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  1. #1
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    Tubeless Gravel tire 38mm

    I am looking for a tubeless tire for some gravel races, max width 38mm. I like the look of the Challenge Gravel Grinder (it is a recommended tire from a colleague) but it is not tubeless. I would like smaller nobs/file tread in the center but with aggressive nobs on the sides.

    Any suggestions that will check my boxes?

  2. #2
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    Schwalbe g-one for hardpack. Maxxis rambler for more aggressive stuff. Panaracer gravel king for stuff in between (newer ones are supposed to be tubeless, not sure on older ones).

    I know there are other options but those are the top 3 I've had in mind to try next. Specialized roubaix vs g-one was a consideration but it seems like there's some mixed reviews on their flat resistance.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the options. I was looking at the Rambler the other day. Specialized BLACK Trigger Pro 2Bliss Ready looks interesting. Wish they both had a little bit more on the sides.

  4. #4
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    Check out Clement X'Plor MSO 700x36

    Clement Adds Tubeless MSO, MXP and PDX Tires, New BOS Mud Tread, Gravel Options - Cyclocross Magazine - Cyclocross News, Races, Bikes, Photos, Videos

    I rode these on my gravel bike most of last season (I switched from the tubed X'Plor MSO USH).

    It's not ideal for pavement, mainly just because it's not going to be long wearing, but it really is an ideal all around gravel tire. You can run them firm for harder, faster surfaces, or lower pressure for softer stuff.

    This was my first tubeless tire of any kind, and it was super easy to install, seat and inflate. I pretty much installed these and forgot about them, other than the occasional pressure adjustment.

    Last edited by Migen21; 02-05-2017 at 05:17 PM. Reason: added image

  5. #5
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    I'm going to give the Kenda Happy Medium a go (tubeless version) as my first gravel tire. Really good price on them right now on Jenson.

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  6. #6
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    The Clement MSO is a good choice tubeless - I've used the 40mm tube version and it's a very nice tire. The Challenge is pretty popular in the gravel world and fits the bill. I use WTB Nano tubeless now, spec'd at 40mm but measures 39 and the center tread while not a file pattern is pavement / hardpack friendly.
    Moderation is boring - do epic s##t

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  7. #7
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    I'm excited to try the Challenge Gravel Grinder, as I've got some rides and events on the calendar for which that should be perfect. Will be setting it up tubeless. There's also a Continental Tire called the Cyclocross Speed (comes in 35c size) which has the tread character you're after, but is not a proper tubeless tire.

    In my experience, for road tubeless you need the tubeless specific tire to keep the tire on the rim (that's been established elsewhere, please don't try to do road tubeless with non-tubeless-specific tires), while in cross, the tight, non-stretch beads of the tubeless specific tires help to prevent burps (which are sort of the opposite of blow-offs). With a higher volume tire (more tire volume means fewer burps at a given pressure) at slightly higher pressure than you use for cross racing (more pressure means fewer burps at a given tire volume), without so many of the weird uses of cross which cause most burps (remounts, extreme sidehills/off cambers), my theory is that most of these tires won't burp. And since inflation pressures used are so relatively low (we're talking in the sort of 33 to 45 range on most of these), risk of blowoff is much less than in road tubeless use.

    This isn't a stone cold endorsement of using non-tubeless tires in general or any one of them in specific for this purpose, but a WHOLE LOT of people used MSOs tubeless very successfully before Clement introduced the tubeless version, for example.

  8. #8
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    Dave

    Challenge, from what I understand, do not recommend running tubeless. Do they have a tubeless version now? Have you already set them up tubeless or know if someone has successfully?

    Thanks for all the recommendations, good info and choices.

  9. #9
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    I've liked the Continental cyclocross speed when I had a set, never tried to set them up tubeless though, got some good life out of them, both on the road and on gravel roads and some trails, couple early season cross races.
    I've really liked the Clement MSO 36 tubeless, used them so far for a couple good gravel rides and events, not a lot of use yet. They roll pretty well on regular pavement, but they seem to wear faster with pavement use. The Trigger 2bliss 38 is also good, a little heavier than the Clement, but about the same size, both measured about 36 with calipers on a Belguim + rim. The Trigger would be a better choice if you will ride more pavement on your gravel rides. They also make a smaller 33mm trigger, but it does not have the puncture protection of the larger model, but it is a bunch lighter, good for smoother gravel cross racing, or even pavement ridding.
    Adam

  10. #10
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    Was down in the bike cave yesterday and saw that I currently have a WTB Cross Boss and Schwalbe X-One on that bike. Both would be good candidates. The Cross Boss does really really well in gravelly turns. There's one little piece I ride where you make a turn at speed across a golf cart path that's paved with oyster shells, and it's pretty terrifying. Cross Boss is the one tire that's ever made me feel I could press it on that turn.

    Challenge doesn't have a tubeless version. This is definitely an off the reservation thing for me, but I'm going to try it. There's a method to my madness on all of this, and bear in mind that NONE of this constitutes an official recommendation.

    First off, in cross tubeless, the game is to keep the tire from kicking IN off the bead shelf and burping due to a lack of outward-pressing air pressure. In road tubeless, the game is keeping the bead from blowing OUT off the rim due to too much outward pressing air pressure. In both cases, a proper no-stretch tubeless bead is a boon (in road it's a necessity, full stop), but in each case it's performing a different function.

