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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As a front 650bx2.1, where is this tire in its best element?

Looking at local used bike. It has the 1.9 on the rear, but the tread pattern, weight, volume has me wondering if a rider would mainly be on fast dry rough roads/gravel, with a little bit of non-muddy tame trails? We have loooong stretches of forest service roads that get annihilated by auto braking bumps and are very sandy. Is this the 2.1's perfect scenario as a front? The weight is about 620 grams, yowza!! I've only used 700x40 Maxxis, first time 650b. Before I go fetch some 650bx47c Maxxis Ramblers, thought I'd ask before unmounting the Gravelkings.
 

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I put these on my wife's bike (700x50) and they work great for the conditions you describe above - rough roads/gravel and real tame trails. However, she's not aggressive or fast at all - more of a cruiser really. They seem like they'd hold up to more abuse than she'll ever throw at them, but if I were planning to hammer forest service roads and light single-track all the time, I think I'd ultimately go with something with a beefier tread pattern. These do ride really nice though.

If they're already on the bike why not run them until they wear out or you decide you don't like them. You can order the ramblers as backups and probably could sell them easily if you decide these work for you.
 

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Before I go fetch some 650bx47c Maxxis Ramblers, thought I'd ask before unmounting the Gravelkings.
I used the SK+ for a bit on my 700c wheels in 35c. Unimpressive, but serviceable. I use the Ramblers in 650bx47c on my 650b wheels for serious gravel. They are the 60tpi IIRC. I cannot say enough good things about them. GK slicks are my "road" tires and I have a ton of data for both tires and amazingly enough, not only are the Ramblers faster on rough gravel, they are just as fast on flat pavement as the slick. You can feel the difference and the data shows that they eat up about 10-15w more when climbing on pavement. This is at gravel pressures of 38r, 31f.

I would say try them for sure (path of least resistance), but my guess is that the Ramblers are a superior tire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I used the SK+ for a bit on my 700c wheels in 35c. Unimpressive, but serviceable. I use the Ramblers in 650bx47c on my 650b wheels for serious gravel. They are the 60tpi IIRC. I cannot say enough good things about them. GK slicks are my "road" tires and I have a ton of data for both tires and amazingly enough, not only are the Ramblers faster on rough gravel, they are just as fast on flat pavement as the slick. You can feel the difference and the data shows that they eat up about 10-15w more when climbing on pavement. This is at gravel pressures of 38r, 31f.

I would say try them for sure (path of least resistance), but my guess is that the Ramblers are a superior tire.
Did 1 hour lunch rip on familiar loop. Stopped 3 times to adjust the SK+ pressure anywhere from 19 to 23.
It's a fantastic mtb tire over deeeeep sand and gravel! It was good on hardpack.
It was horrible on pavement especially quick turn-in no matter the psi. It feels like a fast mtb tire on pavement.

I mean, what did I expect from a 620 gram 2.1 short knob tread?
I bet it'd be great on all-day service roads that are destroyed.

Two 47c exo (not silkshield) Ramblers have been ordered from bc.com. Activejunky has 12%, and bc has $20 coupon for $100 orders to be used in September.
 

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well it is called the GRAVEL king....so that's your first clue....I've ran these tires in 35c and 38c on my curly bars. Theyre ok, they roll fast....doesn't shed mud fantastically, but good enough. Decent all around tire. I much prefer my WTB resolutes I put on instead. Holds air better, more supple casing too. I wonder if they perform better in the smaller case widths?
 

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well it is called the GRAVEL king....so that's your first clue....I've ran these tires in 35c and 38c on my curly bars. Theyre ok, they roll fast....doesn't shed mud fantastically, but good enough. Decent all around tire. I much prefer my WTB resolutes I put on instead. Holds air better, more supple casing too. I wonder if they perform better in the smaller case widths?
Mine were 700x35c and I was equally unimpressed. They were ok on gravel, but really stiff ride for the pressure, and the penalty on pavement was too high. We have to ride to gravel just about anywhere where I live.
 

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I have the GravelKing SK 700x38 which came spec'ed on my bike. So far as I know, great tire--but I have nothing to compare to. I will mention, they throw ALOT of gravel and small rocks. They have the nickname "gravel fling" in our group. The flinging of gravel required me to get fenders. Problem solved but not everyone likes fenders nor their added wind resistance.
 

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I recently mounted the non-plus 700c x 50mm SKs on my bike and have logged more than 100 miles on them so far, about half on singletrack MTB trails in North Tahoe. They were true to their 50mm spec on 21mm internal rims, and the weight was spot on at 570g. I also put more than 3,700 miles on a previous set of the 700c x 43mm SKs, mostly on the road but with some fire roads and singletrack mixed in. I can say that the 50mm version definitely inspires more confidence off-road and the increase in grip and compliance is noticeable. It's not night and day, but it felt tangible. I am able to descend more quickly, especially through rockier sections, and there isn't much of a perceptible penalty on the climbs. On the road, they hum faintly, but nowhere near the buzz/whine that I experienced on WTB Nanos. And my times on the road are well within the averages I saw on narrower rubber, including the 43mm SKs, the 40mm Nanos, and 40mm Vittoria Terreno Dry and Zero tires. I previously had only one puncture on the 43s that sealed right up, so I have high expectations for durability for the 50s. I certainly like what I've seen so far from them.
 

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I had the SK 43+ for nearly a year before the rear tread wore out. It had more grip on the loose over hard rocky-ish terrain I was riding. It could have been a bit more supple, but I also didn't have any burping issues like I do with my 29x2.1 Thunder Burts, which feel just as fast on gravel as the SK+. On road the SK+ there was no real complaints going straight but it wasn't the most confidence inspiring on tighter curves. The Plus casing was also pretty good with goat head punctures & glass, can't speak for the regular casing though. I've heard good things about the Pirelli Cinturato H tires, which are supposed to be as fast or faster than the SK while offering similar grip.
 
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