This no-nonsense tyre comes with an aggressive tread pattern that can deal with the harsh conditions of UK gravel riding with ease.
The central tread offers a great balance of whizzing along when the surface is hardpacked and gripping when it is loose. Moving to the edge of the tyre, the knobs get larger and offer superior, predictable grip whilst cornering, whilst still clearing and dealing with mud very effectively. The Gripton compound and weight of the tyre can make it slower on paved sections, but it more than makes up for it in toughness. The endurant casing fended off punctures from even the harshest of rock strikes and the option to go tubeless makes this tyre super capable in the rough stuff.
A year-round UK gravel muncher of a tyre. If you want the perfect tyre for adventure, here it is.
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With a smooth profile centre tread partnered with medium-sized knobs on the edges, this tyre is both fast and capable. At 480g, the tyre may seem heavy getting up to speed, but once it is there, the centre profile allows it to hold speed very well due to its low rolling resistance. Due to the same Gripton compound and endurant bead as the heavier-duty Rhombus tyre, the Pathfinder retains good puncture-proof capability. During testing, there was only one heavy rock strike that affected the tyre, and the tubeless sealant worked its magic without having to stop – great stuff.
Coming in black and with this wonderful tan side wall option, it is sure to look good on any bike. Available in 38mm and 42mm variants, it is sure to suit the needs of many bikes as well.
An area this tyre may struggle with, though, is wet conditions. On rocks, roots, and mud, the tyre may slip around, causing some entertaining spontaneous drifts. Throughout the UK winter, I was able to maintain enough traction to climb every hill without wheel spin, and although this unpredictability while cornering added to the fun, while descending it may not be to everyone’s taste.
Overall, this is a solidly performing tyre which thrives in the dry but can also handle the wet (if you’re brave!).
A formidable tyre combination from Specialized would be a Rhombus 42mm front, 38mm/42mm rear Pathfinder Pro rear.