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shiggy

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Reply with quote  #1 
GT just posted his first impressions, so let's get it rolling.

I have a set of the 40s. Ran them first with tubes, then mounted tubeless on Bontrager Race Lite TLR rims.
I always first mount tubeless tires with just soapy water, no sealant. The GK SK was able to hold pressure well overnight. Did a 45mile gravel/paved ride without sealant, starting with ~40psi.

These tires are remarkably smooth and free rolling on pavement, smooth and chip seal. I was skeptical of the edge tread though it exhibits little squirm in the corners on hard surfaces (a peeve I have with most "gravel"/'cross tires).
Stable on dirt and loose gravel. Decent climbing grip.
I did need to pump up both tires about 6 miles from the end of the ride. Likely due to flex opening up the casing. Added sealant (TruckerCo) and no issues since.
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namdoogttam

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Reply with quote  #2 
This is encouraging news. 

It seems there is a limited number of options for wide tubeless gravel tires out there. This one is a bit more affordable than the WTB Nano TCS, the Schwalbe G-One, and the Maxxis Rambler.

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cjdaking

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Reply with quote  #3 
Where did you buy them? I haven't been able to track anyone down who carries them yet.

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shiggy

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjdaking
Where did you buy them? I haven't been able to track anyone down who carries them yet.


Universal cycles has them in stock
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shiggy

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Mickstar
Does anyone know when the skinwall (gumwall) version of the Gravel King SK 700x40 will be available?

AFAIK no skinwall or gumwall (NOT the same thing at all!) GKs are planned
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shoaf

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Reply with quote  #6 
I got in a decent gravel ride on these GKSK 40s this weekend, plus I've ridden some regular mostly-"paved" (rough & busted chip-seal) loops near my house, and commuted to work on them this morning. So far, I'm liking these quite a bit better than the Happy Mediums (40C) they replaced. (And WAY better than the SB8s that came on this bike!)

On pavement, and finer gravel, these things are really fast. It feels like I can coast forever on flat ground. On chunky gravel, they smooth things out pretty well. 

I hit a little sticky mud on Saturday's ride. The Texas black clay rolled right up on these things and jammed into the stays and fork crown, as I'd expect. But I can't imagine a tire that would work in the mud we have here in the Dallas area. This stuff is just mean. However, it seemed like the GKSKs slough off the mud faster than any tire I've used on this bike or my MTB.

On technical, steep climbs, it didn't take too much mashing to get the rear tire to spin a little. Nothing that prevented me from cleaning any hills, but if your rides have a lot of loose gravel over hard surface on punchy, steep climbs, you might want to find something with a little more grab.

The GKSKs definitely like lower pressures than other tires I've had on this bike. For chunky gravel, it feels like 28-29psi F and 32-33psi R is pretty much the sweet spot. Bump those up about 3-4psi each for a mostly pavement ride or hard-surface/fine gravel. (I'm 168lbs + gear.) I can't really perceive any advantages going below these numbers for gravel or above for pave.

I have them mounted tubeless on an Arch EX front, Iron Cross rear on an All-City Macho Man Disc. These are as wide as I'd dare to put on this bike. The rear tire is really close to the chain stays. At 35 psi, it measures out over 45mm! 

The profile is round... but almost parabolic. It was more so when first mounted, but after a day or so, the parabola is a little less-pronounced. 

We'll see how long they last... but so far, I think these things fit my riding style really well. I'd probably wish for something a version just a tad narrower (but wider than the 35s they offer), but these 40s work so far.

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chilejeep

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Reply with quote  #7 
Pretty tight fit in the back of the Warbird.

Attached Images
jpeg image.jpeg (1.64 MB, 100 views)

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ilike29er

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoaf
I got in a decent gravel ride on these GKSK 40s this weekend, plus I've ridden some regular mostly-"paved" (rough & busted chip-seal) loops near my house, and commuted to work on them this morning. So far, I'm liking these quite a bit better than the Happy Mediums (40C) they replaced. (And WAY better than the SB8s that came on this bike!)

On pavement, and finer gravel, these things are really fast. It feels like I can coast forever on flat ground. On chunky gravel, they smooth things out pretty well. 

I hit a little sticky mud on Saturday's ride. The Texas black clay rolled right up on these things and jammed into the stays and fork crown, as I'd expect. But I can't imagine a tire that would work in the mud we have here in the Dallas area. This stuff is just mean. However, it seemed like the GKSKs slough off the mud faster than any tire I've used on this bike or my MTB.

On technical, steep climbs, it didn't take too much mashing to get the rear tire to spin a little. Nothing that prevented me from cleaning any hills, but if your rides have a lot of loose gravel over hard surface on punchy, steep climbs, you might want to find something with a little more grab.

