Wednesday, September 30, 2020

WW4M: Donnelly USH 700 X 40mm Tires


The Gravel Bus with the Donnelly USH 700 X 40mm tires.
This is another "WW4M" post. That means "What Works For Me" and it may not work for you. So, take that with the following words into consideration.....

So, we have a tire review here of a tire that, frankly, I was prepared not to like very much. See, I had tried a USH from (then Clement) Donnelly Tires back when it first came out. that tire was a 'skinny' 35mm or so wide and just wasn't very impressive. Oh yeah, this was back when all gravel tires were tubed. Those were the days, eh?

Anyway, I needed a tire for a wheel set test last year and the marketing person for Donnelly was amenable to having me look at the USH again. So I got my mitts on a 700c X 40mm pair of the USH tires. Skin wall ones, of course. These ended up on the Noble Bikes GX5 for a time and then they went on the BMC MCD and afterward they sat on those Irwin Cycles AON GX35 carbon wheels while other stuff got tested. Then came time for the Gravel Bus to be built and well, those wheels went on and that was that. In between I knew that I wanted those tires to stay on those wheels. 

Why? Well, it goes back to a ride I did with N.Y. Roll back in late 2019 where I was testing some lights and I just have that ride stuck in my mind because, for some strange reason, those tires and I bonded. I just thought they worked well on smoother gravel. Back into the Winter months the gravel around here gets pretty smooth and was perfect for the USH. 

Now when Spring came and gravel got thick and chunky, I wasn't thinking the USH would be what I would end up running on the Gravel Bus, but ya know what? I ended up liking them just fine at "a bit lower than I had been running pressures". (No, I have no idea what it is exactly. ) I just air them up until I see that tire squat about 'just so' and then I know what I am seeing will run about right. Pay no mind to that gauge! I probably should look sometime to see what it is, but frankly, I hate giving out psi info because that information is personal and for me. It isn't a 'gospel message' or a hard and fast rule for anyone, not even myself. But most folks don't see it that way. Whatever....

This is about the USH, and I like it a lot. It's fast, the casing feels damped, and it actually isn't as bad as I thought on rough, chunky gravel. It 'works for me', and I think it is a tire that maybe deserves a bit more attention than it gets. 

Note: Donnelly Tires sent out the 700c X 40mm Strada USH tires for test and Review to Riding Gravel in 2019. I was not paid, nor bribed for this post and I always strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.


Michael said...

The 35mm USH’s have been my go to tire on my road bike for the last couple years. Love that there’s now a 40mm version

S.Fuller said...

So many people want the quick answer of "What's the best X" or "What's the perfect Y for this application". Many times, the answer truly is "try something and see how it works for you"

Guitar Ted said...

@S. Fuller- Having spent a lot of my life in retail, I understand that some people just want you to tell them what to do. However; when there is no tangible reward for your consultation, (IE: online/forum banter)then I am reticent to give any opinions. Also, you can spend a lot of energy in thinking about someone else's problem, come up with a solution that they seem excited about, and then find out later that they did the exact thing you advised against. (Happens a lot, by the way) This also dissuades me from giving my opinions online.

I've taken the stance that unless someone directly e-mails me, I don't get involved anymore. Time and energy are too precious to waste on that.