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The Teravail Rampart is a chirpy but rugged road tyre designed for tarmac, in whatever decrepit form that may be, and for light gravel duties – 'groad', if you will. You'll get the best out of them if you run them tubeless.
The Rampart comes in an array of sizes to suit your wheel, bike and frame clearance needs: 650B x 47mm and 700C x 28, 32, 38 and 42mm. The tyre also comes in two variants, Durable or Light and Supple, and all black or with tan sidewalls. It's the 700 x 32 Light and Supple I'm using here, that fit fine on my endurance road bike.
The clue as to the tyre's intended use is very much in the name. I used them mainly on the road, and what with the terrible condition of the tarmac around here – crackled surfaces, potholes, gravel, mud, aggregate, slurry, grass up the middle and all the usual detritus – you could easily justify it as all-road riding. But they were also pointed down gravel-lite paths, concrete slab tracks, and tame bridleways just because I could. I've never been afraid to take a road bike where it probably shouldn't go.
The more voluminous 700x38/42 or 650x47 variants would be suitable if you use your gravel bike for more tarmac-based duties or if your gravel tends to be of the finer grade, and the Rampart would even shrug off hardpacked off-road trails in the dry.
The tread on the Rampart is very much road biased, with a smooth central strip designed to be fast rolling for straight-line speed. Each side of this is what Teravail calls 3-2-1 siping – three rows of shallow grooves increasing in frequency as they approach the outer edge. It's a pleasing pattern, but any actual proper grip it's going to deliver, should you want to explore the parameters of what all-road might have to offer, is going to be minimal.
The central strip does mean it chirps along the road quite nicely and doesn't feel slow compared with other tyres I've used of a similar size and intention. It has also dealt with greasy, muddy, wet, gritty tarmac incredibly well, without the merest hint of a slip, and while navigating the annual shitty lanes of winter there hasn't been a moment of worry. They're pleasingly predictable and tenacious in the bends too, no matter how green and greasy.
This Light and Supple Rampart differs from the Durable version in that the latter comes with a puncture protection strip layered under the tread, but so far these tyres haven't needed it. The tread on the Rampart is thicker than a standard road tyre, which presents a beefier barrier to sharps and, being set up tubeless, the kind of pinpricks that can antagonise a tubed tyre.
Riding these on shabby winter roads has been a revelation. Where I ride we suffer the puncture potential double whammy of flint and hawthorn, both of which take a masochistic pleasure at launching themselves through a tyre, but so far it's been mostly incident-free; the little voice in the head that's whispering 'You're probably going to puncture here' for years has been forced to shush.
There has been one incident of a tyre slash big enough to refuse to seal with tubeless goo, but that was soon sorted with a tyre plug and then an internal patch when I got home 100 miles later. The actual tread is wearing well, too – the rear is flattening off a bit, but both tyres are refreshingly free of the nicks and cuts of the aforementioned flint and thorn that usually scar road tyres around these parts.
Despite being labelled as having a Light & Supple Casing, the 60tpi sidewalls don't make the Rampart the most pliant tyre out there, but a large amount of that is offset by being able to run lower tubeless pressures which helps with the squish and comfort. For the type of abuse the tyre is likely to receive, a more sturdy sidewall makes a lot of sense.
This was my first foray into running road tyres tubeless. I've had decades using it on a mountain bike and enough time on the gravel bike to know it works well in these applications, but I'd been put off by too many horror stories concerning its use on the road to take the plunge. Thankfully, any fears have been totally unfounded with these Teravail tyres.
Setting them up was easy, with no installation issues on a pair of Hunt wheels, although the rear one did take a little coaxing to hold air. It's my experience that of a pair of tubeless wheels, one will set up fine, the other will be an arse. Pumping in a lump of pressure and riding around the block a few times sorted everything out, and since then there haven't been any slow leakage problems.
If you didn't know already, the ride you get without a tube and with the lower pressures that a tubeless setup allows (the Ramparts are rated 40-70psi) is absolutely sublime, and you can clatter through the crackle and rubble of a standard English country road with impunity.
It has been a little bit of a learning curve to look down at a front tyre that's squishing gently when standing up on a climb and not be worried, and there's been the odd do-I-have-a-slow-puncture rear tyre check, but it's just been a matter of getting used to the lower pressures and the comfort and pothole peace of mind benefits tubeless brings. The removal of mild puncture jeopardy anxiety throughout a ride is a relaxing revelation.
While £55 isn't exactly spare change, the Ramparts aren't bad value when you compare them with other choices in this 'road based but not afraid to get a bit dirty when necessary' category.
Direct competitors in the WTB Adventure Road collection of tyres include the 650B Horizon and Expanse. The latter looks remarkably similar but with slightly more treaded edges, and both come in at £44.99. WTB's Byway model nudges a little bit more towards gravel as it's only available in 700x34 and above, and is also £44.99.
The Rampart is the same price as the IRC Boken Plus gravel tyre we tested last year, which has similar intentions. The Boken Plus has a lot more grip to the edges, which makes it a little more capable off-road, but it's only available in 650B guise.
And it's cheaper than the Challenge Strada Bianca, one of the original poor road surface road tyres that's now available tubeless in both 700C and 650B sizes, with prices ranging from £57 to £83. Dave said in his review that they were easy to set up and beautifully supple, but the sidewalls might be a bit vulnerable for a lot of beyond-road use.
Claiming similar all-road intentions, the Cadex Classics 28 Tubeless comes in traditional road tyre sizes if your clearance is compromised. These tubeless tyres have a herringbone central tread that you can feel on climbs, and a similar side tread to the Ramparts to help with off road and side grip. They were praised for the high-end performance, but that's reflected in their £64.99 rrp.
The Schwalbe G-One Bite Evolution Line TLE is a far knobblier tyre all over, which might explain their slightly more costly £59.99 tag, but they do zing along the tarmac quite nicely. I've been using a fatter version of these and have been amusingly surprised by their lack of on-road drag combined with their off-road capabilities, making them a better bet if you are a bit more mixed terrain gravelly in your intentions.
Teravail says its all-road tyres 'roll fast and grip well on pavement – and when the pavement runs out'. For a tyre that's designed for all sorts of road surfaces and some that fork off to the sides, and not a tyre that's designed purely for perfect tarmac or outright speed but rather ruggedness, durability and grip, the Rutlands are very, very good.
My type of riding tends to favour distance and the way less travelled, so I prefer a tyre that's going to offer comfort and reliability and won't mind a bit of online routing error that means a section of farm track for a kilometre or two, or the lottery of surfaces that the National Cycle Network likes to amuse us all with. For this purpose the Ramparts have been spot on for the job, and apart from the small tyre gash (which would have breached any tyre), they've been trouble-free and have proved they can cope with any of the dross any road can throw at them.
A very good tyre that, run tubeless, can cope with all types of road, from smooth to diabolical
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Teravail Rampart All-Road Tyre
Size tested: 700x32
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?
Teravail says, "From minimum maintenance to decaying pavement, rolling hills to near vertical climbs, Rampart was made for riders who want the freedom to pick their own path no matter what the road looks like. These tires were designed and inspired by our experiences riding and racing courses with varying conditions."
That's about right, they're perfect for rough roads and slightly rougher off-road.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Light & Supple Casing: When extra puncture protection isn't necessary, our light and supple casing offers decreased weight and a comfortable, ultra-supple ride quality at lower pressures when set up tubeless.
Well made, and holding up well despite exploring the very edges of their design brief.
For a tyre that's designed to cope with poorly maintained tarmac and deal with a small amount of mediocre off-road, they've performed really well.
The Ramparts have been ridden a lot and over a variety of tarmac and not quite tarmac surfaces and they're holding up nicely.
It's not a light tyre, but then it's designed for all-surface survivability and durability.
In a 700x32 size and run tubeless with the low pressures allowed, it's a supremely comfortable tyre, taking the buzz out of any tarmac and smoothing the edge off any poor work by the council.
In the ballpark for this type of tyre.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For a tyre designed to roll fast on tarmac and handle what may happen when that tarmac isn't so pristine or it just runs out, they did very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tubelessness, comfort, durability, grip.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's a tenner more than similar tyres in WTB's Adventure Road line-up, which include the 650B Horizon and Expanse (both £44.99), and the same price as the IRC Boken Plus gravel tyre. The Schwalbe G-One Bite Evolution Line TLE is more expensive at £59.99, while the Cadex Classics 28 Tubeless is even more at £64.99. The Challenge Strada Bianca is now available tubeless in both 700C and 650B tyre sizes, with prices ranging from £57 to £83.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Teravail Rampart is a comfortable yet resilient tyre, perfectly suited to riding over what is optimistically called tarmac around these parts, and can handle a bit of mild off-road adventuring; it totally changed my mind about going road tubeless too. It's very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.