Tyre recommendations

What have people used and liked in 26" tyres for touring?
Think seal & unsealed roads and maybe fire trails. No single track/creek beds or the like.

I’ve got Maxxis Overdrive because cheap but not very nice.

Small block 8?

People are raving about this

lulz, do I have to shave the knobs off myself?

Compass keeps popping up, and Schwalbe Mondial DD.

Kojaks 2.0 if you can find them.

Resist Nomads. Schwalbe Marathon Supremes. Geax Saguaros were alright, but better on mostly dirt and wear pretty quickly. Nice to ride though.

Resist Nomads - forgot about these, thx WCP
Kojak - yep thx Gordy

Marathon Dureme?

I’ve got some Big Apples but quite slick & don’t think they’d be so good on gravel roads.
Also have Geax Evolution 26x1.9 (new tread pattern) on the wife’s MTB so might try them on the LHT.

Maybe bit slow on sealed roads. Not sure about compound, bit soft?

If you’re thinking of something like SB8s, I’d get Saguaros, or maybe WTB Nanos. Only cos that’s what I know. But I know they’re light and nice to ride on the dirt and pretty good on pavement. I reckon slickish on gravel roads are often actually great though.

I have Duremes on my SS MTB commuter in 622 x 50mm. I run them at 60psi and they make good use of the centre knob for keeping speed. At lower psi they become draggy. There’s also a fair bit of weight in them, >650gm per tire. There’s a bit of cush due to the big bag at 50mm, but if your after something more plush, these won’t cut the mustard.

I use them because they offer great protection from glass and other road debris. Haven’t had a flat in ~ 5,000kms and the rear has only just worn through the daggy taggy bits hanging on all new the tires.

I have Nanos in 29" for the El Mar but not run them. Should try while it’s still dry.

Maybe the Big Apples would be ok, just run lower PSI when getting to gravel.

I remember some Vittoria slicks I had being very sketchy on loose/sandy dirt roads in hills.
That was on a rigid MTB with flatbars.

And that’s it really, plush versus grip versus rolling speed.
Should have bought a LHT disc then could have run Hetres 650x42 I guess.

I find Big Apples to be pretty great on gravel, even on the odd sandy section. Fat + low pressure just works. By all accounts the Big Ben is even better for more off-tarmac stuff - slightly deeper tread.

The new Schwalbe Almotion looks interesting. Looks like a tubeless Big Apple / Big Ben mix. Schwalbe is marketing it as the “fastest Marathon” - but that isn’t much of a benchmark. The Big Apple is already fast. Also not sure about the extra additional puncture protection layers. But, tubeless.

Big Ben does look good, and available in 650B too :wink:

Big Apple / Big Ben. Or Sammy Slicks / Conti Race King ProTection 2.2 if you’re off-roading it on really rough fire roads / trails.

I really rate race kings for that kind of riding.

Just cause it didn’t get mentioned - These look like the best 26" tyre pending the release of the Compass tyre.

Schwalbe Super Moto 26 x 2.35, basically a ‘race tuned’ Big Apple. 150g lighter, no puncture belt, nicer casing, super wide. Expensive, but probably cheaper than the Compass tyres will be. Otherwise ditto above the Resist Noamds are good and the Big Apples are fine.


Just put a couple of pairs of Big Bens on our commuters.

26 x 2.15" on 20mm internal-ish rims measured at 50mm exactly.
28 x 2.0" on arch EX measure at 45mm.

Some rain here tonight, so looking forward to giving them a go tomorrow.

Maxxis DTH. I did my NZ trip on these earlier in the year which included both road and gravel. Were great and has zero punctures.

Last update for this thread was 2016. There are a lot more tyres options around now - particularly at wider / gravel end of market.

I’m looking to get a few more mms tyre width onto my gravel bikepacking bike - perhaps I can get up to 700 x 38mm. So what are current recommendations there?

Also what are views of pattern profile v width. It seems as you go wider, you don’t need the ribs and bumps as much for the gravel, which also gives you a better roll on sealed roads. The noisy buzz from bumpy tyres on sealed roads does annoy me - an audible reminder of how much energy isn’t being converted into forward motion.

So I am thinking of getting a dry weather 38mm tyre that is fairly smooth, or at least has a smooth centreline. If it is muddy I’ll have to go back to current narrower tyres with bumps because I probably won’t have frame clearance for muddy tyres.

Also is it crazy to have a wider tyre on the front than the back? I can get wider than 38mm on the front - I have this idea that it would help with steering over corrugations and rocks and the thinner rear tyre would just follow along. Is this nuts?