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Top 10 Best Gravel Tyres

Top 10 Best Gravel Tyres For Riding Off-Road

The best gravel tyres inspire lasting confidence when riding off-road. By providing outstanding grip, lower rolling resistance and higher puncture protection, the best gravel bike tyres allow you to tackle longer rides and rougher ground with more speed and in greater comfort. 

Gravel is an all-encompassing discipline. In a single ride, you can experience a wide array of terrain, from super-smooth tarmac to rocky single-track. As a result, the best gravel tyres have to be versatile and well suited to a wide variety of riding surfaces.  

Panaracer Gravel King SK Gravel Tyres

However, with such a vast array of gravel tyres available, finding the best gravel tyres for riding you do most can be tricky. So, to help you make your choice a little easier, we’ve built this guide which details the different types of gravel tyres and listed some of our favourite gravel tyres.  Firstly, below is the definitive list of the top 10 best gravel tyres (please read on to discover why). 

Top 10 Best Gravel Tyres

  1. Panaracer Gravel King SK Tyre

  2. Maxxis Refuse Gravel Tyre

  3. Challenge Gravel Grinder Race Tyre

  4. Pirelli Cinturato H Gravel Tyre

  5. Michelin Mud 2 Gravel Tyre

  6. Vittoria Terreno Mix TNT Gravel Tyre

  7. Panaracer Gravel King Gravel Tyre

  8. Pirelli Cinturato M Gravel Tyre

  9. Michelin Power Gravel Tyre

  10. Challenge Strada Bianca Gravel Tyre

How To Choose The Best Gravel Tyres? 

Tread Pattern 

Although gravel tyres are designed to be incredibly versatile, most will be tailored to perform exceptionally well on one particular type of terrain. Whether you ride on loose gravel paths, rocky singletrack, muddy towpaths or uneven tarmac, one part of the tyre that will make a huge difference to performance on a particular terrain is the tread.  

Pirelli Cinturato Gravel Tyres

Gravel tyres that have a very aggressive tread with thick knobs that protrude heavily throughout the head and shoulder of the tyre (like the Pirelli Cinturato M above) will offer exceptional off-road grip and are best suited to loose, rocky terrain. 

Michelin Power Gravel Tyres

Gravel tyres with a shallower tread pattern, whose knobbles are more prominent on the shoulder of the tyre (like the Michelin Power Gravel Tyre above) balance good levels of grip when cornering on rough ground, with lower rolling resistance for speed on the road. These are the best gravel tyres if you ride a wide variety of terrain and tend to have an even split between off-road and road surfaces on your gravel rides. 

Maxxis Refuse Grave Tyres

Lastly, gravel tyres that have minimal tread (like the Maxxis Refuse above) with no protruding knobs are designed to minimise rolling resistance and are well suited to less technical off-road terrain like bike paths. This type of gravel tyre is ideal if you ride mainly on the road, with a smattering of towpaths. 

Tyre Size 

Tyre size is another critical factor that determines the suitability of your gravel tyres for the surfaces you’re riding. Unlike road tyres, you’ve got two areas to consider with gravel tyres – tyre circumference and tyre width.  

When it comes to tyre circumference, you can choose between 650b and 700c. 700c tyres are larger in diameter, meaning they’ll roll faster once up to speed and are ideal for riding on tarmac and smoother gravel. Conversely, 650b tyres are smaller in diameter. As a result, 650b gravel tyres tend to be more agile and responsive when cornering on technical off-road terrain. Additionally, because of the smaller wheel size which affords more clearance in the frame, 650b tyres tend to come in larger volumes which offer greater comfort. Importantly, your choice of tyre circumference is dictated by the size of your wheels and frame compatibility – so double check these before making your decision.

Woman riding an off road climb

Equally, tyre width is also vital to consider. Generally, gravel tyres around 32mm wide offer lower rolling resistance, making them perfect for rough tarmac and smooth gravel. Unfortunately, the reduction in rolling resistance comes at the peril of grip and comfort on rough surfaces reducing overall versatility. Gravel tyres between 35mm and 38mm occupy an excellent middle ground, offering enough traction and cushion for rough gravel tracks without being too cumbersome on the tarmac. Finally, gravel tyres that are 40mm and above are wide enough to tackle even reasonably technical singletrack. However, owing to their size (and weight), larger gravel tyres can be somewhat unwieldy on paved surfaces. 

Tubeless Or Tubed? 

In recent years, tubeless tyres have become immensely popular amongst mountain bikers, road cyclists and gravel riders, and for good reason. Being filled with sealant which plugs smaller punctures as you ride, tubeless tyres are much more puncture-resistant than regular clincher tyres.

Tubeless sealant with a Panaracer tires

Additionally, thanks to an increase in puncture protection, tubeless tyres can also be ridden at significantly lower pressures than clinchers. Not only does this afford exceptional comfort when riding on the rough stuff, but enhanced grip too. All this considered, it’s easy to see why tubeless tyres come highly recommended for riding gravel.

