Gravel bike riding has gained popularity in recent years, offering cyclists the excitement of off-road adventures combined with the versatility of road biking.
Designed to handle different terrain types, including dirt, gravel, and rough pavements, the best gravel bike tires are built to provide optimal traction, durability, and comfort.
The key factors to consider when purchasing a gravel bike tire include:
- Size: Important since it determines the tire’s fit with your bike frame and wheelset
- Tread Pattern: Affects the traction and stability on various surfaces
- Casing Material: Impacts durability, puncture resistance, and overall ride feel
To find a balance between performance and durability, consider factors such as your cycling style, the range of terrain you’ll be riding on, and your personal preferences.
Keeping these in mind will help you make the perfect choice for your gravel bike adventures.
Best Gravel Bike Tires
We’ve compiled a list of the top gravel bike tires available today.
Our selections offer excellent traction, durability, and comfort to enhance your off-road cycling experience. Explore our recommendations below to find the perfect fit for your gravel bike.
|Product Name||Best For (Use Case)||Buy on Amazon|
|WTB Raddler 700c TCS Gravel Tire Tanwall 700 x 40||Reliable and efficient performance on gravel and pavement||Buy on Amazon|
|Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M Bike Tire||Excellent traction and durability on mixed terrain||Buy on Amazon|
|Vittoria Terreno Rigid Bike Tires for Gravel||Impressive performance and versatility for gravel cycling||Buy on Amazon|
|WTB Riddler 700c x 37mm TanWall||High-performance with great grip and durability||Buy on Amazon|
|Panaracer GravelKing SK Knobby||Aggressive, versatile performance on rough terrain||Buy on Amazon|
|Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H Bike Tire||Adaptability and puncture protection for hard gravel surfaces||Buy on Amazon|
|Panaracer GravelKing Black 700 x 28C Standard||Versatility and durability on gravel and dirt roads||Buy on Amazon|
1. WTB Raddler 700c TCS Gravel Tire Tanwall 700 x 40
We think the WTB Raddler is a great choice for gravel enthusiasts seeking a reliable and efficient tire.
- Short-knob center tread for low rolling resistance and traction
- Durable design with slightly taller center and intermediate knobs
- Tall, toothy outer lugs for excellent cornering on descents
- Small micro holes may cause initial tubeless setup issues
- Grip in muddy conditions may be limited
- Slightly narrower than expected when mounted
Our recent experience with the WTB Raddler 700c TCS Gravel Tire left us impressed with its performance on gravel surfaces as well as pavement. The short-knob center tread minimizes rolling resistance while still providing enough bite for efficient out-of-the-saddle traction.
We also noticed that the center and intermediate knobs are slightly taller than those on the original Riddler, which contributes to a longer tire lifespan without any negative impact on rolling efficiency.
When tackling our favorite gravel descents, the Raddler’s tall, toothy outer lugs ensured exceptional cornering grip and confidence. We found the single-ply 60tpi casing provided adequate protection without adding unnecessary weight.
As for the tubeless compatibility, this tire works seamlessly with a TCS setup, although some users might experience micro holes during the initial installation.
While we loved the performance of this tire in dry conditions, we observed limitations in grip when tackling muddy terrain.
It’s important to note, when mounted, the tire’s width might appear slightly narrower than expected.
Despite these minor drawbacks, we believe the WTB Raddler is a solid choice for those seeking reliable and efficient gravel bike tires.
2. Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M Bike Tire
The Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M Bike Tire is a fantastic choice for gravel riders seeking excellent traction and durability.
- Motorsport-inspired technology for cycling
- Excellent grip on various gravel surfaces
- Advanced puncture and cut protection
- Thickness may affect performance on pavement
- Initial installation can be challenging
- Potential for tire expansion after inflation
After trying out the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M Bike Tire ourselves, we found it to provide a smooth and enjoyable ride on mixed terrain. Its SpeedGRIP rubber formulation offers great traction on loose gravel without compromising on rolling resistance.
