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What wheelset/tyres

I need some advice on what wheelset/tyres to get.

I currently have a gravel bike as an all-rounder with WTB i23 650b wheels and WTB Horizon 47 tyres. When I first got this bike I thought I would be doing more gravel so I wanted fatter tyres. I also have a lot of potholes and speed-bumps on my commute and I jump onto sidewalks as well. These tyres are very comfortable and you can hit a pothole at full speed without any problems. However this combo is somewhat heavy and I realized I ride 80% road and 20% gravel, so I want to get myself a Christmas present and get another set for road riding (and some light gravel). I would leave 650b wheels for rougher gravel riding.
I am looking for something affordable, not too heavy with tubeless compatibility. Also some tyres with which I can still jump onto sidewalks and are relatively comfortable on day long rides. I was thinking 700x32c with some puncture resistance as I would also take these on some light gravel and I still can't lift my back wheel when I jump onto sidewalks. I do lift my front wheel and put my weight to the front when I jump, and I don't do it at full speed so the rear doesn't hit as hard, but still some puncture resistance would be good.

This is what I was looking at:

Wheelsets (around 350€ or 400$) :
Hunt 4 season disc 1600g 20mm internal 370€
Hunt Mason X 1600g 19mm internal 380€
Alexrims Boondocks 3 1700g 21mm internal 350€
Hope 20FIVE - Pro 4 1750g 20mm internal 400€

Tyres (32-622):
Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL 45€ Very good but expensive, not great puncture resistance
Continental Grand Prix 4-Season 35€ Not Tubeless ready?
Panaracer GravelKing Plus 35€ Good price, not enough info online for puncture resistance or performance
Donnelly Strada LGG 120tpi 30€ Cheapest, mixed reviews, not great puncture resistance
Pirelli Cinturato Velo TLR 45€ Very good puncture resistance, expensive
Schwalbe G-One Speed 40€ 30c, heaviest
Vittoria Corsa Control 45€ 30c, expensive, not any better than 5000TL
Specialized Roubaix Pro 30€ Heavy, not great puncture resistance

These are all "facts" I got from forums, articles and some websites, so I can not comment on accuracy of these :)
Do you think size 32 is OK? I'm worried 28 would be too thin for comfort, and prone to punctures when hitting speed-bumps or potholes or gravel.
I am looking at spending some 400-500€ for wheels and tyres. So far the best options looks to be Hunt 4 season disc with 4seasons, GravelKings (or Pirelli Cinturato Velo if I want to spend a bit more).
What would you recommend, any experience with these? Maybe some other wheelset/tyre combo?


  • Well i can tell you you have the identified the things in the wheels that interest you, width and weight but none of the other other things that could make them brilliant or pony.

    Spoke count, rim profile, spoke type, hub bearing size, hub bearing brand...

    Since you want to run tubeless tyres you'll want to check that a tubeless tyre stays seated with no air present. The hunts should be o.k with this not sure about the others.

    How a wheel feels is not actually done to its weight. Light wheels do feel.light but heavier wheels can feel as light too. The are number of factors that can affect this.

    Sounds like your after a magic bullet setup. 28mm tyres give you more options.

    Worried that 28mm is too narrow for comfort and prone to punctures. What planet are you on. I ride 28mm tyres on censored roads and have no issues. Many forum user here ride on censored uk roads on 28mm tyres or narrower. We get by just fine. sorry to be blunt but you asked for it.
  • I'm fine with blunt, thanks :smiley:
    Like I said I haven't been on a bike for 20 years (I'm 40) and the last bike I rode was a bad mtb ridden only on tarmac :smile:
    My current bike has 650b 47 tyres so that is my only experience with tyres and that is why 28c looks VERY narrow to me. I also looked online what tyres for brevet (or general endurance riding) and a lot of people recommend 32c for longer rides if the frame can fit them (mine can fit up to 40c with fenders). So that looked like a good option for brevet and light gravel.
    BTW gravel where I come from is very rocky, dirt is sparse so I'm worried that even "light" gravel would be pretty hard as I would have to inflate the tyres more than riding on dirt.
    As for the wheel weight, I wasn't just looking at weight, it was more: what is good at a price I can afford and not weigh a ton. Those are all advertised as gravel wheels, so should be sturdy, they have good reviews and, although heavier than road wheels, are not too heavy.
    As I don't have any experience (in cycling general) I decided to ask on forums to see if more experienced people would give me some advice, so thanks for yours.
    One more question: If you're riding at 30-35km/h and see a speed-bump do you bunny hop over it or just lean back and "hit" it at full speed?
  • thecycleclinicthecycleclinic Posts: 394
    edited November 2019
    If I see it I avoid it.if I dont I have no idea. Dented a new rim this year but normally I dont hit holes to hard. I must lift.

    This years TCR had 330km of gravel roads which were for for a mtb really yet many did them on 28mm tyres. A couple of friends did it on 28mm IRC formula pro x guard tyres. Sharon fell into a crater and she damaged herring but the tyre was fine. Chris got the bike running and they completed TCR and the remai ing gravel sections.

    I have ridden 28mm tyres on proper gravel roads many times and without issue.

    In august I rode my sarto with 25mm tyres on the thetford forest red route and various fire roads. Over took a few MTB's. One said are you one racer - yes I said. Actually I have the sarto off road many times on gravel. It's great fun.

    Narrow tyres require more finesse off road
    Remember cx was done on road narrow tyres back in the day.
  • Sounds like your after a magic bullet setup
  • Everybody wants a magic bullet, it's just a balancing act what you want to sacrifice at the expense of something else.
    Thanks for the info, I'm glad to hear that it can be done on 28s as there are a lot more options. I'll stick to 32c this time until I get a bit more experience and when the tires wear out I might go 28. 21mm internal width should be OK for 28 as well.
  • shewyshewy Posts: 62
    I've ran 32mm Gravelkings on my CX with 700c wheels, never had a puncture and done some off road in them also, usually run Schwalbe X ones but swap out the gravelkings for road riding, quite light and fast. But not as fast as my continental GP4's, but defo comfier
  • I've got a set of Mavic Ksyrium UST on my superx and love it. Always found Mavic wheels super durable and their ust system is great. I'd not hesitate to do this again.
  • For best tyre shape internal width x 1.3 is you min tyre width mounted. Max is about internal width x 2.

    So a 28mm tyre work well on rims with I eternal width of 14mm to approx 21.5mm. Beyond the tyre will be stretched and rim more susceptible to damage and when leaning into corners the grip wont be optimal due to the shape of the tyre. To narrow and the tyre light bulbs creating a reduction in grip due to the shape of the tyre.

    Tyres are made with the range of internal width I mention in mind. This applies to mtb tyres too although the min tyre width is normally interal width x 1.8 or there abouts.
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