Terrene Tires Honali 50mm: At The Finish

Terrene Tires Honali 50mm: At The Finish- by Guitar Ted

The Terrene Honali tire has been tested thoroughly in two different states on all sorts of surfaces. The final part of this test involved using the tire as a commuting tire and on a longer ride with mixed terrain of gravel, dirt, and sand. When we heard about this tire, Terrene described the tread as being derived from “dual sport” motorcycle designs, and as I rode this tire I often thought about how the Honali really is an all around specialist tire. But before I get to that, here are my thoughts about the Honali and the final stage of the testing.

The Honali is ready to take you on whatever road adventure you have in mind.

The last stage of testing included lots of broken pavement, deeper gravel, and many miles of dirt road. Happily, the Tough Casing did not disappoint and there were no flats or leakage issues throughout the test. All that despite sharp flint, bits of glass, metal shards, or whatever the environment I rode in could throw at these tires. Wear of the tread is nominal, and I saw nothing unusual that would cause me to think that this tire would wear prematurely. Again, tubeless performance was very good.

Terrene Tires
The 50mm width of the Honali really makes a difference here.

The last stage of testing also saw a lot of miles of looser, freshly laid gravel. The 50mm width of the Honali was greatly appreciated during this stage. I reported in my Checkpoint update on this tire that the Honali has a bit of lateral instability in looser, deep gravel and I still hold to that claim. The Honali is a rounded casing tire and will “plow” a bit through looser gravel so that you have to herd the front end a bit. You can also expect the back end of your bicycle to step out a bit as well. That said, the 50mm width of the tire is making these traits a lot less frequent and noticeable than it would have been had the Honali been narrower.

The Honali also got a taste of dirt roads and on these types of surfaces the Honali really shines. That tread pattern gets a bite and, as long as the dirt is dry, the Honali climbs, turns, and brakes very nicely for a smoother, rounded tire. Besides loose or muddy dirt, I would trust the Honali to navigate any dirt road you come across.

One place I was a bit surprised by the Honali was in some looser sand that I found on a dirt road. It was dry, and the area had been churned up by agricultural equipment. So, the sand was looser and deep. While the tires wanted to step out a bit, I was able to gear down and motor through this. I can not think of any good reason that the Honali powered me through that other than the aforementioned 50mm width that it has. The modicum of flotation I had was enough, apparently.

The Honali’s tread pattern is tailor made for hard packed dirt roads like these.

At The Finish: This review of a touring tire had a goal of finding out if the Honali was a capable gravel road tire, or if it was really best suited to pavement. The results show that yes- The Honali is a capable gravel road tire, not the very best tire for that, but a very good one. The 50mm width does a trick on looser terrain like fresh gravel and in a surprise, sand. I still would not think the Honali is best suited to a constant diet of loose terrain, but if you find yourself in a pinch, the Honali can pull you through.

This tire also appears to live up to its “Tough” casing name as I banged it into pot holes and curbs, subjected it to glass bits and sharp objects alongside the road, and also some of the most feared gravel in the World in Kansas’ Flint Hills. Tubeless set up is top notch as well. This is only after a few months, but the tread seems to be wearing well. A long term usage may turn up some faults, but for now, it is hard to find any negatives with the Honali.

Going back to that thought about the dual sport motorcycle influenced tread design, I think that aptly paints a good picture of how this tire can be used. Go off road, and you get decent grip in drier conditions. Packed in dirt roads are a blast with this tire and you can climb really steep, rutted out roads with no issues with the Honali. Go toward the pavement and roll on the harder surfaces all you’d like. The Honali rolls fast and relatively resistance free. It really is an all arounder.

NOTE: Terrene Tires sent over the Honali for test and review at no charge to RidingGravel.com and we were not paid nor bribed for this review. We will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.

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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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11 thoughts on “Terrene Tires Honali 50mm: At The Finish

  1. Hi Ted, question not about the tires (but thanks for all the great tire reviews), but who makes the double bottle holder on the downtube in the photo in this review?

  2. So after a lot of research, I was leaning for the Honali in 50 mm when I saw that you’ve been testing another tire that was on my liste (the Terreno in 2.1) for quite a while now but I have not seen any review of it on your site… Any thought about comparing those two??? I ride 70% road and 30% gravel/dirt and others and I would mount them tubeless…Using thunder Burt right now…Thanks!

    1. @Marc – The Homali should be more than capable for your expectations. If the Honali can handle Kansas Flint Hills gravel, your gravel will be no big deal, and of course, it is very good on pavement.

      1. Super! Since my Thunder Burt are about 575 gr (at 57mm width), should I go with the light casing (634 gr) that is already heavier than my TB or stick with the one you tried (716 gr)? I’m just worrying that the added weight would cancel the better rolling thread… I had some little leacking holes in my tires but nothing that the sealant couldn’t take care of… You can tell me if I’m overthinking it… 🙂

  3. Ted I am looking for a tire to possibly ride the Salty Lizard 100 @ Wendover UT. next fall. There was a ride report from last year on this site. They talked about lots of loose sand but also sharp rocks which caused lots of folks tire failure if I read the article right. I also see that they now have 3 styles of this tire. dura tough folding/light folding/and tough folding. Guessing you tested the tough folding. Do you think this is the best tire out there for soft sand but will still take sharp rock strikes? Thanks

    1. @Larry Brenize – Thanks for checking out the site! On the Honali, it is a touring tire first, so think of it in the same way you would a Schwalbe Marathon series tire. Those puncture protection belts and casings can get pretty stiff, so I feel going ‘overboard’ with regard to that can lead to comfort issues and even performance issues off-pavement.

      The Honali I tested at that time was the lightest casing/least protected version they made, which would be all I would ever want off-pavement. I rode those tires on the worst the Flint Hills of Kansas has to offer, and came away with zero defects. Sand? Depends on what kind of sand we are talking about. Deep, fine sand is nearly impossible to navigate short of having a fat bike, and even then it is really challenging. Coarser sand and sand with a hard bottom, or sand with moisture and a firmer consistency can be ridden on with the right tire/rim combo with correct air pressures. As you can tell- it’s a very complex question you ask.

      Also, look for some content coming from Bobby Kennedy (the Salty Lizard RD) here on the site soon. Maybe we can get him to give us some tire recommendations.

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