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The top 10 best 27.5 gravel tires

In this article I’m going to offer you what I feel to be the best 27.5 gravel tires currently available.

Gravel riding is one of the fastest growing disciplines in cycling, and with it came an explosion of new tires to choose from. But if you know what to look for and you know your own personal preference when it comes to what you enjoy riding the most, picking a suitable set of tires becomes much easier. And this article was written to make such a simple choice.

Different gravel tires cover a range of road surfaces. From flat tarmac to even light trail riding, and everything in between, hardpack, dirt, fire roads, forest trails, from dry, to wet, to downright muddy.

Each gravel tire is best in only a couple of those conditions, and you need to choose what conditions you prefer. A slick or semi-slick tire, with great rolling resistance, low weight, for hardpack and tarmac, or a knobby tire, with a widely spaced tread pattern, should you find yourself on loose or muddy off road sections, heavier, but more puncture-resistant as well, with sidewall protection to boot.

Whatever you choose, this list of the best 27.5 gravel tires has got you covered.

Continental Terra Trail ProTection

Continental Terra Trail
Continental Terra Trail

If summer gravel riding is one of your favorite pastimes the Continental Terra Trail will prove to be a more than adequate companion.

It’s a typical allround gravel tire that scores well with respect to puncture protection, grip, and weight. But stay away from muddy trails, for the tread will clog up quickly and with it any grip you might be looking for.

That’s fine so long as muddy rides are not your forte, and even if it was, you’d rather stay dry. The tire excels on dry hardpack, gravel, and fire roads.

Expert Experience

Matt Gersib | 2014 Gravel World Champion – May 18, 2020

It’s amazing how good gravel tires are today, and these new Continental tires are great examples of the progress gravel tires have made. They’re not much heavier than a road tire, yet are true 40c treaded tires that can confidently be ridden in nearly any gravel conditions. In their element, they’re fast, predictable and durable. And while clearly not mountain bike tires, the Terra Trail and Terra Speed won’t hold you back on routes that include sections of smooth singletrack either.

Pros and Cons

Kenda Alluvium Pro

Kenda Alluvium Pro
Kenda Alluvium Pro

The Kenda Alluvium Pro is a great summer gravel bike tire for dry conditions with just enough bite to tackle rougher conditions, should you encounter them.

A traditional-looking gravel tire has a rather smooth center tread and raised side knobbies. Such a design ensures a low rolling-resistance when going straight, but increased cornering confidence when you find yourself on rougher and twistier roads. The Alluvium pro has such a design and as such is a great allround option, that performs well enough when you start to demand more from your bike.

With its single ply casing it shouldn’t be the most puncture resistant when compared to its heavier brother the Kenda Flintridge Pro, but really rough and or wet and muddy conditions is not where you should take this tire anyway.

Expert Experience

Jason Judy | Contributor – May 13, 2021

I would without question recommend the Alluviums for someone looking for a fast rolling semi-slick type tire or someone who just wants a superb riding tire for normal gravel roads. These tires would without question be at home at events like Rock Cobbler, Unbound, SBT GRVL, or Gravel Mob to name a few. In fact, they survived Rock Cobbler and LA Tourist race for me.

Pros and Cons

Maxxis Recepter

Maxxis Recepter
Maxxis Recepter

The Maxxis Recepter is a great-looking option for people looking into 650b slick tires with gravel characteristics.

Just as with the Continental Speed King it has hardly any tread pattern to speak of, but has small side knobbies for added grip when cornering.

It’s a lightweight performance tire sitting at 485 grams for a 1.85 width version.

The Recepter also comes with Maxxis’ tried-and-true EXO protection, which is hardly a luxury when taking your bike on rougher roads.

It means that this tire is a perfect companion for fast-riding on dirt roads and hardpack.

