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The Vredestein Aventura is a low-weight gravel tyre with minimal tread that still manages to deliver impressive grip on a range of surfaces. It's fast, smooth and quiet.
The Aventura is Vredestein's only gravel tyre and is available in three sizes – two 700C widths, 38 and 44mm, and a 50mm 650B. All three use the same 120tpi carcass and triple compound technology.
I've been testing a pair of the narrowest version, the 38mm, and found them simple to install and inflate, which is not always the case for gravel tyres. I didn't need any tyre levers to get the bead on the rim, and they inflated with just a track pump.
Once fitted, the tyres measured exactly 38mm, and this was on rims with a reasonably wide 24mm internal rim.
I tested the tyres at pressures between 25psi and 35psi, depending on the ride and trail surface.
Initial impressions on the road were very good. The tyres deliver a swift, smooth and quiet ride that is almost certainly down to the tread pattern – very tightly packed, trefoil-like knobs.
Heading off-road onto hardpacked trails, I wasn't expecting such minimal tread to have much grip but it proved me wrong, with excellent traction both uphill and down, rarely losing grip even on the steepest climbs and fastest corners.
The tread pattern continues towards the edge of the tyre, the knobs slightly larger and more spaced out, but still very much a low-profile tyre. In the corners I found it encouraged confidence, especially when run at lower pressures, with the front tyre gripping even on slightly loose gravel.
With my confidence growing, I continued to push the tyres to find their limits and they continued to impress, even on one of the fastest and twistiest descents I use for testing tyres; they were tenacious, helping me achieve a PB on the 3km downhill. The only time I felt a slight loss of traction was from the rear when unweighted while braking hard.
I used the tyres in a range of weather conditions and on hardpack terrain they worked well both dry and wet. It was only in deep, sloppy mud that they struggled, which is to be expected given the tight and low-profile tread pattern. I pushed the tyres hard, even taking on some red-graded mountain bike trails, and while they weren't fast, they held up and survived.
At 450g it's very light, even for a relatively narrow tyre. I've tested more race-focused gravel tyres from Schwalbe, Vittoria and Continental, and the only one I've used that weighed less is the practically bald Maxxis Receptor.
Whether the Aventura is the most durable gravel tyre remains to be seen. I didn't experience any punctures, though I did notice some air loss between two rides – that might have been a puncture which then sealed, but there was nothing evident from the outside, and no further leakage.
While it isn't exactly cheap at £49.99 per tyre, the Aventura does cost less than some of the competition, such as the impressive Schwalbe G-One R at £70, and the Continental's Terra Speed and Terra Trail, both £65.95. Vittoria's comparable Terreno Dry is closer, but still a fiver more at £54.99.
It's hard to find fault with the Aventura. The 38mm size I tested won't suit all, but there is a wider version if you have more clearance. Even with this narrower option, though, the grip surpassed my expectations. Whether it proves as durable as some heavier tyres remains to be seen, but for such a light and smooth-rolling tyre it's certainly enjoyable to ride.
Light, fast and smooth, with grip that surpasses expectations
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Vredestein Aventura Gravel tyre
Size tested: 700x38
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?
Vredestein says: "Tubeless ready, high performance gravel tyre offering optimal puncture protection, grip in all weather conditions and low rolling resistance"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Vredestein lists these features:
Optimal puncture protection, comfort and durability
Tubeless ready in combination with sealant
Exceptional wet and dry grip
Maximum comfort and grip
Soft 120 TPI Carcass
Size : 38-622 / 700x38c
ERTRO : 38-622
Colour – Black / Transparent
Min tyre pressure : 3 bar
Max tyre pressure : 5 bar
Weight : 450g
Reasonable comfort for the width; wider versions are available that will likely be more comfortable, if you have the clearance.
Cheaper than some premium tyres, and reasonable for the construction and performance.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It exceeded my expectations for such a light and low-profile tyre, with impressive grip on a range of hardpacked surfaces. It will struggle on mud, but it isn't designed for that.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Impressive grip on wet or dry hardpack, despite having tightly-packed and low-height knobs.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Very little. Between two rides there was some air loss, although no definite sign of a puncture and no issues after reinflating.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Schwalbe G-One R is £69.99 and Continental's Terra Trail and Terra Speed are both £65.95. Vittoria's comparable Terreno Dry is a fiver more at £54.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, it was very impressive and exceeded my expectations.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, and would really like to see how the extra volume of the 700x44 option rides.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, I certainly would.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's the sole gravel tyre in the Vredestein range, but it's absolutely brilliant – and in more conditions and on more surfaces than you would expect given the tread profile and depth. It's fast, smooth and grips confidently downhill with barely any traction issues. Excellent.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding
Matt is an endurance nut who loves big rides and big events. He's a former full-time racer and 24hr event specialist, but now is also happy riding off-road on gravel bikes or XC mountain bikes and exploring the mountains and hills of Mid Wales.