Teravail Cannonball 700c X 47mm Tires: At The Finish

Teravail Cannonball 700c X 47mm Tires: At The Finish – by Guitar Ted

The Teravail Cannonball tires were the first product from Teravail I ever tried several years ago and I was not very impressed. Let me say right up front- Teravail has made significant improvements to the Cannonball. This 700 X 47mm Cannonball is light years better than their first effort was. This is good, but out of the two narrower Teravail options I have explored, the Cannonball is the hardest to pin down as far as my verdict on it goes.

Detail shot of the Cannonball's tread
The rasp-like tread of the Cannonball grips hard packed surfaces like Velcro. Loose? Not so much.

The last update on this review (seen here) revealed that I did not think the Cannonball was very good at coarse gravel, looser, deep gravel, or sandy, deeper grounds where the shape of the tire seemed to be a detriment. Ironically, Teravail says coarse gravel is this tire’s home ground. Be that as it may, what the Cannonball did do very well at was making short work of any harder packed surfaces. Packed in gravel, dirt, sand, and even on pavement, the Cannonball was fast and with that rasp-like tread pattern, grippy.

And I still find these things to be true about the Cannonball.

A bike leaning against a boulder
Reducing the air pressures was key to bringing about the best performance on gravel with the Cannonball tires.

At The Finish: So, in order to maybe make what I found in the Cannonball lacking a bit more manageable, I reduced the air pressure I was using by anywhere from 5-8psi. Not a lot, but when you have bigger tires, smaller changes seem to make bigger differences. And that change made a big difference. This is not to say that by doing that I erased the negatives. No. I think I made the tire better, for sure, but not anything like what I experienced with the Rutland with the Light casing in this same size.

Top view of a Teravail Cannonball
The rounded casing works great on hard-packed surfaces.

However; the lowered pressures made things more manageable than before. This technique was something we noted about the Tough and Durable casing when we used it in the past as well. Teravail’s recommended pressures are higher, in some cases, but going below that a bit sometimes is what you need to get the balance of rolling resistance, comfort, and overall handling right for certain conditions. Obviously that may be a warranty-voiding way to get what you need, but it seems to work in the end with these tires.

With that, I will say that the Cannonball is really a tire best suited to what I found it to perform best on in terms of surfaces. Nevermind the coarse gravel suggestions here. The Cannonball is really a great tire on harder packed surfaces and anywhere there is poor pavement conditions. It is speedy, tough, and would be a great touring tire in this size for multi-surface touring applications. Perhaps too much pavement would not be good for the tread, but otherwise, this tire is exceptional on dirt roads and where the gravel is packed in and fast.

Note: The Teravail Cannonball 700c X 47mm tires were sent to Riding Gravel for test and review at no charge. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review, and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and views 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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