The new Hutchinson Overide 38mm tyre is fast-rolling on a range of roads from tarmac to gravel, with impressive durability and reliable tubeless compatibility. The low-profile tread design favours dry conditions and hardpack surfaces, but grip through loose corners is compromised in the pursuit of low rolling resistance.
The French tyre company is offering the new tyre in 35 and 38mm widths. My testing of the latter culminated with the recent Dirty Reiver, a 200km gravel event around Kielder Forest. Most of my testing of the tyres was conducted on the new Praxis Works RC21 carbon tubeless wheels, but I tested them on other tubeless rims for good measure. I used tyre pressures from as low as 35psi for the Dirty Reiver and up to 50psi for road rides.
Getting the tyres inflated and seated on the rim was a cinch. A track pump was sufficient for one set of wheels, but to overcome the quite loose fit of the tyres on the Praxis rims, I turned to a tubeless inflator to deliver the quick burst of air needed. Once installed with a glug of tubeless sealant, the tyres have been running with no issues for several months – no leakage, burping or punctures. It's been plain sailing.
The tyre is particularly suited to road and hardpack conditions. An almost completely flat centre section, save for very small diamond shaped dimples, sees the Overide rolling very quickly along the road, and up to about 28-30kph (17-18mph) it feels just fine, with little noticeable drag. The weight and aerodynamic disadvantage become a factor if you push on at higher speeds, but that's not what the tyre is really designed for.
Moving away from the centre section, the diamond shapes continue in increasing height all the way to the shoulder knobs. It's a very rounded tyre shape compared with some of the squared profiles of more aggressive treaded gravel tyres. That combination of the rounded profile and small rubber blocks does mean that cornering grip on loose gravel, such as when clipping the apex of a fast fireroad descent, is well down compared with many other gravel tyres.
During the Dirty Reiver, I had many a sketchy moment as the tyres broke traction and slipped out from under me. The conditions were dry and some of the gravel and dirt was quite deep and loose in places, and leaning the bike over into the corners required a cautious approach to avoid completely washing out in a pile of gravel dust.
Hutchinson has used a reasonably soft rubber compound which does give good traction in a range of dry and moist conditions, but tyre wear is noticeable after several hundred miles of testing on a mix of road and off-road rides: the centre section is now completely smooth.
The carcass, on the other hand, is one tough cookie. There are no cuts on the top of the tyre and the Protect Max reinforced sidewalls have withstood anything that's come their way. I've certainly not been kind to the tyres, battering them as hard as possible and not always taking the smoothest line, to ensure they're pushed to their limits.
Generally, I've been impressed with the new Hutchinson Overide tyres, but while they got me around the 200km Dirty Reiver, I'm not really convinced of their gravel credentials. Compared with most other gravel tyres on the market, these are the slickest designs I've seen, and if you're hoping to get seriously off-road and contend with dirt, mud, gravel and rocks, there are grippier tyres that are going to be a better option, especially if there's any hint of moisture in the air.
If, however, you want a tyre that offers really fast road speed and is surefooted enough on dry and firm dirt paths for mainly dry conditions, the Overide isn't a bad choice. It's more of a road tyre than a gravel tyre really, but if you want fast-rolling, big-volume rubber for smoothing out rough roads and occasional forays onto dirt and gravel, it might be the tyre for you.
A fast-rolling and tough tyre with easy tubeless installation
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Hutchinson Overide 38mm gravel tyre
Size tested: 38mm
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Hutchinson says: "The Overide is the tire for Gravel usage, whether occasional or intensive. Classic roads, degraded, paths or tracks, the Overide is the ideal mounting for versatile and improvised outings. The 700x35 version adopts an adapted semislick profile favouring performance and comfort.
"The 700x38 version has had more work on its central part to bring adhesion and ridability. In construction tubetype (with inner tube), you will be convinced by its incredible versatility. In its Road Tubeless Ready version, its bead to bead reinforcement coupled to a lower pressure will blow away all the amateurs of transversal routes and long course journeys."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
ISO Diameter: 622 / road / 29"
Labeled Size: 700 x 38
Tire Diameter: 700c
Intended Use: Gravel
It's clearly a very high-quality tyre with good construction and finish.
For mainly road and smooth and dry hardpack gravel and dirt tracks, the Overide is a fast-rolling tyre that offers good speed.
Wear rate isn't great, but the reinforced sidewall has shrugged off all abuse directed its way and there are no cuts or holes across the tyre at all.
It's a reasonably light tyre for the size.
Big tyres and low pressures are comfortable, and this smooths out my roughest roads a treat.
At £37 it's not too expensive for the quality of the tyre.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For mainly smooth and dry gravel and dirt roads, the Overide is a fast choice, but you need to go carefully in the corners as it doesn't have the most reassuring aggressive shoulder knobs. It's also not great in the wet on damp grass or in mud.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very fast in a straight line, and tough.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lacks cornering grip.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your score
If you're looking for a big volume, fast-rolling tyre for occasional off-road use and lots of road riding, the Overide has a lot going for it. It's quick, tough and tubeless setup is a cinch.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.