AmericanTemplar
I got a cut in the tread of my rear GravelKing after only around 800 miles. These are the limited edition colored version in green. They're slicks in 38mm. How many miles are people getting out of these tires? They're lighter than the Compass and it's because the tread isn't as beefy even though the casing is beefier.
 
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SWGraveler
If something is lighter, it typically means there is less material present.. I don't think it is realistic to think that a tire that is fairly light and reasonably(low side even) priced is going to be as durable as one that is heavier. Different casing designs etc can compensate to some degree but again, given the relatively low price of GK's, there is no reason to think expensive materials/technology are included. Tire weight is probably the most noticeable weight on a bike as it is spinning at the outer diameter of the wheel. I bought a set of GK slicks and I love them so far but my expectation is that they will be somewhat fragile.

Durability is almost entirely subjective as 2 folks can be riding side/side on the same tire and one will flat and the other may not. Folks get a flat after 30 miles and say the tire is crap; they probably have no idea what they ran over. When I see someone bash a tire for having flatted within a few hundred miles, I am always puzzled by the fact that no one seems to ponder what it took to puncture a tire while it was almost as thick as new; clearly something sharp/significant was involved.  Add in that some riders just pay more attention to avoiding stuff, others don't care. Hazards vary by day/ride; even on the same trail you are not going to follow the exact same path from one ride to the next. Pretty much infinite variables.

You get to choose; if you hate flats more than a slight loss in liveliness then buy a heavier tire.. Me, I'll be stoked if I get 800 miles out of my GK slicks but that's just my view 🙂. I may be fixing a flat when you ride by haha..
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drwelby
It doesn't help that different sizes of the GK Slick have different constructions. Some are superlight and seem to be derived from the PariMoto. Others are heavier and seem to be more like a lighter version of Paselas.
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Wonkey
To quote Keith Bontrager ' "you can have strong, light, or cheap, pick two"
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Koyote
A cut in the tire tread has more to do with your roads (and debris) than the tire.
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chas
SWGraveler wrote:

Durability is almost entirely subjective as 2 folks can be riding side/side on the same tire and one will flat and the other may not. Folks get a flat after 30 miles and say the tire is crap; they probably have no idea what they ran over. When I see someone bash a tire for having flatted within a few hundred miles, I am always puzzled by the fact that no one seems to ponder what it took to puncture a tire while it was almost as thick as new; clearly something sharp/significant was involved.  


Good point.

Someone (bicycling mag?) panned the G-One because they got two flats on their test rides.  I was scratching my head on that one.  What are you doing to flat a new tire twice?  What kind of terrain are you riding in?  What was the cause of the flats?    Their article told me nothing without a post mortem on why it happened.  The G-One isn't exactly a fragile tire.

Then there are all the people who say:  "this tire, sealant, tube, is great because I haven't flatted in over a year."  LOL.  I ride super light thin tires at the velodrome and never flatted.  Is not because the tires are grate though...
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SWGraveler
Another funny aspect here is that some don't seem to assimilate that tires get physically thinner as they wear out and will ride them until they are really thin. I see this all the time on group road rides; we all stand around while Mr. Thrifty changes his second flat of the day and ponders how he could possibly need new tires since this pair only has 3000 miles on them.. Yes, there are stories out there about the guy who rode a pair of fill in the blank tires for 4500 miles blahblah.. I say who cares; once your road tires are square, toss them..

We all ride for fun and we pretty much all have limited time to ride. Ponder how you want to spend your time. IMHO, if you can afford to be a cyclist, you can most likely afford to maintain your equipment such that you don't spend your time fixing flats by the side of the road..
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AmericanTemplar
I get what everyone is saying, I was just hoping to get a consensus. The center strip is completely smooth on mine and they have quite a few cuts in them. From handling them before mounting it seemed as though the tread wasn't really any thicker than the casing, hence the super light weight.
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SWGraveler
I think you answered your own question before you mounted them; that you pondered/explored their thickness tells me you were concerned about it.

A consensus on what? How many miles people get out of them on average? The point is that even if the folks here were to provide 100 data points, you might get twice that average mileage or you might cut a sidewall on your first ride.. Maybe if you could find 100 people who have the same wheels, weigh the same as you, ride the same pressures and ride only on your routes there might be a bit of relevance. Otherwise not so much. 

The fun thing here is that tires wear out and the more you ride, the more you can try!
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AmericanTemplar
Well, if many people answered saying that they got many more miles out of them, or if many people answered saying that they got many less miles on them, that would be a pretty good indication of how they have worked out for a variety of people however or wherever they used them, regardless of their weight. Even if a pattern emerged, it doesn't mean that I wouldn't destroy one in one ride, but it would likely mean that it was a fluke.
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drwelby
Yes, you're not crazy. That size has thin tread. It's a lot like the original PariMoto, and if you search for discussion on that tire you'll find lots of complaints about cuts and flats.

As a side discussion, I think with tubeless you can now get away with a lighter tire. Something that would be mauled by goatheads has no problem surviving. So there ends up being a survivor bias, where the only problems left are big cuts.
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AmericanTemplar
Mine actually managed to seal and is holding now, in spite of some pretty heavy sealant bleeding when it happened and one more little puff after I got air in it and got rolling again. The reason that I started the thread is that I have an event this Saturday and I'm trying to decide if I need a new tire before then. I'm not racing, so it's not the end of the world if I have to stop and throw a tube in, but it's always better to not have to worry about flatting.
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SWGraveler
I vote for an (un)scientific experiment; run one tire as-is and the other with a tube and see how it goes.. Enquiring minds will want to know!

