This is my third set of these tires, I love them.
The first set were 33s, now I'm using the 38s. They are setup tubeless with Stan's Grail rims running at 40 psi rear, 38 psi front on a Trek Crocket (I'm about 170lbs).
I ride New England gravel roads, double track, cinder trails and single track and find the tires plenty grippy in all but the wettest conditions and tough enough for the bony single track sections. The tires have a supple ride feel and roll very well on those necessary paved sections that get to the next dirt segment.
In the Spokane area, the gravel routes are usually unpaved county roads and summer roads between fields. They can be loose dusty sand or washboards with gravel used for chip seal (without the oil seal), packed out mud, or just plain mud, all within a few miles. Throw in consistent and persistent 10-14 percent grades and you'll have your work cut out for you. These tires and their file like tread perform great in all of the conditions. I've even used them on some CX before fitting a narrower CX tires. I weight about 200 pounds and ride this around 45 psi (38mm) back and a few pounds lower in the front. Had one puncture, through the tread, that didn't seal up great, but that was no fault of the tire. Big holes are big holes. They also roll great on the tarmac.
Of all the Gravel Tires I've tried, these are hands-down the worst for punctures. I had punctures in the sidewall right out of the box. B.T.D. graciously replaced that. I bumped up one star because I had no problems setting them up for tubeless... but I had sealant spraying out of both tires the first time I rode on gravel, so tubes in them after that. Even running tubes with sealant, I averaged approximately 1 puncture per 5 miles of gravel. By 250 miles, (6 tubes, 15 CO2s) inspecting the center track of the tire shows numerous small cuts. I have /never/ had this issue on other gravel tires. The Sidewalls are thin and supple and vulnerable to cuts. The Center track has small nubs, low rolling resistance and is vulnerable to cuts and punctures. The side knobs provide decent traction cornering, as long as that sidewall doesn't get cut. I don't know what they were thinking, but by me gravel is made of rocks which frequently have sharp points or edges. I /never/ rode these tires "off road" and rode 90% on smooth pavement.
I've got a few hundred miles on these tires now-a pretty even mix of good aged chip & seal, fresh loose chip & seal, crappy patched and potholed chip & seal, and plush marble-sized river-rock gravel. I don't notice any real rolling resistance on pavement, and they stick like Velcro even in the really deep gravel. I haven't climbed much, but the bit of climbing I've done was fine and more importantly I had full control on the descent. I am running them with tubes at 55ish psi, haven't had any flats (punctures aren't likely here, no thorns or sharp rocks) and they do a pretty good job at smoothing out all but the worst bone-shakers. I'd definitely recommend these as a good all-around tire.
I live in Kansas and am from Emporia, the heart of Dirty Kanza and Flint Hills territory. I have used these tires thru 3 Dirty Kanzas, 2 Almanzos, 1 epic fail at Landrun(mud and weather, tires were fine) and countless other rides and races through Flint Hills Gravel. Two flats, both were pinch flats and totally my fault for running too low of pressure under my 190 lbs. About 53-55 PSI rear and 48 PSI front seems to keep me out of pinch flat trouble even in the Flint Hills Gravel. Rolling resistance is minimal on hard pack, yet traction remains great in the loose stuff. They do tend to wear a little fast, but at the price and weight well worth it. As a side note, on the two flats I did have, they go on and off the rims using no levers for a quick change under the stress of race conditions. In gravel cycling the tire of the moment always seems be in every conversation, but I have found no need to experiment or go tubeless with these tires around and will continue to run the Gravel Grinders.
I have the MTB on the dirt so the gravel bike actually spends much more time on the road. Road performance is nice -- the mostly flat central tread is quiet and doesn't rob your speed on the pavement. Cornering on gravel and hardpack is great thanks to the corner knobs. 5 stars so far. But the few stretches of gravel I've had them on invariably ended in punctures -- I am now running tubes in both front and back. The pair of tires currently has about 150 miles on them, with less than 5 miles gravel, and I've had punctures in each. For a tire /named/ the "Gravel Grinder" I can't help but be dissatisfied.
My search for the "perfect" tire for my gravel bike continues.
