G-One BITE. Schwalbe’s gravel tyre for when the going gets muddy.
The G-One BITE is part of Schwalbe’s G-One family of gravel tyres. Starting with the super fast SPEED, the range adds more grip as it goes. After the SPEED comes the ALLROUND, then the BITE and finishes with the ULTRABITE.
The BITE is available in five sizes, from the skinny 700×38 to the porcine 27.5×2.1. The two 27.5″ sizes will allow disc brake users to squeeze large volume tyres into frames that wouldn’t allow a 700 tyre in. There’s also a Classic Sidewall option available in 700×38, if that’s your thing.
Schwalbe uses it’s Super Ground construction in the manufacture of the BITE. Super Ground uses a three layer carcass with an outer – bead to bead – Snake-Skin puncture prevention strip. The outer layer then covers all this in protective rubber. The kevlar bead keeps the weight down and the tyre supple. This is wrapped by the carcass and an anti-chafe layer is added to protect where it rubs against the rim.
I’ve already reviewed the ALLROUND and found it to be the perfect summer tyre for my riding. At 38mm it was the biggest tyre I could squeeze onto my ‘cross bike. The extra volume made long days on the gravel way more comfortable and it’s no slouch on road either; perfect. It’s only drawback was when the trails were really muddy. Then it would suffer, the tread quickly filling with mud and losing traction.
Which is where the G-One BITE comes into its own. The BITE uses a similar tread pattern to the SPEED, but increases their size and spreads them apart on the sides. This leaves a central section that is great when rolling along on the flat and is fast on tarmac. Lean the bike into a corner and the spaced out side-lugs allow for more grip and let the mud clear.
So that’s the description, what are they like? First off was fitting; tubeless of course. I fitted them to various wheels including Pro-Lite Bortolas, Mavic Open Pro UST and 3T Accelero 40 Pro. As usual with Schwalbe tyres, they went on without any drama. They popped on with some satisfying cracks and bangs. Occasionally one of the wheels would lose pressure overnight, but this was cured with a short ride, the sealant finding any gaps.
Taking the G-One BITE out for a ride
I figured a couple of winter off-road sportives would provide perfect test. First up was the Tour of the Hopfields, a 100k sportive through the Kent countryside. This was the first time I’ve ridden the event and I’ll definitely be back again. The route constantly changes between surfaces, from tarmac, to sand, gravel, mud and loam. And it’s not just the surface, the route twists and turns, climbs and descends; a perfect test.
The second event was the Iron Duke Gravelcross, this was a study in mud! Four hours of cold, wet, squidgy off road fun. With temperatures hovering around 5 degrees centigrade, the constantly shifting surface kept your mind off the cold rain. And again, another event that tested the BITE’s ability to deal with multiple surfaces.
Into the mud
I had worried that the closely packed tread would suffer during the Iron Duke and become overwhelmed by the mud. This may have been down to the consistency of the mud. So much rain had been falling that parts of the course were like soup. But there was plenty of regular mud as well and they coped just fine.
During both these events I was never left struggling to find grip on loose surfaces, or feeling sluggish on the black stuff. And just as important, especially during cold winter events, I didn’t suffer a single puncture. At one point I stopped to help another rider that had punctured. He had got so cold he could no longer think straight. After getting him going I was glad to be riding on G-One BITE tyres.
On both events I ran the BITEs at 30psi. I weigh 63 kilos and have found this to be a good compromise between off road grip and road speed for 38mm tyres. I have run the them as low as 20psi, which is fine off road – apart from the odd rim strike – but a little too squidgy once you get back on the road. They’re still rideable, but definitely feel a lot softer and hard cornering is nowhere as good. So play around and see what works best for you and your setup.
So there you go, the Schwalbe G-One BITE, a gravel tyre that will see you through the winter months. It won’t feel like a tractor on the road and will handle the off road with aplomb. In fact if you can only have one tyre, I would recommend the G-One BITE.