Cmtgravel
Looking to run a wider tire for Vermont gravel ride. Currently run Conti Travel Contacts in 37 width. I love the bomb-proofiness of these tires, but they can be slippery in wet conditions. Would like to find something in the 40-42 range with more grip, but equally as indestructible. Puncture and cut resistance cannot be stressed enough. Not interested in tubeless. Suggestions? Gonna be for Vt gravel and class iv roads.
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thefuzzycow
Riding midwest gravel, I have a couple set of tires that I like to bounce around with.

Teravail Cannonball. Comes in a 42c. Small tread in the middle and some knobs on the edge for added traction. Minimal rolling resistance down the middle but when bouncing over the gravel and hitting turns in we/loose/dry/hard conditions, the Cannonball will NOT disappoint. Popular tire that was ran at Dirty Kanza and Land Run. Love this tire. It's my go to in multiple sizes.

Similar tire I've ran and still enjoy is the Specialized Trigger. Very similar to the Cannonball tire.

Panaracer Gravelking SK. This is a pretty unique tire with its tread. Little knobs down the middle for traction if wet/loose conditions, yet packed close together for better rolling resistance on harder surfaces. Instead of "side knobs" like most tires, the GK-SK tire has rectangular tread pattern on the edges to also help with some added traction when in the turns. Bob Cummings runs this tire on his 3T Exploro a lot when riding/racing. Heads up on sizing with this tire: [When mounted on Stans Avion Pro wheels with a 21.6 internal diameter] The 700x35 measures 700x38, the 700x38 measures 700x40 and the 700x43 measures a true 43. The 35 and 38 tires have 3 rows of little square knobs whereas the 43mm tire has 5 rows of little for the center tread.

Lastly is the Donnelly X'Plor MSO tire. Was previously branded as Clement. This tire is again similar in tread to the Cannonball and Trigger, but with similar tread all around. Yes you get a little mot more on the edges, but not the same as compared to the Teravail or Trigger. Also, the tread on the X'Plor is a little more spaced out when comparing to the other two. Still a great tire!!

Best of luck on your search! These are just my recommendations and I realize not everybody might have the same experience, so again, this is my $0.02.

-moo
-moo
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Cmtgravel
Thanks for your input. In your opinion, which is most resistant to punctures/cuts?
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clarksonxc
I used the Soma Cazadero and Terrene Elwood on a bunch of VT class IV, and was very happy with the grip and puncture resistance.  I believe the Soma's were actually recommended by Andy St. Germain for Irreverent, if that endorsement means anything to you.
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thefuzzycow
Cmtgravel wrote:
Thanks for your input. In your opinion, which is most resistant to punctures/cuts?


You’re welcome!
Well if you look at numbers, the Teravail and Trigger Pro only come in 60tpi. Gravelking SK is 126 tpi. Donnelly X’Plor tire is 126 tpi. The lower the number of tpi, the more durable the tire is. The higher the number, the more lightweight and supple thentire is. This is due to the threads per inch. At 60tpi there will be fewer larger gauge chords/threads throughout the casing where as 120 tpi will have a lot more thinner/smaller chords/threads amongst the casing which allows the tire more flexibility and lightweight.

In my personal experience, I haven’t had a puncture on them, “yet”. I hope I did not jinx it, so we’ll see. Although the Gravelking is listed at 126 tpi, it’s a pretty durable tire. Like I same ruined previously, Bob Cummings of Panaracer uses them when he races Dirty Kanza and that is some larger, gnarly gravel.

They’re all pretty durable. If I had to make an honest suggestion, I’d get two sets. Get a set of Cannonballs or Trigger Pros and a set of the GravelKing SK tires.

With the Cannonball vs the Trigger, the tread is very similar. Main difference is the raised center strip on the Trigger. Makes it fast rolling on pavement. Cannonball center strip has a raised cheveron pattern for better rolling on pavement.

When chooosing tires, durability is a large factor but the terrain is a big part too. Depending on your gravel:road ratio during your rides might sway your decision. If you’re looking 60/40 gravel to road, I’d go with the Triggers. If you’re using them for gravel 70/30 or more, I’d go with the Cannonballs.

Minimal pavement with medium/larger gravel: Cannonballs
Moderate pavement with small/medium gravel: Triggers
Minimal pavement with small hardback gravel: X’Plor
And then get a set of Gravelking SK anyway!

