I’ve been living in Germany for three years now. My favorite trails have loose gravel in a lot of places. I can feel my tires get kind of loose on the turns and I’m wondering if there is a tire that really sticks in gravel.
Loose gravel is tough. Your tires tend to push it around, and if you do stick onto some pebbles, they tend to roll on the ground like ball bearings. I hear German gravel is the worst, ’cause it’s all exactly the same size and shape.
The keys are to 1) avoid loose gravel, 2) grab as much ground as you can and 3) push down, rather than just sliding sideways.
1. LINE CHOICE
Look for lines where the gravel has been pushed away or embedded. Embedded gravel gives great traction.
Something big (at least 2.3â€), with exposed side knobs that can penetrate and find dirt. Maxxis High Roller, Specialized Chunder, Michelin Comp 16, WTB Weirwolf. Sticky rubber helps here.
Try a bit lower pressure than usual, to put more tire on the ground.
As always, slow down before you turn. Lean your bike below you, stay planted on the outside pedal, blah, blah, blah. The more sketchy the situation, the more crucial you rock the good technique.
Load the turns. “Bounce” so youâ€™re heavy in the turn. This can more than double your traction by increasing the down force and squashing more tire onto the ground.
If you can ride Teutonic gravel, you can ride any gravel!