But still, the ease with which innertubes can be replaced continues to appeal to many. However, like all considerations when deciding on the best gravel tyres for you, everything depends on the terrain you ride most. In our experience though – the rougher the terrain you ride, the more you’ll benefit from a tubeless setup. Importantly, most of the tyres below are tubeless compatible and all can be used with inner tubes, so you’re free to experiment. 

With that, let’s take a look at the top 10 best gravel tyres.

  1. Panaracer Gravel King SK Tubeless Compatible Clincher Gravel Tyre
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    Panaracer Gravel King SK Tubeless Compatible Clincher Gravel Tyre

    The Panaracer Gravel King SK gravel tyres excel in almost all conditions. In fact, we’d go as far to say they’re probably the most versatile gravel tyres money can buy. Despite the intricate tread pattern which provides an extraordinary level of grip when off-road, these tyres are still respectably nimble and certainly don’t feel cumbersome when you’re back on the tarmac.  Being tubeless compatible, they’re immensely durable and comfortable too. Available in a vast range of sizes, the Gravel King SK tyres are well suited to a variety of conditions, from rough road riding to gnarly single track. To top it off, they also come in a tan wall version to keep the style-conscience cyclists happy.

      Exceptionally versatile

      Tread pattern offers good grip off-road 

      ZSG compound offers low rolling resistance and speed 

      Tubeless compatible 

      Available in a wide array of sizes  (including 650b)

      Tan wall version

    Buy now with free delivery
  2. Maxxis Refuse Folding MS TR Gravel Tyre
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    Maxxis Refuse Folding MS TR Gravel Tyre

    Equipped with a modern tubeless design and now available in larger sizes, the Maxxis Refuse folding tyre offers excellent puncture protection and comfort across uneven terrain. It even comes equipped with Maxxshield, a protective layer underneath the rubber to protect against the worst abrasions. Thanks to the diamond tread pattern, these tyres also afford outstanding grip on rough surfaces. Despite offering such grip, these tyres also employ a dual rubber compound to minimise rolling resistance on smooth surfaces. While these tyres perform well on a variety of surfaces due to their 32mm width, these gravel tyres are best suited to rougher tarmac and smooth towpaths

      Modern tubeless design 

      Bigger tyre volume offers more cushion and greater comfort 

      Diamond tread pattern increases grip over rough, uneven surfaces 

      MaxxShield for added puncture protection 

      Dual compound reduces rolling resistance

    Buy now with free delivery
  3. Challenge Gravel Grinder Tubeless Ready Clincher Gravel Tyre
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    Challenge Gravel Grinder Tubeless Ready Clincher Gravel Tyre

    Employing a tread pattern than uses larger knobs on the shoulder of the tyre and fewer on the top, the Challenge Gravel Grinder is fast on the road and grippy when cornering. Offering the best of both worlds, it inspires incredible confidence whatever surfaces you’re riding on. As a tubeless tyre, it provides lasting puncture protection and superior comfort, making it a perfect choice for a big day out of mixed surface riding. 

    ✓  Shallow tread pattern on the top of the tyre reduces rolling resistance 

      Knobs on the shoulder of the tyre provide grip when cornering 

      Tubeless compatible 

      Tan wall version 

    Buy now with free delivery
  4. Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H Classic Tyre
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    Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H Classic Tyre

    Thanks to the tightly arranged, shallow knobbles, the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H tyre is well suited to compact gravel surfaces such as towpaths and trails. Constructed with the speedGRIP rubber compound, these gravel tyres give you total confidence to hit steep banks and berms at speed. As a tubeless-ready tyre, it offers increased comfort, grip and puncture protection too. While these tyres are well suited to riding dirt and do fair well on the road, we wouldn’t expect to take a course record on any road segments using these tyres. 

      Well suited to compact gravel surfaces 

      Tread pattern offers exceptional grip when riding off-road 

      SpeedGRIP rubber compound inspires confidence and offers speed 

      Tubeless-ready for greater comfort, speed and puncture protection 

      Nylon bead-to-bead protection  

    Buy now with free delivery
  5. Michelin Power Mud Tubeless Cyclocross Tyre
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    Michelin Power Mud Tubeless Cyclocross Tyre

    While the Michelin Power Mud 2 Tubeless gravel tyre isn’t, strictly speaking, a gravel tyre, it does provide incredible performance for riding off-road. With a tall but spaced tread pattern, these tyres provide incredible grip over wet, muddy surfaces. However, being only 33mm wide, they’re still very handy on the road and across hard-packed gravel surfaces too. Thanks to the reinforced sidewalls and tubeless compatibility, you’ll be able to smash around most gravel terrain with speed and in comfort. 

