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.
This tyre has obviously been designed for grip when it’s loose and muddy. The tread pattern comprises large, spaced-out centre blocks for traction when accelerating, climbing and braking, with ramped edges lowering rolling resistance.
Move outboard and there are siped transition blocks designed to shed mud, with more free space in this area. The shoulder knobs are staggered and widely spaced to hook up in the corners as much as possible.
The tyre comes in 700c and 650b sizes and widths from 38 to 47mm. I’ve been riding the 700x42, a popular size that strikes a good balance of weight, speed and comfort. According to Teravail, the tyres are designed for rims with an internal width of 19 to 27mm.
Furthermore, each tyre is offered in two versions - Light and Supple or Durable Bead-to-Bead. The former is self explanatory, while the latter (the tyre on test here) gets woven nylon composite reinforcement between the rubber and casing to prevent damage, plus a layer under the tread to ward off punctures. This adds 40g, but is obviously helpful if you're hard on equipment and/or riding savage terrain.
Fitting them tubeless is easy, and I tested them on Enve G23 and Parcours carbon wheels. A regular track pump was all that was required to seat the beads, and the Rutlands maintain air well, not losing more than a few psi over several weeks.
These tyres proved a godsend once once the dusty gravel tracks and bridleways in my corner of the Cotswolds turned to mush. They give impressive grip in a wide range of situations, with good braking stability and hooligan lean angles possible before the laws of physics kick in.
It’s a tyre you can really push hard on slippery trails, with the confidence it’s going to grip. You can give it the beans through the corners as well, as those angular shoulder blocks do an excellent job of hooking up some lairy lean angles.
I have to link my local tracks and trails with lots of road – mostly quiet country lanes – and thankfully the Rutlands exhibit a good rolling speed with little significant drag. There’s not much buzzing noise either.
Ride feel is very good. At the low pressures I was running (between 30 and 40psi depending on conditions and the ratio of road to mud) there’s little carcass flex when cornering hard. Considering these are the beefed up versions, they don’t feel overly stiff either, with a noticeable softness that helps to smooth out high-frequency bumps for a smooth feel.
The Rutlands also proved tough when faced with some of the more extreme, rockier descents I like to scare myself on when testing gravel bikes. You can bash them into the ground, through holes and down root covered descents, and the tyres take it all. They're durable then, and hard-wearing too, so far not showing any huge sign of wearing out.
Teravail's new Rutland is a rugged and chunky tyre for mud and slop, with a tread pattern that finds traction and clears quickly. It’s also fast rolling on hard pack and tarmac roads, so you’re not at a great disadvantage anywhere else. Durability is very good, and in fact I can’t see a reason to go with the lighter version, even allowing for the measly 40g weight saving.
That just leaves question of value. At £60 a pop they're pricey against something like a WTB Nano (£38), WTB Sendero (£45) or Panaracer GravelKing Mud (£40). Nevertheless, the Teravail Rutland is easily one of the best gravel mud tyres I've tested.
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