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I've found the biggest issue with road tires on a gravel bike!

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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.

I've found the biggest issue with road tires on a gravel bike!

Old 01-04-21, 02:46 PM
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Phatman
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I've found the biggest issue with road tires on a gravel bike!

I got a 2021 Crux a few months ago, and its awesome. Its lighter, stiffer, and dare I say better riding than my current steel roadie. Despite the 38mm knobbies, its faster a lot of the climbs around here. I decided to try mounting a set of 28mm roadie tires the other day to see how it would do with a bit less tire on the road. It was then that I discovered the MAIN issue with road tires on a gravelly bike:



Yep. It looks awkward as ****. Poor thing. She won't even look at me on the bike rack.



It does ride nicely, but I do have a whole dedicated bike for riding on the road exclusively, so I slapped the knobbies back on and she's proud again:


Last edited by Phatman; 01-06-21 at 07:09 AM. Reason: Found a grammar mistake and nobody called me out on it!
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Old 01-04-21, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Phatman View Post
I decided to try mounting a set of 28mm roadie tires the other day to see how it would do with a bit less tire on the road. It was then that I discovered the MAIN issue with road tires on a gravelly bike:
What am I missing?
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Old 01-04-21, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
What am I missing?
That skinny tires are embarrasing & his bike was ashamed.

Probably quick AF on the road though.
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Old 01-04-21, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
What am I missing?
The text between the photos…
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Old 01-04-21, 03:42 PM
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It’s got that wet cat look with skinnies on it!
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Old 01-04-21, 03:42 PM
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Oh, I didnt think it looked awkward. There is some room in the stays and fork, but if I saw someone riding that on the road I wouldnt think twice.
Thats the whole trend right now- 2 wheelsets 1 bike quiver killer yada yada.

Just looked at it again- still looks like a nice bike with some road tires on it.

Well as long as the OP is happy.
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Old 01-04-21, 03:54 PM
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I had 1.25" wide tires on my MTB commuter in the 90s. It looked anorexic.

The other drawback is that significantly smaller tires give you a significantly smaller gear. IIRC I was spinning out the big ring/small cog in places where I used the middle ring with 2.1" tires.
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Old 01-04-21, 04:54 PM
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Nice lookin' bike. Should've gone with 32mm road tires.
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Old 01-04-21, 05:03 PM
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Just put on some nice cushy light 32-35mm René herse or similar tyres
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Old 01-04-21, 05:07 PM
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Or 38mm Rene Herse tires. Or 42mm. Or 48mm. Or 55mm. They have slick and knobby versions of these.
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Old 01-04-21, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SapInMyBlood View Post
Just put on some nice cushy light 32-35mm René herse or similar tyres
Bingo. Some RH Bon Jon Pass tires will look sufficiently wide (since OP cares about that), and they are supple and fast.
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Old 01-04-21, 05:16 PM
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My Mooney was designed a long time ago around 27" winter tires and fenders. (The canti bosses are midway between 27" and 700c.) Spent its first several decades on sewups. Rode to the coast 4 years ago on 38c/35c. Now on 28c road tires. He's an all arounder. Takes what he is given and rides them with pride. Someday I'll have to dress him in 27" just for fun.
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Old 01-04-21, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
That skinny tires are embarrasing & his bike was ashamed.

Probably quick AF on the road though.
Very ashamed.

The ride is kinda hard to explain. Definitely quick since the Crux is a way stiff 900 gram frame. It was definitely workable, but when compared back to back with my road bike, the wheelbase feels way long on the Crux, even though it’s a pretty short bike for a CX/graveller. I think that for some reason the tires made it feel like a slow handling road bike rather than a quick handling gravel bike.

Extremely subjective stuff though obviously.

Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Nice lookin' bike. Should've gone with 32mm road tires.
Yeah maybe. I had the 28s laying around. I tried to put them on my roadie and they fit in the stand but rubbed as soon as I rode them, so I took them off and put them in a drawer.
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Old 01-05-21, 10:00 PM
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The issue with skinny road tires on a gravel bike is the same issue as skinny road tires on a road bike: they are skinny road tires.
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Old 01-06-21, 12:45 AM
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the worst part is you spent a fortune on cheap Chinese carbon garbage LOL !!
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Old 01-06-21, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Toespeas View Post
the worst part is you spent a fortune on cheap Chinese carbon garbage LOL !!
Hey hey now. Its made in Taiwan, but engineered in California like an iPhone!
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Old 01-06-21, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Toespeas View Post
the worst part is you spent a fortune on cheap Chinese carbon garbage LOL !!
damn.
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Old 01-07-21, 06:45 PM
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My contribution to the “skinny road tires on a gravel bike” thread...



Canyon Grail SLX8 with 32mm road tires
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Old 01-12-21, 05:39 AM
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I agree. It looks funky. I think the 32mm Conti GP5000's are the fix if you're worried about the look of things. I've used them on my Giant TCX and they are amazing. I don't ever want to go back down to 28's for road anymore.
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Old 01-12-21, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Hmmm View Post
I agree. It looks funky. I think the 32mm Conti GP5000's are the fix if you're worried about the look of things. I've used them on my Giant TCX and they are amazing. I don't ever want to go back down to 28's for road anymore.

Those do pretty well on my ol' CX bike.
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Old 01-12-21, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Hmmm View Post
I agree. It looks funky. I think the 32mm Conti GP5000's are the fix if you're worried about the look of things. I've used them on my Giant TCX and they are amazing. I don't ever want to go back down to 28's for road anymore.
Yeah, the 32mm GP5000s are a better look for sure. Do you find them any slower than a normal size tire?
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Old 01-13-21, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Phatman View Post
Yeah, the 32mm GP5000s are a better look for sure. Do you find them any slower than a normal size tire?
They did not feel slower at all. They are really awesome tires. I was running them with tubes.
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Old 01-13-21, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Phatman View Post
Yeah, the 32mm GP5000s are a better look for sure. Do you find them any slower than a normal size tire?
Stirring the pot here, but what is a normal sized tire?
The GP4k tires I rode in 28mm on my main road bike measured 31mm. They were light, fast, and reliable.
I wouldnt consider a 32mm tire to be abnormal. Its certainly on the wider range of road tires, but I view 25mm-32mm as 'normal' for modern road tire options.

Again, splitting hairs and stirring the pot here, I know.

I eagerly await the 32mm GP5k coming in tan wall.
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Old 01-13-21, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Stirring the pot here, but what is a normal sized tire?
The GP4k tires I rode in 28mm on my main road bike measured 31mm. They were light, fast, and reliable.
I wouldnt consider a 32mm tire to be abnormal. Its certainly on the wider range of road tires, but I view 25mm-32mm as 'normal' for modern road tire options.

Again, splitting hairs and stirring the pot here, I know.

I eagerly await the 32mm GP5k coming in tan wall.
I probably should've said, "normal sized ROAD tire". 23-25mm.

I started riding road in the early 2000s, I even owned a set of 20s! It was tough for me to even consider going to 25s on my road bike.
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Old 01-13-21, 06:58 PM
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Yes 32mm GP5Ks are glorious. Have them on my fendered CX bike (not a gravel build, just my rain bike) because smaller tires looked stupid with the big amount of fender clearance I had. They are one of the fastest non-TT tires out there today. Running tubeless I get better grip, braking, and comfort.
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