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What is a gravel tire? Definition of Gravel Tire

Gravel tires are rapidly gaining popularity in the road bike community. What is a gravel tire and how is it defined?

Modified at: 2023.10.11Posted at: 2022.9.8

Tires categorized by the manufacturer as “gravel tires”

There is no special definition for sport bicycle tires, not just gravel tires. It is only that manufacturers categorize them as “for road bikes” or "for gravel.

However, gravel tires are

  1. thicker than road tires and thinner than MTB tires

  2. have a block pattern for gravel riding

  3. have a block pattern for gravel riding. However, some gravel tires do not necessarily fit this pattern.

For example, Pacaracer’s GravelKing has slicks on the unbranded models, semi-slicks on the SS, and block tires on the SK, and is available in tire thicknesses from about 26C, so there is less difference between road tires and gravel tires.

On the other hand, gravel tires from overseas tire manufacturers are basically block tires, and some models are much closer to MTB tires in appearance and size range.

In this sense, gravel tires can only be defined as "tires designed by the manufacturer for gravel.

Gravel tires are not exclusively for gravel bikes

While it is common practice to use road tires for road and MTB tires for MTB, gravel tires, which have the properties of both road and MTB tires, are not necessarily exclusive to gravel.

Gravel tires can be mounted on non-gravel bikes, and gravel tires can also be mounted on MTBs to make them street-legal.

Since gravel tires are in between road and MTB tires, there is a wide range of choices.

Gravel bikes can be fitted with both road and MTB tires.

On the other hand, gravel bikes can be fitted with MTB tires because they have wider frame/wheel tire clearance than road bikes and can also be fitted with 650B wheels, which are one size smaller due to the use of disc brakes.

Since gravel bikes are designed to be ridden on both paved and unpaved roads, they can be customized to look like road bikes or MTBs, depending on the tires you choose to customize.

Let's master gravel tires!

Gravel tires are a characteristic of gravel bikes. One of the interesting aspects of gravel bikes is that depending on what tires are set and at what air pressure, the ride and comfort can vary greatly.

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