Gravel bikes, or 'Adventure Road' bikes, are becoming a huge hit in the world of cycling; providing the rider with the ability to explore the 'road less travelled'. But, what is the best tyre for a gravel bike?
In this guide, one of our staff riders, Chris, looks at a variety of four tyre options; considering the pros and cons of using these different tyres on your #rideeverything road bike.
The off-road option - Continental CrossRide 700 x 42c
The Continental CrossRide is a go-to option for off-road riding.
- Where to use it: "From wet and muddy conditions, to hard-packed gravel; the Crossride is a great all round off-road tyre; and with the tightly spaced central tread, it's not actually that bad on the road either."
- Width and sizing: "My tyres came in slightly under the claimed width, at about 39mm; but that is still a fair bit wider than most cyclocross tyres, and the additional cushioning and grip is easily noticeable."
- Puncture protection: "The Continental Crossride features a GummiBreaker, for puncture protection; and while I've had a couple of punctures here and there, they've been significantly better than the tyres I've used without any protection."
View the Continental CrossRide Folding City Tyre at Wiggle
The do-everything tyre - Schwalbe Sammy Slick 700 x 35c
The Schwalbe Sammy Slick is a great do-everything tyre; which is suited to gravel, tarmac or mud.
- Where to use it: "If I could choose just one pair of tyres out of them all, it would be the Schwalbe Sammy Slicks. The almost slick central tread means they perform about as well as any winter training tyre on the road; but let a bit of pressure out, and they are more than capable off road, in all but the wettest conditions. The profile of the tread is what really makes these tyres work for me; some semi-slick tyres will bite suddenly when you lean into a corner, as the deeper tread catches the road; but the Sammy Slicks feature a smooth transition from the slick central tread to the deeper tread on the sides, giving you predictable cornering on all surfaces."
- Width and sizing: "My tyres came in a touch wider than the claimed 35mm, but they should easily fit in any cross or gravel bike."
- Puncture protection: "They feature Schwalbe's RaceGuard protection, which has so far kept all punctures at bay."
View the Schwalbe Sammy Slick Folding Cyclocross Tyre at Wiggle
The fast tyre - Challenge Strada Bianca Open Tub 700 x 30c
The Challenge Strada Bianca Open Tubular is a great tyre for tarmac and gravel roads.
- Where to use it: "If you want to ride fast, on a cross or gravel bike, these are they tyres you need! As the name suggests, they perform well on gravel but they are also seriously impressive on tarmac. The handmade 260TPI casing makes them beautifully supple and provides a super smooth ride."
- Width and sizing: "True to size at 30c wide"
- Puncture protection: "The double layer of puncture protection has kept all but one particularly nasty shard of flint at bay."
View the Challenge Strada Bianca Open Tubular Tyre at Wiggle
The perfect touring, commuting and winter training tyre - Vittoria Voyager Hyper Touring 700 x 35c
The Vittoria Voyager Hyper Touring tyre is a great tyre for all-year-round road riding and touring.
- Where to use it: "The Vittoria Voyager Hyper is the perfect middle ground between a full on touring tyre and a winter training tyre. The grooved tread pattern and reflective sidewalls check all the boxes for dependability; while the 120 TPI casing, lightweight construction, and grippy compound, ensure they don't suck all the fun out of your ride. I've used these for commuting, loaded touring and general wet weather miles and they are just so good for everything."
- Width and sizing: "True to size at 35c wide"
- Puncture protection: "The Speed Shielding puncture protection has prevented any punctures to date"
View the Vittoria Voyager Hyper Touring Tyre at Wiggle
There are of course many more 'gravel bike' tyre options available at Wiggle - view them by clicking on the button below.
We'll endeavour to report back on our staff riding experiences of even more tyres, and add to this guide, as and when we have time to hit the trails and tarmac!