Three Cool Bits of Hot Rubber: Panaracer, Schwalbe, Maxxis
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We love tires, they are, without a doubt, the cheapest and quickest way to fundamentally change the way your bike rides. It’s true for a road bike, and certainly a gravel bike thanks to today’s disc brakes and wide clearance frames. Here are three of our favorites from Issue 71 of PELOTON Magazine- Panaracer, Schwalbe and Maxxis. To get your own back issue check out our shop: pelotonmagazine.com
PANARACER GRAVEL KING MUD
Panaracer has clearly set its sights on dominating the dirt realm with its GravelKing tires. The newly released GravelKing Mud tire is the latest addition to the expanding royal line. Where the GravelKing SK rules over dirt and rough pavement, the GravelKing Mud has a tread specifically designed to reign in sloppier gravel and muddy conditions. Like the other tires in the GravelKing family, the Mud tire shares three common traits. The ZSG Natural Compound provides low rolling resistance and greater wear resistance. Advanced Extra Alpha Cord weaves a narrow cord into the casing to keep the tires light, flexible and more resistant to cuts. And an Anti-Flat Casing provides further anti-puncture support throughout the tire. This tire is currently available in a folding tubed version with sizes ranging from 700×33c to 700×35cc. If history proves consistent, Panaracer will follow with a tubeless-compatible model soon. $45.99 (ea.); panaracer.com
SCHWALBE X-ONE ALLROUND TUBELESS EASY MICROSKIN
There is no mistaking this tire’s mission. The X-One Allround MicroSkin is a built-for-competition ’cross-course gobbler. Whether you’re racing the local Thanksgiving weekend "Turkey Burn" or a UCI thoroughbred grudge match, this is a fast tire with a champion’s heart. It is tubeless ready and can be run at very low pressures, giving racers more traction with a lowered fear of burping. Schwalbe’s Tubeless Easy MicroSkin technology is designed to make the X-One Allround lighter, grippier, better rolling, more puncture-resistant and easier to mount than other tubeless tires. Of all the X-One Allround tires, Schwalbe rates the MicroSkin model as being the best in rolling, off-road grip and protection. This tire has rounded, loosely spaced center knobs that transition to slightly raised rows of outer knobs. So hit those course straightaways with anaerobic gusto, knowing these tires will let you fiercely bite through tight corners into the final sprint. $80 (ea.); schwalbetires.com
Gravel racing has become its own discipline, requiring specialized skills and particular gear. Surface variability can change dramatically and rapidly, transitioning from loose to hard to deep to soft, even in a single turn. Rolling on predictable rubber is critical. Meet the Rambler, Maxxis’s first gravel-specific tire. At 700×38 and 700×40, the Rambler is a high-volume monster designed to keep rides cushioned while conquering hard and loose-hard gravel surfaces. The center tread is tightly packed with ramped knobs, which help lower rolling resistance for speedier rides. The side knobs offer the confidence of steady cornering over unpredictable terrain. It is tubeless ready and Maxxis offers it in a 120tpi EXO/TR model and a 60tpi SilkShield/TR model. EXO provides an extra layer of sidewall protection—and peace of mind—in rockier situations. $49.99 (ea.); maxxis.com