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  1. #1
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    Which tire for 50/50 Paved and Gravel Roads?

    I just got a Gravel bike and I am planning to use it for both smooth paved roads and gravel roads.
    The gravel/maintenance roads here are not too bad. I donít need a super snobby tire for that, but want something that can work well when it rains and for the sections with loose gravel.
    As mentioned, I will be using the same bike/tires for paved roads so I would like a tire that rolls well and wonít slow me down.
    I know there is not a perfect tire for all situations. But what is the best tire for 50/50 paved/gravel roads? What would you guys recommend?

  2. #2
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    I just got Maxxis Ramblers and love them for both. (Tubeless) 40c f/38c rear.

    On my other wheels I had Terravail Cannonball, awesome tires but not tubeless.

    Panaracer Gravel Kings were highly recommended to me on one of my threads.

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  3. #3
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    WTB has a great lineup, especially if you like skinwalls . Are your wheels 700c or 650b? I use the WTB ByWays but they only offer 650b. 47mm, smooth center, knobs outside. I also tried the Riddler 45 when I ďgraveledĒ my hardtail 29er.

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    I just got Maxxis Ramblers and love them for both. (Tubeless) 40c f/38c rear.

    On my other wheels I had Terravail Cannonball, awesome tires but not tubeless.

    Panaracer Gravel Kings were highly recommended to me on one of my threads.

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    The Maxxis Ramblers and Panacera Gravel Kings are two that I am considering.
    How are they on pavement?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMay View Post
    WTB has a great lineup, especially if you like skinwalls . Are your wheels 700c or 650b? I use the WTB ByWays but they only offer 650b. 47mm, smooth center, knobs outside. I also tried the Riddler 45 when I ďgraveledĒ my hardtail 29er.

    https://www.wtb.com/collections/gravel-cx
    I forgot to mention that. Wheels are 700c.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by j102 View Post
    The Maxxis Ramblers and Panacera Gravel Kings are two that I am considering.
    How are they on pavement?
    So far I have close to 100miles on the Ramblres, 60/40 pavement/dirt. They feel pretty good on asphalt, I don't notice much rolling resistance. A bit knobbier than the Cannonballs, but not much of a difference. Also lighter wheels and tubeless probably helps.

    The GK no idea but very much loved around here, and definitely were my second choice.

    Disclaimer: Maxxis fan boy here, 3 of my bikes are on their tires, they just work for me.

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  7. #7
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    Which tire for 50/50 Paved and Gravel Roads?

    Thanks! I like Maxxis tires too. They are my first choice.
    I was worried that the Ramblers would have a lot of resistance. On the Maxxis website they look knobby.
    Do you mind sharing a close up picture of the Ramblers?

  8. #8
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    Schwalbe G-One for me were good but never tried the Maxxis Rambler. Raced the G-One on gravel/road/trails and they held up fine and felt fast.

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    I have not tried Maxxis gravel tires yet, but this is because I have had such good luck with Panaracer Gravel King SKs. They roll well on gravel and pavement, set up tubeless really easily, and are very well manufactured, i.e. they are round and true which I cannot say about others I have tried. I'm amazed that they are so inexpensive given how nice they are.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by j102 View Post
    Thanks! I like Maxxis tires too. They are my first choice.
    I was worried that the Ramblers would have a lot of resistance. On the Maxxis website they look knobby.
    Do you mind sharing a close up picture of the Ramblers?
    Sure, not as knobby as the appear on line. This is the 40c up front.


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  11. #11
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    Challenge Gravel Grinder

  12. #12
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    Which tire for 50/50 Paved and Gravel Roads?

    Quote Originally Posted by wheelzqc View Post
    Schwalbe G-One for me were good but never tried the Maxxis Rambler. Raced the G-One on gravel/road/trails and they held up fine and felt fast.
    Thatís another tire I hear good things about.
    How does it roll on pavement?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Sure, not as knobby as the appear on line. This is the 40c up front.


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    Thanks for sharing the picture.
    Yeah, it doesnít look too knobby. Iím looking at the 38s. The 40s would be too much for my area. Even 35s would work here.

  14. #14
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    Anytime, I forgot these. Had them on my first CX bike, really nice as well.

    https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...hoCCncQAvD_BwE



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  15. #15
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    WTB Riddlers, 700c, 37c have been working pretty well on dirt, gravel and pavement in the North part of California ( Bay Area). I have tried the G-one on pavement and it worked pretty good too. Also, my co-riders have gravel Kings that theyíre pretty happy with as well.

  16. #16
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    I switch between WTB Exposure 32s and Rambler 40s.

    If it's a 50/50 mix I prefer the WTB 32s every time.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownpownow View Post
    I switch between WTB Exposure 32s and Rambler 40s.

    If it's a 50/50 mix I prefer the WTB 32s every time.
    The width of the tire has a lot to do with rolling resistance. If the thread are similar, the 32s would be faster.

  18. #18
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    I am not a fan of skinnies so on my bike I am running Rambler 40s (which are still a little skinnier than I'd like). My road/gravel mix is similar to yours and I really like the Ramblers. Though I only have a little over 100 miles on them, they seem to roll well in all scenarios.
    Last edited by Rockadile; 07-23-2018 at 06:03 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by j102 View Post
    The width of the tire has a lot to do with rolling resistance. If the thread are similar, the 32s would be faster.
    Obviously.

    The advantage of the Exposures is that they are a file tread with a smoothe center ridge so that also contributes to them rolling faster while still working well off-road.

  20. #20
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    I don't have enough experience in this realm to know what's best. I'm fairly confident that knobby narrow tires have a fairly narrow application, though.

    I'm using spec roubaix 32c on my gravel bike, set up tubeless. They measure at 35c on my 25mm rims. I'm very happy with them; more grip than any road tire, easy tubeless set up, fast rolling imo, and i don't bottom them unless the pressure is excessively low... or because my backpack unzipped and hooked my saddle and i couldn't bunnyhop the curb... which still didn't damage the tire when i OTB'ed. Destroyed a rim, though.

    I see these tires as the wild wild west- it's easy to outclass the tires with modest skill or terrain, so ya gotta figure out what works for yourself. I see riddlers and GKs as the best options though.
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  21. #21
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    @j102

    for the G-One (I had 35mm)

    They felt smooth and fast for sure. I can only compare to Clement MSO and based on feel... oh and Compass tires (which are probably fast as well, but flat-much!). G-One I raced in a trail where i banged the rim. Had mud and they did well. I'd like to try what Vittoria has to offer in graphene which works well on the MTB tubeless !

  22. #22
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    Which tire for 50/50 Paved and Gravel Roads?

    Thanks everyone. Iíll do a few more rides with the factory tires before making a final decision.

  23. #23
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    I'm on 40c Ramblers. The knobs are pretty close and shallow, so they roll well on pavement. The 40c width gives you some plushness if you want it by lowering the psi. On paper, I would tell you that they have to be slower than a narrower, lighter, more road oriented tire... but then I just set a couple of road/climb PRs on them so they must not be too shabby.
    All in all, I think the Ramblers are a great do it all tire. I've ridden them extensively on road, gravel and some rough MTB trails... I even raced cross on them. I would say that I have only found their limit in deeper, looser materials where a more aggressive knob would find better bite.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockadile View Post
    I am not a fan of skinnies so on my bike I am running Rambler 40s (which are still a little skinnier than I'd like). My road/gravel mix is similar to yours and I really like the Ramblers. Though I only have a little over 100 miles on them, they seem to roll well in all scenarios.
    Thanks.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTUB View Post
    I'm on 40c Ramblers. The knobs are pretty close and shallow, so they roll well on pavement. The 40c width gives you some plushness if you want it by lowering the psi. On paper, I would tell you that they have to be slower than a narrower, lighter, more road oriented tire... but then I just set a couple of road/climb PRs on them so they must not be too shabby.
    All in all, I think the Ramblers are a great do it all tire. I've ridden them extensively on road, gravel and some rough MTB trails... I even raced cross on them. I would say that I have only found their limit in deeper, looser materials where a more aggressive knob would find better bite.
    Thanks.

  26. #26
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    My two picks are WTB Exposure and Donnelly Strada USH

    I did a 200 mile ride on the 700x34 Exposure's and had zero issues. That ride consisted of mostly pavement, crushed limestone and some rough gravel. The tires were perfect. I set them up tubeless with orange seal and had 3 small shark tooth shaped rocks stuck in them about halfway but they sealed the puncture.

    I am currently using the Donnelly Strada 700x40s and I am really liking them. I wish they were 120tpi and I might go to the smaller size, but for now they are working great. I cant believe the amount of traction I get on gravel for these tires not having actual side knobs. I run them at 35-40 psi.
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  27. #27
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    I'll cast my vote for GravelKings as well...

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjp20002 View Post
    Challenge Gravel Grinder
    I've used these as well as my current Clement X'Plor MSO and liked them both.

    I think the Clements may be a bit faster despite being bigger 40c vs 38c
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  29. #29
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    I'm on WTB Riddler 37c tires, set up tubeless (37psi front, 42psi rear) and have been very impressed with how fast they roll while offering a very nice amount of grip.

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    I was going to ride a few more miles with the factory 700x30c tires, but decided that they need to go and ordered the Ramblers 700x38c tires. The Ramblers should make the ride much more comfortable.

  31. #31
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    Maxxis ramblers wear out pretty fast.

    Running 38mm gravel king sks and i love them. They do throw lots of little stones, no one can use you for a wind block haha.


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  32. #32
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    Ran both.

    Gravelking SK - great overall tire. Fast, durable, and a ton of sizes. Only downside is the throw small gravel like crazy.

    Maxxis Rambler - a little slower than GK's. Durable and a little more supple. Definitely wear faster than the GK's.

    Both go tubeless, GK's are a little tougher but not terrible. I prefer GK's over Rambler but it's super close. Clement X'Plor are third. They wear real fast, are the slowest of the three, and I've seen more cuts on these than any. All three are good though.

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    Didnít know the Ramblers would wear out fast. Iím sure it would be hundreds of miles.
    Next time around I could try the Gravel Kings SK.

  34. #34
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    Iím thinking of using those But the 700x50 on my Sir9 set up for bike packing
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  35. #35
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    Spent a few years on the Maxxis Ramblers, they are fine. Currently on Panaracer Gravel King SKs, I like them better overall, they are fine on the road.
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  36. #36
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    Which tire for 50/50 Paved and Gravel Roads?

    The Ramblers 700x38c are ready to go. Iím looking forward to try them this weekend on a 50/50 gravel/pavement ride.




  37. #37
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    I'm currently using 42c Specialized Sawtooths on my Ibis Hakka. The Sawtooths feel considerably faster than WTB Riddlers or Clements that I have used before. In the past the one downside of riding my gravel bike has been how much slower I am on pavement like 2+mph slower than using my road bike. The Sawtooths don't feel that way as much and the traction on the gravel is good. Running tubeless at 35psi for all around riding but up to 40psi for more pavement riding. I've got over 600 miles on the Sawtooths and they still have plenty of tread which I can't say for the other tires I've used.

  38. #38
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    Cool, I'm assuming tubeless? Let me know how they hold air for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by j102 View Post
    The Ramblers 700x38c are ready to go. Iím looking forward to try them this weekend on a 50/50 gravel/pavement ride.



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  39. #39
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    Which tire for 50/50 Paved and Gravel Roads?

    No, not yet. Didnít have time. The tires are tubeless ready though.
    Last edited by j102; 08-09-2018 at 02:43 PM.

  40. #40
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    Of all the tires being discussed above in this thread, which has the best weight to durability ratio? Due to some weird warranty circumstances, I ended up with a Vassago Fisticuff frame set that I plan to build up. It will be ridden daily for commuting, on Kansas gravel roads (with lots of sharp flint rock) and I am taking it to Nepal in February where there's the possibility to run over all kinds of weird stuff...

    I have had really good luck with Maxxis EXO on my mountain bikes, though I have moved away from Maxxis due to their stiff feeling casings (on my rigid bikes anyways). The G-One looks like a good option but Schwalbes seem to get destroyed on mtb trails, so I would imagine their gravel tires are the same situation. The Riddler looks like a good option also but I have zero experience with WTB tires.

    Edit: Should also throw in here that I was looking very heavily at the Kenda Flintridge Pro. I rode Kenda Small Block 8s on my commuter for a long time and really liked them, never had any durability issues and they lasted a long time. I haven't seen a lot about it in this thread though... curious if anyone has any experience with them.

  41. #41
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    My GravelKing SKs are holding up pretty well. I ride them on asphalt, dirt and they also regularly see shorter rocky singletrack sections. No punctures yet. Not too heavy, but not super light and fragile either. They roll really really good on asphalt but have way more traction than a slick.
    Still, in outright durability probably not as good as commuter tyres.

  42. #42
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    Rode the Ramblers yesterday for 30 miles of pavement and 10 miles of gravel, and they felt great. No noise, they rolled nice and fast.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by j102 View Post
    Rode the Ramblers yesterday for 30 miles of pavement and 10 miles of gravel, and they felt great. No noise, they rolled nice and fast.
    cool, really nice tires. Let's see who wears them out first lol.

