Donnelly Strada USH 700 X 40mm Tires: Getting Rolling

Donnelly Strada USH 700 X 40mm Tires: Getting Rolling – by Guitar Ted

The Donnelly company, (formerly known as Clement), was one of the first tire companies to embrace gravel riding as a separate niche of cycling. I tested the Strada USH back in 2012. That was before tubeless gravel tires from anyone were available and the Strada USH was 35mm in its widest offering. That was also before my “Gravel Grinder News” site was joined with Riding Gravel. It was a decent tire back then. However; now that Donnelly has offered this tire in a 40mm size and tubeless ready, I thought it might be a good time to revisit this classic of gravel grinding.

Donnelly Strada USH tires in 700 X 40mm size
Of course, we had to try the skin wall version!

What It Is: the Strada USH is a bit different than it used to be, and it is offered in a myriad of 650B and 700c widths in black wall and skin wall. Here is what Donnelly have to say about the tire from their site;

Donnelly Strada USH packaging

When speed is a top priority and the road is unpredictable, the Strada USH stands out as a light and fast tubeless-ready tire to handle it all. Combining a fast rolling center track with a scaled up herringbone tread, you can let it fly on straightaways and corner with conviction.

This long lasting and hard wearing tire has you covered from commuting to big adventure days in the saddle. The USH is named for the airport code of Ushuaia on the island of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world, and the ultimate destination for adventure bike touring.

The Strada USH is claimed to weigh 454gm in the 700c X 40mm skin wall size/version. MSRP is set at $70.00 per tire. No information is given as to what the Threads Per Inch (TPI) are in the casing. The Strada USH does have a puncture protection belt under the tread area.

First Impressions: Out of the box I felt that these tires looked great for most gravel road and dirt road riding. Donnelly says the side tread areas are a “scaled up herringbone” pattern, and while that is accurate, it does not give you the sense that I got when feeling the tread with my hands. Those “herringbone” bars are more like grippy areas you might equate with some MTB grips. They flex a bit, and feel like they might be a bit more tacky in corners than what you’d expect from a classic herringbone tread.

Close up of the Strada USH tread
Those “herringbone” tread blocks are a bit more substantial than traditional herringbone is.

The samples we received weighed in at 479/478 grams. A bit more than claimed, but right in the pocket for a tire of this size and construction. The markings on the casing are silver, but are not reflective. (Perhaps that could be an added feature in the future?) Otherwise, these tires look the part and I expect they will be fast and fairly stable on gravel.

We are waiting on a set of wheels to show up for review which these tires are slated to be mounted to. Once we have that wheel set in hand, the Strada USH tires will be mounted and ridden. Look for the tubeless performance update and a ride report within the coming weeks.

Note: Donnelly sent over the Strada USH 700c X 40mm tires for test and review to Riding Gravel at no charge. We are not being paid, nor bribed for this review and will always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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6 thoughts on “Donnelly Strada USH 700 X 40mm Tires: Getting Rolling

  1. I ride herringbone slicks on hard pack dirt/gravel, and knobbies for mud, loose gravel, and unknown dirt routes. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how the USH compare to other fast rolling dirt road tires, such as the Gravelking slick, or Compass tires. I imagine the centre rolls as fast as a slick, but do those herringbone bars provide more cornering grip on wet hardpack than a gravelking?

    1. @Okie Gravel Rider- Thanks! I liked the 35mm one as well, but that was back in the “tubed tire days”. I would imagine this tubeless experience will only be better. We’ll see…..

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