The tire’s TechWALL casing ensures maximum puncture and sidewall cut resistance, making it perfect for long rides on rough terrains.
The additional rubber-layered handles all types of weather conditions, wet or dry, ensuring relentless grip throughout the ride.
Given its thickness and aggressive tread, the tire may feel slightly knobbier on pavement surfaces. The installation may also be a bit challenging, especially for those who are not as experienced with tire setups.
We did notice some expansion of the tire after inflation. Regularly check the tire size and ensure sufficient clearance from the bike’s frame.
If you’re looking for outstanding performance and durability in a gravel bike tire, the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M Bike Tire is a top choice. Just be mindful of the tire’s size, potential expansion, and the initial installation process to fully unleash the benefits of this fantastic gravel tire.
3. Vittoria Terreno Rigid Bike Tires for Gravel
We highly recommend these tires for their impressive performance, versatility, and durability for gravel cycling enthusiasts.
- Exceptional traction and speed
- Smooth transition from pavement to gravel
- Durable and puncture-resistant
- Not suitable for extreme off-road conditions
- Not true tubeless as advertised
- Limited design options
Recently, we had the opportunity to try the Vittoria Terreno Rigid Bike Tires for Gravel on our cycling adventures, and we were quite impressed with their overall performance. These tires offer excellent traction and speed, making them an ideal choice for both casual rides and more demanding gravel routes. The Terreno Rigid tires easily transitioned from pavement to gravel, making our ride smooth and enjoyable.
In terms of durability, these Vittoria gravel tires are puncture-resistant and made to withstand wear and tear from diverse terrains. Their all-round entry-level design ensures consistent performance while remaining affordable. It’s worth noting that these tires might not be suitable for extreme off-road conditions – so keep that in mind when planning your rides.
One of the downsides we encountered was that while the product description advertises the Terreno Rigid Bike Tires as tubeless, we struggled to get them to seal properly. This might be a dealbreaker for some riders who prefer tubeless tires. The design options are rather limited, with no foldable version or sidewall color choices.
Nonetheless, the Vittoria Terreno Rigid Bike Tires are a solid investment for gravel bike enthusiasts seeking performance, durability, and versatility.
We are confident that you will enjoy the benefits these tires provide on your cycling journeys.
4. WTB Riddler 700c x 37mm TanWall
The WTB Riddler is a reliable choice for those seeking high-performance gravel bike tires with great grip and durability.
- Aggressive cornering knobs and low-profile center tread
- Excellent for gravel grinding or dry cyclocross courses
- Tubeless compatible system (TCS)
- Less effective in heavy mud conditions
- Some difficulty in installation
- Not suitable for intense off-road use
We recently had the opportunity to try out the WTB Riddler gravel bike tires on our gravel adventures. These tires sport aggressive cornering knobs which, combined with a low-profile center tread, offer excellent grip on a variety of terrains.
Riddler works exceptionally well for both gravel grinding and dry cyclocross courses, providing a smooth and fast ride.
The tubeless-compatible system (TCS) is another striking feature of these tires. By eliminating the need for inner tubes, we were able to run the tires at lower pressures, offering increased traction and comfort on rough surfaces. Plus, this tubeless system reduces the risk of punctures.
The Riddler isn’t without its drawbacks. We noticed that these tires were less effective when cycling in heavy mud conditions, with a tendency to get clogged. While installing the tires, we also experienced some difficulty in properly fitting them onto the rims due to their tightness.
These tires may not be the best choice for those who plan to tackle intense off-road trails, as they can lose grip on loose or rocky surfaces.
Despite these shortcomings, the WTB Riddler is still a fantastic choice for casual and enthusiastic gravel riders who value a reliable and durable tire on their adventures.
If your cycling routes usually consist of mixed terrain and dry cyclocross courses, the WTB Riddler 700c x 37mm TanWall is definitely worth considering.
5. Panaracer GravelKing SK Knobby
These Panaracer GravelKing SK Knobby tires are perfect for riders seeking aggressive, go-anywhere gravel bike tires.
