Gravel tires for pavement

Looking for some gravel tire insight… I know more than I care to know about road, cx and mtb tires, but I’ll be the first to say I know nothing about what’s good for gravel.

I’m in the middle of cx season, so I like putting the mileage on the cross bike since it’s so different from my road bike. On off weekends, I like to ride the cross bike on some of the mellower singletrack. Typically I just drive there and ride the dirt, but I’d like to ride there. I don’t entirely trust the cross tires on fast/twisty road sections, and I’d like to save the tread on those for racing. I have a 2nd wheelset I’d like to put some tires on for this purpose.

My question is… can you gravel gurus point me in the direction of a good tire that’s ok on the road and not a liability on dry singletrack? Anytime the dirt is less than ideal, I’d just be on the mtb. Ideally 700 35-38c

Wtb rambler, rene herse knobbies in the width you like, gravelking sk, donnelly mso

I like pirelli cinturato Ms.

Have my eye on the H as well.

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I have a set of Pirelli Cinturato hard pack (700x40) on my Zipp 303FC gravel wheels and they go really well on sealed / rail trails / tame grav at ~32psi. The Zipp G40 were very much the same, maybe a little knobbier on the centre line until it wore down.

I’ll be watching the replies here too… I’m sure there’s a 100 different answers.

Those are for riding with your enemies only! :rofl: Gravelflings. (I have a set of SK 650b 48mm, they’re awesome.,…but they’re very flingy).


good to know theres so many options. Its very interesting…in the road world GP5000 (and all the variations) and vittoria seem to be the answer…on MTB, Maxxis pretty much owns the market. No cut and dry “this is the tire you need” for gravel.

Challenge gravel grinders look like what im asking for…for anyone thats used their handmade gravel tires, are they as hard to install as their cx tires? Im pretty sure I can glue up a set of tubulars faster and with fewer 4-letter words than I can their handmade tubeless cx tires!

Challenge Getaway

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I have mounted the hand mades on Zipp 303s and on light bicycle rims. They are tight in that they are one of the few tires I couldn’t mount bare handed. And I even usually managed the notorious 5000TL bare handed. The beads are fat and do not both fit into the center channel. That said, with a couple of tire levers I managed without too much trouble.

I’ve had some great experiences with the Continental Terra Speed in 40mm, surprisingly fast rolling, grippy and good volume. Currently experimenting with the Pirrelli H, 35mm which on my 21mm rims get to about 37mm, they have been surprisingly good on the road (as quick as my road tires) and handling the ever-present pea gravel of Western Australia pretty well.

As with others, curious to see what others are using.

Specialized Pathfinder Pro
Zipp G40
Hutchinson Override
Donnelly Strada USH

All great options. All quite quick on asphalt and suited to the dry singletrack.


Another vote for Zipp G40. They are fast on gravel roads and bomb proof.

continental terra speeds roll alright for me on pavement to get to gravel

I use WTB cross boss 35s for gravel riding, including roads. They might not be the fastest on the road, but they last well and you can ride pretty much everything offroad, apart from sticky mud.

I have been running the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H all year. Gravel Locos, SBT GRVL and many local races and group rides. Really nice tire. Very fast on pavement and hardpack but just enough grip on loose surfaces. I’ve ridden some pretty rough roads as well and zero punctures.

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Zipp g40 looks nice but looks like 40 is the narrowest option? Boone has official clearance for a 38 so that’s probably pushing it!

I’ve ridden the GP5000 on dry single track no problem. But my Sworks pathfinders are probably my favorite for mixed terrain with Vittoria gravel Grinders in 2nd.

I have the Challenge Strada Bianche 36mm HTLR. They are incredibly quick on the tarmac, and I am more than happy with them on the gravel. I just used them at the gravel worlds in Italy and the week prior, rode the roads in the dolomites, descended at 95km/h and they didn’t explode😂

Had the pathfinders, gk sk, and Cinturato M prior.

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I use maxxiss rambler 38s on my other pair of wheels. Decent on pavement and just enough for singletrack. My favorite rides are mixed surface with pavement, gravel and singletrack. The ramblers work great for me on all those surfaces.

My favourites are any tyre I am not using particularly off road. I am running the tan wall version of these WTB Riddler SG2 tyre review - BikeRadar they claim to be good for pavement but I wouldn’t know as I am typically a strong rider, add any sort of technicality off road because of that same rider though they are very slow :roll_eyes: