There is an ever-increasing choice of gravel and adventure bike tyres available online and in the shops. From fast-rolling dry weather tyres to knobbly ones for wet muddy conditions, they come in a range of diameters and tread patterns. Here are the best tyres for 700c wheels, it's quite a list, get comfy and dig in...
[Updated 25th Jan 2021]
The best 700c gravel and adventure tyres you can buy
Either scroll away or hit the links below to jump straight to that tyre. Where there is a range of sizes available we have added the wheel size and tyre diameter to the title so you can see exactly what we tested.
The WTB Byway TCS Light/Fast Rolling SG2 is a semi-slick, minimalistic gravel tyre which offers a smooth ride on roads but can handle some gravel and rock too. It is now available with SG2 puncture protection, which is very effective – just don't expect much grip if things get really rocky or muddy.
Compared to many other gravel tyres I've tested lately, Specialized's Rhombus Pro 2Bliss Ready tyre has quite an aggressive tread pattern for taking to more typical UK track and trail conditions. There are lighter options out there, but for the money they have a lot to offer.
Pirelli's Cinturato Gravel H (H for hard terrain) tyres roll well along the trails that they're designed for, and although not as supple as some, they're hardwearing and robust enough for rocky routes.
Designed to offer off-road grip in mixed conditions and speed on the road, the Schwalbe X-One Allround is pretty much the perfect tubeless tyre for the privateer cyclo-cross rider. These provide decent grip in slick mud, but roll really well when the course is dry.
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 Power Gravel is Michelin's answer to the ever-expanding gravel/adventure market, and it has a lot going for it. Durability is good, as is the grip, it offers plenty of puncture protection, and the price is very competitive too.
Japanese tyre company Panaracer has been quick to offer a range of gravel-specific tyres, becoming a significant player in the burgeoning market. Measuring 43mm wide, these GravelKing SK tyres are tubeless compatible and feature a tread pattern that excels both on and off road, with a tough carcass that can withstand some abuse.
The Panaracer GravelKing Plus TLC is ideal if you want a wide, slick tyre for road use but one that is also capable of taking you off the beaten track thanks to its strong build and decent puncture protection. It's a decent price too.
The Panaracer GravelKing AC (All Conditions) tyre lives up to its name – performing well on rough tracks and the roads to get you to them. They're fairly light and supple, and once on the trails mud-clearance is great. They're pretty good value too.
When dust turns to mud you need a grippy tyre, and the Teravail Rutland delivers exceptional traction in slippery or loose conditions – without hindering pace on hard tracks and roads. Tubeless installation is easy, it comes in a wide range of sizes (including 650b), and you even get a choice of two casings. It'll cost you, though.
The Goodyear County Ultimate gravel tyre, which uses a specially developed Silica4 compound, offers a decent performance across road and light off-road, with good puncture resistance but perhaps a bit less suppleness than the best tyres of this type.
Zipp's first gravel tyre, the Tangente Course G40, is a welcome addition to the marketplace. The tread design works well on the majority of surfaces and they are durable enough to take on the rough stuff. They aren't cheap though.
The Kenda Flintridge Pro is a tough gravel tyre for dry, fast-rolling conditions. It's easy to fit to tubeless rims, offers low resistance on and off-road and, even in this less-protective version, it's robust. It struggles in muddy conditions, true, but nevertheless it's a good all-rounder.
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.
There's an increasing choice in tyres designed for mixing it up on and off-road as the gravel and adventure market grows, and this new Pathfinder Pro from Specialized is a fast-rolling tyre that is good for tackling rough roads and dry hardpack gravel trails.
Fatter tyres for road bikes have gained acceptance and are pretty much the norm now, the same thing's happened to mountain bike tyres, and now, finally, cyclo-cross is getting a bit of chubby action with tyres such as this Surly Knard.
Vee Rubber's Rail tyre is designed as a fast gravel/CX choice for smoother or drier conditions, and it excels at that. It's not bad on the road either, with the closely spaced tread keeping it from feeling too draggy. The shoulder tread is aggressive enough to give you a bit of confidence on the loose stuff and they're big enough to take some fairly big hits.
There will be plenty more options added to the list over the coming months so keep an eye out fr new tyres appearing. Let us know in the comments if there is tyre you'd like to see us test.
You might also like: