Ready to leave the pavement for roads less traveled? Maybe you're ready planning to mix up gravel with a bit of singletrack. Either way, gravel bikes are a great way to expand your cycling horizons. The genre of gravel cycling covers a wide range of terrain, from hardpacked dirt roads that can be almost as smooth as tarmac, to the jagged flint-lined roads of the Midwest, and even trails frequently ridden on mountain bikes. This wide range of riding possibilities makes choosing the right gravel tire critical.

Related: The Best Bikepacking Gear

We've rounded up some of our favorite gravel tires and organized them in order from fast-rolling tires best suited to a mix of pavement and smooth gravel to knobby gravel tires designed to help you explore rocky roads and singletrack.

Vittoria Terreno Zero
478393

This is a great gateway tire for riders who spend equal amounts of time on pavement and smooth gravel. The Terreno Zero features a center strip borrowed from Vittoria's Corsa line of road tires that allows this tire to roll nearly as quickly on the pavement as a traditional road tire with very little noise. The scale-like edge knobs borrowed from the brand's Terreno Dry gravel tire give the Terreno Zero additional cornering and braking grip on hardpacked gravel. Some gravel racers run this as a speedy rear tire with a knobbier front tire such as the Terreno Dry.

Price: $53.99
GET DEAL


Teravail Washburn
478394

The Washburn 700c is Teravail’s fastest rolling gravel tire with a smooth center tread that provides great rolling efficiency on pavement and packed dirt, while the large shoulder lugs take over in the turns, digging in confidently in loose corners. While the Washburn is built for race-day efforts on hard-packed gravel and backroads, it is practical enough for your daily commute and rides around town. This is my go-to tire for the gravel/road riding I do which is about 70% gravel, 30% pavement.

Price: $55
GET DEAL


Schwalbe G-One AllAround
1613082796846.png

With just the right amount of tread to keep you moving along efficiently without slowing you down, this tire pairs the comfort of tubeless capabilities with additional flat protection to safely weather all manner of gravel, jeep roads, and smooth singletrack. A wider stance allows you to run even lower tire pressure while an increased contact patch provides more confident grip in corners and an overall smoother ride than narrower tires. Schwalbe's MicroSkin construction adds durability to the G-One, helping the tire resist punctures from random on the route debris so you can arrive at your destination flat-free.

Price: $48
GET DEAL


Specialized Sawtooth
478397

The Sawtooth is an amazing adventure tire and was developed to handle any road surface and while tough enough to withstand the rigors of loaded exploration. The tread offers sharp angles and edges that hook onto any soil, while the Endurant casing reinforces the sidewall for added protection and high carrying loads. GRIPTON rubber compound offers reliable grip and control no matter the conditions, and the center tread is reinforced for high mileage.

Price: $50
GET DEAL


Vittoria Terreno Dry
478398

The Terreno Dry bridges the gap between an aggressive file tread and a super low-profile knob design. A unique angled “fish scale” design allows for an extremely fast-rolling center tread that still offers great traction when the tread is loaded in cornering and braking. While a transitional height mid and side tread offers a consistent feel as the tire is leaned over in corners. From gravel grinding to medium conditions cross racing, the Terreno Dry offers consistent performance for dry conditions.

Price: $54
GET DEAL


Panaracer GravelKing SK
478399

Designed with a grippy tread and reinforced with Anti-Flat Casing, the Panaracer GravelKing SK is a great choice for adventures down bumpy gravel roads where flats and punctures are common. ZSG Natural Compound balances low rolling resistance with tread longevity, giving you great efficiency and durability along mixed gravel and asphalt surfaces.

Price: $50
GET DEAL


Maxxis Rambler
478400

Designed from the ground up by the team at Maxxis for performance on gravel roads, the Rambler is a supple 120 TPI casing is backed with EXO protection to thwart abrasions and cuts to the sidewalls while low-profile knobs grip on loose surfaces and still allowing for fast rolling. Dual-compound rubber increases speed and traction while keeping the tire tough and long-wearing.