    Gravel tires are sort of a hybrid of that situation - they are often used with enough pressure to keep them from burping in, and yet not enough pressure to cause them to blow off. There is plenty of history of people successfully using non-tubeless tires in gravel races.

    I have a bit of history in using non-tubeless Challenge Grifo for cyclocross. Not a ton, and we wound up placing it squarely in the "not recommended" category because it could be reliably made to burp in certain frequently encountered situations (off camber remounts were a dead lock for a burp). But that's a lower volume tire than the Gravel Grinder, used at lower pressure than I'd use a Gravel Grinder. Based on having taken the Grifo up to 40psi and having it hold that pressure easily, I'm confident enough to try the Gravel Grinder.

    Again, not a recommendation for anyone else to try it. I've spent way too much time screwing around with tubeless and have developed sort of a sixth sense for when things aren't right, plus it's only my neck (teeth, nose?) in the line here.

  11. #11
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    I would be interested in hearing about how your experimentation with the Challenge gravel grinder tire goes, I think you will probably be able to do it. I was able to set up a pair of Specialized Trigger 2bliss 33C tires on a HED Belgium rim, so I tubeless ready tire on a non-tubeless ready rim. I did a long gravel event on them without any problems, think I ran about 45 PSI.
    Adam

  12. #12
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    I currently have 36mm Clement MSOs set up tubeless on my bike. I have WTB tubeless-specific rims (Frequency i19s) and I used OEM WTB tape. This setup has been foolproof and burp-free even at pressures as low as ~25psi. I'm a huge fan of these tires. The tires have such a great ride, the tread offers plenty of grip on lots of different surfaces and the tires are very durable. They also roll surprisingly well on pavement, I've even done group rides on them without issue. I have ~1.5k mostly gravel miles on a set and they still look brand new.

    One caveat: both of my MSOs have a lateral wobble in the tread. The wobble is bad enough on one tire that it makes it look like the rim is out of true when it isn't. Clement actually sent me a free tire when I reported the problem to them. This wobble has no impact on how the tire performs so I've left it on my bike but it looks a little weird while riding if you look closely. Looking around online, lateral wobbles on cross and gravel tires are fairly common and nothing to really worry about.

    Overall, tubeless is generally a PITA unless you use tubeless-specific stuff. If you do use tubeless-specific stuff it's generally no a problem at all.

  13. #13
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    I just got two Kenda 700x35c Happy Medium KSCTs mounted onto a set of Iron Cross wheels last night without much fuss with a high vol floor pump. Tires weighed in at 435g and 440g. Will be testing tomorrow on gravel. Overall pretty happy with them.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

  14. #14
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    Got a 50 mile gravel and pavement ride in yesterday.

    I'm getting the impression that the Happy Mediums feel more draggy than I expected. Idk if its soft compound, side knobs dragging, tubeless psi of 40-45, or file just not as fast rolling as I thought it would be. Maybe I'm wrong, I'm new to CX world...

    On the plus side i thought they were controlled, stable, and comfy at speed.

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  15. #15
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    Lots of great info, thanks for the thoughts and experiences. Now to make a decision...

  16. #16
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    I want to throw the Specialized Trigger 38 in the mix, excellent tires for gravel. We rode 500 km gravel over a long weekend and they kept the air and rolled well on mixed surfaces. Even though it was wet I never lacked grip.

  17. #17
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    Thought this was interesting:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/janhein...ass-tires/amp/

    (His comments on tire selection )



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  18. #18
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    lundatok, is it tubeless? is the 2Bliss Ready design Spesh tubeless designation?

  19. #19
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    Yes.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    Thought this was interesting:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/janhein...ass-tires/amp/

    (His comments on tire selection )
    Hey I know that guy Matt! Rode with him at an event in VT last summer, excellent guy. Really had no idea he was such a bada**. Thanks for that link. Good info.

  21. #21
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    Well I scored a Kenda Flintridge that I'm going to try in the rear for something faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    Hey I know that guy Matt! Rode with him at an event in VT last summer, excellent guy. Really had no idea he was such a bada**. Thanks for that link. Good info.
    Awesome!

  22. #22
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    I think I have narrowed my final choices to 3, in this particular order:

    1. Teravail Cannonball
    2. WTB Riddler
    3. Clement Xplor MSO

    Found the Teravail by just some searches, looks interesting.

  23. #23
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    Riddler

    Quote Originally Posted by thalo View Post
    I think I have narrowed my final choices to 3, in this particular order:

    1. Teravail Cannonball
    2. WTB Riddler
    3. Clement Xplor MSO

    Found the Teravail by just some searches, looks interesting.
    I'm going to race the Riddler this coming weekend so I'll be sure to post back on my take on it. I've yet to ride the tire and have always had success with the Nano but the Riddler seems like it ought to be faster for a grinder so why not give it a shot? Stay tuned!

  24. #24
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    I had been running the Happy Medium. It was a very fast tire with good knobbies on the side. Unfortunately it is a challenge to set up tubeless although I've have had some succes doing it. You really have to work with them. Not recommended.

    I recently bought some Riddlers because they were very close to the Happy mediums. Mine are the 45's. They set up excellant tubeless. Roll fast and have neice side knobbies which is what I need for the riding I do. Mine are really plump on the Arch MK rims. I'm predicting running 35 lbs or less for the gravel rides in Western N.C.








    Last edited by Enoch562; 02-27-2017 at 03:28 PM.

  25. #25
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    I'm a big fan of the Clement MSO 36s. I plan to run those tubeless for all gravel races this year. I ran them last year but the clincher version.

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