Expert Experience

Caley Fretz | Contributor – May 31, 2023

The breadth of tire options we now have for gravel riding is fantastic, but as that breadth has increased so have we seen tires begin to truly specialize. The Receptor is one of those. If you ride your gravel bike on surfaces that are neither wet nor particularly loose, you’ll love them. The sidewall protection is phenomenal, the weight is good, rolling resistance is superb, and they seat tubeless easily on most rims. Just don’t take them outside their comfort zone for too long.

Pros and Cons

Panaracer GravelKing SS Plus (Tubed)

Panaracer GravelKing SS Plus (Tubed)
Panaracer GravelKing SS Plus (Tubed)

The tubed version of the Panaracer GravelKing SS Plus is a gorgeous plus sized gravel tire.

Fairly lightweight with excellent longevity and puncture protection, the black or tan-wall version are supple tires that will last you a long time.

Just as the slimmer version they offer minimal grip with an almost slick tread pattern adn extremely small side knobbies. It means that they are both excellent and fast-rolling road tires as well as light gravel and hardpack. The round profile of the tire with the minimal tread pattern ensures a plus ride in these conditions.

Expert Experience

Iain Treloar | Contributor – May 31, 2023

A bit of a mixed bag, really. They’re a little narrowly focused for what I’m personally looking for in a gravel tyre, but if you’re mostly riding on well-made surfaces they may be just what you’re after.

If it’s a toss-up between these and the Gravel King Slick, I’d go for the SS for a bit of extra capability without too much downside. But for a lot of people and a lot of conditions, I think the Gravel King SK – and other tyres like it – is going to provide a more well-rounded experience.

Pros and Cons

Panaracer GravelKing SK (TLC)

Panaracer GravelKing SK (TLC)
Panaracer GravelKing SK (TLC)

The Panaracer Gravel King SK has become my favorite gravel tire on the market. In my mind there are two brands that stand out from the crowd, and those are american-made WTB and their Japanese counterpart Panaracer.

I’ve been a longtime fan of Panaracer. When the gravel-craze took hold of the bicycle industry, they created the tire that would serve as the de facto standard for gravel tires with the GravelKing SK. It has just the right weight, just the right tread pattern, just the right puncture protection, and all wrapped up in a beautiful package, both in black and tan-wall options.

Deservedly so, the Panaracer Gravel King SK is in my mind the true fit-and-forget, all-weather, all-season option for gravel aficionados. But will serve those bikepackers and hard-riding daily commuters just as well.

Expert Experience

Katherine Moore | Contributor – November 17, 2021

As a ‘road plus’ or gravel tyre for riders who tend to stick to well-surfaced fire roads and tarmac, the GravelKing SK TLC could be a good-value option.

However, for those who like to stray further afield and come across more variable conditions, these are limited by both grip and puncture protection.

Pros and Cons

Schwalbe G-One Allround

Schwalbe G-One Allround
Schwalbe G-One Allround

The allround in the Schwalbe G-One Allround refers just as much to its application as to its tread pattern.

It’s a fantastic grippy tire meant for riding in dry conditions. It has a pattern rather than easily discernible knobbies, making this the fastest allround gravel tire of this list. That’s why it performs exceptionally well on tarmac as on gravel.

The Super Ground carcass is found on tires that need to perform well in various conditions, and offers great rolling-resistance, durability and weight characteristics. The ADDIX SpeedGrip compound obviously favors speed above traction.

The tread pattern, the compound and tire carcass, all of those components make this one helluva speedy gravel tire for dry conditions.

Expert Experience

Jamie Williams | Technical writer – August 14, 2021

Having ridden on the G-One Allround for six weeks through a mix of heatwaves and localised flooding on tarmac, gravel and the odd XC trail, I’m impressed. For all the dry riding on all the various surfaces, they’re great – a little expensive, yes, but great.

Pros and Cons

Schwalbe G-One Speed

Schwalbe G-One Speed
Schwalbe G-One Speed

If you’re a person who likes fast, plush rides on pavement and slightly coarse roads the Schwalbe G-One Speed is probably the best tire money can buy.

