Best tires for Ultra – Gravel Bike Tech

These tires help you get the most out of your 3T Exploro ULTRA

Understand more about the theory behind measuring tires using WAM & RAM in “How big is my tire?”

Step 1: Are you running a front derailleur or 1x?

If you are running a2x setup, then in some cases, it’s not the frame that limits the tire size but the front derailleur. Below you can find the maximum WAM if you want to maintain 4mm of clearance between tire and front derailleur. Please note the below estimates come with some limitations:

  • Every tire has a distinct shape in cross section, meaning the WAM is not in the same place for each tire. That affects the tire clearance
  • The exact positioning of the limits and the height of your front derailleur can affect the clearance
  • These effects are small, but as we’re working with small clearances to begin with, it’s important to always check that your resulting setup is safe

 

FRONT DERAILLEURMAX WAM 700cMAX WAM 650b
SRAM AXS standard (45.0mm chainline, 46/33T, 48/35T, 50/37T chainrings) unless you used a hack to put 43/30T on a narrow crank43mm WAM47mm WAM
SRAM AXS Wide (47.5mm chainline, 43/30T chainrings (unless you used a hack and put bigger rings on wide crank arms)no limitations52mm WAM
Shimano GRX mechanicalno limitations53mm WAM
Shimano GRX Di243mm WAM57mm WAM

Step 2: Determine the width you need

To find the best tire, determine the approximate tire width you need. We’re talking the real width WAM of course, not the width on the tire label) you need where you ride.

If you’re not sure what you need, check out “What tire do I need?”. Don’t worry too much about the “perfect” width. Make a guess, get the tires and then you’ll learn if that was the right decision. If not, tires wear out and you’ll know to get bigger or smaller next time. In the meantime, just enjoy the riding regardless.

Step 3: What rim are you using?

Because WAM depends partially on the inner width of the rim, you might want to use a different tire on a different rim. This is not only important for tire fit but also for its performance. A very wide tire on a narrow rim is very flexible sideways, meaning that in corners your handling won’t feel as secure. So as you move from road tire widths (28-35mm) to real gravel widths (35+mm), you ultimately may also want a wider rim.

Step 4: Find the tire with your desired WAM and rim

As the WAM changes, so does the RAM. This is not so critical in most cases, but in the case of the Exploro Ultra (and RaceMax) it is. At the same time we’re optimizing the tire width for your grip & puncture resistance, we’re optimizing the gap between tire and seattube cutout for aerodynamics. We recommend the tires below based on:

  • WAM & RAM
  • Tire profile
  • Casing design
  • Rolling resistance (keeping in mind the profile)
  • Puncture resistance (keeping in mind profile & weight)
  • Aerodynamics (this one is tough as we can’t put every tire in the wind tunnel)

Please note that while WAM & RAM measurements are more accurate than the dimensions on the tire label, there are still variations:

  • While inner rim width is the biggest rim factor, the exact shape of the rim bed and depth of the flanges also affects the shape and size of the tire mounted.
  • Tires vary due to production conditions, so two tires from different batches may size differently. That means an individual tire’s RAM may be off by a few mm (much less for WAM), and that is a lot when you’re trying to create a proper fit between tire and seat tube.

So with WAM and RAM, we’ve gotten closer to a solution but we’re not 100% there yet.

Always check for sufficient clearance between the specific tire you use and your bike frame irrespective of WAM & RAM listed here. 

35-46mm low profile (oversized road)

 

RIM INNER WIDTHBRANDTIRE MODELETRTOWAMRAM
19mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing slick35-62237352
19mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing slick40-62239354
19mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Velo35-62234350
23mm inner widthVittoriaTerreno Zero Gravel40-62240355
23mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing slick35-62238352
23mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing slick40-62241355
23mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Velo35-62235352
23mm inner widthVittoriaTerreno Zero Gravel40-62242355
25mm inner widthWTBExposure36-62238351
25mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing slick35-62238352
25mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing slick40-62241354
25mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Velo35-62237350
23mm inner widthVittoriaTerreno Zero Gravel40-62243355
29mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Velo35-62239348
29mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing slick35-62240351
29mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing slick40-62242352
23mm inner widthVittoriaTerreno Zero Gravel40-62245355

 

35-46mm with profile

RIM INNER WIDTHBRANDTIRE MODELETRTOWAMRAM
23mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Gravel H (hard surface)35-62237350
23mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Gravel H (hard surface)40-62241355
23mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Gravel M (mixed surface)35-62237351
23mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Gravel M (mixed surface)40-62241356
23mm inner widthVittoriaTerreno Dry40-62242356
23mm inner widthVittoriaTerreno Wet40-62242357
23mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Allround35-62237351
23mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Allround40-62241355
23mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One R40-62242354
23mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One RS Evolution TLE Super Race40-62243354
23mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Bite Performance TLE40-62242354
23mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Bite Evolution TLE Super Ground40-62243355
23mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Ultra-Bite Performance TLE40-62243356
23mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Ultra-Bite Evolution TLE Super Gr.40-62244357
23mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing SK35-62238354
23mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing SK40-62240355
23mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing SK43-62243357
25mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Gravel H (hard surface)35-62237350
25mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Gravel H (hard surface)40-62242355
25mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Gravel M (mixed surface)35-62237351
25mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Gravel M (mixed surface)40-62242356
25mm inner widthVittoriaTerreno Dry40-62243356
25mm inner widthVittoriaTerreno Wet40-62243357
25mm inner widthWTBRiddler Fast light TCS37-62239352
25mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Allround35-62238351
25mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Speed TLE35-62237350
25mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Speed TLE40-62240354
25mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Allround40-62242355
25mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One R40-62242354
25mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One RS Evolution TLE Super Race40-62243355
25mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Bite Performance TLE40-62242355
25mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Bite Evolution TLE Super Ground40-62243356
23mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Ultra-Bite Performance TLE40-62243356
23mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Ultra-Bite Evolution TLE Super Gr.40-62244357
25mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing SK35-62238351
25mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing SK40-62241354
25mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing SK43-62244357
29mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Gravel H (hard surface)35-62240350
29mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Gravel H (hard surface)40-62244356
29mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Gravel M (mixed surface)35-62240351
29mm inner widthPirelliCinturato Gravel M (mixed surface)40-62244357
29mm inner widthVittoriaTerreno Dry40-62244356
29mm inner widthVittoriaTerreno Wet40-62244357
29mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Allround TLE35-62239348
29mm inner widthSchwalbe35-62240348
29mm inner widthSchwalbe40-62244352
29mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Speed TLE40-62242352
29mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Allround40-62244355
29mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One R40-62244353
29mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One RS Evolution TLE Super Race40-62245354
29mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Bite Performance TLE40-62244353
29mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Bite Evolution TLE Super Ground40-62245354
29mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Ultra-Bite Performance TLE40-62245356
29mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Ultra-Bite Evolution TLE Super Gr.40-62246357
29mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing SK35-62241350
29mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing SK40-62244354
29mm inner widthPanaracerGravelKing SK43-62246355

 

53-61mm with profile

RIM INNER WIDTHBRANDTIRE MODELLABELWAMRAM
23mm inner widthPanaracerGravel King SK27.5×2.1″56345
23mm inner widthVittoriaBarzo isotech 4c tnt27.5×2.1″53345
23mm inner widthVittoriaBarzo isotech 4c tnt27.5×2.25″57352
23mm inner widthVittoriaBarzo isotech 4c tnt27.5×2.35″60356
23mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Allround TLE27.5×2.25″58345
23mm inner widthSchwalbeRock Razor TLE27.5×2.35″61356
28mm inner widthVittoriaBarzo isotech 4c tnt27.5×2.1″55351
28mm inner widthVittoriaBarzo isotech 4c tnt27.5×2.25″59356
28mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Allround TLE27.5×2.25″61352
28mm inner widthContinentalRaceKing Performance27.5×2.0″54348
28mm inner widthSchwalbeG-One Bite27.5×2.1″56348
28mm inner widthPanaracerGravel King SK27.5×2.1″58351