Schwalbe claims that it’s G One tyre is the perfect gravel tyre, a bold claim and one I’ll be happy to try out. Mind you, depends on your definition of gravel. When I talk about a gravel ride, I imagine long, dusty tracks, stretching off under clear blue skies… Ok, over here they’re more likely to be damp, muddy and torn up by four wheel drives and horses, but after a few dry days I can usually get in a perfect day; so that’s when I’ll be pulling out the Schwalbe G One tyres.
The Schwalbe G One tyres come in three variations; 27.5″x1.50″ that’s 650B size, 28″x1.35″ also known as 700x35C and 28″x1.50″ which is 700x38C. I’ve gone for the latter, more volume for better grip and comfort. All of the tyres are constructed from Schwalbe’s Tubeless Easy Microskin material. In Schwalbe’s own words this “patented construction consists of a high-tensile micro fabric which is vulcanized together with the rubber compound and the carcass. MicroSkin envelops the entire carcass and facilitates a fault-free Tubeless Easy operation for high-pressure tyres, not unlike SnakeSkin on an MTB tyre”. You can just make out the threads peeking out from the rubber on the inside of the tyre, if that’s the kind of thing you’re into.
The tread compound is their One Star triple compound, it uses three types of rubber in the tread construction. A hard centre for better rolling resistance and wear; this is where you’ll spend most of your time, so you want something fast, no need for mega grip as you’re going in a straight line and you don’t want it wearing out too fast. As you start to lean, grip become more of an issue so the rubber here is softer providing more grip, which is slower and wears quicker, but you’ll be on this part less. Underneath this soft shoulder is a harder base.
Tread pattern on the G One looks very similar to their S One that I used on the Lapierre Tour of the Black Country and the X One. It looks good for dry weather grass and gravel, but will probably clog up at the first sign of serious mud. Shouldn’t be too much of an issue as my gravel/CX rides combine a mix of surfaces; tarmac, gravel, grass, hopefully not too much mud! They look like they should roll well on the road, much like their slimmer race orientated sibling the S One, which is a surprisingly fast tyre.
The G one tyre is designed as a tubeless tyre – Schwalbe have got behind tubeless tyres in a big way and all six tyres in the One range are tubeless compatible – you can run them with tubes, but why bother? I’ve been using Schwalbe’s tubeless tyres for a year now and have had only one problem with them in that time. The benefit of tubeless off road is the ability to run lower pressures, which give improved grip and comfort, without risking pinch punctures. When first taking my ‘cross bike out on long rides over, I was getting at least one pinch puncture a ride, unless I pumped my tyres up so hard that it felt like I was riding a jack-hammer!
Schwalbe has the G One down as 460g, mine came in at 458g on the kitchen scale. The sidewalls feel nice and supple, not stiff like early tubeless tyres. The G One’s carcass is made from a high tensile micro-fabric that has 127EPI – that’s Ends Per square Inch in the fabric, which is then folded into three layers; other companies give numbers based on all three layers, Schwalbe don’t do this. More threads produce a denser, more supple and lighter casing; which improves impermeability, high-pressure stability and improves cut resistance. So while 127EPI may seem low compared to other high end tyres, you could read it as 381EPI. Once I’ve tried them out I’ll let you know how I get on.
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