It’s an exceptional big volume road tire that’s light, nimble, and lets you rip down the road with a big grin on your face. It’s a step up in width from your average road tire, which means you get an incredibly supple and plush ride and loads of grip. Sure you have to sacrifice a bit in the rolling-resistance department when compared to a 25 millimeter road tire, but this tire is simply more fun to ride and much, much more comfortable.

And this tire doesn’t shy away from light gravel riding as well, broadening the range of application beyond very fast commuting.

Expert Experience

Sebastian Vidal | Contributor – January 29, 2019

These tires are excellent and great and every other good word I can think of. The huge volume of the 38mm wide tires means that I (an admittedly smaller rider) can flirt with 20psi if I’m riding trails or bumpy stuff. On the road, I found them fast and comfortable around 45psi – as always your mileage will vary based on weight. These tires can truly handle anything you throw at them. They’re fast and supple and comfortable as hell on the road, fun if a little slip-ey on the trails, and perfectly at home on gravel.

Pros and Cons

WTB Byway

WTB Byway
WTB Byway

WTB has been at the forefront of providing high-quality gravel tires and the WTB Byway is another great example of why the brand reigns supreme in that department.

The slick center line ensures this minimal gravel tire is fast when going in a straight line. But the pronounced side knobbies allow for enough confidence in dry summer conditions when riding hardpack and dirt roads.

Even a great tire such as this one has its limits, and the minimal tread pattern won’t fare well in wet and muddy conditions. Also grip on steep inclines with loose gravel might be less optimal because of its semi-slick nature. But to be fair that’s not the intended purpose of this tire.

So if your average ride includes pavement and gravel and speed is at the top of your list, this is a gorgeous option to choose.

Expert Experience

Will Jones | Technical writer – September 14, 2022

My advice would be that if you are primarily riding country back lanes with occasional forays into the woods then these are a safe, but not hugely inspiring bet. If this is the case you’ll probably want to run them at higher pressures, at which point you may as well opt for the cheaper but less supple 60TPI option anyway and save yourself a wedge of cash. If you want a more gravelly option on the cheap then look to the Kimberlite, or for a pretty similar price I’d go for the Teravail Washburns: You’ll have a better time.

Pros and Cons

WTB Horizon

WTB Horizon
WTB Horizon

The WTB Horizon is a gorgeous and supple 650b slick tire, available in both black and true tan-wall options.

The 47 millimeter width tire comes in both a single ply 60 TPI and a more supple 120 TPI version. The center tread has no pattern whatsoever and is flanked by dual herringbone patterns to provide a modicum of traction when riding anything else but smooth tarmac and pavement.

It’s fully tubeless compatible and the round tire ranging between 515 and 571 grams for the various versions will make a plush ride indeed for any type of light gravel riding or urban commuting.

Expert Experience

Jayson | Site Owner – April 19, 2017

The Horizon is a great choice for a rider who commutes a few miles / kilometres in order to reach their local gravel road(s). Not exactly designed for high-speed cornering with its lack of tread blocks on the sides, the Horizon still does well enough on just about every dirt and gravel road surface imaginable. However, as stated earlier, it isn’t a tyre I’d consider for the flinty rigours of an event like Dirty Kanza.

Pros and Cons

WTB Resolute

WTB Resolute
WTB Resolute

The WTB Resolute is an allround all-weather all-season gravel bike tire, or so WTB claims.

And this claim does make sense, with WTB basically applying a baseline of solid gravel tire characteristics into this product offering.

It’s both a lightweight tire which enhances acceleration. And it sits in between slick tires and the aggressive tread pattern of the WTB Sendero, ensuring good grip and traction in all kinds of conditions, while going in a straight line or in corners, going uphill or downhill.

So does that make the WTB Resolute one of the best all-rounders in the gravel department. The answer is a resolute yes, pun intended.