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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    cool, really nice tires. Let's see who wears them out first lol.

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    LOL. I hope to put around 70-80 miles a week on them. And I hope they last for many many miles.

  45. #45
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    I ended up grabbing a set of Teravail Cannonball 42's. Got a really good deal through my shop discount and couldn't pass them up. Anyone got feedback on these tires?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    I ended up grabbing a set of Teravail Cannonball 42's. Got a really good deal through my shop discount and couldn't pass them up. Anyone got feedback on these tires?
    I had them in 38's and actually is a great tire. The only reason I changed was because I went tubeless. They do very well on pavement, and hold their own on dirt. Only a couple of flats but I live in goathead city. I think you will be happy.

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  47. #47
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    Did the 38s not setup tubeless well? They market them as a tubeless tire.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    Did the 38s not setup tubeless well? They market them as a tubeless tire.
    Wheels weren't tubeless ready, and I sold the tires with the wheels and moved to Ramblers when got my new set.

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  49. #49
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    I have been really happy with Compass Bon Jon Pass (35mm) and Barlow Pass (38mm) tires on my Soma Fog Cutter that I ride roughly 1/3 of the time on dirt/gravel, the rest pavement. No singletrack.

    Ridiculously fast, and ridiculously smooth.

    Sidewall are very thin, so if you ride sharp stuff much that might cause problems, but they have held up great for me for a few years.

    Fine file tread, so not good in mud. But otherwise I never miss having knobbies.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    I have been really happy with Compass Bon Jon Pass (35mm) and Barlow Pass (38mm) tires on my Soma Fog Cutter that I ride roughly 1/3 of the time on dirt/gravel, the rest pavement. No singletrack.

    Ridiculously fast, and ridiculously smooth.

    Sidewall are very thin, so if you ride sharp stuff much that might cause problems, but they have held up great for me for a few years.

    Fine file tread, so not good in mud. But otherwise I never miss having knobbies.
    Been using a 650b x 48 for a while now and while I like the diameter, its a little sluggish (410gm) so I'm considering some Bon Jon Pass as they're around the same diameter as my 650b x 2.1 Thunder Burts, but around 310gm for the extrallghts.

    Considering these for long rides, mainly sealed roads and mild gravel at a steady pace.

    Do you think those would be the better option than the 38mm for that use?

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangerineowl View Post
    Been using a 650b x 48 for a while now and while I like the diameter, its a little sluggish (410gm) so I'm considering some Bon Jon Pass as they're around the same diameter as my 650b x 2.1 Thunder Burts, but around 310gm for the extrallghts.

    Considering these for long rides, mainly sealed roads and mild gravel at a steady pace.

    Do you think those would be the better option than the 38mm for that use?
    Iíve never ridden Thunder Burts (just read about them) so I am going to be making assumptions about what you are used to with those.

    All Compass tires mentioned are the Superlight versions

    On pavement, either the Bon Jon 35s or the Barlow 38s will be noticeably faster than what you are on now. It is not so much the weight as the tread and casing. I honestly feel that the Bon Jons are every bit as fast in terms of rolling resistance as any road tire I have ever used, and over stuff like rough chip seal are faster (and smooth as silk). Mine weighed in right around the claimed weight. The only tire that Iíve tried that I think is is faster is the 32mm Stampede Pass - (but I had issues with pinch flats on potholes and uneven pavement)

    After running Bon Jons for a year I decided to try the Barlows. The Barlows are not much wider on the same rims (WTB KOM i21) but seem taller to me. This is just visual impression, I never measured the height of the bon Jons.

    Whereas I barely noticed any difference in pavement speed going from the 32mm Stampede to the 35mm Bon Jon (may have even been in my head), I noticed it more going up to the 38mm Barlow. It might be the increase in weight (almost 100g per tire), or maybe the that extra material is making the sidewalls stiffer, I am not sure. But it is there. However, by any other measure, these are VERY fast rolling on the pavement, even when measured against dedicated pavement tires.

    As far as the weight goes, I see that the newest Barlows are 25-30 grams lighter than mine, the they may be faster.

    Needless to say, the larger volume and lower pressures it allows makes the Barlows better than the Bon Jons on chunky gravel, but I am sure either will be a big step down from your Thunder Burts.

