Tyres for more off road (e.g. South Downs) terrain and off-road touring

Mrdini

Active Member
So - my current bike is a Spez Diverge 2019 with factory stock Espoir Sport tyres (kinda road-y tyres). Very happy with them, they go fairly quick on roads and light gravel. However, anything more than that & it becomes a little hard-going.

So I'm toying with the idea of buying spare tyres but as I've never bought tyres, I wanted to check in for advice first! I imagine I'd want something a bit knobbly that is more capable of handling the South Downs which is very local to me (chalk & flinty) plus the King Alfred Way (for which I gather the fatter the tyre, the better!) some time this year. But at the same time, I have no idea if I'm going to the other extreme in my tyre choices (i.e. too MTBy)! I imagine they'll be "spares" for winter/Downs riding & I'd be keeping the road tyres on most of the time as the current Espoir Sport tyres seems okay to me.

Would either the Continental Cross King CX folding tyres (700x35mm) or Panaracer Gravel King SK (700x38mm) do the job perhaps? My understanding is that my bike should be able to take tyres up to 38mm I believe although not sure about the wheel rims themselves.

Advice gratefully welcomed!
 

Grant Fondo

Oswalds legs look strangely human?
Location
Cheshire
So - my current bike is a Spez Diverge 2019 with factory stock Espoir Sport tyres (kinda road-y tyres). Very happy with them, they go fairly quick on roads and light gravel. However, anything more than that & it becomes a little hard-going.

So I'm toying with the idea of buying spare tyres but as I've never bought tyres, I wanted to check in for advice first! I imagine I'd want something a bit knobbly that is more capable of handling the South Downs which is very local to me (chalk & flinty) plus the King Alfred Way (for which I gather the fatter the tyre, the better!) some time this year. But at the same time, I have no idea if I'm going to the other extreme in my tyre choices (i.e. too MTBy)! I imagine they'll be "spares" for winter/Downs riding & I'd be keeping the road tyres on most of the time as the current Espoir Sport tyres seems okay to me.

Would either the Continental Cross King CX folding tyres (700x35mm) or Panaracer Gravel King SK (700x38mm) do the job perhaps? My understanding is that my bike should be able to take tyres up to 38mm I believe although not sure about the wheel rims themselves.

Advice gratefully welcomed!
Spesh do Sawtooth 38c which came on my diverge, not bad off road. Think they can take up to 700 x 42c. Gravel Kings well reviewed as well.
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
I use the Schwalbe G-ONE on my Kinesis winter/gravel bike. On road I can comfortably hold 18/19mph and if I really push hard 22mph. Off road plenty of grip and hold the surface well.

This is my first bike with this set up so my experience is very limited. I'm happy with the tyres having been concerned they would make road riding very tough.

https://www.merlincycles.com/schwal...raceguard-folding-gravel-tyre-275-108443.html
 

T4tomo

Guru
I would consider getting a second pair of wheels to fit the off road tyres to. Makes switching between on road and off road set ups much quicker.
 

DRM

Veteran
Location
West Yorks
I use the Schwalbe G-ONE on my Kinesis winter/gravel bike. On road I can comfortably hold 18/19mph and if I really push hard 22mph. Off road plenty of grip and hold the surface well.

This is my first bike with this set up so my experience is very limited. I'm happy with the tyres having been concerned they would make road riding very tough.

https://www.merlincycles.com/schwal...raceguard-folding-gravel-tyre-275-108443.html
I had those on my gravel bike, but they soon lost traction in the slightest bit of mud, good on road, or dry dirt, but soon loose grip, hence the Vittoria's above
 

T4tomo

Guru
There are varying degrees of gnarlyness with the GOnes and other brands (WTB I think) from virtually slick to knobbly
 

matticus

Veteran
There are varying degrees of gnarlyness with the GOnes and other brands (WTB I think) from virtually slick to knobbly
G-Ones do indeed come in proper slick version - I'm riding them! Kudos to the proposer for linking to the exact model 👍
 

DRM

Veteran
Location
West Yorks
There are varying degrees of gnarlyness with the GOnes and other brands (WTB I think) from virtually slick to knobbly
Those are the exact same ones, also the on tarmac use wore the small knobs off quite quickly on tarmac
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
I had those on my gravel bike, but they soon lost traction in the slightest bit of mud, good on road, or dry dirt, but soon loose grip, hence the Vittoria's above
That's interesting because I've been riding a local towpath where the mud is very liquid and 3-4" deep. I relax and let the front wheel choose its own route. The rear wheel does slip momentarily but always grips again in an instant.

This is my only experience with gravel tyres. The first couple of times I felt the back slide I was nervous but now I hardly notice it.
 

DRM

Veteran
Location
West Yorks
They slide a lot, and the wear was unbelievably fast on the back tyre, I’ve put them on my aluminum road bike that has the clearance for 700x30 tyres, the Vittorias are a lot better
 

matticus

Veteran
I can't quite work out what the theory is for multi-condition tyres. I get how knobblies work; but slicks use the "stickiness" of the compound to grip.

If you have a shallow tread, then to get good grip on tarmac doesn't that need to be REALLY stiicky - because you have much less rubber on the ground? In which case it will wear very quickly?

(I use various treaded tyres on my mostly tarmac commute - I think I've got into the habit of not assuming a huge amount of grip.)
 

BurningLegs

Veteran
SDW is my stomping ground (or was until I got rid of the MTB a couple of years ago). Chalky and rutted with largish rocks, not much mud.

Based on the above I never used knobbly tyres. I found they didn’t grip well on the slippy chalk surface, and there’s not much mud to cut through so rather wasted.

I always used a very wide tyre with shallow tread. These days I’d probably be eyeing up “gravel” tyres if I were looking to get back on the SDW.
 
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