So I recently bought a used gravel bike and it needs new tires soon. I have been using Schwalbe pro 1s on my road bike and have been impressed. I like the look of their g ones for gravel. A bunch of my buddies are running panaracer gravel kings on their gravel bikes and are happy. From what I read the panaracers have better reviews for gravel than Schwalbe. Now to the big discrepancy:
Schwalbe is 2X the price of panaracer in Canada! Both at the local bike shop and online dealers. Panaracer is made in Japan so it’s not like they are cheaping out.
How in the world can Schwalbe be charging double the competition? I do notice they advertise a heck of a lot. Has anyone else had the same experience tire shopping?
Hmm, I’m not seeing it. I see both GKs and Schwalbe G-One Allaround at around US$50, at least at worldwidecyclery.com.
Bigger picture: there are lots of good tires out there. Look at WTB, Maxxis, Vittoria, Kenda, Specialized, Donnelly … etc. The difference between them is small compared to how much my skills or fitness could improve (at least for me). Don’t fall prey to the fallacy of “there’s only one right answer.”
Another big factor for me has always been how well they set up tubeless with the particular rims I have. What works for me may be lousy for you, and vice versa.
I would also ask your riding mates or people in your area that ride gravel. It’s best to see what has worked best for them rather than going broke trying to stay with the latest trends.
Personally, I’ve had great success with Donnelly X’plor MSO tubeless 700x35, even though I am leaning of going with a 40mm width for what I do. I also have a set of G-One tubed that are super durable and fast enough for my endurance riding. I’ve only “raced” on the Donnellys and they corner well and roll fast on hard packed gravel/dirt roads.
I have also noticed the Panaracers tend to be cheaper than some other tires. I am currently running a set of SKs I paid about $40 each for. I like them. They are a “classic” for gravel that you can’t go too wrong with. I do have a set of Conti Terra Speed sitting on my work bench I want to try out soon.
Appreciate the feedback.
Definitely a lot of good options for gravel. I like the look of Donnelly also. I am just curious why some brands are way more money when panaracer gets excellent reviews and manufactures in Japan. WTB is also 50% more and they are made in China!
Perhaps it is a distribution thing, maybe some brands go through an importer then a distributor and there are too many parties taking their share.