I thought I'd share my initial impressions of these tyres seeing as they were mentioned a few times in another thread.
I've gradually moved up in tyre size due to the poor state of the roads, hats of to those of you who can tolerate them on slim, high pressure tyres, but a lot of my regular routes I can clearly feel the forward momentum lost by having to bounce up and down through all the broken tarmac and potholes. In an ideal world you'd just swerve through it all but on busier roads this isn't an option so it's a case of just picking the best worst route through it all and hoping for the best.
Up to now I've progressed through 25s (Vittorias) 28s (Contis) and now to 32* with these Gravelkings. Despite the name they aren't a nobbly/treaded off road sort of tyre, I believe those models are called Gravelking SK, these are a folding tyre pretty much a slick with very slight tread running through them. I went with the brown/tan sidewall version as I think they look quite smart.
Fitting was a little on the tough side, but then so were the 28 Contis so not really much lost or gained here, pressure wise I have initially gone with 70psi rear and 60psi front, I am 84kg as of this morning. Bike is an early 90s 531 Claud Butler of no great quality, just a semi decent old bike that does me for most general purpose stuff.
To the ride, then. They feel lovely and supple, I really can't get over how impressive they are at soaking up all but the worst of the poor roads I use, my initial impression is that I don't need to go any bigger as they're just spot on, being only 290g for a 32* means I haven't noticed any increase in effort or low rolling resistance, in fact it's quite the opposite as I feel due to the lack of bouncing around from the rough surface they actually roll much faster which is backed up by my Strava segments. I have a short 16 mile route I have done many times and a lot of the segment PBs haven't increased for a while, first ride out on this route with the Gravelkings and 19 PBs were set which was actually with a moderate headwind as well so even more impressive, considering I don't use any cycling computer or GPS and just ride by feel I'm fairly sure my effort was as normal and no bias was given, the bike just seemed easier to ride.
Over all I am very impressed, obviously time will have to tell for my long term thoughts, price wise you need to shop around- I found them at around £26 which is way cheaper than the Contis that came off so another bonus.
*They're badged up as 32c but they measure 30 with calipers, both the Vittorias and Contis measure bang on 25 and 28 so these are slightly under size which in my opinion is even more impressive as they're only 2mm bigger than the Contis and yet feel worlds apart.
Please be fair and thoughtful in your opinions. No rants please.
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