Normal road tires can give a maximum of 4k miles before they start showing any signs of wear, so when compared to gravel tires, it is expected that they would last longer. Gravel tires are designed with a larger contact area and are, therefore, expected to last up to 3,500 miles. Important to note is that some gravel tires might offer a longer service than the 3,500 miles while others will offer a lesser service than the 3,500 meaning that a gravel bike tire’s durability is also largely dependent on the frequency of use and the style of the rider.
Table of Contents
- Choosing Gravel Tires for Your Bike
- Categories of Gravel Bike Tires
- Advantages of Using the Gravel Bike Tires
- When to Replace Gravel Bike Tires
- Replacing Gravel Bike Tires
- Important Features to Look Out for in a Gravel Bike
Choosing Gravel Tires for Your Bike
Gravel tires are designed for use on gravel, they do have a huge volume the tread patterns are more pronounced enabling them to give greater grip off-road. They are stable and can be used on multiple surfaces.
When choosing a gravel tire it is important to consider the terrain that you are going to ride on because gravel roads have different characteristics, some are intensely rugged while others have minimal dirt. For example, if you would be riding on poor quality roads, ones that are roughly paved then you should get tires that offer a little more grip when compared to your average road tire. The tire also needs to be a little wider which means that you get more air volume and which results in a more comfortable ride.
Poor quality roads can do well with tubeless gravel tires to avoid getting the pinched flats because of the absence of the inner tube in the tire. Besides the tubeless tires are not exposed to puncture flats that you will be exposed to when riding on gravel roads. Tubeless tires allow you to ride the bicycle at lower pressure, a feature that enhances comfort and grip.
Smooth Dirt Tracks or the Old Railway Lines
This type of gravel road is characteristic of loose dirt. The best tires for the smooth dirt track are those that have more aggressive treads as they can offer more grip. Tires with aggressive treads have a slicker central grip and which will ensure that the tire rolls fast on hard and compact dirt. This type of tread also comes in handy when cornering or riding on loose dirt.
These types of tires are also characteristic of increased volume that will allow you to ride the bike at lower pressure, giving you a good grip and a more comfortable ride.
Gravel on a Hard Packed Surfaced
This type of gravel road is usually a little bumpier, and the best tire for this type of terrain is one with a width ranging between 38 and 40. That have been found to have much more aggressive treads. The tire also has bigger knobs and lugs that offer enhanced grip. This type of grip is welcome when it comes to cornering, and its enhanced volume enables a lower pressure ride.
The above characteristics allow your tire to form over the small stones, root stumps among other debris, and which enables enhanced traction and comfort.
Aggressive Gravel Roads
This type of gravel road has bigger rocks known to offer much more impact through the bars and which means that you will need bigger tires to counter their impact. A gravel bike tire with a width of 40 to 43 should suffice. This type of tire can take the impact but will not transmit it to you thus you will not feel the bumpiness of the road when cycling.
Mountain Bike Terrain
Mountain bike terrain are characteristic of big roots, and the best gravel bike tires for this kind of terrain, are 650b or the 27.5-inch wheel size that gives you a lot of volume on the tire. The extra volume allows you to run the tire at a much lower pressure, enabling a more forgiving ride, especially when riding over rougher terrain. Riders should also ensure that their frames are configured to integrate with the 650b to prevent the tires from rubbing on the seat tube, the chainstay, or the seat stay.
Categories of Gravel Bike Tires
|Mountain Bike Tires||1,000-5,000|
|Road Bike Tires||1,000-3,000|
|Gravel Bike Tires||1,000-3,500|
|Hybrid Bike Tires||1,000-3,000|
|Racing Bike Tires||700-1,500|
|Puncture-Resistant Bike Tires||3,000-5,000|
Mountain Style Gravel Tires
These tires are best utilized by individuals who love riding on trails. The tires are equipped with extra treads and are available in different sizes. Notable is that if you are going to be using them on pavement then they will wear down pretty fast. Also transitioning them to concrete can be a little bit difficult.
Road Style Gravel Tires
These tires have been determined to have less of a groove, and will rarely get caught up in pebbles. They are comfortable and allow for a rather fluid movement, because of the less friction between the tire and the ground. Well, if you ride your bike on pavements mostly and trails occasionally, then these is the kind of tires that you should be thinking of investing in.
Have a low and consistent tread across the tires, and can offer some decent friction when used on the pavements without necessarily slowing down. Notice that the tread is even and which limits tear and wear. This type of tires are usually evenly balanced and when used on treads, the grooves will no doubt offer a good grip even when rode on muddy terrains or tracks that have roots.
