Hutchinson Overide Tires: Getting Rolling – by Grannygear
At Sea Otter I met with the Hutchinson tires rep and took a look at what the French tire company had in gravel tires. The last time I used a Hutchinson tire was a Python MTB tire and that was some time ago. So basically, I was starting from scratch here.
What It Is: The Overide is their modern gravel tire. It comes in two sizes, 35mm and 38mm, both with the same tread pattern. Tubeless of course, and featuring the Hardskin casing with a full protective layer in the construction. 127TPI is not something that common in gravel tires as I typically see 60-66TPI. The higher thread count should give us a more compliant tire and since protective layers like Hardskin often make a tire less supple, it could be a good marriage. From Hutchinson’s site:
Description: Optimizing performance, comfort and ride-ability the Overide is the perfect tire for gravel riding regardless of what type of adventure you seek.
- Overide 700×35 Tubeless Ready – Hardskin – 127 TPI
- Overide 700×38 Tubeless Ready – Hardskin – 127 TPI
- Bead-to-bead, sub-tread protection.
- Better deflection capacity on roads and paths.
- Resistance to punctures and tears.
First Impressions: It’s obvious by looking at it that this is not a loose conditions, high traction, high flotation type of gravel tire. 38mms is not a small tire, but if you can fit larger rubber and you are on challenging dirt (like I typically am), a 40c or 42c with decent knobs like the WTB Resolute or a Donnely X’Plor MSO is a natural choice. But that is not everyone’s situation. If you do a lot of mixed roads and you need a tire that is lighter and faster for the pavement, then most 42s are not so great. Or maybe you have no room for a bigger tire than 38.
Either way, despite my leaning towards big tires, the Hutchinson Overide had my attention as I have been considering a second gravel bike built more around milder dirt and longer, mixed surface days. That type of approach has good appeal and a broader application anyway as compared to bouncing along crappy fire roads on a gravel bike.
Tubeless Performance & Measurements: I weighed the two tires at 429g and 426g. Comparing these to the IRC Bokkens in the 40c size, those weighed around 483g and they have a similar level of tread. The WTB Resolutes are called out as 460g. Before I had looked at all the details on the tire, it was obvious that there was something going on in the carcass of the tire as it held it’s shape even when it was not on the rim. That reminded me of some of the Continental MTB tires I had used in the past. Not floppy at all, it did make me wonder how the tire would ride. It inflated perfectly easy on a set of Rolf-Primas I just got in for review, the new Sojourns. Those are a wide rim at 25mm internal, and officially (according to Rolf-Prima) these tires are one size too small for the width. The wide rim and the stiff casing made for a wrestling match keeping the tire from ‘unzipping’ as I was working it onto the rim. Three hands stuff, more of a bother than a supple casing that stays put as you are working with it.
I was curious to see how the wide rim would affect tire size when mounted. I grabbed a set of the Rolf-Prima Hyalites I had from a past review (I liked them so much I bought them) and dry mounted the Overide on one rim. It came out to be 37.1mms wide. On the Sojourn, the wider rim, it came out to 38.6mms wide. Now both measurements are conservative as the tire had not settled and stretched yet, but even so, it points out one advantage of a wider rim, at least in this case: more tire volume for any given size of tire.
Ride Performance: The Overide has a bit of a peaky shape to it and comes fast off-center on the road. It does not give me the odd inconsistency in steering that the WTB Byway does, but it feels dartier than the IRCs I just got off of. It’s actually complimentary in this case, giving the Cannondale Topstone a perky feeling.
Now that they have been on the rims and ridden a bit, the Overides are measuring 39.7mms wide. Pretty darn close to 40mms, that. So I would expect a 39mm+/- tire width on a 21mm rim.
Out on the road, my first ride was a 35 mile route with nearly 4000’ of climbing, a lot of pavement ranging from normal to awful, and included dirt that was either smooth and fast or full of embedded rocks and ruts. Kind of a typical mixed surface route for me.
One thing for sure. These are a fast rolling tire on pavement. The bike I have them on, a 2019 Cannondale Topstone, has a very roadie-like setup at the moment, fit wise. It is long in reach and has narrow bars. There were times when I got on top of a gear on the pavement and completely forgot that I was on a gravel tire. Now the WTB Resolutes are good rolling for what they are. The IRCs are a step up from them. The Hutchinson Overides are another level completely. I bet the 35s really fly.
Now of course the limits here are going to be found in soft dirt and loose, rocky conditions and my initial rides have shown that to be true. The volume and traction is just not there like it is with the Resolute at 43mms wide while running 30psi. Even the IRC Bokens are better in this regard. To be expected. Other than that, these are going to be fun to review and, if a project bike moves ahead like I hope it does, they may find a home here.
Note: Hutchinson sent the Overide tires for test and review to Riding Gravel at no charge. We are not being paid nor bribed for this review and we strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.