Vermont Grand Fondo - tire selection

I am training to do the Vermont Grand Fondo this year. Here are some stats about the ride:

distance: 109 miles
climbing: 10,500 feet over 4 significant gaps (10-15% average and grades up to 25%)
gravel surface (hardpack dirt road conditions): 27 miles (remainder paved)

I ride a Serotta road bike (Ti frame) and usually ride Continental Grand Prix 5000 tires (clinchers). I can only run 25 mm in the rear (clearance) and run a 28 up front.

Seeing that this is a unique ride profile, including tons of significant climbing, yet also including a significant amount of hardpacked dirt road I am wondering what tires to run? Based on all the climbing I would prefer something somewhat light (fast rolling) yet would like something with a bit of extra grip for the dirt. I realize it is greedy to expect the best of all worlds, but figured there has to be a good compromise tire that may check these marks reasonably well. So I want something super light weight, that rolls with the fastest race tires, with crazy grip on all surfaces, and incredible durability to handle all road surfaces :smiley:

my searches were popping possibilities such as:
Specialized Roubaix Pro
Vittorio Rubino Pro Control
Continental 4 season

Anyone have any suggestions based on experience?

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I’m from VT and I’ve ridden those roads many times! GP5000 tires will be perfectly fine for you. I like 28mm if you can fit them.


Im in the area. I would rather be on something like 30’s. But you will be perfectly fine on most road tires. I would go for durability so you could run slightly lower pressure. But thats just me. Most the steep stuff is paved on that route, so grip wont be a huge concern. Everyones ridden D2R2 on road tires over the years, and that generally has a lot more steep dirt roads than this (if the routes are similar to the old ones).