|You could go big.....|
First up is the Rock & Road tire. There is no doubt that this tire is the "Gravelists Adventure Tire" in my mind. It can handle any chunky nasties you might encounter, but it still rolls fast on hard pack. I've even heard it sets up very nicely as a tubeless tire. So, for a "one stop shopping experience", get a Rock & Roll tire, that is- if your rig will fit it.
The big surprise for me was that this tire rules on hard packed single track. Grippy, fast, and smooth, up until you get into rocks or roots. Then the small volume bites you a bit. However; if you have a smooth dirt ribbon in your area and it only has a few, if any roots and rocks, you may never want to run a "true mountain bike tire" anymore. This tire is that good on dirt single track.
|....or you could go skinny!|
The Challenge Grifo is only 33mm wide, (versus the 42mm wide Rock & Roll), but its construction and shape make it really work well as a gravel tire for everything up to chunky stuff all the way across the road and deeper gravel. These are the tires I ran last weekend on the 3GR, and the only time I was hating them was when the gravel was fresh and spread all across the roadway.
These are probably awesome for a "go fast" type ride and for now, I can't say how they'd hold up to a constant gravel beating......but I am going to find that out! More riding into the Fall will figure that out for me. I will say that the white rubber looks kind of cool on my Orange Crush and the Vaya. Makes everything seem all cream sickle-like!
So, for me no one tire is "the" tire, but all of these have a place and of course, others do too. For a discussion on tires, gravel events, and whatever comes up, see Mountain Bike Radio today for discussion on that stuff. The "Guitar Ted Show" comes on the air at 8:00pmCST-7:00pm MST Feel free to call in and ask a question with the following #: (646) 595-4113