    Also, I have yet to try running mine tubeless. I planned to this summer, but reports indicate these are quite finicky, and results have been mixed. This is significant because if you are running tubes, volume really matters. Running the Bon Jons, pinch flats were limiting me to about 5 psi higher than I would have liked in the rear. The problem was not gravel roads, but all of the broken pavement and potholes in town. With the Barlows I ride what I like and have never gotten a flat.

    Hard to say which is better for what you are describing. Guess it depends on how ďgravelyĒ the gravel part is. If we are talking things like dirt roads with a thin layer of pea-sized gravel I would go with the Bon Jon 35s. They do just as well as the Barlows on that stuff and are faster in pavement.

    On the other hand, if things are a bit rougher/looser, or if the gravel part is the focus of the riding, I would consider the newer Barlows.

    Iíll say this about the Bon Jons: even if I never left the pavement, this is the tire I would run on any road bike I plan to own. They are that good on pavement, and the worse the pavement, the better they get.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  52. #52
    z1r
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    I'm running the Teravail Cannonball 38's on my Cosmic Stallion and like them. I run 35mm Clement XíPlor USH's on my MMD and feel they're bit faster on pavement and work pretty well on gravel. But not so good on the sandy sections.

  53. #53
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    I'm not sure how or why but on bicyclerollingresistance.com the Compass tyres didn't do too good...

    https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...-jon-pass-2018

    If these measurements are correct the Thunder Burts for example would be actually faster than a 35mm paper thin slick. Or the Vittoria Voyager Hypers which have some puncture protection and cost half the price. Not tubeless sadly but they're nice tyres for sure. I feel like GravelKing SKs roll even better tho which is a bit weird.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyBoni View Post
    I'm not sure how or why but on bicyclerollingresistance.com the Compass tyres didn't do too good...

    https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...-jon-pass-2018

    If these measurements are correct the Thunder Burts for example would be actually faster than a 35mm paper thin slick. Or the Vittoria Voyager Hypers which have some puncture protection and cost half the price. Not tubeless sadly but they're nice tyres for sure. I feel like GravelKing SKs roll even better tho which is a bit weird.
    They were not testing the EL version.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  55. #55
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    Yup that's true. I would be very interested to see how the extralight performs, but heavier tyres outperformed the already thin standard version so no high hopes.

    I think I would be too scared to ride them tho, especially after hearing all the horrible tubeless stories.

    There is the Panaracer Gravelking slick that now comes in 622x40, and in 650b 38, 42, 48.

    The 622x40 weighs 320g and they claim it has some kind of puncture protection, not sure how they do that. Pretty good price compared to Compass.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyBoni View Post
    Yup that's true. I would be very interested to see how the extralight performs, but heavier tyres outperformed the already thin standard version so no high hopes.

    I think I would be too scared to ride them tho, especially after hearing all the horrible tubeless stories.
    I think smooth drum rolling tests need to be taken with a shaker full of salt. The advantage is that they are highly controllable and repeatable... the downside is that they are very limited in how they simulate real world conditions.... unless you are riding on indoor rollers

    Tour magazine (German) did some tests that have the tires rolling over flat surfaces that vary in texture. In those tests, the Compass tire held its own against a bunch of racing tires on smooth surfaces and beat them on rougher ones. Unfortunately I don't speak German, so I don't know a ton of details. Maybe someone who reads German can help out here: https://www.tour-magazin.de/komponen...lr/a45779.html

    Here is one chart from that:
    Which tire for 50/50 Paved and Gravel Roads?-32ce49c6be2506e5eabc1c6d55e8af39cbd41fba.jpg
    Of course, this test has issues because they ran the pressure higher than most people would do. Also, I have seen criticism of the test that it factors in too much low speed data.

    The bottom line is that these tests are interesting and informative,but what ultimately matters is what happens in real world use. What I do know is that people who actually TRY them tend to agree about how fast they are.

    Anyway, run what you want, I've got no skin in the game. If you want to run tubeless, that is probably a good reason to avoid them for now. But rolling resistance is not.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  57. #57
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    Yeah who knows what's true...

    That 6 bar is funny tho.

    I'm on GK SKs right now, 40 in the back, 43 in the front. Love them. I was really really surprised how good these tyres roll when I first tried them in 32mm. As fast as most slicks but waaaay more traction on every surface.

    I pump them up a bit and go for a 4-5 hour road ride, and I never feel the tyres hold me back.

    Go down to 30-35 psi and I even ride singletrack on them.

    Bottoming out the front tyre is a part of riding for me nowadays, have to run tubeless.

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