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Best Multi Use tires.

Old 11-08-21, 10:55 AM
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Tomm Willians
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Best Multi Use tires.

My wife and I own a number of bikes but for rides where the condition of route is either not known or known to be poor, we ride our gravel bikes. She rides on 28c Armadillos while I go between two wheelsets wearing either 32c GP5000s or 35c Gravel Kings.
Based on the experience here, what would be recommended if you were on a ride where you could expect anything from good pavement to moderate gravel?
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Old 11-08-21, 11:55 AM
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I am pretty happy with the Schwalbe Marathons (with Greenguard) in the widest tire that fits your bike.
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Old 11-08-21, 01:49 PM
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I use 32mm gravelking slicks on my road bike. Which have worked okay on short stretches of some pretty nasty gravel. On a 100+ mile ride I'm not going to handicap myself over a little gravel.

I have ridden my gravel bike with the gravelking small knob 38mm on rides up to 212km. That's on a ride that's more than 1/3 gravel.
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Old 11-08-21, 10:12 PM
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I'm not sure how much this counts as "gravel", but this is the worst that I've done (iirc around 10km? during a 400k) on 28c GravelKings:

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Old 11-10-21, 11:27 PM
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I'm currently running WTB Byways in 700x44, and I'm yet to puncture for over a year.
WTB Byways now also come with extra puncture protection in the SG2 casing.
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Old 11-14-21, 07:21 AM
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I've spent quite a bit of time on Continental TourRides, ranging from 28c up to their 47c. They are an incredibly long lasting tire and often half the price of the Marathons or Gatorskins, and have an excellent tread for water and fine gravel. Unfortunately, new TourRides are rated for E-bike use, and I feel they're heavier and stiffer these days.

For my last event, a hilly century, I decided to try a pair of Continental Grand Sports. They are a budget friendly tire and were available in 32c. As a true slick, I would probably avoid dedicated gravel rides, but could probably manage a few miles if I had to.

I tried 2.1'' WTB ThickSlicks. On pavement they roll great. But, even though they're twice as wide as the Grand Sports, they were terrible on gravel! To me, this is evidence that stability on loose surfaces is a function of knobs, but also of tire suppleness.

Some of the fastest and most stable tires I've run are cross tires (which seems to track with the recommendations given above). Unfortunately, punctures became an issue after about 1,000 miles on these types of tire -- that's a lot of tires if you're approaching 5,000 miles a year. You might consider the Specialized Tracer or Schwalbe Racing Ralph in this vein.

Based on the question, I might suggest the Specialized Crossroads Armadillo or the Continental Terra Trail Shield to suit your goals. I haven't personally tried these -- I'd rather not have knobs on tires that will see 2,000-5,000 miles and 95% on pavement. Your use case, and mileage, may vary.
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Old 11-14-21, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
My wife and I own a number of bikes but for rides where the condition of route is either not known or known to be poor, we ride our gravel bikes. She rides on 28c Armadillos while I go between two wheelsets wearing either 32c GP5000s or 35c Gravel Kings.
Based on the experience here, what would be recommended if you were on a ride where you could expect anything from good pavement to moderate gravel?
A long distance ride with moderate gravel and roads? I would not enter the event.

If I had to, I would be on Loup Loup or BabyShoes.
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Old 11-14-21, 08:14 AM
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My usual rides consist of gravel and pavement. Currently using maxxis velocita in 40mm. Supposed to have dual compound to increase mileage but I haven't seen excessive gains over gravel king slicks.

Next tires to go on will probably be gravel king slicks in a 38mm. I usually have the rear tire with a stronger anti puncture layer then the front. Hard to choose anything else but panaracers tires in the 35-42mm range.

I wish continental would make the gp5k in a 38mm.

Bigger tires may take more power to turn over (?) when looking at short rides under 60 miles - I'm a bit slower then riding on my old 25mm tires. However anything from 80miles to 120miles to 160miles to 200 mile rides have been faster on wider (40mm) tires.

