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Gravel tyre offerings increase with new mud-specific version

Panaracer has cemented itself as one of the go-to tyre brands for the increasingly popular gravel and adventure bikes, and for 2017 it has expanded its range to include a new tubeless option and the first gravel mud tyre we’ve come across. That line between adventure, cyclocross and mountain bike just became a bit more blurred. 

The Japanese tyre company divides is gravel tyre range between the GravelKing, using a file tread pattern, and the GravelKing SK which uses a more aggressive tread pattern.  It also offers a number of 650b options, a size that is gradually getting a bit more support from bike designers leaning towards the benefits of the bigger tyre the small wheelsize enables. 

- Is 650b the future for road bikes? road.cc investigates

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The skinniest GravelKing tyre is now available with a new brown sidewall if the all-black tyre look is a tad boring for your tastes. Panaracer offers a wide range of width options, from 23, 26, 28 up to 32mm in the 700c size and 38 and 42mm widths on a 650b rim. 

- Review: Panaracer Gravelking 32mm

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The wider and burlier GravelKing SK is also available in the fetching brown sidewall option and comes in 26, 32 and 35mm widths just for 700c, no 650b option. An extra addition to this range is the new tubeless-ready 40mm wide version, only available with a black sidewall and weighing in at 490g. We can see this being a really popular tyre as 40mm is the widest that many gravel and adventure bikes will take, and many people want to run as wide a tyre as they possibly can.

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Which leads up to the newest addition to the range, the brand new GravelKing Mud, Yup that’s right a gravel tyre designed for riding in muddy conditions. Sounds ideal for British riding, where there’s more mud than actual gravel, and if you’ve ever tried to ride a gravel tyre through the slop, you’ll know it can be best described as challenging. 

The new tyre is based on the GravelKing SK tyre with the same Anti-Flat casing and ZSG natural compound rubber, but the tread pattern has been designed to work in mud and slippery conditions. We’ve not had a closer look at this tyre but it does look like Panaracer has based the tread pattern on the Regacross cyclocross tyre, with long blocks that should provide the necessary traction and mud shedding abilities whilst still maintaining decent rolling speed.

The new tyre comes in 33 and 35mm widths on 700c only and weighs 300g and 360g respectively. It’s a folding bead tyre but it’s not tubeless-ready. 

“The Mud version incorporates the same technology on top of a specially designed tread tailored to work best in muddy and sloppy conditions,” says Panaracer.

We’ll have more details including pricing and availability soon.  www.panaracer.com

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.