The 3 Best Gravel Bike Tires in 2021

Jan Poshenko
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Our range of reviews are all about road bikes. But, we like to spend our time off-road, and we’ve put together a Best Gravel Bike Tires list that helps you find the right tires and tubes for your specific needs.

Whether you’re racing, commuting, riding, touring, or just enjoying the freedom that a bicycle provides, we’ve outlined the top choices available to you below.

NameCategoryProduct
AMERICAN CLASSIC Gravel Bike TireBest OverallAMERICAN CLASSIC Gravel Bike Tire
WTB Riddler 700c TCS Gravel TireBudget PickWTB Riddler 700c TCS Gravel Tire
Vittoria Terreno Zero Bike Tires for Gravel and PavementUpgrade PickVittoria Terreno Zero Bike Tires for Gravel and Pavement

1. AMERICAN CLASSIC Gravel Bike Tire

Our rating: 9 / 10

AMERICAN CLASSIC Gravel Bike Tire

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Pros:

  • Adventure gravel tire
  • Tubeless ready
  • Stage 5S flat protection
  • Rubberforce G Gravel Compound
  • Black or tan sidewall
  • Excellent abrasion resistance
  • High tensile strength
  • Good tear and cut resistance for off-road riding and exploring

Cons:

  • Not long-lasting

AMERICAN CLASSIC Aggregate Gravel Tires are your adventure road and gravel tire, created for minimal road vibration and consistent traction. The evenly-spaced, hexagonal knobs provide predictable handling across the pavement, hardpack, dirt, and gravel terrain.

The Tubeless 120 TPI casing provides the ultimate construction of speed and comfort, and the Stage 5S flat protection can ward off punctures and tears for your all-day adventure rides.

The signature Rubberforce G compound is designed to hook up in dirt from East to West, with Stage 5S flat protection and Tubeless Ready casing for maximum puncture protection to keep rolling across almost anything.

2. WTB Riddler 700c TCS Gravel Tire

Our rating: 9 / 10

WTB Riddler 700c TCS Gravel Tire

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Pros:

  • Short-knob center tread cuts down on rolling resistance
  • Center and intermediate raddler knobs are slightly taller
  • Increased tire lifespan without negatively affecting rolling efficiency
  • Tall, toothy outer lugs
  • Single-ply 60tpi casing
  • TCS Casing- tubeless compatible System

Cons:

  • It may be dangerous on high-speed turns

WTB Riddler TCS Gravel Tires are heavy-duty tires for satisfactory performance. Their grip is much better than the stock tires your bike came with. You will feel confident around turns and don't get any pinch flats even when going through a few patches of thick roots and sharp rocks.

The minimalistic centerline allows you to maximize the output of every pedal stroke, while toothy outer knobs provide cornering confidence that refuses to let up. The time-tested Raddler is an excellent choice for loose dirt or gravel roads where traction is key, but efficiency is of utmost importance.

3. Vittoria Terreno Zero Bike Tires for Gravel and Pavement

Our rating: 9 / 10

Vittoria Terreno Zero Bike Tires for Gravel and Pavement

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Pros:

  • For paved surfaces and hard-packed gravel
  • Smooth Corsa-inspired center
  • The final product is a cyclocross tire with a tread that performs unlike any other.
  • Perfect for a lot of roads
  • The ultimate choice for dry conditions
  • 2-year manufacturer's warranty

Cons:

  • Useful for a bit of gravel

Vittoria Terreno ZERO Gravel Bike Tires are for dry terrain conditions. It has a Corsa-inspired tread design for paved surfaces and hard-packed gravel. The smooth Corsa-inspired center rolls fast, while the side tread “scales” provide durable bite when cornering and braking.

Vittoria Terreno ZERO is the ultimate choice for dry conditions. The perfect gravel tires meet the perfect cyclocross tires .

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long do gravel bike tires last?

Gravel bike tires are best used in areas where the terrain changes frequently. They also work well off-road on terrain that’s not too extreme.

For example, you may want to use a set of gravel bike tires while you’re riding your bike alongside the Appalachian Trail or another long-distance path. The terrain on these courses often includes gravel roads, dirt roads, and trails with large rocks punctuating the flats and slopes.

The tire tread on gravel bike tires is a bit thicker than on a regular bike tire. The extra layer of rubber is there so that you can dabble in snow and loose gravel without devolving into a heap of broken steel.

The durability of any tire depends on the stresses you put it under. Road bike tires last around 10,000-15,000 kilometers, while mountain bike tires may last more than 50,000 kilometers.

What size are gravel bike tires?

Gravel bike tires are usually 700c wide. Just like any other tire, they come in a variety of sizes. If you live in a flat area and ride on mostly paved roads, start at 32 mm, and go up in size from there depending on how aggressive a rider you are and whether or not you will be riding off-road. If you live in an area with lots of rolling hills, go for a 35 mm or 38 mm tire.

Also, just as with any other bike tire, the tire size depends on the rim size of your wheels. Make sure you buy a wheel with the same or at least very close mounting pattern as your current wheels so that you don't have to readjust your rear derailleur settings.

How much slower are gravel tires?

How much slower is up to you and your legs. You should keep in mind, however, that as the tires get bigger, the weight does as well. So, it is a perfect tradeoff in a way since a smaller tire can’t carry as much weight and a larger tire slows you down.

As a general rule, though, you should expect the times to roughly triple if you ride on a regular road bike tire, like a 23 mm one, in comparison to a bigger 40 mm gravel or Cross bike tire.

Letʼs say that you can ride at a speed of 20km on your regular 23 mm road bike tire. If you were to switch to a 40 mm gravel bike tire, you could expect half your speed.

Can I put gravel tires on my road bike?

Yes. With the wide range of 28mm to 35mm road bike tires out there these days, you don’t need to worry about tapping out your rims when mounting them.

This versatility is at the heart of gravel cycling, especially in terms of what style of bike you can use to explore new roads off the beaten track.

The main issue with road tires is their tiny knobs. They can work great if you’re hammering on a smooth road, but you may want something with somewhat larger lugs if you’re riding off-road on less smooth surfaces.

If you use wider, knobbier gravel tires, they can be an excellent choice. To maximize comfort and grip, it’s best to run at least 30mm wide tires. They can be a little heavier than road tires.

Conclusion

As a cycling category, gravel covers a broad range of possible ride experiences. There are many terrains out there and many different tires to suit the various surfaces you may encounter when you leave the tarmac. We have discussed the three best gravel tires to maximize your cycling experience.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
AMERICAN CLASSIC Gravel Bike TireBest OverallAMERICAN CLASSIC Gravel Bike Tire
WTB Riddler 700c TCS Gravel TireBudget PickWTB Riddler 700c TCS Gravel Tire
Vittoria Terreno Zero Bike Tires for Gravel and PavementUpgrade PickVittoria Terreno Zero Bike Tires for Gravel and Pavement