Edited to say that I often find gravel to be smoother than pavement. I can choose a smooth line on a gravel road, but those stupid expansion (frost?) cracks on pavement can be killer.

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Old 11-14-21, 12:15 PM
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A lot of our gravel is really smooth right now. You can ride anything on it. Just don't hit the big rocks that are embedded in the roads.
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Old 11-20-21, 10:56 PM
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Rei has the WTB tires and I handled some. They feel very supple and I might try a pair when my GKs are done.
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Old 11-20-21, 11:11 PM
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Continental Ride Tour City/Trekking 32mm - For me they are proven. I ride not so much off road but in allot of torn up asphalt with gravel and pot holes and Lions, and Tigers, and Bears...

They have excellent flat resistance but are lighter than some of the other flat resistant tires. They ride smooth on a center strip but have just enough grab on the edges to keep you afloat when needed. I am very, very happy with them.


Lately it's been kinda hard to find 27" Ride/Tour tires so I am trying some Kenda K184 1-3/8. They seem to be working out so far but I only have about 100 miles of torn up asphalt on them. Very sooth ride so far.

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Old 11-22-21, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
A long distance ride with moderate gravel and roads? I would not enter the event.

If I had to, I would be on Loup Loup or BabyShoes.
I suppose I might not have been clear, its not an organized ride, its just the varying terrain that we encounter out riding. There is an extensive levee system in this area that is permissible to ride bikes on. At times it turns to asphalt then back to gravel, etc.

We also do a good number of road rides on different bikes when we know the route but this situation is more of an exploration ride.
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Old 11-22-21, 06:46 PM
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I've ridden moderate gravel with 30 and 32 mm tires like GP5000 but the side walls take a beating unless the stones are smallish. It sounds like your surfaces are modest and that GP5000 would be ok on the paths/levee and would excel on pavement. That is probably what I would ride, if I understand your surfaces.

Pretty much all the tires recommended would work well on the "gravel" but some would be better on pavement. If most of the riding is on paved roads and the ride is long, do you want to purpose made gravel tires?

On rougher gravel roads, I tend to like the Herse/Compass tires in terms of comfort and speed. However, the casings in extra legere are fragile. The 700 x 35, 650B x38 or 42 are slower than the GP5000 on roads but clearly faster and more importantly would have better control on gravel.
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Old 11-22-21, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
I suppose I might not have been clear, its not an organized ride, its just the varying terrain that we encounter out riding. There is an extensive levee system in this area that is permissible to ride bikes on. At times it turns to asphalt then back to gravel, etc..
How long are these rides?
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Old 11-22-21, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
How long are these rides?
20-35 most rides
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Old 11-23-21, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Rei has the WTB tires and I handled some. They feel very supple and I might try a pair when my GKs are done.
What kind? I liked the 700x37mm Riddler's - I liked the assurance of the large side knobs and the center small knobs were fast on pavement.
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Old 11-23-21, 07:01 AM
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I think several. Small knob, slickish, and file?
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Old 11-23-21, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
20-35 most rides
I'm somewhat curious about why you chose this forum, instead of, say, the gravel forum. But at those distances, I would just go with gravelking small knob and be happy. I have really good luck with them on my gravel bike. I use that bike for all kinds of riding, not just gravel. They definitely cut down on the stress when riding gravel or bad surfaces and they aren't super slow. They might be too draggy if you were riding 300km mostly on roads, or something like that. But I have ridden them on 200km mixed surface rides with some success. For mostly road rides with some rail trail fine gravel, I have some 40mm Maxxis velocitas.
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Old 11-25-21, 09:02 AM
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I'd go with something like the Continental Terra Speed in 35mm. Aggressive looking knobbies but don't be fooled this will be a quick tire on pavement. I've ridden Continental's 2.2" knobbie tires with the protection layer and black chili compound on pavement - quick and long lasting.

Being even five minutes slower on your 30 mile route won't ruin your day. 5 seconds of sliding out on gravel will.

The most common way of crashing for me is always around a corner, half the time at low low speeds transitioning from pavement to gravel or arriving at a pit stop. I really like more aggressive side knobs just for this.
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