May 19, 2024

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Steven Rindner Speaks on Why Are Tires Important for Gravel Riding and How to Choose The Right One?

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Gravel Riding


Undeniably, among all the components used for gravel bikes, its tire is the most important part. According to the viewpoint of Steven Rindner, since tires work as the contact points between the riding surface and the bike, they play a major role in controlling the quality and enjoyment of one’s riding experience.

With the increasing popularity of gravel riding and types of riding or events, these days gravel bike tires come in a wide variety of types, sizes, widths, and treads for better comfort, speed, and traction. This makes it important for a gravel rider to determine the type, size, and tread pattern of the tire before having a ride. In this article, Rindner offers overall insight into the construction of the tire to get an insight into choosing the right tires.

Steven Rindner offers overall insight into the construction of the tire to get an insight into choosing the right tires. 

Identify the riding type

Choosing a suitable tire depends largely on one’s type of ride or intention of riding. Find below three categories that are given to help a rider identify his/her riding style. It is worth noting, that it offers a broad view and it’s not necessary for many riders to come fit seamlessly into one specific category. However, this guideline can be handy as a starting point in selecting the right tire.

Riders- Type A: 80/20 – Riders who mainly ride on gravel, with a least part of asphalt.

Riders- Type B: 50/50 – Riders who keep a balance between riding on asphalt and gravel (in a relatively equal ratio).

Riders- Type C: 20/80 – Rides who primarily prefer asphalt riding while occasionally going on gravel rides.

Types of tires 

Slicks: These tires come with minimal thread and are intended to provide negligible rolling resistance. This adds to their speed while making them the fastest among all their counterparts. They are not recommended for riding on mountain trails as they provide minimal traction. Ideal for riding on dry well-packed gravel and beach and road riding.

Small knob tires: These tires come with small raised knobs or lugs to provide grip and traction on loose surfaces. This makes them a versatile option for riding different types of topographies. The species roll considerably well on the tarmac while offering greater grips compared to slicks. Frequent use on roads may wear away its knobs. Chiefly ideal for Type A riders

Hybrid: Uniform center with side knobs

Relatively similar to slicks, these tires come with almost flat tread while featuring side knobs. Chiefly designed for C Type riders, they are a good choice for gravel races combing hard-packed asphalt with minimal gravel. With side knobs, they offer optimal grip at the time of taking aggressive and lean turns. Ideal for well-experienced cyclists and road racers.

Hybrid: Light tread incorporated with side knobs

Comes with light thread with small knobs on the treading for extra gripping. The tires are ideal for beginners who like to ride simple trails. As Steven Rindner says, the species also offer greater performance in muddy conditions, although not suitable for riding deep mud. Suitable for Type A and B riders

Larger knobs

The tires are specially designed for harsher terrains and are the best choice for Type-A gravel riders. While being slightly narrower, the construction of these tires resembles a mountain bike. An exclusive choice for riding mountainous terrains, and highly tough technical terrines as they offer maximum grip. With the highest rolling resistance, they are ideal for gravel riders who prioritize safety and well-being over speed. Also great for beginners who often go riding in mud and snow.

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