Gravel tire rolling resistance tested

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spartacus
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:53 pm

by spartacus

Are there any 40c tires that are actually faster than MTB tires? Just based on bicyclerollingresistance, there isn't a gravel tire out there that could beat, say, a continental speed king 2.2" tire on rolling resistance, and cetainly not off road if just because of the volume and low pressure. It makes me wonder if the rolling resistance doesn't tell the whole story or if people racing gravel bikes have a habit of picking slow tires.

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LeDuke
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by LeDuke

spartacus wrote:Are there any 40c tires that are actually faster than MTB tires? Just based on bicyclerollingresistance, there isn't a gravel tire out there that could beat, say, a continental speed king 2.2" tire on rolling resistance, and cetainly not off road if just because of the volume and low pressure. It makes me wonder if the rolling resistance doesn't tell the whole story or if people racing gravel bikes have a habit of picking slow tires.
I’m not sure that I’d believe that result.

Maybe if you jacked the SpeedKing up to a pressure you wouldn’t ride in real life, but otherwise, any gravel slick or semi-slick should be faster.


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by Weenie


spartacus
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by spartacus

LeDuke wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:56 am
spartacus wrote:Are there any 40c tires that are actually faster than MTB tires? Just based on bicyclerollingresistance, there isn't a gravel tire out there that could beat, say, a continental speed king 2.2" tire on rolling resistance, and cetainly not off road if just because of the volume and low pressure. It makes me wonder if the rolling resistance doesn't tell the whole story or if people racing gravel bikes have a habit of picking slow tires.
I’m not sure that I’d believe that result.

Maybe if you jacked the SpeedKing up to a pressure you wouldn’t ride in real life, but otherwise, any gravel slick or semi-slick should be faster.


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Why is it faster when the rolling resistance tests don't indicate that?

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.co ... sport-2015

Speed king 2.2" 16.6w

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.co ... ravel-king

Panaracer gravelking 37c slick 20.8w

Marin
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Location: Vienna Austria

by Marin

Speed Kings are very, very fast. Most gravel tires are quite a bit tougher though. Rene Herse EL slicks should be faster.

Gerben321
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by Gerben321

jfranci3 wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:32 am
Dense sand - minium 42c to float on top of the sand

Both those pics you'll be fastest on 38c-42c likely. With that dense mud/ surface mud in the 2nd one, some knob would serve you well (g-one bite). It's suprising how much of a difference lower tire pressures speed you up even on mostly smooth surfaces. On a 7min Strava segment, my 42c tires at 38psi tubeless were about 1min faster than 35c at 55psi (tubed) https://www.google.com/maps/@42.1569443 ... 312!8i6656 . when I made the change. That's a hard, pretty smooth surface, with just a dusting of little rocks like you might find on a worn asplhalt road that I've tried on 23c tires. Going 50c @ 30psi doesn't help/hurt much.

For random travel (for work or something) where you don't know where you're going.... 38c / 40c (thinking of my work trips to small town Hessen-Germany / central England with paths like your pics, very small and shallow rock gravel like the light grey strip in the 2nd pic, roads, brick roads, tank roads, etc). You don't want care about keeping up with your group, but might want to tag onto some folks for a bit, but then don't want to be restricted if you see something cool.

For 90% road ride with a middle section of above, 32c - 35c. I've tired 30c on LightBicycle AR rims (31.5mm) @ 65psi, and it wasn't great on non-compacted dirt (trail), but fine on compacted truely gravel road that had regular car traffic. 38c is not that upsetting to me if my road tires have a flat and I need to do the group ride on my 38c Terra Speeds.

