mm wide. If you have an "endurance" road bike, you might be limited to this tire and a few others.
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Old 04-01-19, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
The 700x32 Gravelking is about 35mm wide on the wide rims found on most gravel bikes.
Have you measured more recent production? The current production run of all gravelking models has casing widths ~3-5% shorter than previously. 38mm slicks that measured 42mm now measure 38mm on the same 23mm inside width rims. 32s were 32mm and the 35s were 36mm.
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Old 04-01-19, 05:07 PM
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time for OP to get a real bike
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Old 04-01-19, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Have you measured more recent production? The current production run of all gravelking models has casing widths ~3-5% shorter than previously. 38mm slicks that measured 42mm now measure 38mm on the same 23mm inside width rims. 32s were 32mm and the 35s were 36mm.
When did this happen? Mine are from last year but may have been old stock. May have to go to something compass branded if that's the case and the cost shoots up signficantly
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Old 04-01-19, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
When did this happen? Mine are from last year but may have been old stock. May have to go to something compass branded if that's the case and the cost shoots up signficantly
Late 2018/early 2019 were the first examples I noticed.
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Old 04-01-19, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Late 2018/early 2019 were the first examples I noticed.
I didn't know they did that for the Slick version too. interesting.
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Old 04-02-19, 04:08 PM
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Haven't ridden the GK slicks but had Vittoria Voyagers on my bike last summer which aren't too dissimilar ..... were brilliant over all terrain until the 1st sign of rain and quickly became lethal on the slightest mud ... swapped for GK SK's through the winter and they're great even cope with the mud quite well but I'll probably swap back again for the summer.
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Old 04-02-19, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
time for OP to get a real bike
My road bike clears 28 only. I'm planning to do a gravel race on it this summer because of the road portion.

I've been happy to be on the road bike on plenty of dirty rides. It truly is a light and fast beast.
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Old 04-05-19, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Late 2018/early 2019 were the first examples I noticed.
Another confirmed case https://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/S...=unread#unread
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Old 04-09-19, 10:44 AM
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I'm basically in the same boat. I think 32mm is about the max I can do in the front, and that's assuming the tire isn't tall. The options I see are 32mm GK SK, 31mm Terreno Dry, or the harder to find and more expensive 26mm GK SK.

I really need to know how tall the SKs are.
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Old 04-09-19, 11:00 AM
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You wanna wait a week or two I can measure at the next event I do

SKs might be the most common tire I see on gravel rides. FWIW the slicks are short tires, the 38s I have are 38mm wide now and only 34.5mm tall.
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Old 04-09-19, 12:00 PM
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I bought 43 mm GK SK's about three months ago and put one on the front of my bike. An older 38 is on the back.

The 38 measures 40.5. The 43 measures 43.5.


-Tim-
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Old 04-09-19, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
You wanna wait a week or two I can measure at the next event I do

SKs might be the most common tire I see on gravel rides. FWIW the slicks are short tires, the 38s I have are 38mm wide now and only 34.5mm tall.
Good to know, I'd love to hear when you can.

How do you feel about the Slicks on gravel? Durable?
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Old 04-16-19, 10:45 AM
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I have SK's in 700x35. The knobby treads aren't the best for on road. On singletrack and gravel they are phenomenal but for 75% road usage for me. I wish I went with something smoother. The gum sidewalls are nice though.

I believe gravelkings are a "true" 35mm width. Not like panaracer ribmo's which are much narrower than advertised.
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