Hutchinson Touareg Tires: At The Finish – by Guitar Ted
Editor’s Note: Additional information and comments from Grannygear and Andy T were compiled for this post.
There are times when we get certain components or accessories to test and review that we find work so well that we tend to drag out the review period a bit longer than we might otherwise. The Hutchinson Touareg tires are just such an example. The last update was in August and I mentioned that this final post would come “in a few weeks“. Ha! We all were having too good a time on this tire to close out the review, I guess. Whatever the reasons, here is our final verdict on this tire from Hutchinson.
The Touareg tires have a “Hardskin” puncture protection belt and Hutchinson claims that the casing is a 127TPI one. Much like the WTB SG2 tires, which have a 120TPI casing and a puncture protection belt, if you lower your typical pressures a bit, you can retain a nice ride feel without fear of denting a rim or having a failure due to running paper thin sidewall tires. The other benefit for some riders will be an increased capability of the tire to hold air pressure over a longer period of time. The Touaregs are currently the champions of this trait in our experiences. This means you may not have to check your air pressures for every ride. I know we haven’t been.
Overall I have been satisfied with the Touareg’s performance and I have adapted somewhat to its tendencies to ‘hunt for a line’ in deeper gravel. I have also found that the Touareg will squirt a rock sideways here and there at a pretty high velocity. Additionally, the little tread blocks are like fingers that will occasionally fling stones. I have had rocks fly straight over my head in front of me, hit my helmet, and no one wants to ride directly behind me when I am using these tires. Different gravel types may make this issue less of a problem, or worse, so experiences may vary there.
These Touaregs are decently fast on pavement, so if you have sections of paved roads, or if your rides are made up of pavement to get to gravel, the Touareg is okay with that. However; since I have been doing a fair amount of mixed surface riding, I have begun to notice a tiny bit of wear on those little tread blocks. That might be leading me to believe that a high percentage of paved riding versus gravel/dirt will result in accelerated wear of the tread on the Touareg. Or maybe not. Read on…..
Thoughts From Grannygear:
Well, these tires have been on the Lynskey for quite a whole now and if this had been a normal summer, that would have meant quite a few miles of use. Basically, I likely would have moved on to another tire by now. But I have not. And that has actually been just fine with me, because although the heat and the smoke from multiple fires around California kept my miles low overall, the times I did ride the Touregs have been just really good to live with.
The last month I did several, notable rides. One was a weekend in Cambria where I expected to do some 25-ish mile rides over mixed surfaces as this was a social weekend. But no. The first day was over 50 miles and had a LOT of road miles, enough to where a smaller, faster tires would have been better for the day. The dirt section was pretty smooth and handpicked. Something like a fast 35mm tire would have been fine. Here I am on the Touaregs with the 40mm+ size and all that road climbing ahead of me.
What to do? Well, I aired up to near 50 psi and did just fine, thanks. Two weeks later I was back in the high country of So Cal among the rocky and sandy terrain of the San Bernardino mountains. Here the Touaregs, once again, reminded me how well they did there, shrugging off loose rock and clinging well to the handpicked with sand overburden. I see these as a pretty good desert tire except for some carving in deeper sand. A few embedded rocks are not so much a bother by themseves, but bring along a few thousand others in the path and the Touaregs still kept their composure.
At The Finish: These are pretty good tires, and if we take into account that Hutchinson’s stated goal for this tire was ” to develop a gravel tyre with maximum versatility “, (quote from marketing material), then I have to give them a grade of “A” on the effort. This is an excellent all-around choice. Only in mud, in deep sand, and if there is excessive pavement usage, would I say that this tire is not a great choice. (Although, I’d agree with Grannygear that they seem to be holding up well despite the pavement riding.) But then again- those are specialized situations calling out for a specialized tire choice.
Grannygear says; So my original thoughts remain with one added result:
- It rolls well enough to not be a burden on the road.
- It has a lot of grip in dry conditions and does well in the rocks.
- It is not a super compliant casing, but has shown itself to be durable.
- The tread shows almost no sign of wear. That has been a surprise, or maybe not if the rubber is a harder durometer, and perhaps that is part of the firmer ride…not sure…(Editor’s Note: Try a lower pressure), but these are everlasting gobstoppers. Look at my pics and see if you can tell which one is the rear tire, the one that could have shown some wear after even one 50 mile ride, not to mention the other few hundred miles of mixed use.
And this is where I leave them. I have them on some test wheels from Boyd right now and unless we get a lot of wet weather soon, they will likely remain there until the mood strikes me to change them out. Well done, actually. Kudos to Hutchinson.
I’d agree with Grannygear there. Hutchinson’s previous gravel tire efforts were less than stellar. Now with the addition of the Touareg, Hutchinson can be added to the pantheon of great gravel tires for many riders. These won’t satisfy everyone, but more often than not, the Touareg will do what you need from a gravel tire.
Note: Hutchinson Tires sent over the Touaregs in various sizes to Riding Gravel for test and review at no charge. We are not being paid, nor bribed, for these reviews and we will always strive to give you our honest thoughts and views throughout.