Hopefully that helps! I know I can’t really say which one is truly more durable than the other, but that could also depend on many different variables. And everybody’s experience will vary!
-moo
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NoCoGreg
thefuzzycow wrote:

Hopefully that helps! I know I can’t really say which one is truly more durable than the other, but that could also depend on many different variables. And everybody’s experience will vary!

Fuzzy - Thanks for the detailed info!

One note of caution:
The X'Plor has two variants. Tube and tubeless. My Roker came standard with the tube version and in talking with a couple shops plus what I've seen on line its a 50/50 chance the tube version of the X'Plor will seal properly if attempting to run tubeless. 

The X'Plor is a great riding tire but on my last big ride I picked up a goat head and the Orange Seal didn't work in the punctured tube so I ended up with Orange Mess.  My wife's bike has the tubeless X'Plors and the Orange Seal worked perfectly on a goat head which punctured her tire (same ride). 

Cheers,
Greg

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Zurichman
NoCoGreg wrote:

Fuzzy - Thanks for the detailed info!

One note of caution:
The X'Plor has two variants. Tube and tubeless. My Roker came standard with the tube version and in talking with a couple shops plus what I've seen on line its a 50/50 chance the tube version of the X'Plor will seal properly if attempting to run tubeless. 

The X'Plor is a great riding tire but on my last big ride I picked up a goat head and the Orange Seal didn't work in the punctured tube so I ended up with Orange Mess.  My wife's bike has the tubeless X'Plors and the Orange Seal worked perfectly on a goat head which punctured her tire (same ride). 

Cheers,
Greg



Greg when I bought my first Raleigh(Tamland 1) it came with the X'plors tube version. I was able to set up the front tubeless but not the rear so yes I guess that is 50/50. I replaced those tires for that reason to the Kenda Flintridge Pro tubeless in 700 x 40 for the Pony Express 60 miler in Kansas. That is the only 2 tires now that I have used. I think from the rides I have done that the Flintridge's are more bullet proof but also think they run slower out on the road.


Zman
If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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drwelby
The Terrene Elwood 700 x 40 comes in a Tough version with 60TPI casing and anti-cut layers.

There's also several Schwalbe Marathons with different levels of casing armor.
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Koyote
drwelby wrote:
The Terrene Elwood 700 x 40 comes in a Tough version with 60TPI casing and anti-cut layers.

There's also several Schwalbe Marathons with different levels of casing armor.


I just mounted those up last week, and have only done a few rides on them...But, so far, so good. 

On my relatively narrow 19mm ID rims, they came in at 41.5mm at the casing, 42.5mm at the side knobs. Just something to keep in mind if you have tight clearance. 

The only problem with the Elwoods is the price: $65 each is a lot of dough for a bike tire.
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Cmtgravel
So after many suggestions and much research, i think im gonna go with gravel king sk's in 43 width if my frame will handle it. They seem to be reliable and resistant to punctures, and seem to be 10-20 bucks cheaper each compared to other suggestions. Whaddya think? Again, my main concerns are puncture/cut resistance, and will be run with tubes. I'm afraid i've been spoiled by Conti's Duraskin tires. Nothing else seems to measure up.
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thefuzzycow
Cmtgravel wrote:
So after many suggestions and much research, i think im gonna go with gravel king sk's in 43 width if my frame will handle it. They seem to be reliable and resistant to punctures, and seem to be 10-20 bucks cheaper each compared to other suggestions. Whaddya think? Again, my main concerns are puncture/cut resistance, and will be run with tubes. I'm afraid i've been spoiled by Conti's Duraskin tires. Nothing else seems to measure up.


Good choice! My go to tires are the Teravail Cannonball and Gravelking SK's.
If your frame can't handle the 43mm GKSK, the Cannonball comes in a 42mm tire or the GKSK comes in a 38mm (but measures 40mm).

And of course, this is all dependent on the internal width of your wheel. What bike/frame are you putting them on? What is the suggested clearance?
-moo
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Cmtgravel
Its a 2016 Masi CXGR. Not sure of the clearance,but just eyeballing it with the 37's on there seems to be plenty of room. Are the 43's true to size? I believe inner rim width is 19.
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Noonievut
Not trying to hijack the thread, but I had a question based on some of the replies. People mention having two (or more) sets of tires, likely for different conditions...are you running these with tubes to the same wheelset (easy to swap), tubeless to the same wheelset (is it easy to swap? I’m new to tubeless), or different wheelsets (nice to have!)? Thanks
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thefuzzycow
Cmtgravel wrote:
Its a 2016 Masi CXGR. Not sure of the clearance,but just eyeballing it with the 37's on there seems to be plenty of room. Are the 43's true to size? I believe inner rim width is 19.