When it comes to actual tires, most people are full of it. Proven tires are Gravel Kings/Rene/Ultradynamico, the Conti Terra Speed, Schwalbe G-one series (microskin/onestar), Challenge. Next tier - Pirelli, Speicalized, Michelin, Vittoria. Common tier (not worth paying a premium for)- WTB, Schwalbe Audix (current versions), Maxxis, Bontrager, pretty much anythign else.
Thanks again. I think some dedicated gravel 36-38c tires would be good for me. And keep my slicks for road riding. I think I'll have a look around for a cheap 2nd hand gravel set of wheels or buy something new cheap to try out if I would use it much. I can always get a custom spoked and fancy set of wheels if I really like it and use it alot.
OnTheRivet wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:00 am
Gerben321 wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:34 pm
jfranci3 wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:22 pm
Gerben321 wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:22 pm
I have been looking on the interwebs all day for a new tire to replace my GP5000. But how more I search how more I get confused which is faster. I've seen websites claiming all brands are the fastest by now, Schwalbe, Conti, Panaracer, Pirelli, WTB, you name it.

This might not be a good place to ask, but what would be a good tire to replace GP5000's? I do 90% of road riding and do like to do some (light) gravel in weekends. The GP5000's hold up pretty good for years when I was riding tubed versions (28mm), but ever since I drove the TL versions (also 28mm) I've already had two flats, while I had 2-3 flats over 4 years on the tubed version. They're also a b*tch to put on, so I would die in the middle of nowhere if I had to replace then, or put a tube in them along the side of the road.

So should I use a slick gravel tire? My frame can clear anything up to 38mm (with fenders which I really love). I just want to have an extra bit of puncture resistance when I'm in gravel, but don't want to give in too much on road speed. I understand the GP5000 is one of the fastest out there, but there must be something that comes close that gives me a bit of extra puncture resistance? Right now I like the sound of the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H, although they don't look fast at all. Other options are the GravelKing TLC and the Terra Speed TR and the Vittoria Terreno Dry. Would these fit the bill, or should I just go with a regular road tire that's less racey?
https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/

OK.... yeah you're going to flat with tubes on too small of a tire hitting too big of a bump. Are your off road rides planned? If you know ahead of time, it's better to get a dedicated soft-road tire/wheel/cassette/disc set. If you're going one tire....you need to compromise either road speed or off road prowess. The tires that do both in the dry are going to be the Schwalbe G-One Speed / g-One allroad, Conti Terra Speed, Panaracer Gravel King/ReneHense. Those tires at 38c and 30kph/18mph of output will cost you about 1.5kph/1mph.

Where do you live? What is light offroading? In San Diego, CA you can get away with a 30c tire lightoff roading, most everywhere else you need about 35c to start. 30c would be perfect hard smooth dirt roads, 38c would be minium soft-ish / deformable surface layer ground with small pencil-sized bumps, and larger for more bumps/softer surfaces. On the road side, assuming you have the right wheels, you can make a big tire 'aero', but thats about 28-30c right now given the market.

Is this you -https://www.instagram.com/p/BwC3HaGgxZ0 ... _copy_link ? I'd say you want a 32c for your best strava segment there. You don't want t slick because of that mud spot (no G-one Speed), you want mini-knobs (g-one Allaround - get older "Microskin" "OneStar" evos, not the Audix SpeedGrip).
Thanks for the reply! Well some of the rides I do are planned, some are not. There's not much real gravel nearby so I do 95% on tarmac around home, and a few times per year I go on a ride somewhere in the country where there might be gravel and such.

I'm really thinking about getting a 2nd set of wheel with wider tires indeed, but I don't have much proper gravele around here, I really have to get my bike on my car and go somewhere to get some proper gravel for a few miles. So I'm not sure if it's "worth it" for those couple of times of the year.

Yeah that's me btw, although I did not ride my bike in that picture, but I think it's a good example of what I could ride around here as well. Here are some random pictures of the type of gravel roads I choose here (In The Netherlands) if I do a planned route:

https://ritten.cc/2020-gravel-op-de-veluwe/ (It's in Dutch, but tjust scroll down for the images.

I think it comes down to some light gravel and a bit of sand. But it can also be some double tracks through woods, or those super dry dusty (is it even gravel?) roads.

And something like this:
https://www.avontuuropreis.com/wp-conte ... -Maarn.jpg
and
https://www.avontuuropreis.com/wp-conte ... e-Veen.jpg

So nothing too serious, I also have a MTB and fatbike, so when the going get's rough I would opt for another bike with suspension.
I'd run a 30c Schwalbe ONE TLE HS https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tire ... es/one-tle
Thanks, I've had that tire in my head as well, looks good.