Advantages of Using the Gravel Bike Tires
- Gravel bike tires are versatile and can be used on different types of weather, the tread balanced with the surface area makes them the best option for riding in any type of weather.
- Gravel bike tires can be used on different types of surfaces, and sports. They can effectively counter, the mountain trails, gravel or concrete, all thanks to their unique design.
- Gravel bike tires do not wear out quickly when used on different kinds of roads, they don’t get punctured easily when compared to road bike tires. And you can use the tires on pavement and the tread will not wear down quickly.
- Gravel tires are available in different sizes and types, riders can, therefore, customize their bikes to maximize on functionality and durability.
When to Replace Gravel Bike Tires
Gravel biking is a thrilling way to explore off-road trails, but it can be tough on your bike tires. Knowing when to replace your gravel bike tires is essential to avoid any accidents or mishaps during your rides.
Signs of Wear
One of the most obvious signs that it’s time to replace your gravel bike tires is when you start to see visible signs of wear and tear. Here are some things to look out for:
- Tread Wear: Check the tread of your tires. If it’s worn down, it’s time to replace them. Worn-down treads can cause your bike to slip and slide, making it hard to maintain control.
- Cracks and Cuts: Look for any visible cracks or cuts on the sidewalls of your tires. These can weaken the tire’s structure and make it more prone to punctures.
- Bulges and Blisters: If you see any bulges or blisters on your tires, it’s a sign that the tire’s internal structure has been compromised. This can lead to a sudden blowout, which can be dangerous.
Another factor to consider is the mileage on your gravel bike tires. Most tires have a recommended mileage range, after which they should be replaced. However, this can vary depending on the type of tire and the conditions in which it’s used.
As a general rule, you should replace your gravel bike tires every 2,000 to 3,000 miles. However, if you notice any signs of wear and tear before that, you should replace them immediately.
It’s important to note that old tires can be just as dangerous as worn-out ones. Even if your tires haven’t reached their recommended mileage, if they’re more than five years old, it’s a good idea to replace them.
Replacing Gravel Bike Tires
When it comes to replacing gravel bike tires, there are a few things to consider. The lifespan of a tire can vary depending on factors such as the terrain, riding style, and tire quality. However, there are some general guidelines to follow when deciding if it’s time to replace your tires.
The front tire is responsible for steering and stability, so it’s important to keep it in good condition.
Look for signs of wear such as cracks, cuts, or bulges in the tire. If the tread is worn down to the point where it’s no longer providing traction, it’s time to replace the tire.
It’s also a good idea to replace the front tire if you notice any vibrations or wobbling while riding.
The rear tire takes more abuse than the front tire, as it supports most of the rider’s weight and is responsible for propelling the bike forward.
Like the front tire, look for signs of wear such as cuts, cracks, or bulges in the tire. If the tread is worn down to the point where it’s no longer providing traction, it’s time to replace the tire.
It’s also a good idea to replace the rear tire if you notice any slipping or skidding while riding.
Tubeless tires have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they offer a number of benefits such as improved traction, reduced risk of pinch flats, and the ability to run lower tire pressures.
To replace a tubeless tire:
- First remove the valve core and deflate the tire.
- Use tire levers to remove the tire from the rim, being careful not to damage the rim tape.
- Clean the rim and install the new tire, making sure it’s seated properly.
- Inflate the tire and add sealant if necessary.
When replacing tubeless tires, it’s important to use a latex-based sealant such as Continental RevoSealant or Schwalbe Doc Blue. These sealants are designed to seal punctures quickly and effectively, and they won’t damage the tire or rim.
Avoid using glue or other non-latex sealants, as they can cause damage to the tire and rim.
Important Features to Look Out for in a Gravel Bike
Riders must be aware of the materials used in the construction of their bike tire. The density of the material is a factor to consider because it directly relates to the tire’s wear and tear.
This feature mostly relates to the tread, you might, therefore, want one with deep grooves with regards to the type of trail that you will be riding. For example, road bikes do not need more tread.
Gravel bikes are usually designed to accommodate a wide range of pressures and which enables riders to settle with a wide range of pressures.
Gravel tires are versatile can be ridden on pavements and different types of terrains without compromising their structural integrity in terms of wear and tear. They come in different sizes meaning that you have the option of picking one that suits your bike, but for this option, riders should be keen to observe the tire clearance.
Which is the best brand tire for off-road?
The Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour is for riders who are interested in performance.
How can I limit wear and tear on my gravel bike tires?
To limit wear and tear ensure to keep your tires inflated and change your riding style. Also, ensure to replace all your tires at the same time so that the tear can be even over time.