Looks like the CXGR has a recommended clearance of 700x40. The 43’s run fairly true dependent on your rim width. The 43 measure a true 43 on a 21 internal width. So if you’re a is a 19, it might run .5-1mm thinner but it’s hard to really say for sure. There’s another thread specifically that discusses the GKSK widths.

I would be cautious with the 43 GKSK if you go that route. Large volume with lower pressures could run the frame. Depending on gravel size and conditions, you could even pick up rocks in the tire that could run frame as well. Just some things to consider if the clearance is minimal.

I would consider going the 38 GKSK if you want to go with a GKSK tire since it’ll measure 40.

Or get the 43 and see how it fits. Just be conscious of the potential problems.
-moo
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Koyote
Sounds like the GK SK in the 38mm size would be perfect.
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thefuzzycow
Noonievut wrote:
Not trying to hijack the thread, but I had a question based on some of the replies. People mention having two (or more) sets of tires, likely for different conditions...are you running these with tubes to the same wheelset (easy to swap), tubeless to the same wheelset (is it easy to swap? I’m new to tubeless), or different wheelsets (nice to have!)? Thanks


It depends on what you consider “easy”.

Tubes- drop pressure; take off tire and tube; put on new tire and tube; inflate

Tubeless- drop pressure; carefully remove tire with sealant at bottom; discard sealant; clean tire; clean rim (important so the tire will be able to seat on the bead); [theres now a couple different ways people will install tires from this point]; option 1- install tire and inflate to get the bead seated; remove presta core on rim and flow sealant through the open valve; once desired amount of sealant is install core back in valve and inflate to desired psi. Option 2 - install tire and inflate tire to get bead seated; remove part of tire off bead from the bottom; pour in desired sealant amount; put tire bead back between the rim walls; inflate to desired psi. **be warned on option 2** this can lead to a tire blow off when trying to reinflate and then you have a huge mess. And I’m sure you won’t be very happy.

I’m sure there are other ways people install tubeless and such, but those are just a couple. There’s pros and cons to both. You just have to decide what’s more ideal for you.

If you’re going to run multiple tires based on conditions and plan to change out tires periodically, maybe go tubes. If you’re going to leave tires on for a while and it doesn’t matter to you, then go tubeless. Tubeless allows you to run lower pressures which leads to a more supple and grippy ride. With tubes you have to run higher psi than tubeless or else you risk pinch flats/snakebites etc.

I’m pretty sure there might be another thread on opinions for tubeless vs tubes. I’m sure others have some great points on that topic as well. I’m no pro or perfect by any means. That’s just a quick $0.02 on the subject.
-moo
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Noonievut
thefuzzycow wrote:
That’s just a quick $0.02 on the subject.


The part on swapping tubeless was helpful, thanks. I’m planning to run GKSK tubeless (soon), and while it would be nice to put on a different tire now and then, for me keeping the one tire on there is good enough.
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Koyote
thefuzzycow wrote:


It depends on what you consider “easy”.

Tubes- drop pressure; take off tire and tube; put on new tire and tube; inflate

Tubeless- drop pressure; carefully remove tire with sealant at bottom; DISCARD SEALANT; clean tire; clean rim (important so the tire will be able to seat on the bead); [theres now a couple different ways people will install tires from this point]; option 1- install tire and inflate to get the bead seated; remove presta core on rim and flow sealant through the open valve; once desired amount of sealant is install core back in valve and inflate to desired psi. Option 2 - install tire and inflate tire to get bead seated; remove part of tire off bead from the bottom; pour in desired sealant amount; put tire bead back between the rim walls; inflate to desired psi. **be warned on option 2** this can lead to a tire blow off when trying to reinflate and then you have a huge mess. And I’m sure you won’t be very happy.

I’m sure there are other ways people install tubeless and such, but those are just a couple. There’s pros and cons to both. You just have to decide what’s more ideal for you.

If you’re going to run multiple tires based on conditions and plan to change out tires periodically, maybe go tubes. If you’re going to leave tires on for a while and it doesn’t matter to you, then go tubeless. Tubeless allows you to run lower pressures which leads to a more supple and grippy ride. With tubes you have to run higher psi than tubeless or else you risk pinch flats/snakebites etc.

I’m pretty sure there might be another thread on opinions for tubeless vs tubes. I’m sure others have some great points on that topic as well. I’m no pro or perfect by any means. That’s just a quick $0.02 on the subject.


My only comment is that you don’t have to discard the sealant. You can reuse it in the next tires.
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