Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So new to gravel but long time mtb. I have always run a larger volume/knob over tire on front with a smaller/lighter/faster rear. Haven’t heard about this in gravel world. Any opinions why this idea doesn’t translate as well to gravel.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,012 Posts
So new to gravel but long time mtb. I have always run a larger volume/knob over tire on front with a smaller/lighter/faster rear. Haven’t heard about this in gravel world. Any opinions why this idea doesn’t translate as well to gravel.
I run a 29 x 2.6 f/ 29x2.4 r on my MTB it does work very well.... but if your MTB is like mine, it's full squish. My gravel bike??? The tires ARE the suspension. So I run as much volume as I can, especially in the back as the majority of weight comes down on the rear tire.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,012 Posts
Ah makes sense. Thanks
FWIW.... gravel bikes are a lot like MTB's. We're learning that wider, higher volume tires are at least as fast, if not faster then smaller tires at higher pressures. I run 700 x 38c GK+ slicks on pavement and "groomed" gravel. For anything in the "gnar" category, I have 650 x 47b Maxxis Ramblers. I run them at 33r/28f and surely they should be slower than the GK+'s, right? Nope. On pavement, they are just as fast and on gravel, MUCH faster....

If you're limited to 700c, use the highest volume, lightest tire that will fit. Run them as low as they will go without pinch flatting and do NOT listen to your head. They will feel slow.... more pressure always FEELS faster, but multiple tests, confirmed by tons of my own data, says otherwise.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
896 Posts
Knobby MTB tires roll slow AF, and that can be a problem. So you leave a large/grippy tire up front so that you don't wash out, and then on back you put on a faster rolling tire. In the gravel world all tires roll very well, so you don't have this same worry.

I'm happy with my 700x45c Maxxis Rambler Exo+ with CushCore in the back.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Knobby MTB tires roll slow AF, and that can be a problem. So you leave a large/grippy tire up front so that you don't wash out, and then on back you put on a faster rolling tire. In the gravel world all tires roll very well, so you don't have this same worry.
Depends on what "gravel" means to OP.

I'm on G-One Ultrabite tubeless 50c front, 40c rear. I mostly ride single track now, and wanted to see what a good knobby gravel tire could do. Very impressed over the 40c G-One Allround I used previously. My bike used to feel sketchy as soon as the gravel got loose. Now I'm hitting some rooty/rocky sections that I used to only ride with my full sus xc bike.

If anything, I'd try a faster rolling rear next, just like my xc bike setup.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,012 Posts
Hmmm, I might have to try higher pressures.
I run them at 24f/26r.
Yeah, sorry... should have qualified that. I'm 210 lbs. kitted. I have NOT had them bottom yet at those pressures and that is usually where I call the lowest pressures I will run.... although I can go much lower than I want with my GK+ Slicks... they won't bottom, but they start feeling odd on turn-in when set really low, but feel much better over any bumpy stuff.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
I run the same nominal size front and rear (largely because of the limited availability in tires and tire sizes at the moment), but I do run nobbier tires on the front. My current 650b setup is a GK SK on the front and GK SS on the rear. Works really well to keep a bit of extra traction in turns while the rolling resistance is low on the drive tire in the rear.

So similar strategy to MTB, yes.
 

· Guest
Joined
·
1,065 Posts
I use a knobby Rene Herse 42mm tire in the back, because it is the widest that fits my frame. I have a 48mm one in front, because the fork permits it. This looks slightly weird, and lifts the front end of the bike (which is more of a gravel-capable road bike than a modern gravel bike) a bit, which is fine but again changes the properties of bike-handling a bit. Having a wider, rather than matching, front tire inspires more confidence on loose gravel.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top