After much testing and changing of gravel tyres I have been quite settled on WTB Resolute tyres in 650bx42mm for a while now, but having just worn through a set I was interested to dig into the market for new tyres to test again.
Teravails were new on my tyre radar but looked good. Flicking through the range the Rutlands looked the best suited to my local riding here in the Tweed Valley; a good mix of relatively chunky side lugs for grip on loose, rough gravel with a defined raised centre ridge for on road speed.
The next question was do I go for the 650b x 47mm or 700x42mm but eventually I opted for the 700c. After a long stint on 650bs it was good to go back to remind myself what 700c offers.
Some stats on the Teravail Rutland
700x42mm in the tan wall light and supple casing are a respectable 440gms, which is on the lighter side of average and these are suited to 23mm internals which by coincidence is what my Kinesis Crosslight CX Discs offer. This tan casing is supposed to be lighter, faster, supple but less durable than the more basic versions. All seem to be 60TPI count.
650x47mm come in at 465 grams and with the same 23mm width recommended in Tan wall supple which would’ve been option B for me.
The tyres set up and popped tubeless first time using my Lezyne Pressure Over Drive pump and Stans sealant. A bit of time and a couple of rides was needed for completed sealing around the bead without any overnight air loss, but that’s pretty standard I find. They were pumped to 45psi which is maybe quite hard but my preferred pressure for most riding.
My first thought looking at the overall design and purpose, was that while this looks quite different to the WTB Nano tread pattern, it might be a similar use tyre. I was interested to test this theory because I quite like the ride from Nanos but they really suffer on my rough local gravel riding becasue the proportionally narrow tread section on them exposes the thin sidewalls which gets nicked and punctures too easily. Would the Rutland ride well but perform better? It certainly has a better proportioned tread area for the same overall tyre width and on the same 23mm (internal) rim looks to be a good contact profile. I didn’t measure exact width but they look to be on point and reasonable for a 42mm.
I took the Travail Rutlands out for a few steady rides before absolutely hammering them around my favourite rough gravel route. On one section there’s a steep down and up which is bridged by an angular rocky transition at the bottom. You’re invited to hit this at a crazy speed to get up the other side and therefore it destroys tyres! However I was pleased to find these tyres passed over it unscathed and covered the whole loop with flying colours. After a few long rides i am confident they’re robust enough for these chunky gravel descents which normally eliminate half of gravel tyres I test! For durability only time will tell but initial wear looks nothing unusual. Here is the last quick loop I did, riding on the edge at a rather sketchy 60+kph; https://www.strava.com/activities/2690772742
The cornering on loose gravel and thin mud (for example where a puddle has semi-dried out on a corner) is surprisingly reliable and effective. I actually didn’t feel I found the limit leaning into corners at speed, always being a bit hesitant still on a ‘gravel tyre’. However you can’t have everything and the tyres do feel slower than Resolutes in straight line/accelerating which surprised me a little bit with the reasonably low weight of the Rutlands. Straight line braking at high speed was slower than I might have liked at times. On road they do roll well for the amount of off-road grip and the black tread line from the road cutting through the dusty tyre confirms they roll on the middle raised ridge section well at 45psi. While it is hard to define they do feel fairly ‘Supple’ as claimed when set up tubeless and I could play with lower pressures a bit more.
I have used these tyres for a few months and in a whole variety of conditions and I am confident I really like these tyres, they are a lot of fun, robust and they feel generally planted to the track. I even, for only the second time ever used them as a tubeless tyre for a longer term bikepacking trip. Fully loaded means it exposes weak sidewalls and casings easily and these stayed strong and didn’t even lose any air even after deflating them for the plane and reseating them. If I was racing I might go with something that is a bit slicker like the Teravail Cannonball to aid the acceleration and overall efficient speed rather than grip, but as a reliable ‘go to’ tyre for blasting out my local loops they offer something that is different but certainly no less appealing than my current favourite WTB Resolutes. It is just whether I feel like railing the corners or need quicker acceleration to have fun!