In my opinion, tires reviews are overdone. There are too many tires for the average rider to choose from and the endless choices can be quite confusing. While I do not review every piece of equipment I ride, occasionally I come across something that really stands out to me.
First, I do consider myself an avid gravel grinder. About 60-70% of my rides are on gravel. Second, there are many different surfaces that can be considered gravel. I won’t go into all of them, but pretty much anything that extends beyond pavement has been called gravel. What we have in Northeastern Pennsylvania is thick 1”-1 1/2” gravel chunks on most state forest roads. This calls for a beefy tire.
700X40C is your average size for a big gravel tire. In the last year, I’ve sampled A few different brands. I’ve never purchased Maxxis tires before, because I honestly thought they were overpriced. Wow, was I wrong. Last August, I installed a pair of Maxxis Ravager 700c X 40mm EXO Tubeless Ready tires. Set up tubeless, these tires excelled from the word go. A lot of gravel tires are made to be fast, but cannot handle anything rougher than pea gravel or a dirt road. The Ravager is a super supple tire that ripped right through the gravel, mud, rip rap, singletrack, busted up pavement and anything I could throw at it.
From Maxxis’ website:
The Ravager is a gravel tire for the riders out there willing to brave aggressive terrain with only their drop bars and a tiny amount of rubber beneath them. While other tires are designed to let you ride beyond the end of the road, the Ravager opens up new line choices, camping spots, and epic adventures where no road ever existed. Raised square-edged center knobs provide climbing and braking traction on moon dust covered trails, and oversized cornering knobs keep you and your gear out of the dirt to conquer another turn.
EXO protection is an additional layer of protection incorporated into the sidewall of the tire designed to greatly increase the puncture and slash resistance without compromising the feel of the tire. The EXO layer is exceptionally dense whilst still being light and flexible making it very versatile.
After about 600 miles, I can honestly say that these tires still have plenty of tread left. I’ve bounced off many sharp rocks while pedaling off the beaten path and the sidewalls have held up. I usually run them between 30-55 psi. They accelerate rather well on dry surfaces and provide enough traction through the messy stuff to be your year round tire. Give the Ravager a try. I assure you, they are well worth the $60 asking price.