Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 47 total)
  • How fast actually are ‘fast’ gravelly tyres on tarmac?
  • submarined
    Member

    I’m currently building a set of tubeless compatible wheels for my commuter (Charge Plug), and need to sort tyres.
    At the moment I’m running OEM Charge wheels with 28c GP4ks and it’s fine. felt awful with the Maxxis OEM Ramblers on it though!

    I only commute on road but maybe 10% of the time I’d like to go via the towpaths. After new tyres in the 35-38 range and I guess I’m trying to figure out how much slower something like a GravelKing SK will feel than the GP4ks.
    I’m not overly bothered about how slow they actually are, more the feel, as I hated how the Ramblers felt.
    Any input greatly appreciated to stop me making a £70+ mistake.

    corroded
    Member

    Schwalbe G-Ones are plenty fast enough and would be grippy enough for towpaths.

    mikewsmith
    Member

    G-One Bites on mine, happy on the road and always seems to surprise roadies how well they are going.

    I think 35-38 may be overkill for your stated usage.

    I would be looking more at 32-35. Something like a g-one as above or maybe a donelly strada

    I’ve got Gravel King SK and they feel fine on the road, but as others have said you might be better off with a more slick tyre given the limited amount of off-road you’ll be doing. I guess the semi-slick tread on GK SK’s won’t last long on the road. Vittoria Hypers would be fine and they are cheap on PX?

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    Clement XPlor USH in 35c here on my Croix De Fer and they seem pretty quick compared to my road tyres on the other bike

    Premier Icon mr_stru
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a set of Specialized Roubaix Pros in 32mm and they seem reasonably quick and despite being basically slick are fine on gravel and the odd bit of singletrack as long as it’s reasonably dry. The place I mostly notice is if it’s a bit muddy and uphill then grip is a bit tenuous. I’d have no problems with them on a towpath.

    Premier Icon drewd
    Subscriber

    I’ve just gone from 35c Vittoria Voyager Hypers to 35c Gravel king Sk on my steel Charge Plug, which I presume is the model prior to yours.

    The Vittorias were tubed, gravel kings are tubeless, which was the main reason I changed. I’ve only had one short ride so far, running lower pressures and I suspect the Vittorias were a little faster on tarmac. Honestly I don’t think there’s much in it, and I expect the gravel kings are better in hard packed dirt. The vittorias came up larger than the gravel kings too.

    Have you considered the normal Gravel king slick?

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Subscriber

    I was out riding with a mate the other day – he was riding 30mm Schwalbe S-Ones tubeless and I was on my SS with tubeless 45mm Riddlers – on a long gentle downhill where we weren’t pedalling, I was rolling just as quick. It’s only when riding at speeds above 30kph do I found the extra effort noticeable.

    OEM/Cheap tyres with wire beads and thick sidewalls will feel awful in comparison

    tinribz
    Member

    How about putting some 27.5 wheels on!

    That should add a little pep to acceleration?

    Might even get a wider set in and the diameter / geometry probably be the same as 700 26c.

    kerley
    Member

    At the moment I’m running OEM Charge wheels with 28c GP4ks and it’s fine.

    I only commute on road but maybe 10% of the time I’d like to go via the towpaths.

    Just continue using the GP4000 tyres, they will be fine for your 10% tow path use. That way 90% of your ride will be on optimal tyres rather than 10% (if you switch to a gravel tyre)

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Member

    As I believe I have mentioned, I had a good day and put some effort in on my 29er with 2.3 Ralph’s and got a series of PBs on well worn segments. So there’s not that much in it 🙂

    paule
    Member

    I’m running a Vitoria hyper on the back, and a fast gravel tyre (terrene Elwood) up front. Most of the speed of slicks, but surprisingly ok off road too. I’ve run slick rear and light tread front for ages now, and the extra drag from a rear treaded tyre is much more noticeable than the extra speed from slicks both ends.

