|Some tires, like these Vittoria Terreno Mix tires, are just plain weird.|
To be completely honest, most tires are pretty decent. It would be a lot easier to talk about tires that are weird, aren't very good, or just downright bad. There are fewer of those than there are tires that are so-so, and definitely fewer of those than good, decent tires.
But I am talking about aftermarket performance tires in that regard, mind you. Not the ubiquitous "replacement tire", or the cheapo tires used on "mart bikes", or tires meant for entry level bike shop bikes. Those are mostly terrible tires. No, I'm talking about tires that purport to be performance enhancing, but for whatever reason, weren't. Tires costing more than $35.00-$40.00 dollars, typically.
Those tires, in my opinion, are tires that fell short of promises and performance was lacking. But enough about those tires. I don't like them, and that isn't what this post is about. This is about tires I like. Some were listed in that post linked above. Others are not there because they are not gravel tires.
|Surly Lou's are nice. I like them a lot.|
I guess I still like the ol' Nanoraptor, or as WTB calls it now, the "Nano". It does a lot of things well. The Bontrager brand still is rolling out some great stuff. Maxxis, Specialized, and others do some fine treads.
Fat bike tires, now there is some weird stuff going on there! I'll tell ya that for flotation and traction that I look for, the Surly Bud and Lou are hard to beat. Yeah, yeah.......they aren't tubeless. Okay, that isn't a huge deal to me. While having a Bud or Lou tubeless might be better, I just don't have the time to maintain that set up by keeping the sealant up to date. My fat bikes see such limited use that having them set up tubeless would be a liability more than a benefit. My fat bikes can sit around for months at a time unused, so when I do want to use one, I don't want to have to dink around refreshing the sealant.
On the other hand, if a gravel tire model comes out and it is not rated for tubeless, it is not going to be a tire I like. I insist on running tubeless on gravel anymore. It makes a big difference in ride quality, not to mention the elimination of pinch flats. So, there are some gravel tire models I don't like for that reason. Tires like Challenge's Gravel Grinder, which would be a stellar tread pattern if it could be used tubeless.
So, there are a lot of tires I like, and I've been fortunate to have tried many so I know.