Cars

Gravel bike: Ten 40 mm gravel tires on test

Selected products in tabular overview

swallow

test winner

Schwalbe G-One R

EUR 72.90

1.3 (very good)

Pirelli

Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M

EUR 60.00

2.0 (good)

3.

Value for money

Tufo

Value for money

Tufo Gravel Thundero

EUR 43.90

2.3 (good)

zip

Zip G40

EUR 76.00

2.3 (good)

Continental

Continental Terra Trail

EUR 57.90

2.4 (good)

WTB

WTB Nano

EUR 62.95

2.4 (good)

Michelin

Michelin Power Gravel

EUR 58.95

2.6 (satisfactory)

Panaracer

Panaracer Gravelking SK Plus

EUR 52.95

2.6 (satisfactory)

challenges

Challenge Getaway

EUR 77.90

3.1 (satisfactory)

Maxxis

Maxxis Rambler

EUR 59.90

3.3 (satisfactory)


Asphalt, mud, forest soil, sand and the eponymous gravel: Gravel bikes have to cope with a wide variety of surfaces. It goes without saying that the tire as the point of contact with the ground plays a decisive role with this wide range of requirements. The tires have to be able to do at least a little bit of everything and should perform well in at least one area. BIKE BILD tested ten gravel tires with a width of 40 millimeters.

Winner of the BIKE BILD test with gravel tires: Schwalbe G-One R

Schwalbe G-One R

G-One R
  • top puncture protection
  • above average in all categories
  • also very resilient in everyday life

Price €72.90


Schwalbe’s race tires perform above average in all categories. Due to the top puncture protection, not only a good choice on race day, but also very resilient in everyday use. The only drawback: the high price. In the test, the Schwalbe G-One R received a grade of 1.3 (very good).

Price-performance winner in the gravel tire test: Tufo Gravel Thundero

Tufo Gravel Thundero

Gravel Thundero
  • good puncture protection
  • at the level of the best in class
  • cheap price

Price €43.90


The Gravel Thundero rolls at the level of the best in class, without forgetting the homework on puncture protection and sealing. Given this price we ask ourselves: Why spend more on a gravel tire? In the test, the Tufo Gravel Thundero received a grade of 2.3 (good).

This is how BIKE BILD tested it

We carried out our gravel tire test in cooperation with Schwalbe at their company headquarters in Reichshof. For the rolling resistance test, the tire ran over a measuring drum on a rim with an inner width of 25 millimeters, at 2.5 bar air pressure (tubeless) and a weight load of 50 kilograms.

In order to evaluate the susceptibility to a puncture (snakebite), the tire was attacked three times by a falling wedge in tubular mode. The deeper the wedge had to drop to puncture the tube, the better the tire stability.

The puncture protection rating is the result of three measurements in which a needle and a blade were drilled into the tread and sidewall. The greater the force required to puncture, the better the puncture protection. To measure how well the tires stay sealed, we filled all the samples with 60 milliliters of sealant, mounted them, drummed them in and let them hang for 24 hours at an initial pressure of 3 bar. The pressure loss after this time provides information about the tightness.

We tested the installation very subjectively: the editor and laboratory technician installed all the tires and evaluated the technical challenge and the necessary use of force.

Results of the gravel tire test at a glance

The world of gravel tires is as diverse as that of gravel bikes themselves. There are narrower all-road slicks, studded tires that are close to 33 millimeter cyclocross models or wide, coarse tires that could also be used on mountain bikes. The most popular is the 40 mm class for 28 inch rims with a mixed knob profile. For gravel bikers, this is the best compromise for many different requirement profiles, which is why we also focused on such models for this test.

We carried out our comparison test in the laboratory. Reproducible and meaningful results can only be achieved under controlled conditions and strict supervision by editors and technicians. Comparability is impossible in practice, especially when it comes to puncture protection. Whether or not a particular tire will flatten you more often depends on the environment you’re driving in and the luck or bad luck of the individual driver. Disruptive factors that the blade eliminates on the test bench. The puncture test, which is intended to simulate a so-called snakebite, can only be carried out seriously in the laboratory.

An interesting part of the test was also the air pressure measurement in tubeless operation and the sealing in the standardized set-up over several days. A decisive factor for the practicality of many gravel bikers, after all many bikers go on multi-day tours on which a large pump is not always available. And in the daily commute, many simply don’t feel like pumping up every day.

Not only the suitability for everyday use of the gravel tires is important for bikers

Of course, not only suitability for everyday use is important for gravel bikers, but also performance. The rolling resistance test provides information about how efficiently the tire rolls. Not included in the rating, but reported, we have the weight point. While there are lightweight enthusiasts in the gravel arena, our data proves that rolling resistance is the key factor when it comes to progress.

The best tire is of no use to you if you cannot pull it onto the wheel or off the rim in the event of a puncture. That’s why we also included the assembly in our rating. Quality has its price, so many of the 40 mm tires are very expensive without an online discount – with one happy exception.

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