Got these for my CX bike and a gravel race. Running them with latex tubes. Race had some single track with hills and some mud. Surprised how well the gripped. Have now been running them on pavement and see that my average speed is not much slower than on my road bike. No flats. Very pleased.
This tire is outstanding in its ability to provide reliable traction on loose gravel, hard pack, single track and pretty much anything you throw at it while somehow feeling road race tire fast and supple on pavement. Itï¿½s been literally perfect for everything I do on it. I highly recommend this for anyone seeking a gravel/cyclocross tire you never need question or think about. I donï¿½t even bother changing it when taking the gravel bike on a road ride as it rolls fast. A great choice after many disappointments prior.
I needed tires for a dirt road event in Vermont and after reading a lot of reviews, I settled on the Gravel Grinders. I wanted something wide, with reasonable rolling resistance on paved roads and hard-packed dirt, but aggressive edge lugs for cornering in looser conditions. This tire has all of that and excellent durability, too. I couldn't be happier with their performance.
FYI, at 174, I ran these at 50/55, frontrear and that was perfect on a hard-packed course. My 110 girlfriend ran them at 30/35.
Prior to this I have been racing on Challenges high end open tubular Grifo XS in 33mm and soon its high end open tubular Gravel Grinder in 700x36mm tire. For training and commuting I do not want to burn through [$] high end tires when I can burn through the same tread for less than half the money and have an even tougher casing than the open tubular design saving them for race day! For training I have been riding every type of nail file tread pattern I could buy, My favorite up until this tire was released was in this order, Clement Las 33mm (actually a 36mm)for fast gravel country roads and finer gravel, or for rougher gravel Clement USH 35mm, Vittoria Pro XN 32mm(actually 30mm), Schwalbe Sammy Slick 35mm (actually a 31mm), and for rougher gravel and dirt Kenda Happy Mediums in 35mm or 40mm (both slightly undersized as well. I hope that Challenge continue to make Vulcanized Versions of its already top OT tires like The Grifo Pro now, as I wish they would make a Grifo XS 32mm vulcanized soon for my wife as this is her favorite tire! Do your self a favor and get this tire, it is the best!
These tires are a good choice. They set up easily. I have used them for a few dry CX races and run them at low pressure and they perform well. They are also nice on a graveldirtpavement ride at a higher pressure of 35-40 psi. They roll well and have good cornering qualities. I have over 500 miles on them and they are wearing ok.
I have been using this tire since 2016 in the DK 200, Almanzo 100 (twice), Cuban Gravel Crisis and the Tour of Hermann Gravel Challenge to name a few. I finally went tubeless and ordered the TCS this time.
After riding with these tires for a few weeks I am quite pleased. I ride probably 75% pavement and 25% gravel and appreciate the fast rolling qualities of this tire with ability to ride at a variety of pressures depending on conditions. So far so good!
Rear tire got 2 punctures (both sealed with sealant) within the first month of use. One was on rounded fine gravel, second on rail trail. I liked the ease of mounting and sealing, but 2 punctures on what I'd consider easy gravel have me wondering about long term durability and getting stuck in the boonies.
Great tires, however, mine both came with a bulge from being so tightly folded and I could not work it out with or without tubes. The beads did seat nicely for tubeless use however. The side knobbies are awesome in deep mud and set these apart from some other gravel tires, but I think the mid section, while fast on super smooth dirt or pavement, are a little slick on sandy gravel. I think they need some grooves.
Originally went w the 33s for tackling the (awesome!) Hoosier National Forest roads. Loved the tires but found them too narrow for some of the loose gravel. Bumped up to the 38s and they are perfect. Expertly manage the slime of sloppy lime dust but also do a better job of floating over loose gravel. Excellent on dry hard packed gravel and tough enough for the occasional bit of singletrack. Roll nicely over paved sections. About 1000 miles without a flat. Have tried them tubeless but the sidewalls leak too much - not sold as tubeless so that's fair. Great tire!
I live in the city with streets and paved bike paths, but I'm at the edge of town with gravel section roads stretching to the horizons through farmland. These tires have been a welcome upgrade over the stock 33mm tires that came on my Specialized CruX. Smoother rolling center tread, knobby on the edges to bite in the loose and chunky gravel, and enough volume to lower my pressures for a smoother ride. Near perfect.