Teravail Cannonball 700c X 47mm Tires: Checkpoint – by Guitar Ted
The trio of Teravail tires has been getting into regular rotation here at Riding Gravel. (Please excuse the pun). The first up to get reviewed mid-term is the Cannonball. This was the tire of the three Teravail tires sent to Riding Gravel that I was most curious about. This was for the size, (700 X 47mm), and for the fact that Teravail had claimed that they had redesigned the casings to ride and perform better than their first efforts. I had ridden and tested that first Cannonball, and while many may have liked it, I was nonplussed.
Now that I have ridden the Cannonball on various surfaces including dirt, pavement, deteriorated gravel, and typical Mid-Western gravel, I am ready to share what I think about this newer version of the Teravail Cannonball. Did Teravail improve upon the ride quality? Does the 47mm size work better or worse for the all-road cyclist? These are the questions I will attempt to answer here.
Ride Performance: The Teravail Cannonball in the 47mm width looks really big! It also has a very rounded, “C” shaped profile, which allowed me to (just barely) mount these tires on the Noble Bikes GX5 carbon frame and fork. These tires are mounted to Irwin Aon GX 35 wheels with a 24mm inner rim width. Note- the GX5 is recommended for only 40mm tires which gives it plenty of mud clearance. I pretty much have zero mud clearance now!
However; I do have a really damped ride quality and without any sacrifices to speed. While these tires do weigh a bit more, (647/639 gms/pair) I never felt hindered by their weight, and the low rolling resistance of the Cannonball tires was impressive on my roll-down test. The rounded profile doesn’t put a lot of the Cannonball’s tread to the surface and that with the better casing allows these tires to go faster than you might think. Harder surfaces were taken with less effort as a result. But what about gravel or looser terrain?
While a tire that measures out at a tic over 49mm on a 24mm internal width rim sounds like a tire that should ride like a magic carpet, the Cannonball 700 X 47mm tires don’t quite live up to that promise on loose, coarse gravel. It should be noted that Teravail claims that these sorts of conditions are what the tire is meant for. However; I found the tire to be skittish, wanting to roll laterally on loose, deep gravel, and subsequently the Cannonball can be a handful on fast, loose descents. The rounded profile even makes slow speed, high torque climbing a bit of a chore because the way this casing is shaped makes it easy for the tire to break loose and to spin out in that situation.
So Far…. Ironically, the coarse gravel conditions where the Cannonball is said to work best is the place where I found the Cannonball leaving me wanting. Was it the Durable casing? Was it the bigger, rounder casing? I don’t know, but the 42mm version of the Rutland tire with a Durable casing actually handles better on coarse gravel. I’ll be interested to see how the 47mm Rutland stacks up against the Cannonball there.
Where I was delighted with the Cannonball was on deteriorated gravel. finer gravel, or on dirt that was firm and fast. Here the Cannonball outright flew and was a blast to ride. The small, aggressive file tread bit into the harder dirt and found purchase on finer gravel which made cornering and climbing fun as well. I wouldn’t say the Cannonball was a mud tire, but I did get into some mud and it did okay.
So, my experience so far is that the Cannonball is a fast, wide, voluminous tire with a great ride quality for a full puncture protection casing. It’s not a ‘coarse gravel tire’ in terms of what we see here in the Mid-West, but on anything smoother and harder surfaced, this tire is really good.
I’ll be back with a final review on these tires in about a month. Stay tuned….
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.