All about the tyres
In general, we're seeing 35 to 50mm tyres being common choices
on adventure and gravel bikes. How wide you go depends on many
factors, but know one thing, there is no right or wrong.
What tyre width you opt for comes down to the terrain you want
to be able to ride, the ratio of road to off-road riding, your
personal riding style and how much comfort you want. There's a lot
of debate in the growing adventure community, but we're are seeing
40mm tyres become a sort of benchmark and a happy medium that is
neither too skinny or wide if you're buying your first adventure
There is another option: 650b. It's an old French wheel standard
and has become largely standard on mountain bikes as they moved
away from 26in wheels in recent years, and has become another
choice for adventure bikes with some interesting benefits.
With a smaller wheel, a larger volume tyre can be used, whilst
retaining the same outside diameter as a conventional 700c wheel.
That means you keep the same geometry so the handling won't change
drastically, but benefit from more comfort and grip from the bigger
tyre. A 650b wheel lets you fit up to a 50mm tyre, and in some
cases, even a 2.1in mountain bike tyre will fit!
Many of the newest adventure bikes will actually let you fit
either wheel size, so you're not locked into any one standard. The
genre-defining Open UP is easily compatible with 700c and 650b
wheels. There's a growing choice of tyres and wheels in both sizes
and you can spend a lot of time researching tyre choice!