Gravel Tire input- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Gravel Tire input

    Between WTB Byway 40c and Panaracer Gravelking SK 38c (both 700 tires with tan-wall), which one do you think rolls better on pavement? Looking at the thread, it seems that Byway might roll better due to the smooth center, but want to hear real-world experience.

    If you've tried both, i would love your thoughts on these tires. Planning on mounting it tubeless on Hunt 4Season Gravel wheels (20mm inner width).

    Bike is cannondale Topstone alloy.

    (I don't want pure road tires as I currently do some gravel as well)
    Kona Process 153 29er

  2. #2
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    I don't have experience with either of those tires, but for what it's worth, I went from a 40c Maxxi Rambler, which has tread across the entire tire, to a 42c Specialized Pathfinder Pro, which has a flat center, and the Specialized was noticeably more quite on pavement. I found the buzz from the Maxxis to be annoying on the road.

    edit: there is a 38c size for the specialized too, just FYI

  3. #3
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    I have a byway40 on the back of my gravel steed. Itís plenty rolly.

    As long as youíre sitting, and not standing and smashing, it holds its own in plenty of situations that will surprise.

  4. #4
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    I think you almost want to step back from your original question and ask what you want most from a tyre as between the 2 you're looking at one may be better than the other depending on your riding conditions.

    Last winter it was quite wet and my GK SK's did me well in some light mud, same tracks but this year the same tracks turned to heavy mud and they weren't enough ... eventually I switched out to Smart Sam Plus's for better traction but also when it was so miserable would rather lose average speed than have a puncture in miserable weather.

    I've just swapped the same bike's tyres for Vittoria Voyager Hypers for the summer ... don't mind sitting in the sunshine reparing a flat and with lockdown there are less cars on the roads but lots of people on the combined tracks with gravel (would ratyher keep my distance if possible) so prefer the more road friendly tyres at the moment.

    Analyse your riding conditions / surfaces and time of year (may want to swap between easons) and importance of 0.5 mph faster or no punctures and people will be able to give you more suggestions / input.

    Hope that's vaguely of help.

  5. #5
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    The dreaded bike tire question...
    The only important thing these days, is rhythm and melody. Rhythm...and melody.

  6. #6
    jrm
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    I run the GK SKs, in a smaller size (35c) but i do so tubed so that i have the ability to run a lot of different pressures for different circumstances.

  7. #7
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    Would be excited to try a pair of these if they had a 700cc option:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaT5CVJuviY

    I haven't tried either of the tires you mentioned, but ordered a pair of the 700x38 gravel kings the other day and can report back!

  8. #8
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    I have a few thousand miles on GK 38 slicks and a few hundred on Byway 44s.

    The GKs are lighter and faster but only last about 1500 miles. They're cheap though. I only got a few punctures on them, but when they got old they just kinda gave up on holding air.

    The Byways are a bit slower but hold air better and are probably more durable. They're more comfortable but that could be the extra 3mm (GKs were a bit big, Byways a bit small).

    They're both great tires.
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  9. #9
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    Thanks all. Ordered and got my 40c Byway. Now just waiting for my new Hunt x-wide 4season wheelset to come - hopefully in a couple of weeks. Then to set it tubeless and on to the bike.
    Kona Process 153 29er

  10. #10
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    I recently replaced my 700x45 WTB Riddlers with 700x44 Byways. I was hoping to get better efficiency on the road without loosing too much on the gravel and trails. They were a challenge to set up tubeless and a tube had to be used to get the bead to seat in my TLR rims. They are holding air well know with 2+ oz of Stan's (no more Finish Line for me).

    Well, I am very impressed. They roll sooooo much better on the tarmac than the Riddlers and once off the hardpack, they fully deliver. They even hook up in sand and some mud if you keep your balance back.

    Gravel Tire input-_yx1ipzur3qwpqjl57pzvg.jpg

  11. #11
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    Anyone running Byways in the back & riddler or really any aggressive tire in the same size range(43-45) in the front? How does it ride?

  12. #12
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    My anecdata. Over the past year I've ridden:

    • 32mm Gatorskins front/back (tubed)
    • 38mm GravelKing slicks f/b (tl)
    • 40mm Schwalbe Bite f/b (tl)
    • 40/38mm Maxxis Ramblers f/b (tl)
    • 50/45mm Maxxis Ramblers f/b (tl)


    Gatorskins roll like crap, but relatively light weight. No fun on bumpy, sandy trails.

    GK slicks need around 40-45 PSI to roll better than Gatorskins (I'm 155#), so mixed-road rides are a big trade-off, finding a PSI that isn't too miserable on asphalt or trail. When they skid on the trail, they don't want to hook back up. Best for road rides with bad surface.

    Schwalbes roll nicely for knobbies on asphalt; on trails, sidewalls feel squishy, leading to lack of confidence in turns.

    40/38 Ramblers similar to Bites on asphalt, but with more consistent turn-in feel. Both the Bites and Ramblers are bumpy AF going fast on rutted downhills. Not bad if you ride the brakes.

    50/45 Ramblers substantially better on rutted downhills, but also noticeably heavy and lead to higher gearing. The climbing penalty and gear ratio difference is a deal breaker, and after a few uses I'm done with them.

  13. #13
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    been on the 40c Byway now for 400 mile-ish. Definitely rolls so much better than my stock WTB nano. Tubeless setup was a breeze on hunt x-wide 4season wheelset using Airshot canister. Run 35/38 for F/R so far, mostly pavement. Also saw the new GK SS that was recently released - interested to try that next when it's time to change the Byway.
    Kona Process 153 29er

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