- Exceptional grip on rough terrain
- Durable and long-lasting ZSG Natural rubber compound
- Puncture protection for reliability and peace of mind
- Not the fastest-rolling tire on smooth pavement
- Slightly heavier due to added puncture protection
- Tubeless setup can be challenging for some
We recently installed the Panaracer GravelKing SK Knobby tires on our gravel bike and took them for a spin on a mix of terrain. These tires truly impressed us with their aggressive knobs that provided excellent grip on gravel, dirt, and even some light mud.
The ZSG Natural rubber compound used in these tires has proved to be durable, even after miles of rough riding, while maintaining a decent rolling resistance.
The added puncture protection features, such as the AX-α casing and anti-flat casing, gave us confidence that we wouldn’t have to deal with any unexpected flats while out on our adventures.
This added protection does result in a slightly heavier tire which some riders might find cumbersome. While the GravelKing SK Knobby is not the fastest tire on smooth pavement, they performed reasonably well, considering their aggressive design.
For those considering a tubeless setup, be prepared for a bit of a challenge as some riders have reported difficulty in seating these tires. Once sealed, they held up well over multiple rides at varying pressures.
We would recommend the Panaracer GravelKing SK Knobby tires to anyone in search of a versatile, aggressive gravel bike tire that can conquer rough terrain without sacrificing durability and protection.
6. Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H Bike Tire
A must-have gravel bike tire offering great puncture protection, grip, and adaptability for hard gravel surfaces.
- Superior grip and adaptability on gravel
- Advanced puncture and cut protection
- Stellar performance in all weather conditions
- Difficulty in setting up tubeless
- Not the best in muddy or wet conditions
- Longevity could be better
We were impressed with the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H Bike Tire‘s ability to provide excellent grip and adaptability on hard gravel surfaces. Designed specifically for gravel bikes, the SpeedGRIP rubber formulation used in these tires ensures low rolling resistance without making any concessions on grip.
The low, tightly packed knobs on the tread also contribute to the excellent adaptability to the terrain.
Pirelli’s advanced TechWALL casing in these tires offers superb puncture and cut protection. With reinforced tread and sidewalls, as well as cut-resistant fabric around the perimeter and additional rubber layers under the tread, these tires will keep you going even on challenging terrains.
It is also notable how well the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H Bike Tires perform in all weather conditions, regardless if it’s wet or dry.
Setting up the tires as tubeless can be a challenge. Some users reported difficulties in getting the bead to set even with the help of an air compressor. The tires may not perform at their best in muddy or wet conditions due to the tightly packed knobs.
The longevity of the tires could be improved, especially for those who race often or ride on rougher terrains.
The Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H Bike Tire is a top choice for anyone looking to enhance their gravel bike riding experience. While they may not outperform in muddy or wet conditions, riders can be confident in the tire’s adaptability, grip, and puncture protection on hard gravel surfaces.
7. Panaracer GravelKing Black 700 x 28C Standard
These tires are a great choice for someone seeking versatility and durability on both gravel and dirt roads.
- Excellent traction on dry gravel and dirt roads
- Versatile with various widths and colors available
- Tubeless compatible in widths 32 mm and larger
- Not ideal for wet or muddy conditions
- Sidewalls may eventually show some wear and weep sealant
- A bit pricier than some competitors
As gravel bike enthusiasts, we recently had the pleasure of testing the Panaracer GravelKing Black 700 x 28C Standard tire on our rides. Right from the start, we were impressed with the smooth, secure grip the tire provided on dry gravel and dirt road surfaces.
The speeds we reached were remarkable, and we found ourselves cornering with confidence.
We appreciated the variety of width options Panaracer offers, making it possible to tailor the tire to our specific riding preferences. The aesthetic options, including black or brown wall colors, added an extra layer of customization.
For those looking to go tubeless, it’s worth noting that these tires are compatible with widths of 32 mm and larger, which further enhances their versatility.