Price: $60
GET DEAL


Pirelli Cinturato Hard Terrain
478401

Tightly packed knobs along the center of the tire create a broader surface area for improved contact, and bigger shoulder knobs provide improved off-road capability when a gravel road transforms into a boulder-strewn track. Pirelli maintained a lively profile while also reinforcing the casing construction with a woven-fabric bead-to-bead layer, essentially beefing up the sidewalls to keep you rolling confidently over rocky terrain. Capable of handling bigger loads and impacts with added volume and pair well with wider rims to provide additional comfort and support. The tubeless-ready design lets you run the tires at even lower pressures without the added risk of pinch flats, and are easy to seat when you decide to make the transition.

Price: $70
GET DEAL


WTB Raddler TCS
478402

The Raddler is the radder version of the famed Riddler tread pattern and combines the expeditious efficiency of a short-knob centerline with get-rad traction of chunky outer knobs. As a versatile semi-slick, the Raddler offers surprising confidence without giving up efficiency. Raddler is a great choice for loose terrain where traction takes priority, but it Lean it over, take the inside line, brake late and stay pinned with the Raddler.

Price: $70
GET DEAL


Teravail Rutland
478403

Large tightly spaced center lugs offer up exceptional grip, while ramping on the front side of the knobs keeps rolling resistance at a minimum. Well-spaced transition lugs help shed mud when things get sloppy while additional siping allows lugs to conform to terrain for greater traction at slower speeds. Staggered, beefy side lugs elevate control when the bike is leaned over in turns at speed. Available in two casing options -- the Durable Bead-to-Bead, and Light-and-Supple, aptly named for their riding characteristics.

Price: $60
GET DEAL


WTB Sendero
478404

As the most aggressive road plus tire we've seen to date and WTB is quick to point out that this tire was designed solely with dirt in mind, so, if you find yourself on chunky gravel and singletrack more often than not, you'll appreciate its high volume casing and the traction and comfort it provides. Sendero’s ramped center knobs help minimize rolling resistance, and as you reach the tire's outer edges, the knobs become substantially spaced for improved cornering in loose terrain. A rounded profile offers a predictable feel as you lean the bike over and its siping on each knob allows for a bit of flexibility so it can better conform to the surface. As a dual-compound rubber tread, it is both a fast-rolling tire that doesn't sacrifice cornering traction.

Price: $69.95
GET DEAL

What to Look for in Gravel Tires

478405

Seeking out the best rubber for your specific needs can be a challenge in a vast market of gravel tires, but once you’ve defined your preferred rides and what type of terrain you frequent, choosing a tire can be simplified.
478406

If you spend a lot of time on the pavement with a few short jaunts onto gravel roads, you’ll want to look towards a semi-slick style tire that features a smooth center with a bit of side knob to help cornering on loose surfaces, tires like the Vittoria Terrreno Dry or Travail Washburn.
478407

If the majority of your riding takes place on more natural surfaces like dirt, gravel, or mixed surfaces, you’ll benefit greatly from a knobbier tire like the Teravail Rutland or the WTB Sendero. No matter what your preferred mix of pavement and gravel, tire width is an important thing to consider when buying new gravel tires.

Gravel Tire Width
478408

Gravel tires are available in a range of widths from 28mm up to 50mm. I’ve found the sweet spot to be between 35-40mm, as they offer a good amount of volume without being so large that they add significant rolling resistance on the pavement. Most of the tire picks below are available within this range. You’ll want to make sure your bike has the clearance for whatever tire width you choose though as some frames allow up to certain widths. Wider tires will offer more volume and will allow for more variation in tire pressure, which is an added benefit on rocky roads or rough trails.

No matter what tires you choose, take the time to set them up tubeless. Due to the demands of riding narrow tires on rough terrain, tubes greatly limit your ability to dial tire pressure in for optimal performance. Without tubes, you won’t run the risk of pinch flats when you decide to drop your tire pressure to improve traction and compliance.

We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.