Hutchinson Touareg Tires: At The Finish

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.

Rear wheel mounted with a Hutchinson Touareg in a rural setting
Those little knobs roll fast, but they can fling a rock or two at times.

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.

Wheel on a bike on a gravel road

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.

Smoky The Bear sign and a bike.

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.

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Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004, he 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 backroad events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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9 thoughts on “Hutchinson Touareg Tires: At The Finish

  1. Tempted to pick up a pair of these for my Boyd Pinnacle wheels as I have to ride asphalt to get to gravel roads, but I frequently encounter gravel roads which have loose gravel and sometimes have somewhat deep sand. Is there any other tire that you’d recommend I consider that would do better in deep sand and still roll well on asphalt? Thanks!

    1. @BikePower – That’s a tough ask. Deep sand is best with a wide tire at low pressure. Flotation is your friend, but obviously most gravel bikes cannot approach sporting a width in tire that would conquer deep sand, (as I understand the term).

      So, really any tire with as wide a width as you can get in the bike, which has a supple casing, run at low pressures will be all you can do. Tread depends upon the type, moisture content, and frequency with which you encounter said sand.

      Sandy gravel roads here in the Mid-West suck the life out of your legs and picking a tire to get around that is tough. And also- I have no idea what you might be dealing with, of course, so this is the best I can do to advise you here. A better thing might be to hit up our forum in the section where your area is covered or in the Gravel Tires section and ask away. https://www.ridinggravel.com/forum

      1. Thanks for the information! Fortunately the sand I encounter is not for long stretches, so I can usually power through it. What you mentioned about tire width and pressure is helpful though to help me select and tune a tire for the conditions I expect to encounter on a ride. Thanks also for the link to the forum.

  2. Really appreciate this review. Have been awaiting it for a few weeks :), and eyeing it up for months but hesitant to pull the trigger.

    Curious your thoughts of this versus something like the Resolute or Rutland (visually the same, it seems). They all seem to offer the mix terrain with the other two having I missing larger shoulders. I’ve been running the resolutes for three or four years and have overly been happy, besides some sidewall issues. Mind you I live in Philadelphia and ride to the dirt but they have still held up well.

    What I’ve noticed is that the Resolute type of tire almost makes me mentally ‘overbiked’, ending up treating my gravel bike like a mountain bike… which I am OK with. But it almost seems that tire makes one/me too demanding of tire performance or expectations high, and so — I’m wondering if the Hutchinson could perform nearly as well while being a (visually and actually) less extreme tire while being a happier medium between what I ‘should’ be riding and what the Resolutes make me expect the bike to do.

    Hope that all makes sense.

      1. @Keanan Barbour-March – Thanks for the questions and background information.
        The Hutchinson Touareg tires are not really much good in dirt that is loamy, moist, or in mud, so if any of that figures into your riding then you will be disadvantaged accordingly. The Resolute/Rutland tires are far more adept over such surfaces.

        I also found that loose, larger rocks would upset the Touareg since it has a much more rounded crown to the tire, especially compared to the Rutland. Of course, with the Touareg’s tightly spaced, tiny knobs, that should be fairly obvious.

        Here’s an alternative tire that strikes me as something you might be better suited for- The Vittoria Terreno Dry. If you can score the tires, which may be hard due to availability, they have a much smoother tread, don’t get balled up with sticky dirt and mud as easily, but also don’t look like a tire in the same ball park as the Resolute/Rutlands. The Terreno Dry has a surprisingly good grip for how the tread looks, and sports side knobs for bite on cornering. they are fairly tough too, and will do more than what their looks might suggest.

        Thanks for reading.

        1. It’s funny you say the Vittoria, as I had a set hanging on the rack but just sold them to a friend.. I used them for a few ‘urban’ exploration rides and was amazed at how well they rolled on tarmac. Unfortunately I never took them off-road on real dirt/gravel – mostly because they don’t look like they’re that capable when you get onto single track or trails. Meaning, I fall back to the confidence inspiring Resolutes… even though I feel they push you to ride rougher stuff than you probably should.

          Long story short, I feel I’m ‘overtired’ for 75% of the riding I do and the Resolute-esquires tires while great are really too much.

          Touareg or Terrenos again… I’m left to ponder.

          Thanks again.

  3. I’m super happy with these tires. Usually when a tire wears out I’m looking for something different. Not here. I got a great deal on the first set and will stick with them for a while. Your review is spot-on. I have them on my Salsa Warbird, and I ride very hilly and rough terrain in California’s Central Coast. When I put these tires on it was a game changer. Buddies that used to drop me now struggle to keep up.

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