It’s worth mentioning a few drawbacks we noticed during our time with these tires. In wetter or muddier conditions, the traction was not as reliable as we would have hoped. Over time, some of the tires’ sidewalls showed signs of wear and weep sealant.
While the performance of these tires is commendable, they do come at a slightly higher price point compared to similar options on the market.
The Panaracer GravelKing Black 700 x 28C Standard tire is a fantastic choice for riders who frequent dry gravel and dirt roads. They offer a level of versatility and customization that can cater to various riding preferences.
While they may not be the best choice for wet and muddy conditions and are slightly more expensive, their performance and quality make them a worthwhile investment.
When looking for the best gravel bike tires, there are several factors to consider. In this buying guide, we’ll help you understand the key features to look for when selecting the perfect tire for your needs.
First, pay attention to the tread pattern. Gravel tires come in different tread designs, ranging from low-profile file tread to aggressive knobs. The choice depends on the terrain you ride on most frequently.
For smooth dirt roads and pavement, opt for a fine tread pattern. On the other hand, if you tackle loose gravel or muddy conditions, choose a tire with deeper and more aggressive knobs for better traction.
Next, consider the tire width. Wider tires provide more cushioning and grip on uneven surfaces, enhancing comfort and control. They also improve traction on soft, loose terrains. Wider tires are heavier, increasing rolling resistance and potentially slowing you down on smoother surfaces.
Think about the balance between comfort, grip, and speed when choosing the tire width.
|Tire Width||Comfort & Grip||Speed|
Many gravel bike tires are tubeless-compatible, providing a more comfortable ride with increased puncture resistance. Going tubeless can also reduce rolling resistance, allowing you to ride faster.
If you frequently ride on rough or rocky surfaces, we recommend considering tubeless-compatible tires.
Casing and Durability
Finally, the tire’s casing plays an essential role in its ride quality and durability. A high TPI (threads per inch) casing provides a supple ride and better traction, but may be less durable.
Conversely, a low TPI casing offers increased puncture resistance at the expense of ride quality.
Consider your riding environment and whether durability or ride quality is more important when selecting a gravel tire.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the optimal tire sizes for various gravel conditions?
The optimal tire size depends on the specific gravel conditions you’ll be riding on. For smoother terrain with small-sized gravel, we recommend using tires ranging between 32mm to 38mm. For more rugged gravel and off-road trails, a larger tire size would be best, between 40mm to 47mm.
Which tire brands are most popular among professional gravel riders?
Many professional gravel riders prefer top brands like Continental, Schwalbe, WTB, and Specialized. Each brand offers a range of options, catering to different preferences and ride conditions. Make sure to research and compare different models offered by each brand to find the best match for your riding style.
How do Continental gravel tire models compare to other leading brands?
Continental is a reputable tire brand known for their high-quality products. Their gravel tires, such as the Terra line, offer excellent grip, durability, and puncture resistance. While each brand may have its unique selling points, Continental gravel tires consistently perform well and hold their own compared to other top brands.
What are the benefits of using Specialized or WTB gravel tires?
Specialized and WTB both offer a variety of gravel tire options that are designed for different terrains and rider preferences. The benefits of using their products include excellent traction, enhanced cornering abilities, and durability. Specialized’s Pathfinder and WTB’s Riddler series are examples of popular choices among gravel riders.
How do Vittoria and Pirelli Cinturato gravel tires perform?
Vittoria and Pirelli Cinturato are well-known for their high-quality and reliable tire options. They both have gravel-specific models designed to provide an optimal balance between rolling resistance and grip.
Vittoria’s Terreno series and Pirelli’s Cinturato Gravel line offer excellent performance, providing a comfortable and confident ride on various surfaces.
What factors should be considered when choosing the best gravel tires?
When choosing the best gravel tires, consider factors such as tire size, tread pattern, casing construction, and puncture protection. Your riding style, local terrain, and individual preferences play a significant role in finding the right tire.
Do thorough research and reviews, and don’t hesitate to consult professionals or experienced riders for advice.