Being realistic however you have once again answered your own question; why have an event ride dampened by trying to stretch the life of worn tires. If the centers are smooth you are asking for flats, even with a tube imho..
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SWGraveler
drwelby wrote:

As a side discussion, I think with tubeless you can now get away with a lighter tire. Something that would be mauled by goatheads has no problem surviving. So there ends up being a survivor bias, where the only problems left are big cuts.


Please explain the logic to me of how a tire with a tube can be less durable than one without. You have added an entire layer that is not present in the other. Yes, you have sealant but you can put sealant in a tube as well to keep the comparison level.. Here in the desert, if folks really don't want to flat, they run thick tubes; they are crazy heavy but they consistently offer greater protection than tubeless..
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drwelby
SWGraveler wrote:

Please explain the logic to me of how a tire with a tube can be less durable than one without.


I didn't say that. Before, with a thin tire if you got a lot of flats from thorns or little pieces of glass you'd throw the tire away and buy Marathons. Now with sealant erasing those problems, it takes a bigger hazard to make a tire seem inadequate.

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Here in the desert, if folks really don't want to flat, they run thick tubes; they are crazy heavy but they consistently offer greater protection than tubeless..


That's not my experience. Everyone I know who lives in the desert (ABQ, if that counts) went tubeless a long time ago. I live in area with tons of goatheads, and even with Schwalbe Marathons and thornproof tubes I would get flats. Now I run Compass tires and don't get flats anymore.
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NoCoGreg
Just another data point regarding the Panaracer Gravel King (Not the GK SK model)...

I have these on a new tandem  (700x38 but measures 42 mm) and have had far more flats with these than any other tire I've used for road tandeming.  I have a set of 2" small block mtb tires for taking the tandem gravel riding.

The issue I'm seeing with the smooth Gravel King is that the tread is picking up small pieces of glass which eventually work their way through the protective belt and puncture the tube.  I've had far better results for road riding by using Continental road tires (Gatorskins, 4-Season, and the 4000S II).  

Now before anyone suggest going tubeless, I have but one set of wheels for the tandem and swapping tubeless tires with sealant is much more work and mess than I'd like.  Using sealant in tubes has had mixed results as the sealant doesn't always seal punctures from goatheads (a common problem).

In contrast my Raleigh Roker is setup tubeless with the Gravelking SK's and those have been great.  But the SK's tread has too much rolling resistance for when we're tandeming on the road with a pack of racers and fast tandems.

Cheers,
Greg
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AmericanTemplar
I ended up adding more sealant the mine and I'm at 1200 miles now and I've never had another problem with the flat that I got when I started this thread. I'm not sure how much longer that they have, but I feel like I've gotten my money's worth at this point. I should add that it's been a brutal winter for equipment here in Northern California. I've done multiple events and rides now during days where we got over an inch of rain. I've gone through many pairs of brake pads, replaced a rotor, chains, etc. 
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drwelby
NoCoGreg wrote:


Using sealant in tubes has had mixed results as the sealant doesn't always seal punctures from goatheads (a common problem).



Which sealant? As mentioned elsewhere I've got the 48 GKs on my gravel tandem and I'm northeast of you in Weld County which is goathead central thanks to all the irrigated cropland. I run 2oz of orange seal in each tube and have never had a flat or even a soft tire on that bike. As a bonus, unlike all my other bikes with tubeless Compass tires, I have not had to top off the sealant in the tubes either.
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NoCoGreg
I'm using Orange Seal as is another friend who also rides a lot of gravel with tubes.  He had a similar failure a month or so ago. It was cold (40 ish) but not so cold as to have needed the Sub-zero OS.   In general he had very good luck with OS in tubes.

I also noticed sealant doesn't seem to dry out in tubes as opposed to tubeless tires.  I've only used OS so I can't speak to how Stans or the others perform.  My mtb friends have all migrated to OS from Stans and other brands.

Yes Weld County truly is goathead central. I love riding there but always check my sealant before I go! :-)  

Greg
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spectastic
the gk's have 120 tpi, which is relatively high, meaning it's more supple and will cut easier than other tires. and I'm not a fan of the rock throwing. 
as of 3/24/19, I vow to not argue with idiots on the internet
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HollyBoni
spectastic wrote:
the gk's have 120 tpi, which is relatively high, meaning it's more supple and will cut easier than other tires.


I highly doubt that's the problem here. 120tpi is pretty average for a gravel tire. I put my SKs through hell, zero flats. 

Look at the weight, they're paper thin balloons. 320g for a 38-40mm tyre... The 38 GK SKs weigh a 100g more than the 38mm slick GKs. The 38 slicks are 30g lighter than the Extralight Compass Barlow Pass... There are 32mm road tyres that are heavier than the 38 GK slicks. With a weight like that of course they're gonna be fragile, not really a surprise. 
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Koyote
spectastic wrote:
the gk's have 120 tpi, which is relatively high, meaning it's more supple and will cut easier than other tires. and I'm not a fan of the rock throwing. 


Ditto HolliBoni’s comment. And the OP has the GK slicks, which do not throw rocks. 
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