    shedbrewed
    Member

    I have some Vittoria Terreno Zero’s which are supposed to be a fast gravel tyre. Not that impressed to be honest. Great grip but they are too big to be fast in the way that a 28c or even 33c Jack Brown is.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    If you don’t want a £70 mistake, you could do what I did and get a pair of £5 Sport Contacts from Planet X. Then the worst case scenario is a £10 mistake, but so far (admittedly early days) I rather like them.

    steve_b77
    Member

    I’ve done a lot of miles of Vittoria Adventure Trail TNT on tarmac and pathways and they’re fast and grippy enough.

    nicko74
    Member

    get a pair of £5 Sport Contacts from Planet X. Then the worst case scenario is a £10 mistake

    They’ve gone up to £8 now… 😉

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Bloody Brexit!

    Premier Icon w00dster
    Subscriber

    I honestly think there is a big difference in speed and feel. I use 38mm G1 tyres, 32 Bontrager R3s and 25mm Michelin Power Comp.
    The wider tyres handle well, but they don’t have that same feeling of acceleration, or just general speed when riding fast.
    I ride in a fast group ride (generally all racers or ex racers) not a chain gang but still a hard 60 mile ride. I can notice how difficult it is to stay with the group when I’m on the wider tyres. (All on the same bike)
    If the real fast boys are in the ride I put the 25mm tyres on.
    For playing about on though I absolutely love the 38mm tyres and 99% of the time I use those tyres for fun rides on my own. Over the last year my commute has changed and I don’t get to ride the wide tyres off road as much, missing that as it’s much more interesting than thinking about flat out speed. Probably overall the speed isn’t massively different, but it is noticeable more effort for the same speed on the wide tyre.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    My Sport Contacts should arrive tomorrow, ordered after seeing Bez’s Instagram post last week 🙂

    I’m replacing some well worn 35mm Conti Cyclocross tyres with them so expecting a clean sweep of KOMs on every Strava segment.

    I’ve done a lot of miles of Vittoria Adventure Trail TNT on tarmac and pathways and they’re fast and grippy enough.

    Whereas I found them sluggish and wooden (tough though). Changed to Gravel Kings SKs which have more grip, are lighter, and much more supple. When on the road I’m 2mph down on my road bike with 25c Power Endurance.

    If you are riding true gravel and tarmac then a large volume slick or file tread will be best. For those of use that also ride singletrack and bridleway more of a compromise is required. I kept the SKs on all winter and just avoided anywhere with clay. Clay is no fun even with half suitable tyres.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    grippy enough for towpaths.

    infairness you can get away with slicks on towpaths! 😆

    Premier Icon antigee
    Subscriber

    the good news is gravel tyres seem to get faster all the time, i’m waiting for them to be so good i can stop pedalling ….

    recently rode the same gravel road 2 days running firstly with my usual 35mm sammy slicks (small side nobbles) and then 32mm swalbe marathons and what I did notice was that on any heavily cambered sections it was much easier to get out of any loose gravel I’d dropped into and “up the camber” back onto compacted gravel with the side nobbles – previously I’d have said nobbles only help in wet and for uphill traction now changed my mind

    submarined
    Member

    Cheers all 🙂 Some helpful info.
    Regarding the size – I’m happy to try 35s but do’t really want to go bigger.
    Unfortunately some of the suggestions (like the bargain Contis) are a no go as I want to run tubeless. And I’m not listening to reason or very valid arguments about it 😀

    I’ve tried the GP4000s on the towpath, and they a) puncture, b)were a bit scary, and c) felt pretty harsh. Hence upsizing a bit.

    Gravelking (non SK) seem like a good compromise, plus skinwall (skinwall is a BIG preference) – as do the Ritchey’s that CFH suggested, but they don’t seem very available in the UK.

    One thing I won’t be doing is Singletrack. I have zero desire for that. That’s what I have fun bikes for.
    Looks like GKs may be most suitable then 🙂

    FWIW I’m not a fast road rider, average speed is probably 15/16mph.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Ah, sorry, missed the tubeless bit. Doh.

    (skinwall is a BIG preference) – as do the Ritchey’s that CFH suggested, but they don’t seem very available in the UK.

    Approved!

