Arisun Gravel Plus Tires: Update- by Guitar Ted
The responsibilities of reviewing and testing tires run quite a bit deeper than just spewing a few facts and laying down some cool images for a quick paragraph or two. Well……that’s been my opinion on reviews. At any rate, I take the job very seriously and when the Arisun tires came last Spring in May I noticed something about the tire that was a huge negative. Instead of pressing “post” I went and relayed my concerns first to my contact for Arisun. Then a few e-mails were fired back and forth, and well……here we have an updated tread pattern! Not only that, but in the interim, Arisun produced another version of the tire, and here is the presentation of both of those tires for you.
First up we have the ‘new” tire with a totally different tread design than I had been looking at last May. The Arisun Gravel Plus 38mm tire has a 120TPI casing, Has a flat protection belt under the tread area, is tubeless ready, and weighs at 530 grams each. The big difference here is that this version of the Gravel Plus is a much more heavily treaded version of a gravel road tire. One of our readers mentioned to us that it looked like a bigger version of a Clement USH. That’s a good comparison in tread style, as the more compact, arrow shaped knobs in the center give the appearance of a smoother rolling tire while the outer edges feature blocks arranged in a chevron pattern out to some larger edge knobs.
The 38mm is a good foil to what the 40mm tire ended up becoming. When the first samples landed at RidingGravel.com’s Iowa office, the tire exhibited several small, blocky knobs arranged in a chevron pattern across the tire carcass. All the knobs were of similar height, which was perhaps 2mm or slightly taller. The issue I found was that the knobs acted like little fingers which flung chips and pebbles of rock all over in the air about me as I rode the gravel here. It was quite annoying, and a potential issue that would have put me off and caused a poor review. As I stated, I contacted Arisun’s representative and a solution was worked out, which is what we have here to ride now. The knob shape and pattern is essentially unchanged, but the height of those centrally located knobs is drastically reduced. This has eliminated the rock tossing issues with the original samples.
What Arisun has ended up with here is a tire that clocks in at 520 grams and has a much faster looking profile to it than the 38mm tires have. The lowered height of the central knobs gives way to the original full height knobs out on the tire’s edges for cornering bite. This tire also features the 120TPI casing, tubeless ready bead, and flat protection belt under the tread only.
First Impressions: Okay, so the first thing I noted was how beefy the sidewalls of these tires are. Compared to other recently tested tires at RidingGravel.com, the Arisun sidewalls are noticeably thicker. Of course, this adds weight, but it should result in a more durable tire and perhaps better air retention. We will see how this pans out as we get to the end of the review on these tires. Secondly, and a curious call on Arisun’s part, both versions of the Gravel Plus have the same width carcasses as measured flat from bead to bead. It would appear at first glance that these tires will measure out the same then. In fact, they do. On various rims, set up tubeless, we are getting 42-43+mm readings with just a smidgen over 40mm set up with tubes. That’s a bit of a surprise, and puts these tires in the same class as Panaracer’s Gravel King SK 40 and the WTB Riddler 45mm tires.
Tires all set up very easily tubeless and have, in fact, exhibited excellent air retention qualities so far. My expectation is that the Arisun tires should work tubeless quite well on most tubeless ready rims. We are still getting our thoughts dialed in across three rider’s impressions on these tires, so we will reserve judgment on how these ride. The initial impressions are all within our expectations so far. Look for a full declaration of our judgments on how these perform soon.
So, there is the long overdue update on the Arisun tires with a bonus, new design thrown in for good measure. Stay tuned for the “Checkpoint” update in a couple of weeks.
NOTE: Arisun sent over the Gravel Plus 38 and 40 tires at no charge to RidingGravel.com for test and review. We are not being paid, nor bribed, for this review. We will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.