While gravel and adventure bikes started out with road-sized 700c wheels, many now use smaller diameter 650b rims which allow a much fatter tyre for greater grip and comfort but are roughly the same overall diameter. We've rounded up and tested the very best 650b gravel tyres for both wet and dry conditions, so whether you're upgrading or converting, we've got it covered.
The best 650b gravel and adventure tyres
All these tyres have been tested by us here on off-road.cc or our friends at road.cc and all have scored over four stars out of five on test, so you can rest assured that anything we recommend here is up to the job. Either scroll away for the whole list or click on the link below to jump straight to that tyre:
If it's larger diameter 700c tyres you are after, click here to go straight to 'the best 700c gravel tyres'
The Maxxis Re-Fuse is an excellent choice for mixing road with gravel or dry-ish off-road riding. Tubeless-ready, with oodles of volume, it means you really can choose fast, grippy and puncture-proof.
WTB's Horizon TCS is a fast-rolling, super-grippy and super-comfortable tyre that excels on the road and is capable of tackling dry off-road trails to inject some adventure into your routes.
The Vittoria Terreno Zero tyre is a new move into the gravel market and it's a good opener thanks to a reasonably grippy compound; they're smooth, quick rolling on and off-road and offer loads of puncture resistance. The lack of knobbles does mean you'll be limited to dry stony trails, though, with no option to take in a bit of the local soft tracks.
The Terra Speed is Continental's new gravel tyre designed for dry and loose conditions and it certainly works, making the transition between tarmac and gravel barely noticeable. It's grippy, robust and surprisingly supple for such a tough tyre.
The Teravail Sparwood tyre rolls fast on byways, gravel tracks and dry singletrack and can maintain a decent pace on the tarmac. Its width helps it float over loose surfaces for better control too. While not the cheapest or lightest, it is a very versatile tyre for plenty of applications.
The Rene Herse 650x48 Juniper Ridge tyres have a knobbly tread that has been designed to roll well on the road too. I was sceptical, but to be honest, they are pretty good, giving a boost to your average speed on those tarmac sections between the tracks and trails. They can feel a little fragile, but in use our tester had no issues whatsoever.
The 48mm Switchback Hill is the widest 650B tyre that Compass makes, and too wide it ain't. It's super-comfortable, fast-rolling, tubeless-compatible, off-road-capable and light. There's really not a lot wrong here. At a time when people are doing roll-down tests to see if it's worth switching to 28mm tyres from 25s, our advice would be to skip a few sizes and fit a pair of these, if you can. They're great.
For exploring the “road less travelled” as it is often called, WTB’s Byway is a decent choice providing as it does fast-rolling speed for road and hardpack gravel, with only wet grass and mud finding the limits of a slick tyre for off-road duties.
There will be plenty more options added to the list over the coming months so keep an eye out for new tyres appearing. Let us know in the comments if there is a tyre you'd like to see us test.
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