The GKSKs definitely like lower pressures than other tires I've had on this bike. For chunky gravel, it feels like 28-29psi F and 32-33psi R is pretty much the sweet spot. Bump those up about 3-4psi each for a mostly pavement ride or hard-surface/fine gravel. (I'm 168lbs + gear.) I can't really perceive any advantages going below these numbers for gravel or above for pave.

I have them mounted tubeless on an Arch EX front, Iron Cross rear on an All-City Macho Man Disc. These are as wide as I'd dare to put on this bike. The rear tire is really close to the chain stays. At 35 psi, it measures out over 45mm! 

The profile is round... but almost parabolic. It was more so when first mounted, but after a day or so, the parabola is a little less-pronounced. 

We'll see how long they last... but so far, I think these things fit my riding style really well. I'd probably wish for something a version just a tad narrower (but wider than the 35s they offer), but these 40s work so far.



I also have a Macho Man Disc.  Could you post a picture of your bike with the tires? Also, was there a reason why you went with an Arch up front and Iron Cross in the rear?
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shoaf

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Reply with quote  #9 
@ilike29er regarding the Arch rim... the short version is that I bought it used. It has a White Ind. hub, which is what I have on my MTB (and now on both ends of of this bike, too). It came up for sale on a day when I needed a new front wheel and I had the cash to do it. I may put another rim on it someday, but it works for now.

Here are some images to show the clearance of the GKSKs on my MMD. Let me know if you need to see another angle or something. And please pardon the dirt. I haven't cleaned it up after the Red River Riot.

DSC_0008.jpg

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ilike29er

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoaf
@ilike29er regarding the Arch rim... the short version is that I bought it used. It has a White Ind. hub, which is what I have on my MTB (and now on both ends of of this bike, too). It came up for sale on a day when I needed a new front wheel and I had the cash to do it. I may put another rim on it someday, but it works for now.

Here are some images to show the clearance of the GKSKs on my MMD. Let me know if you need to see another angle or something. And please pardon the dirt. I haven't cleaned it up after the Red River Riot.

DSC_0008.jpg



Thanks for the pics!!  Would you mind taking a couple that show the chainstay/bottom bracket area?  

I'm currently running the Surly Knards 700x41 tires on mine and rolling resistance feels fine to me.  I'm debating if I should move to the Panaracer GravelKings for my next set of tires, but am a little concerned about loosing some of tread bite.  


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shoaf

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Reply with quote  #11 
The pic that shows up the biggest in my post with the small ruler and the brake/shifter cables showing is the chainstays as viewed from underneath. It's showing ~1/8" from the inside of the CS to the tire casing. I'll see if I can get a photo from another angle for you. There was 32-33psi in that rear tire when I took those photos.

As for the traction, it definitely can slip when mashing up a stout grade. There were a couple of climbs on the Red River Riot the other day that I broke traction on several times for each hill. Looking back at the event photos, for some reason I was in the drops on one of those climbs, so I could've probably gotten a little better rear wheel traction if I'd been on the hoods.

I did notice the GKSKs definitely have better cornering traction than the Happy Mediums and SB8s I've previously had. I haven't pushed them to the limits on this yet, but I'm pretty timid on cornering on loose stuff anyway.
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mack_turtle

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Reply with quote  #12 
Should I be worried about how these tires will fit on a rim with an inner width of about 18mm on my Soma Double Cross Disc? I know they won't fit with fenders, but I want to know they will fit at all.
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namdoogttam

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Reply with quote  #13 
FYI / thought I'd post-up:

I just mounted & test rode these on my ol' Redline Conquest.

  • Rear wheel: ZTR Iron Cross
  • GK_IC.JPG 
The set-up/seal was super easy. Super. 


  • Front wheel: cheap-o Mavic CrossOne:
GK_CO.JPG 
This is a really cheap wheel and I don't even think it's meant to be tubeless. The beads started out so loose in the center channel that it was a bit difficult to get them pulled out toward the edges. But with some fast pumping they sealed off and have been tight ever since (no loss of pressure over night or on my morning commute to work). 




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Rich S

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Reply with quote  #14 
I just mounted a set of SK 40s to my Macho Man. It's a tight squeeze but it works. They're mounted on HED Belgium+ wheels with tubes. Tomorrow I'm taking them to the bike shop to pop my tubeless cherry. I can't wait to see what these feel like after the conversion. 

IMG_3549.JPG 

IMG_3555.JPG 

IMG_3557.JPG 


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anthonylane

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Reply with quote  #15 
Nice to see this thread. I just picked up a set in 35c for a gravel event in October, I'm itching to throw them on now and ride them. Thoughts as to what kind of tread-life these have?

Also, I plan on experimenting with pressure, but I'm curious if anyone has found a sweet spot for the 35s (I'm 190lb + 29 for bike)
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32x20

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Reply with quote  #16 
I've got 35c SKs set up tubeless.  At 350-400 miles I still have the rubber 'nubs' on the tires, but otherwise can't speak to longevity.