    My LBS got me a pair within a day or two of asking. If you’re anywhere near Wiltshire…

    kerley
    Member

    I’ve tried the GP4000s on the towpath, and they a) puncture, b)were a bit scary, and c) felt pretty harsh. Hence upsizing a bit.

    Fair enough. I ride 23c tyres everywhere and don’t find them scary or harsh but admit I would get a lot of punctures if I used a tyre as fragile as a GP4000. At 10% of a ride I would just put up with it for the better 90% but we are all different.

    I ride 23c tyres

    I think that puts you in the minority nowadays. 25 – 28 is where its at.

    kerley
    Member

    I think that puts you in the minority nowadays. 25 – 28 is where its at.

    No doubt. I personally find no difference on road or gravel between a 23 a 25 or a 28 so I go with the 23 as it is lighter and gives a more agile feeling. I also wouldn’t base my tyre choice on 10% of my ride but as I said, we are all different.

    I personally find no difference on road or gravel between a 23 a 25 or a 28

    so I go with the 23 as it is lighter and gives a more agile feeling

    do you see what you did there?

    The 38mm Gravel King slicks are very fast and light, less than 350g (quoted at 320g, mine weighed 330-340g)

    Tanwall as well, and relatively cheap at Merlin, Sigma Sport…

    Or you could go for the 32mm version if spending minimal time offroad.

    kerley
    Member

    do you see what you did there?

    Yes, other than the weight (and things associated with the weight) I find no difference. If you are trying to prove a point here you are wasting your time – I prefer 23c tyres, shoot me.

    Yes, other than the weight (and things associated with the weight) I find no difference. If you are trying to prove a point here you are wasting your time – I prefer 23c tyres, shoot me.

    The point is you claim a 23mm tyre will give better performance on the 90% tarmac. This is well known not to be the case.

    submarined
    Member

    Thanks again all, and thanks for the pointers. Just ordered a pair of 38c Tanwall GKs. Will see how I get on.

    Yes, other than the weight (and things associated with the weight)

    Oh yeah, and a 23mm GP4K weighs 215g, a 28mm weighs 235g. Are you really suggesting you can feel that 20g difference?

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    The point is you claim a 23mm tyre will give better performance on the 90% tarmac.

    To be fair, the claim was that they are lighter (correct) and more “agile feeling” (given that they’re lighter, probably also correct—at least logically if not palpably).

    “Better performance” needs qualifying. What people tend to mean by that these days is “lower rolling resistance”, but even that needs qualifying. What most people on cycling forums tend to mean by that these days is “lower rolling resistance according to the very limited test applied by Bicyclerollingresistance.com”, ie rolling resistance with constant load in a straight line over a series of bumps that are all of the exact same size, profile and frequency.

    Premier Icon w00dster
    Subscriber

    Going way of tangent – but trailwagger – 23mm does give better performance on tarmac (rim dependent). But most road rims are “faster” with 23mm road tyres (or at least the correct combination of road tyre).
    Newer ENVE rims are designed for 25mm tyres, but majority of the older rims are faster with a 23mm.

    That being said, we are talking about micro differences. The majority of people whom I have seen say that there is no difference or even that wide tyres are faster, tend to be people selling wide tyres.

    Personally I wouldn’t race on anything above a 25mm tyre, I’ve never seen or heard of anyway racing in the UK on anything above a 28mm tyre (winter series I’ve used a 28mm tyre once or twice). But this is way off tangent.

    I also don’t want to derail this thread, but do you have any data to back you claims of 23mm being the better performer? Everything I have read for the last 5 or 6 years has said otherwise, so I am genuinely interested in where you have got your information.

    Premier Icon brassneck
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    According to Strava I fairly consistently average 4-5Kph less on cross tyres (Michelin Muds 33mm) vs. Conti GP4000s II (25mm). Might be a bit of winter lethargy though, as I tend to just leave the cross wheelset on for road rides too over winter.

    re: the above – I have about half the punctures on 25mm than I do on 23mm so for me they are faster overall 😀 – crappy roads and to much belly fat round my way.

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