No other item gets prospective adventure riders in such a lather. And quite right too because rain or shine, your tyres are out there on the front line, rolling over whatever surface while supporting 250-500kg and responding to your inputs to speed up, slow down or turn. We ask a lot of our tyres because the consequence of them not performing when it comes to traction, longevity and durability can be serious, and yet choices can often be governed by price and looks – and once on the road, by whatever fits… [excerpt from AMH7].
The tyres below include what you’ll often get with a new bike. They may have a sexy names shared with genuine off-road tyres from the same brand as well as a token wide and shallow blocky pattern. But on gravel roads, let alone in sand or mud they’ll be no better than an actual road tyre. Some self-designate themselves as 60/40 road/off road. I’d say they’re more like 90/10 at best– in other words just like any regular road tyre.
The better-known brands in radial are ideally suited to heavy or powerful bikes sticking to the road (in both senses); they’ll last long, run cool and quiet and grip securely in all conditions. Just don’t be under any illusions that they possess any special attributes off the bitumen just because they have the word ‘trail’ in their names.