I'm 180+~20 for the bike and my sweet spot is 40f, 45r.  I'm going to try to work a little lower, but that feels pretty quick without adding harshness.  I've run them all the way up to 60, but that's way too harsh.  Note that on my narrow-ish rims (Alpha 340s) these are measuring 36-37mm.

On my first gravel ride I cut the rear and the sealant wouldn't fix it.  I've patched it and it's been holding since.  It was probably just bad luck, as I've never flatted on tubeless before.  The tire is pretty quick on pavement and it's done well on gravel and even singletrack. 

One odd thing I've noticed is that we have a couple bridges that have grooved concrete and this tire 'hunts' and sings on that stuff.  It feels a lot like a motocross knobby on deeply grooved pavement.
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anthonylane

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 32x20
I've got 35c SKs set up tubeless.  At 350-400 miles I still have the rubber 'nubs' on the tires, but otherwise can't speak to longevity.

I'm 180+~20 for the bike and my sweet spot is 40f, 45r.  I'm going to try to work a little lower, but that feels pretty quick without adding harshness.  I've run them all the way up to 60, but that's way too harsh.  Note that on my narrow-ish rims (Alpha 340s) these are measuring 36-37mm.

On my first gravel ride I cut the rear and the sealant wouldn't fix it.  I've patched it and it's been holding since.  It was probably just bad luck, as I've never flatted on tubeless before.  The tire is pretty quick on pavement and it's done well on gravel and even singletrack. 

One odd thing I've noticed is that we have a couple bridges that have grooved concrete and this tire 'hunts' and sings on that stuff.  It feels a lot like a motocross knobby on deeply grooved pavement.


Thanks for the info. My experience has been about the same. A little more wear than I would've hoped for after 300 miles, nothing crazy, but you can tell the rear tire has worn faster (standard). 

I don't think these will hold up to daily commuting on pavement though—not a good tire for that. Figured. They are really quick though and absorb a lot of the harshness of MN pavement. Even jacked up to 60 psi—which is the highest I have run them. 

I haven't put a caliper on them yet so I cannot speak to true width, but they look comparable to my other 35c tires, save for a mm or two each way. 

I have had the same experience as you on channeled or grooved roads, there is noticeable pull—but it's not exaggerated.

I plan on running around 45 in the rear, 40 up front for my gravel event in a couple of weeks. Should be happy medium on loose and hard pack. 
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32x20

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Reply with quote  #18 
I'm over 500 miles now.  Wear seems pretty good so far, but the majority of my miles are dirt/gravel which may help.  They have surprising cornering grip on singletrack for such minimalistic tread, otherwise all observations hold.

I've settled on 40/45 for dirty riding, 45/50 for paved rides.  Any lower than 45 in the rear and it feels 'wiggly' in corners to me.  I could probably drop the front a few psi and be ok, but don't really see a reason to.
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piggybladder

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Reply with quote  #19 
That's interesting. I'd have thought the bigger tyre set would have been more suited to 'dirty riding' and the smaller set for road. Anywho interested to know what 50 you're using in the 45/50 set up?
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namdoogttam

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Reply with quote  #20 
I've been running 40mm GKs tubeless for about 5 months now. Initially most of my miles were gravel (spring race) but the last 4 months have been nearly all commuting miles on pavement. They don't seem to be wearing any faster than other tires I've run. 

I really liked these on the gravel, but was also pretty surprised at how much I liked them for commuting. The elongated tread 'bars' that were placed along the edges of the tread make it very comfortable to rail a sharp/fast turn on pavement. 

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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #21 
Hi everyone- I ordered a pair of 35's on Amazon, for my new Ritchie Swiss Cross Canti which I'm building up and hope to complete next week. I'm very encouraged by your reviews and comments. Should be a perfect tire for the maintained dirt and gravel roads I usually ride on. I'm mounting them tubeless on a pair of HED Ardennes LT's which I snitched from my road bike. Thanks for all of the info. Love this forum!
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jwiner

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Reply with quote  #22 
Any update on tan sidewall availability? Bikerumor announced them in tan back in March. http://www.bikerumor.com/2016/03/18/tpe16-skinwalls-are-back-vee-tire-co-and-panaracer-add-more-to-the-mix/
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shiggy

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwiner
Any update on tan sidewall availability? Bikerumor announced them in tan back in March. http://www.bikerumor.com/2016/03/18/tpe16-skinwalls-are-back-vee-tire-co-and-panaracer-add-more-to-the-mix/


My source at Panaracer has said nothing about this being in the works.
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jwiner

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Reply with quote  #24 
FYI: I emailed Panaracer and they said Skinwall is coming in November! Sweet!

Thoughts on running 35 mm in the rear, 40 mm in the front? I started a separate thread on this idea, but... discuss. [smile]
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #25 
Any further thoughts on mileage? I have these on my short list of tires to ride pavement with the ability to perform on gravel. But I'd like a tire that will last me 1000+ miles with a 65/45 mix of pavement/gravel.
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