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by James Huang
May 6, 2020
Photography by Hutchinson
Hutchinson’s current collection of gravel tires consists of two older treads adapted from the French company’s mountain bike range, and a fast-rolling model that’s arguably a little too focused on smooth, hardpacked dirt and rough tarmac. With the new Touareg, however, Hutchinson now has something that looks to be much better suited to how gravel bikes are actually being ridden these days.
The Touareg follows in the footsteps of other mini-knob gravel tires, such as the Schwalbe G-One Bite, Continental Terra Trail, and Bontrager GR2, with its slightly taller knob heights and subtly more open spacing. As compared to micro-knobbies (like the Schwalbe G-One Allround, Continental Terra Speed, and Bontrager GR1), the new Touareg likely sacrifices some amount of rolling efficiency on smoother surfaces in favor of better traction on loose and dusty ones.
The tighter chevron-like center tread should maintain reasonable rolling resistance characteristics. The tread pattern gets progressively more aggressive and open as you move out to the shoulder, though.
Most sizes are offered in both black-wall and tan-wall colors.
Hutchinson is building the Touareg with a 127 TPI (threads-per-inch) tubeless-ready nylon casing and the company’s Hardskin bead-to-bead reinforcement for cut resistance. Given the intended usage, Hutchinson is only offering the new tire in wider sizes: 40 mm and 45 mm in 700c, and a single 47 mm-wide variant in 650b. Both are available in black-walled and tan-walled options, though. Claimed weight for the lightest 700×40 mm size is 490 g; the heaviest 650×47 mm option comes in at 585 g.
Retail price is US$65 / AU$62 / £33 / €37.
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