Where you live and how you like to ride plays an enormous role in answering the question: What’s the best gravel tire? If we had to pick one tire to ride anywhere in the world, it would be Schwalbe’s G-One Allround, a plush, fast-rolling, decently puncture-resistant tire with just the right amount of grip.
Schwable’s deep catalog of tires and tire technology can be a bit confusing. The G-One, for instance, features five models: MicroSkin TLE, SnakeSkin TLE, RaceGuard, DD RaceGuard, and Liteskin. MicroSkin is the fastest (with the lowest rolling resistance), the best protected, and thus, the most expensive at $80. That’s the one you want.
You’ve also got tread options: the basically full-slick Speed, then this micro-knobbed Allround, then the Bite, and the toothiest Ultra Bite. And of course, you have width options. After riding and racing both 35 and 38mm, we’d recommend the latter due to its comfort and grip.
Other tire makers have similar options, from file treads up to chunky knobs. The sweet spot, in our opinion, is a tire that puts you in the 40mm range when mounted on a modern gravel rim, and rolls fast, feels supple, and seldom flats. Sure, if you’re riding a bunch of muddy singletrack you’d want a toothier tire, but then, are you riding gravel then? We’ve raced muddy gravel races and would still go with the G-One.