Expert Experience

Guitar Ted | Technical reviewer – August 18, 2017

For those bicycles the Resolute will fit in, this tire does rank among the best tires I could recommend. I would choose this tire for my riding over anything I’ve yet been able to try out because of its abilities on hard packed and paved surfaces while still being excellent in sand, looser dirt, and gravel. Sure, there are better specialist tires. If I were primarily interested in shredding dirt, I’d go with a Maxxis Ravager, for instance, but my riding takes me over a varied palette of surfaces which requires a tire to perform admirably over all of them. The Resolute has been that tire for me.

Pros and Cons

Specifications 27.5 gravel tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
WTB Horizon
27.5×1.85
47-584
532
Black
Black
Dual DNA
tlr
60
WTB Horizon
27.5×1.85
47-584
515
Black
Tan
Dual DNA
tlr
60
WTB Horizon
27.5×1.85
47-584
571
Black
Black
Dual DNA
tlr
120
Maxxis Recepter
27.5×1.85
47-584
484
Black
Black
Dual
tlr
120
WTB Byway
27.5×1.85
47-584
564
Black
Black
Dual DNA
tlr
WTB Byway
27.5×1.85
47-584
535
Black
Tan
Dual DNA
tlr
WTB Resolute
27.5×1.65
42-584
440
Black
Tan
Dual DNA
tlr
60
Continental Terra Trail
27.5×1.60
40-584
430
Black
Cream
BlackChili
ProTection casing
tlr
3/180
Continental Terra Trail
27.5×1.90
47-584
460
Black
Black
BlackChili
ProTection casing
tlr
3/180
Continental Terra Speed
27.5×1.50
40-584
450
Black
Cream
BlackChili
ProTection casing
tlr
3/180
Schwalbe G-One Allround
27.5×1.50
40-584
450
Black
Black
ADDIX SpeedGrip
Super Ground
tubeless
Schwalbe G-One Allround
27.5×2.25
57-584
650
Black
Black
ADDIX SpeedGrip
Super Ground
tubeless
Schwalbe G-One Bite
27.5×2.00
50-584
535
Black
Black
ADDIX SpeedGrip
Super Ground
tubeless
Kenda Alluvium Pro
27.5×1.80
45-584
514
Black
Black
Single
tlr
120
Kenda Flintridge Pro
27.5×1.80
45-584
543
Black
Black
Dual
tlr
120
Kenda Flintridge Pro
27.5×1.80
45-584
533
Black
Black
Dual
tlr
120

Sources

Matt Gersib, Continental Terra Trail and Terra Speed Tires: Long Review, Riding Gravel, May 18, 2020
Jason Judy, Kenda Alluvium Gravel Tire Review, Gravelstroke, May 13, 2021
Katherine Moore, Panaracer GravelKing SK TLC tyre review, Bikeradar, November 17, 2021
Jamie Williams, Schwalbe G-One Allround Evolution, Road.cc, August 14, 2021
Sebastian Vidal, Review: Schwalbe G-One Speed Tires, To Be Determined Journal, January 29, 2019
Will Jones, WTB Byway review: An all-road tyre that is compromised by its shape, Cycling News, September 14, 2022
Jayson, Review: WTB Horizon Road Plus 650b Tubeless Ready Tires, Gravel Cyclist, April 19, 2017
Guitar Ted, WTB Resolute Tire: At The Finish, Riding Gravel, August 18, 2017
bio vanseijen

Johan van Seijen

Founder Restoration.bike

Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His cycling career has seen him at the starting line of classics such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege. Realizing his racing capacity would fall short of what was needed he obtained a MS from the University of Amsterdam in engineering. His love for cycling changed into riding in an amateur capacity with his local cycling club TFC Weesp as a roadie and supporting MTB Noordwest as a mountain biker. He repairs, restores, and builds bicycles and shares his knowledge on YouTube, Facebook and this website. 

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