    ✓  Tall tread pattern provides incredible grip over wet, muddy surfaces 

      33mm width offers speed and agility on the road 

      Tubeless compatible 

    ✓  Reinforced sidewalls for increased puncture protection

    Buy now with free delivery
  6. Vittoria Terreno Mix TNT G2.0 Gravel Tyre
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    Vittoria Terreno Mix TNT G2.0 Gravel Tyre

    Thanks to the rough, fish-scale tread pattern, the Vittoria Terreno Mix TNT G2.0 gravel tyre provides incredible confidence when riding fast on tarmac and rough ground. Thankfully, it comes in a wide variety of sizes to suit an array of surfaces and terrain, from smooth summer cyclocross courses to the Dirty Kanza. Equipped with the new Graphene 2.0 rubber compound, this tyre boasts class-leading comfort and extremely low rolling resistance. Like many tyres on this list, the Vittoria Terreno is tubeless-compatible for total peace of mind on the roughest terrain.   

    ✓  Tread pattern provides excellent grip on loose ground 

    ✓  Available in a wide variety of sizes 

    ✓  Graphene 2.0 rubber compound offers excellent grip and comfort 

    ✓  Tubeless compatible 

    Buy now with free delivery
  7. Panaracer Gravel King Clincher Gravel Tyre
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    Panaracer Gravel King Clincher Gravel Tyre

    The Panaracer Gravel King is a versatile road-oriented gravel tyre that rolls well over tame gravel tracks. To that end, the Panaracer Gravel King is a perfect choice for your endurance road bike that has plenty of clearance for wider tyres. Constructed with the ZSG natural rubber compound, the Panaracer Gravel King provides offers extremely low rolling resistance and plenty of straight-line speed. Similarly, with a rougher tread than regular road tyres, it provides plenty of grip over cobbles, towpaths and rough tarmac. It’s a perfect choice if you ride mainly on the road but occasionally like to take a path less pedalled.  

    ✓  Well suited to rough roads and smooth gravel tracks 

    ✓  Extremely low rolling resistance for road riding 

    ✓  Textured tread offers plenty of grip for towpaths and rough tarmac 

    ✓  Available in a wide variety of sizes 

    Buy now with free delivery
  8. Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M Classic Tyre
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    Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M Classic Tyre

    If you regularly ride on harsh terrain and unstable surfaces, then the Cinturato Gravel M tyre would be a perfect choice. Equipped with a rough tread and quality rubber compound, this tyre provides exceptional grip on a huge variety of surfaces. As a tubeless-compatible tyre, it ensures lasting comfort, durability and puncture protection against abrasive surfaces. Available in a wide range of sizes to suit an array of riding styles, the Pirelli Cinturato can be used with confidence on both smooth towpaths and rough singletrack.   

    ✓  Rougher tread provides incredible grip over uneven surfaces 

    ✓  SpeedGRIP rubber compound

    ✓  Tubeless compatible for added comfort and puncture protection 

    ✓  Available in a wide variety of sizes (including 650b) 

    Buy now with free delivery
  9. Michelin Power Gravel Folding Clincher Gravel Tyre
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    Michelin Power Gravel Folding Clincher Gravel Tyre

    If you need a tyre that performs equally well on rough surfaces and tarmac, then the Michelin Power Gravel could be a winner. With a Protek reinforced carcass, these tyres offer incredible puncture protection for riding on rough surfaces. Similarly, Michelin have also employed X-miles rubber compound to improve longevity and maximise grip. With a less aggressive tread pattern, these tyres are well suited to a wide variety of terrain, from rough tarmac to fire roads.  

    ✓  Protek reinforced tyre carcass maximises puncture protection 

    ✓  X-miles compound maximises grip, comfort and longevity 

    ✓  Tubeless compatible for improved comfort and puncture resistance 

    ✓  Less aggressive tread pattern to suit wide variety of terrains 

    Buy now with free delivery
  10. Challenge Strada Bianca 260 TPI Clincher Gravel Tyre
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    Challenge Strada Bianca 260 TPI Clincher Gravel Tyre

    Inspired by the white Tuscan roads of Strada Bianca, the Challenge Strada Bianca 260 TPI gravel tyres are designed for racing across hard-packed gravel surfaces. While they aren’t tubeless compatible, these tyres do come equipped with a robust Aramid bead and Superpoly casing to maximise puncture protection on the rough stuff. With a shallow tread, these tyres feel incredibly responsive and agile out on the road. Thankfully, they come in both 30mm and 36mm versions, which we found covered us against all bases, from smooth tarmac to golf ball-sized gravel.  

      Well suited to hard-packed gravel 

      Aramid bead and Superpoly casing provides great puncture protection 

      Shallow tread promises high responsiveness and agility on the tarmac 

       Available two sizes (30mm and 36mm) 

    Buy now with free delivery


Thomas Flynn

Thomas Flynn

Writer and expert

With almost a decade of riding under his belt, Tom has dabbled in almost every major cycling discipline. These days, he's usually found aboard his fixed-gear gravel bike tackling the best trails and towpaths around Manchester and the Peak District.