Gravel and Dirt Road Tire Buying Guide

Fun is now coming in the form of a Cross/Adventure Road bike and chances are that if you're here, you know how much fun they really are and now looking for the next thing to put on your dirt road slaying bike...correct?

Well ... Tires!

Tires, are your only contact point with the ground and arguably the most important piece of the bicycle. You wouldn't buy a Ferrari and then put some nice Wal-Mart discount special rubber on it...would ya?

So here's your go-to guide for choosing your next tire.

We are going to talk about width, TPI and actual on the road feelings of each tire. Here's a brief review of each of those things.

-Width. Cyclocross Tires are always going to be 33c. It's what the UCI has regulated as the maximum tire width for international competition and therefore what every tire manufacturer uses as a standard. MTB tires range from 1.95 to 2.3 inches. So that leaves this large gap from 33c(1.3inch) to 1.95. Thats where 35-40c tires come in.

-TPI. or "Threads Per Inch" is the amount of threading used in the casing of the tire. The higher the TPI the less rubber required to give the tire structure thus resulting in a more supple ride. This is a slippery slope when riding off road through, because the higher the TPI, the more delicate the tire is.

Specialized Trigger

Width :: 38

TPI :: 60

This is the Shop Favorite tire. 90% of the time we are all riding this tire. Cody raced this tire at

Lost-n-Found last year to a 5th place. In fact this tire was designed specifically for Gravel Grinding and saw extensive testing in the training lead up and actual Lost-n-Found event in it's inaugural year, 2 years ago. This is a tubeless ready tire utilizing Specialized's 2Bliss technology.

"This tire rolls incredibly fast and I've experienced heaps of traction with this tire. This is quickly becoming my favorite tire...if only we could race CX on it! haha" - Kid Kaiser

Clement X'PLOR USH

Width :: 35

TPI :: 60 and 120 (We stock the 60)

When designing this tire the guys at Clement looked at specific wear patterns on knobby tires when being ridden on road. They measured the tires and analyzed how the tire treads were degrading down the center rolling patch. They then transfer that exact wear pattern onto a new tire and beefed up the center patch to give you a great, fast riding tire on road with just the right amount of knobs on the edges to give you cornering confidence in the dirt. I guess you could say this is the epitome of a do everything tire. This tire isn't going to allow you to rail turns going mach 100 but you'll be cruising with ease when you hit the pavement or gravel roads. Unfortunately not tubeless ready but we have seen success about a bit of work to set them up tubeless.