Noctiluxx
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by Noctiluxx

Just went from 43mm Panaracer GK SK's to Panaracer GK SS. On sketchy gravel and single track the new super slicks have slightly less grip but are significantly faster on pavement.
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fourfa
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:04 am

by fourfa

I got a pair of 650 x 50 Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H for my bike. Initial inflation to 51.5mm on 27mm internal rims (which is tight but still go on my bike; tight enough that I might re-dish 1mm or so to even up L/R clearance). First ride was a blast - better rolling than the 47mm WTBs I've been using (Venture/Byway), better grip, much much better rear braking, very confident for me. I'm mostly on dry (but often steep) hardpack and loose-over-hard California fireroads and trails and these seem well-matched.

One problem to report: manufacturer spec weight is 540g, my pair weighed in at 640g and 643.2g.
https://velo.pirelli.com/en/uk/product/ ... 0b/classic

Marin
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by Marin

fourfa wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:11 pm
I got a pair of 650 x 50 Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H for my bike.
Can you measure the actual width please? Thanks!

fourfa
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:04 am

by fourfa

Initially 51.5mm (right after mounting), currently 53mm (after 4 days and one ride). If they stretch any more than this I might have to rethink if they'll work for me, it's awfully close now. Definitely no room for gravelly-mud
Last edited by fourfa on Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

OnTheRivet
Posts: 249
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by OnTheRivet

Aero on wider tires (particularly with knobbies) is pretty shitty. Regardless of low rolling resistance I bet you lose it all in aero.

emotive
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

by emotive

OnTheRivet wrote:Aero on wider tires (particularly with knobbies) is pretty shitty. Regardless of low rolling resistance I bet you lose it all in aero.
In January I set a descending PR on a sealed road on my 35mm Bon Jon Pass EL, mounted to 32mm wide 50mm deep rims. This is a road I have ridden on my s-works tarmac and TCR, Strava tells me I have descended it 133 times so far. My power numbers don’t show anything unusual and I was surprised to see the PR show up.

Common sense tells me I am paying some aero penalty for the wider profile tyre but my descending speeds tell me it’s not much.

zmjones
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by zmjones

emotive wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:13 pm
OnTheRivet wrote:Aero on wider tires (particularly with knobbies) is pretty shitty. Regardless of low rolling resistance I bet you lose it all in aero.
In January I set a descending PR on a sealed road on my 35mm Bon Jon Pass EL, mounted to 32mm wide 50mm deep rims. This is a road I have ridden on my s-works tarmac and TCR, Strava tells me I have descended it 133 times so far. My power numbers don’t show anything unusual and I was surprised to see the PR show up.

Common sense tells me I am paying some aero penalty for the wider profile tyre but my descending speeds tell me it’s not much.
i mean as an avid high speed descender conditions matter a whole bunch more than tire width. i've broken 60 on a gravel bike with 38s but i am sure if i'd been on my aeroad that day i'd of been faster. especially at real ludicrous speeds pressure, humidity, wind speed/direction, traffic, etc, all make a difference at least as big as +/- 5mm tire width.

Marin
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by Marin

At low yaw (i.e. high speeds), front tire width just increases the frontal area.

Rider cross section will still dominate aero.

Point
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by Point

Have the Challenge Getaways been tested yet?

I've been riding them for several months now and they feel great and fast but I have absolutely no real figure bearing on how they're performing compared to my old Gravel King SK's.
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cycleboyco
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by cycleboyco

Point wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:31 am
Have the Challenge Getaways been tested yet?

I've been riding them for several months now and they feel great and fast but I have absolutely no real figure bearing on how they're performing compared to my old Gravel King SK's.
I used my BRR Pro review request to get them added for testing, but they are still pretty far down in votes to get them reviewed. I agree they seemed to ride really fast for a non-slick, but it was such an effort to get them on either pair of my Enves that I have given up on them for now.

by Weenie


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