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Hi all

I have a "gravel" bike which I use a lot at the moment (probably 100-150 miles a week or so), but I seem to be going through rear tyres at a decent rate. The 2 photos below are of my 2 recent rear tyres: an 8 month old Schwalbe G-One and a 6 month old Hutchinson Overide. They're both 35mm, tubeless, usually at about 40psi (within the recommended range on both), and do about 30/70 on/off road. Off road is rarely anything more than gravel fire roads and canal towpaths. Due to having TRP Spyre mechanical brakes I can't even use the excuse of locking the rear wheel - these brakes are rubbish and I'm not able to get enough braking power to do that, so the wear patches are not due to skidding.

I'm quite surprised at the lack of life these things are offering. They both market themselves as "gravel" tyres but it can't just be the tarmac bits that's eating them up. And anyway, it's pretty much impossible not to ride on tarmac at least some of the time; unless you live in the middle of Kansas there's a lot of it about. Anyone else had similar experience? The 3rd tyre I've just put on is a Panaracer GravelKingSK, so we'll see how that fairs.

Before the label "gravel bikes" became popular these bikes were called "adventure road", and you'd hope that the tyres developed for them would be able to handle both...

17 comments

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Zermattjohn [286 posts] 1 month ago
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Overide (this tyre does come with a smoother centre profile, but that's still damn worn).

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Zermattjohn [286 posts] 1 month ago
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CXR94Di2 [2202 posts] 1 month ago
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That's reasonable wear for a performance tyre. if you want longevity, try Schwalbe tour range, much longer life
https://www.schwalbe.com/en-GB/tour.html

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Zermattjohn [286 posts] 1 month ago
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CXR94Di2 wrote:

That's reasonable wear for a performance tyre. if you want longevity, try Schwalbe tour range, much longer life https://www.schwalbe.com/en-GB/tour.html

Thanks for that. I have to say I've struggled to find tubeless 35mm tyres which are not "performance".

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mattsccm [378 posts] 1 month ago
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Don't forget that anything with a tread will wear quicker than a fat slick tread. Gravel also is hard on tyres not easier. Throw in the fact that your tyres have been fairly light by some standards and the wear isn't suprising.  As gravel needs no tread anyway just use some hefty road/touring/hybrid tyres.

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Joe Totale [66 posts] 1 month ago
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Schwalbe themselves market the G One as a high performance tyre with a relatively short lifespan:

https://www.schwalbe.com/en/offroad-reader/schwalbe-g-one-speed.html

If you're willing to have a 32mm tyre then the Hutchinson Sector 32 could be worth a shout, I use the Sector 28 and it looks like new despite doing around a thousand km's.

As the others have said the more gravel you do the quicker your tyres will degrade.

I'm of the mind though that I'd rather have good performance tyres and just accept they will need replacing more often than tougher, slower ones.

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Zermattjohn [286 posts] 1 month ago
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Thanks a lot everyone. Some interesting points:

1) My LBS has been saying that the wear rate is high(er, at least than I expected) because I do more tarmac than they're designed for. Comments above seem to suggest it's the off-road that's wearing them out.

2) mattsccm says "As gravel needs no tread anyway just use some hefty road/touring/hybrid tyres". If so, why are the "gravel" tyres marketed by Schwalbe and Panaracer so knobbly? These GravelKing tyres are pretty much like my MTB tyres. If you're right then I'll just stick on some Marathon Plus, they've lasted for years on my commuter.

3) This wear rate is massively biased to the rear tyre. The front tyre I have on is still the G-One which I fitted at the same time as the rear, about 18 months ago. It's not even half-way to the wear shown in the G-One picture above, so it's outlasted 2 rear tyres so far. As said, it's not locking the rear that's wearing it that much - I expect some more wear on the rear tyre, but not this much.

4) Perhaps it's the tubeless factor that's meaning I'm only looking at "performance" tyres? The range is pretty weak, especially compared to MTB tubeless, and certainly doesn't seem to offer me the option of the hefty tyres suggested by mattsccm.

Cheers.

 

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Dicklexic [92 posts] 1 month ago
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I am on my second set of Schwalbe S-Ones (pre-cursor to the G-One Speed) and mostly use them in winter for road riding and commuting, with the occasional trundle on gravel roads. I too have found that the rear wears pretty quickly and exactly as your picture. I would concur that although it is a little frustrating, I would not expect much better from such a relatively light weight ‘performance’ tyre. My opinion is that knobbly tyres like these will wear quicker when used mostly on tarmac, as the high spots (knobs) mean that the load is not spread across the whole tread like it would be when used on gravel/dirt. Also your back tyre is doing the extra work of providing traction for propulsion so is always going to wear out much quicker than the front. I tend to always swap my tyres front to back once the rear is starting to show signs of a worn strip down the middle to try and extend their useful life.

