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Schwalbe’s G-One line of gravel tires is taking on gravel racing. The G-One R is a brand new design from the German tire brand that takes elements from its top-end Pro One road race tire and adapts it to the demands of riding quickly off-road.
The G-One R aims to be the gravel tire that you can confidently reach for in most race conditions (short of super muddy days) and know it will deliver the best mix of ride qualities—which ultimately means the fastest ride.
From the tread pattern to the carcass, this is a completely new gravel tire design for Schwalbe. The most obvious detail tipping off that this is a new design is the brand new “boomerang” tread pattern, which, true to its name, looks like boomerangs, or rounded arrows pointing forward. This close-packed pattern provides fast rolling and extra traction when climbing off-road. The angled side tread, raised slightly above the center tread, provides extra traction through corners. In terms of aggressiveness, the tire falls between the tread pattern of the G-One Bite and G-One Allround.
But one of the biggest performance upgrades in the G-One R lies beneath the surface. The Super Race carcass (a.k.a. Souplesse construction) finds its way over from the much lauded Schwalbe Pro One road tire, helping create a super-smooth, supple ride with a low rolling resistance. Schwalbe aims to create a supple ride experience that you wouldn’t expect from an off-road tire.
The sidewalls get three layers of the Super Race carcass for puncture protection. Under the tread, Schwalbe keeps it to just two layers of carcass for maximum suppleness (while saving some weight). But there’s still a lot of puncture protection, especially when you factor in the V-Guard puncture protection layer under the tread which bolsters the resistance to thorns, glass, sharp rocks and whatever else the trails throw your way.
The supple carcass works in conjunction with the tread, allowing the tire to better conform to whatever it’s rolling over for better grip. That means you can carry more speed into corners and the “sketchy” sections of the race course (you know the ones).
Schwalbe’s Addix Race Compound finishes off the tire construction, providing extra grip and low rolling resistance along with a long wear life. Tan sidewalls coat the outside, because who doesn’t love a tan sidewall.
The tire has already performed with flying colors on the biggest stage in gravel cycling, UNBOUND Gravel. Amity Rockwell gave an admirable defense of her 2019 title, placing second on the 200-mile race, crucially not suffering a single puncture the entire day on a course known for sharp rocks where it’s not uncommon to flat multiple times.
We’ve now spent a couple weeks on the G-One R and it’s been an impressive experience. It rolls super fast—something that is especially noticeable on tarmac where it carries more speed than a knobby tire ought to. And you can carry that speed into off-road corners thanks to its confidence-inspiring grip through corners. The suppleness of the tire also shines through. It’s noticeably smooth rolling, imparting a comfort beyond what you can get with a tubeless set up with a low pressure. It feels in some ways like running Pro Ones, or even supple cotton tires, on a gravel bike.
The tread is more aggressive than the G-One Allround, which is welcome if, like us, your gravel riding leans more towards trails and mixed terrain that gets a little more aggressive than a rolling country gravel road. Though the tighter spacing of the center “boomerang” tread helps it still roll quickly—especially when coupled with the supple Super Race carcass.
Pricing and Availability
Pricing: $87.99 per tire
Sizes: 700x40c and 700x45c
Weight: 494 grams (700x40c)
Available: Beginning mid-July in the USA
More info: schwalbe.com