You need a superbly crafted, versatile bicycle tire with the correct tread pattern to ride on gravel and pavement. Road bikes have a nearly smooth tread with little depth for holding on the road.
Alternatively, a gravel bike needs a grippy rubber with a pattern that is deep so the bike can pass over uneven rock. What is the best gravel tire for pavement?
The best gravel tire for pavement is the Vittoria Terreno Dry Bike Tire because of the versatile tread and extremely high quality. Vittoria’s exclusive G2.0 Isotech gives an outstandingly smooth ride and excellent durability. The functionalized graphene compound also helps you get grip on different sizes of gravel, pavement, and other surfaces like silt that you ride over.
To see all of my up-to-date recommendations for bikes and cycling gear, check out this resource that I made for you!
Top 2 Best Gravel Tires For Pavement
Finding a gravel tire that works on gravel is a no-brainer. Most of the available options do the job well enough to get you where you’re going on a gravel road safely, but a versatile gravel tire can do a lot more.
Getting a solid grip around small rocks is very different from holding onto the asphalt.
Paved surfaces tend to be smooth and solid, while gravel is a shifting, uneven surface made from thousands of tiny pieces.
As a result, you need a different tread pattern for gravel versus pavement, but a few innovative companies have created the perfect in-between tread pattern that gives you the best of both worlds.
You’ll see a smaller tread in the middle surrounded by a broader and deeper set of knobby protrusions on the sides as you get closer to the sidewalls.
After a lot of research, plus trial and error, I’ve narrowed it down to the two best overall gravel tires for pavement.
1 – Vittoria Terreno Dry Bike Tires
The Vittoria Terreno Dry Bike Tires from Amazon is the best of both worlds. You get Vittoria’s unique fish-scale pattern which provides outstanding speed and traction over various surfaces.
Meanwhile, the tubeless, 120 TPI Nylon casing is durable and resistant to damage. These tires are made to mimic both file treads and all-purpose tires so the rider can move seamlessly between surfaces.
For bump compliance and lower air pressure use, you will love Vittoria’s TNT casing.
Plus, these tires come with reinforced sidewalls, so you don’t need to worry about punctures. Try a pair on your gravel-to-pavement bike by clicking here.
- Speed and Versatility. Vittoria Terreno Dry tire bridges the gap between file treads, and traditional all-conditions treads. The key to this is the unique angled “fish scale” design.
- The "fish scale design" allows the center tread to roll extremely fast, yet offer traction when loaded in cornering and braking. The "fish scales" stand up and provide a tremendous bite in dry terrain.
- Add the transitional height mid and side tread, and the Terreno Dry transitions as smoothly as it rolls. From gravel grinding to medium conditions cross racing, the Terreno Dry offers consistent performance.
- The final product is a cyclocross tire with a tread that performs unlike any other. With the the versatility of the scale design, the Terreno Dry provides performance, in a range of dry terrain.
- Vittoria is the official tire of USA Cycling. Tire choice of professional riders in the peloton. Winner of Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Classics, World Championships, European Championships and Olympic Games.
2 – Venture Road TCS Tires
The centerline tread on Venture Road TCS tires from Amazon is meant to easily move from loose gravel to smooth asphalt.
A high-volume footprint means you get a superb grip anywhere. Moreover, this ingenious 700C x 30 tire easily fits most gravel bike wheels, so you don’t need to be concerned about the shoulder knobs and sidewalls.
You will appreciate these lightweight, tubeless tires that don’t weigh you down so you can keep up the pace whether you’re going around the block or endurance riding all day.
A high-volume casing helps to make every ride smoother and more comfortable. Additionally, the vertical channels with a rounded profile facilitate tight cornering.
Have Venture Roads shipped to your door by clicking here.
- WTB's most versatile Road Plus tire for varied terrain and conditions
- Tightly-spaced centerline tread rides smooth and efficiently on pavement and hard pack surfaces
- Rows of outer knobs provide steadfast cornering traction on loose gravel or dirt
- Same overall diameter as a 700c x 30 tire. Fits most gravel frames
- For optimal performance, mount on rims with an internal width of 23-25mm
Fastest Gravel Tire On Pavement
From pavement to gravel, the grip is vital no matter where you ride. However, there is more to it than merely finding a ‘good’ gravel tire that can do a serviceable job when you need pure speed.
Most notably, it would help if you had a thinner, more lightweight tire to move faster.
While a wide tire is excellent for some types of cycling, less is more, especially over any real distance, because a narrow tire can help you keep up the pace.
Less bulk means less fatigue for the rider, which will help you reach your destination quickly. I have only one recommendation for the best and fastest gravel tire on pavement.
1 – Kenda Alluvium Pro GCT
When you need to take your gravel tires over the pavement at high speeds, get a set of Kenda Alluvium Pro GCT tires from Amazon.
GCT stands for Gravel Casing Technology which is fifty percent lighter than traditional trail puncture breakers with exceptional protection.
Meanwhile, the Alluvium Pro series are built to move faster no matter where you ride.