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Dicklexic [92 posts] 1 month ago
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Zermattjohn wrote:

4) Perhaps it's the tubeless factor that's meaning I'm only looking at "performance" tyres? The range is pretty weak, especially compared to MTB tubeless, and certainly doesn't seem to offer me the option of the hefty tyres suggested by mattsccm.

 

I'm tempted to try a set of Schwalbe Marathon Supreme Tubeless. The standard Marathon has a great reputation for durability and reliability, so a tubeless version could be a pretty good commuter tyre.

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Zermattjohn [286 posts] 1 month ago
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Dicklexic wrote:

I'm tempted to try a set of Schwalbe Marathon Supreme Tubeless. The standard Marathon has a great reputation for durability and reliability, so a tubeless version could be a pretty good commuter tyre.

Good suggestion - probably worth getting some on for winter when I'll be doing a lot less off-road. Still, £40 a tyre - this tubeless game aint cheap!

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rdmp2 [53 posts] 1 month ago
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I was about to put one of these tyres on my gravel/commuting bike. Based on your experience I will get about 3000 miles - is that right? Slightly different to the marathons currently on there- done more miles than that and no sign of any wear!

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rdmp2 [53 posts] 1 month ago
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Ps. Which did you rate higher? Speed, grip, comfort, punctures?

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kevvjj [422 posts] 1 month ago
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Big fan of the Hutchinson Sector in 32c. Totally useless once those bridleways get wet though.

Have you had a look at Clement (now Donnelly) tyres? I'm getting good wear from a set of MXP 33c. My version aren't officially tubeless but that's how I'm running them. The X'PLOR MSO comes in tubeless ready and gets very good reviews as a adeventure/gravel tyre.

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Zermattjohn [286 posts] 1 month ago
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rdmp2 wrote:

I was about to put one of these tyres on my gravel/commuting bike. Based on your experience I will get about 3000 miles - is that right? Slightly different to the marathons currently on there- done more miles than that and no sign of any wear!

Which one? Of the two, the Schwalbe lasted longer, but not by much. The Hutchinson has a smooth central profie with pretty minor tread on the edges, and that central bit seems pretty thin seeing how quickly it wore away. The smooth centre also means they're a bit useless once the path goes up and/or becomes anything more than gravel - useless on wet grass for example.

The Marathons I have on my commuter bike are bombproof, but they're heavy and quite a rough ride - I imagine on a mainly gravel ride you'll notice a big difference.

Both had a similar puncture rate - though running tubeless it's not really fair to compare to with tubes. There's a lot of cuts and slices in both tyres but the sealant just closes them up before you notice.

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johnvrcc [17 posts] 1 month ago
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I also like the Hucthinson Sector 32. I did 4000 miles on the rear (I'm 82kg) and it still felt like there was a fair bit of tread left (i only replaced it because it had a couple of plugged punctures that were starting to fail). I was under the impression that the Overide 35 was almost the same as the Sector but with more knobbly shoulders, so I'm surprised to see how worn yours is. 

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madcarew [797 posts] 1 month ago
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You're getting 3000 - 4000 miles out of a tyre, some of which is on gravel. That's not bad wear, performance or not. 

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rdmp2 [53 posts] 1 month ago
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Thanks. Been looking to get 35c tubeless tyres and these were the top candidates. Good to hear from someone who has used both

Zermattjohn wrote:
rdmp2 wrote:

I was about to put one of these tyres on my gravel/commuting bike. Based on your experience I will get about 3000 miles - is that right? Slightly different to the marathons currently on there- done more miles than that and no sign of any wear!

Which one? Of the two, the Schwalbe lasted longer, but not by much. The Hutchinson has a smooth central profie with pretty minor tread on the edges, and that central bit seems pretty thin seeing how quickly it wore away. The smooth centre also means they're a bit useless once the path goes up and/or becomes anything more than gravel - useless on wet grass for example.

The Marathons I have on my commuter bike are bombproof, but they're heavy and quite a rough ride - I imagine on a mainly gravel ride you'll notice a big difference.

Both had a similar puncture rate - though running tubeless it's not really fair to compare to with tubes. There's a lot of cuts and slices in both tyres but the sealant just closes them up before you notice.