I’ve been doing an annual 2 week Maui bike camp in January for a number of years and it’s a great place to test tires as the roads can be hard on tires with lots of bits of volcanic rock as well as other debris. The East Maui Loop has some very chopped sections including some sections of gravel.
Last year I ran Schwalbe Pro Ones in 32 and got multiple punctures right through the center of the tread. Sealant worked to re-seal after losing air, but I ended up putting a urethane tube into one of the tires midway through the trip. Later, once back home in Ohio where I almost never flat, I got more leaks. Ultimately I ditched them and switched to 28 GP 5000 S TR’s for local riding with no issues.
This year I set up the bike with 32 S TR’s with Vittoria Airliners on Enve 3.4ARs. Unfortantely on my last gen Emonda I ran into clearance issues with a slight rub of the front tire. Taking out the insert and putting in a urethane tube solved the issue. It was interesting to see that even at the same air pressure, having the Airliner in the tire increased the volume. At this point I’m a little over 600 miles into the Maui camp, have done two 106 mile rides around East Maui and a bunch of laps of West Maui and not flats, no issues, nothing. The S TRs are rock solid. I’ve been careful picking lines on the rough parts of East Maui as 32s are a doable but not ideal here. Ted King ran 44 Rene Herse slicks here a week ago. Along with being durable, the wet traction with the S TR’s has been great too. The West Maui Loop and the Road to Hana tend to be pretty wet in the mornings in sections with a lot of fast corners coming of descents, but have had no issues.
Pirelli P ZERO Race TLR might actually be the one, now that I look at them. Italian and one piece. Can only find them in 26mm right now, but I’m at least 2 months away from bringing my Bianchi outside so I got time…
I use the Cinturato tire on my commuter, in 35s. Safe as a tank!
I have the Conti GP 5000 S TR in a 32 mounted on the hookless x-wide Hunt gravel wheels and they have been great. I got six months of heavy usage in them (before it got cold and dark) and haven’t really noticed any wear. It was such a difference going from the giant gravel tires that were on it before that they seemed almost magic since they performed so well.
I am surprised no one has talked about the Challenge Strada Bianca tires. I ride them and love them. They come in all sorts of sizes and are “open tubular” style handmade tires. I currently have them in a couple different sizes and they roll ridiculously fast and have an excellent feel to them. They are the hardest tires in the World to mount the first time, but after a few times on and off they are easier. When I say they are hard to mount I really meant it. Even so, for me they are worth the hassle. https://us.challengetires.com/shop/products/strada-bianca-4/56968
I had the same issues with my Light Bicycle Rims. Took them to the LBS and he said he had to resort to a lever to get them on and that if I have to put a tube in I’m stuffed would like a fast tire that isn’t a pain to get on the rim. I’ve tried Vittoria but they were pretty difficult too
I’ve heard great things about these, and might try them on my gravel bike once my Terrano Dry tires wear out. Only downside I can see for gravel is the lack of side knobs. For my use they are a bit too “rough”. And it seems like 30mm is the smallest size. I know wider tires are “the sh*t” right now, but I personally do not like the feel of very low pressures on my road bike. Thus the added size really don’t give me any benefit.
95% of my riding is on asphalt, but I do like the ability of adding some nice gravel to my road rides. It opens up more opportunities. As an example I have the road in the picture close to my cabin in the mountains and it’s nice to be able to integrate this into my road rides without a constant fear of punctures. This is about as rugged as it gets, most of the road has a much more compacted surface.
I have installed GP 5000 S TR tyres on Zipp 303S wheels without any tools. The fit is tight enough, but not too tight. The tyres can be inflated using just a floor pump and they hold air pretty good even before the sealant.
The TR’s I believe are supposed to be an upgrade on the fitting front over the TL’s. Ive fitted them both on hunts and prime (wiggle/crc own brand) rims no problems and as you say seat with a floor pump. The first time I fitted the TL’s on both rims was with my weak, chemo damaged hands was in the middle of my chemo 3.5 years ago and the drugs made the hands extra weak and numb but the TL’s still went on OK.
Would you call the vittoria terrano dry a supple/soft casing gravel tire? I ask because I have a similar purpose in that I have a wheelset for my road bike that I put frame limited (≥32c) tires on for light gravel/hard pack. I’m currently using Donnelly CDG 30c tubeless which have a nice tread pattern but they have a thick tread area and ride a bit like cardboard for me so I was hoping to find a more supple 30c-ish tire to serve the light gravel purpose that will have a better ride feel. The CDGs measure 31.5 on my 19mm internal wheels so I’m hoping the 31s will be true to size since I’m limited to 32c on this bike and that looks to be a hard limit. I’m also looking at the Challenge strada bianca since they come in 30c but only the vulcanized/cheaper one. Curious what your thoughts and impressions might be.
Beautiful road! For what it’s worth I’m a big guy at 240lbs and I’m faster on rough pavement on 36s than I am on 32s. I used to ride terrano drys but on the road I didn’t like the side knobs when cornering. Im currently very used to running high volume slicks and at low pressure I think they are perfect for gravel.
I haven’t tried that many gravel tires, but compared to all my other tires they feel very soft. An they seem to wear quite quickly. I have 38s on my gravel bike and run about 40psi with a total bike+rider weight of about 90kg. Could probably go even lower, but, as stated above, I do not like the feel of too low pressures. Did a gravel race last year that included all levels of gravel, asphalt, some single track and even some purpose built mtb trails. Never felt the tires held me back.
Compared to the tires my bike came with stock, Panaracer Gravelking, they are heaps better (IMHO). I like absolutely nothing about the Gravelkings…
Good timing, as this is the only ride ending issue on tubeless I’ve seen in real life, and it was on Cinturatos. The tread seems thick and has a nice layer, but the sidewall feels like just thin fabric. I tried a few things on this one but nothing worked to make it ride for more than a few metres.