Swiss Side proves what is the Most Aero Gravel Tire!

Swiss Side set out to assess 6 various popular tread patterns, varying from practically roadway slick to the roughest you may discover in a narrow fast gravel tire to evaluate the drag results of tread knobbiness.
” In general, the rougher the tire and the size of the knobs, the greater the aero drag and in specific, the cruising result is decreased. The Continental Terra Speed was a slight exception with a low aero drag level and reasonably great sailing result for its comparatively large sized knobs”, according to Swiss Side.

Naturally, there are numerous gravel tires in the prospective test pool, so Swiss Side first determined the increased drag from 35mm to 40mm to 45mm tires with the exact same tread, with foreseeable outcomes– narrow is quicker, wider is slower.
Next then settled on comparing narrow 35mm tires– basically what might have been categorized as fast gravel.
The Majority Of Aero Gravel Tire

Smaller tire knobs are faster!
No matter just how much you invest in an aero gravel bike or aero gravel wheels, your tires will also have a visible effect on gravel aerodynamics. And this is a reasonably cheap place to make complimentary watts. What is the fastest gravel tire in the wind tunnel? Swiss Side chose to learn as they checked their most current Gravon aero gravel wheels.
The answer, unsurprisingly … its the smoothest gravel tire with the tiniest knobs and most likely the least off-road grip. What was perhaps more unexpected is the knobby second-fastest gravel tire they evaluated!
Does gravel tire aerodynamics matter?
all images c. Swiss Side in the GST wind tunnel
Every new bike nowadays is hyped to us as “more aero”, hoping the concept of complimentary speed will persuade purchasers to ditch old bikes and purchase something more recent & & quicker. Its not completely disingenuous– in theory, more aero gear will make you much faster, no matter how quick you pedal.
However do we really require to make our gravel bikes more aerodynamic, too?
Swiss Side was evaluating their new aero carbon gravel & & economical alloy Gravon gravel wheels into the GST wind tunnel to document their aerodynamic enhancements, so why not set directly which gravel tire is the most aero?
Which gravel tires to check?

The nearly slick Schwalbe G-One Speed with its small round dots for tread was the supreme winner of the title of fastest “most aero gravel tire”. However the Continental Terra Speed with its much taller and widely-spaced mini hexagon tread lugs (& & sipes) was the second-fastest general, despite the fact that Swiss Side rated its roughness a 4 on their 1-6 scale, just edging out the G-One Allround we reviewed back in 2016.
Is an unclean bike really more aero?

3T informed us that a little mud assisted break up the border layer for smoother air flow over their Exploro aero gravel bike when it was initially presented, lots of years earlier. If you arent beginning with already aero gravel optimized airfoil shapes, will a bit of caked-on mud in fact make your gravel bike quicker?
Swiss Side says, no.
They measured their CEO Jean-Paul Ballards somewhat muddy Cervelo Aspero, then cleaned it and ran the test once again. It was +0.2 W slower at 30km/h. As they described it “measurable but nearly unimportant”.
Still, does aero really matter for gravel?

I need to say, Ive personally checked every one of the tires on this list, ridden out in the real world on road & & path. Ive crashed, entirely without alerting when a G-One Speed slipped out underneath me on a reasonably loose corner. Its middle of the aero pack G-One Allround however, amazed me as a predictable all-rounder.
That fast Continental Terra Speed has actually definitely been a foreseeable tire, however I have not put as numerous kilometers on them. Maybe its time to get some in for a longer-term evaluation? I question if they have a 45mm version in the works?
The least aero gravel tire in this line-up of wind tunnel testing– the only reasonably knobby & & fast-rolling WTB Riddler– thats a tire I have actually consistently relied on for the unforeseeable surface fundamental in gravel riding. And I have actually a set mounted on a gravel bike at house right now.
my existing Rondo Ruut with relied on WTB Riddler tires
Ill happily take the baseline 2W aero drag struck with the reassurance of a tire I understand I can rely on & & forecast in a loose corner (I certainly do not average >> 30 km/hr on any genuine gravel ride). In reality, itll probably be 2 +3.6 W for my 45mm wide tires (vs. the slick 35mm.).
I think Ill handle.
If you want to risk it a bit more, head over to Swiss Side to read their complete aero gravel report.
They also explain why you are starting with a minimum of a +39 W drag penalty by riding a gravel bike over an aero roadway bike to begin with. And that a best-case aero wheel+ tire combination may save you 5-10W vs. a knobby/low-profile combo at typical gravel speeds …

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No matter how much you spend on an aero gravel bike or aero gravel wheels, your tires will also have an obvious impact on gravel aerodynamics. What is the fastest gravel tire in the wind tunnel? Swiss Side chose to discover out as they evaluated their most current Gravon aero gravel wheels.
Its middle of the aero pack G-One Allround however, shocked me as a foreseeable all-rounder.
That fast Continental Terra Speed has certainly been a predictable tire, but I have not put as lots of kilometers on them.

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