Gravel race tires 2024

Does anyone have experience with Panaracer Seal Smart? Rene Herse recommends the use of it with their Rene Herse tires (hurr durr, doesn’t panaracer make their tires?!). Anyway, I had this sealant in my Extralight Snoqualmie Pass tires and it dried up trough winter.

I wanted to take the tires off and clean them from the old sealant but it was nearly impossible to get the tires off the rim. Once the tire bead was pushed into the rim channel the tires would stick together like they were glued together. I tried leaving them out in the sun, I tried soapy water and one tire I got off the other I had to cut off the rim. In the end I was sweating blood and tears.

This never happened with any tire/sealant rim combination I used on the road or off road. I was riding the Roval CLX 50 (version 1) with the original Conti 5000 TL tires so I know a thing or two about how to get stubborn tires off wheels… But this never happened before. Any thoughts?

I have no specific experience with this product. However, I’ve found that tire sealants in general are incredibly variable in their functionality and durability, and a surprising number just don’t work very well. My general rule is that no matter what a brand recommends, use either Stan’s or Orange Seal.


will revert back to Stans. When I originally mounted the tires I was a bit freaked out about the fact that they were hookless. That was back then when this whole topic started to ‘blow up’ (badum tss) on the internet. So I wanted to do everything “by the book”, caved and got the sealant the manufacturer of the tires recommended. Never again will I buy that sealant. Had to bin a perfectly fine 100$ tire :cry:

1 Like

I think you’re right. 44 mezcal.

I’ve had something similar happen when I didn’t remove my cross tires+inserts after the season. A few months later, the Stan’s sealant was very, very sticky to itself, so between the insert and the stickiness, I absolutely could not remove the tire. I had to resort to buying the Vittoria tire pliers to get the tire off the rim. They made it much easier, but it still took some force. Lesson learned - either keep sealant topped off or remove and clean out tubeless tires entirely before they sit for months at a time.

1 Like

I had a similar issue with a MTB setup in years past. I forgot where I learned this, but I put WD40 at the rim/tire interface and then forcing a tire lever in, I could finally create a gap.

1 Like


I’ve had my Pathfinder 47s on for a couple weeks now… coming from the S-Works 42s and the 38s that came stock on my Crux prior to that.

Average speeds have never wildly fluxuated between the 3 sizes. The 47s are worlds more comfortable and grippy than the 38s on dirt, they might FEEL a bit sluggish on pavement but my Wahoo/Strava/Power/Speed #s don’t support that feel, it could be all mental.


How do the 47’s feel compared to the S-Works 42’s. I currently run the 42’s and love them…they plump up to 43’s on my 25ID wheels.

1 Like

Really only notice that they’re a little softer on chunky and harsh stuff. On road and hardpack they’re about the same.

1 Like

Per the Marginal Gains podcast, the aero penalty of fat tires actually pretty minimal: they quote 1-2 watts per 5mm, with 40s taking 17 watts per wheel at 20MPH, 45s=18.8, 50s=20.2. I think RR differences are also fairly modest on pavement, and the fatter tires are both comfier and faster rolling on rough gravel. All to say, I think the current thinking is run the fattest tires your frame will take unless your event has a ton of fast asphalt. This was certainly the case at Unbound.

This has also made me rethink what the “fastest” gravel frameset is; most of the racy geo/aero options max out at low-40s tires. The Crux looks pretty good in this regard TBH, good geo but can clear 47+ tires. The new Aspero also seems solid (rated for 45s but that’s with 6mm clearance on all sides, so should take 50s just fine.)

1 Like

Swiss Side has done extensive aero testing with various gravel wheel setups:*18i746y*_up*MQ..*_ga*MjEzNTcxNzM1MC4xNzE4MzQzMDQw*_ga_HBSHTDB22F*MTcxODM0MzA0Ny4xLjEuMTcxODM0MzA3Ni4wLjAuMA


Good data, I hadn’t seen that.

The one comparison I wish they’d included is deep vs. shallow rims with the fattest tires. I’m still not really sure how much a deep section wheel, even a wider model, helps if the tire is in the 45+ size range. It surely depends on the specific tire/rim combo; Dylan Johnson/Josh Portner’s tests revealed the Conti Race King 2.2 MTB tires were basically as fast as some 40mm gravel tires due to….casing shape? Tread pattern? Voodoo?

I also haven’t seen super clear data on RR across tire sizes on a rigid bike in rough gravel. I think SwissSide’s RR data is all for smooth surfaces ie measuring casing losses, but in gravel impedance losses are way more important, and quite fat tires let you safely run pressures that minimize those.

1 Like

I think my view point on gravel bikes has changed also.

4 years ago I had an aspero and it could take a 42. Then I got a kanzo fast and i could fit a 45 in that bike. I got the Factor and it could take a 45 but has only a few mm of clearance. I if I was racing anything over 100 miles again I would want clearance up to 50mm.

I currently like Giants new offering or the Rodeo TD04. When I was buying the factor I almost ordered the Rodeo TD04 just to get 50mm of tire clearance.


Anyone here with some experience on the Terra Speed TR in 40 (or 45mm) vs the 42mm Pathfinder Pros?

I’m looking to mount them on my new Nextie NXT45AGX wheels with Vittoria air liners. According to BRR the Terra Speed in 40mm is the faster option, should conform to the 105% rule better on the 40mm wide wheels and only slightly loosing out on puncture protection (the air liner should help with that and should only cost 1W?), but anecdata found online says the Terra Speeds wear quite quickly? I mostly ride on level 2 gravel with some looser sandy sections.

Both are good options. The Pathfinder Pro’s are an extremely long lasting tire and the Terra Speed’s do wear much, much quicker.

If you go Terra Speeds and have the clearance, I’d lean towards the 45s. More comfort at lower pressure and may be faster because of this.


My view point on a 25 ID rim.
Pathfinder 42 - great tire measures 44
Pathfinder 47 - great tire measures 45
Terra Speed 40 - runs 40mm
Terra Speed 45 - runs 43 great tire

I love my terra speed 45mm, to me this is one of the best gravel tires. I would run this tire in all races but something like unbound with known sharp rocks. Terra speed 40 just is small in todays market of gravel tires. Pathfinders are the best in my opinion in terms of durability. If you want to put one tire on the wheel and never remove it I would run a 47 pathfinder. Its heavy though

1 Like

I’m curious why you picked the 47 over the 42 considering it’s only 1mm difference with a big weight penalty?

I thought it would be wider, when I mounted I found out that was not the case.

1 Like

Yeah, I’m really surprised how the 47’s don’t come close to 47, even on a 25 internal width rim.

My rims are 23’s and they came out to 45.