The Reflective Hot Patches or RHPs on the sides help with nighttime visibility. Best of all, Kenda Alluvium Pro GCT tires come with a one-year limited warranty that protects against any flaws in workmanship or materials, so you can rest easy knowing your tires are protected.
Learn more about these fantastic tires by clicking here.
- GRAVEL CASING TECHNOLOGY: Built with versatile GCT casing for great all-round puncture and slash protection. Kenda tires featuring this GCT casing are optimized for tubeless use and easy set up.
- RACING TIRE TECHNOLOGY: With significantly lower rolling resistance and increased wet weather traction, R3C is the fastest Kenda rubber compound. Used exclusively for high-end racing tires.
- ATTACK PAVEMENT & GRAVEL: Tread design offers both speed and grip. Optimized for speed with low profile knobs to aid in reducing rolling resistance. Grip adapts to both hard pavement and gravel trails.
- PUNCTURE PROTECTION: GCT casing wraps the tire from bead to bead with a secondary casing layer acting as a shield against punctures and sidewall slashes.
- BE VISIBLE: Reflective sidewall provides visibility at night and in unexpected low visibilty conditions.
Complete Buyers Guide For The Best Gravel Tires For Pavement
Whether this is your first pair of gravel tires for pavement or you’re an experienced cyclocross rider, you still want the best.
There’s a lot to consider when looking for versatile new multisurface tires, and it can feel a little overwhelming.
Luckily I’ve put together this simple, straightforward complete buyers guide so you will know exactly what to look for before you even consider a set of tires. Feel free to bookmark this page for easy reference.
1 – Width
Width affects your bike in a couple of different ways. A wider tire will have more mass and, therefore, more weight.
This won’t matter much on short trips but begins to weigh significantly, causing fatigue when you pedal for longer.
However, the most important thing to remember about tire width is that whatever it is, you should be comfortable riding on it.
As Rei explains, “Most road bikes have a 700mm outer diameter, with widths starting at 23mm. Most road tire widths are less than 30mm, but you can also find tires as wide as 45mm on bikes intended for gravel roads.”
2 – Tread Pattern
You can spot a gravel-to-pavement tread pattern easily. A road bike has a very smooth, shallow design, and off-road bikes tend to have wider set deep treads to accommodate rocks, gravel, and sometimes even mud.
Notably, a gravel tire for pavement looks like it belongs right in between these styles. The center of the tread will be shallower and smaller but not smooth, while the edges will have deeper, wide-set rubber nodules.
The smoother or ‘slicker’ center section is known as a file tread pattern. The benefit is that it helps minimize the rolling resistance.
Meanwhile, those outer bumps are going to give you more grip when you corner and help prevent slipping or sidewall damage.
3 – Damage Resistance
Before you ever consider buying any gravel to pavement tire, look for information on the damage resistance.
Most high-quality companies put that right out front because they are proud of how reliable their tires are as you move from one surface to the next.
Plus, you can check reviews to verify that they last as advertised.
The side knobs on the gravel to pavement-style bike tires are part of your damage control.
Having those larger nodes of rubber there catches the bike’s weight and keeps it where it should be, thus preventing you from riding on the sides of your tires where they’re thinner and more damage prone.
4 – Overall Durability
Tires will need replacing eventually, but that doesn’t mean you should be swapping them out with every ride. Prodify Cycling reminds us that, “A general rule is to change your tires every 2,000 – 3,000 miles.” Unless you are an extreme endurance rider, you won’t need new tires for months.
5 – Sidewalls
You need the right fit on the rim and tread style for secure gravel to pavement tires. First, check the shoulder knobs and the fit of your tire on your wheel.
When looking at the sidewalls, ask if the shoulder knobs stick out far enough. If they don’t reach further than the sidewall itself, then you could be in for a dangerous ride with a high chance of sidewall damage.
Second, wide rims only work for suitably wide tires. If your tire is too narrow to fit correctly on your rim, it will also expose that sidewall to unusual damage.
No one wants to puncture the thinner material on the sides of their tire as they ride, so make sure your sidewalls aren’t at risk.
6 – Go Tubeless
Are you riding on tires with tubes? There’s nothing overwhelmingly wrong with that, but this is a good time to upgrade.
Typical gravel to pavement tires are tubeless. This helps prevent flats and keeps the tire from separating from the rim as easily if you get a flat.
You can also run with lower air pressure if you’re riding on this style of tire.
The advantage of lower pressure is that it offers a better grip on any surface, and it’s often more comfortable because the tire conforms to the terrain.
7 – Warranties
No tire is perfect, and even the best manufacturers in the world can send out a dud by accident.
To treat riders right, high-quality companies offer warranties, sometimes called ‘limited’ or ‘manufacturing’ warranties, covering any material failures related to how the tire is made or what it’s constructed out of.
Always look for and expect these basic warranties when you buy decent products.
8 – Handles Well When Braking
The final thing to check on your gravel to pavement tire isn’t something you can see. You will either have to test for yourself or at least read the reviews to discover if the tires you’re looking at handle well when braking.
If the ratio of large and small treads or the depths is too far from ideal, you will skid or slide more, which can be dangerous.
Some of the handling has to do with the bike, rider skill, and road conditions too, but good tires help a lot.