ealant is a lot like tires are when it comes to opinions. What is legend and what is fact gets lost in the passionate takes some folks have concerning which one is ‘best’. So, as far as this opening introduction goes for this new sealant from WTB, many of you may, no doubt, dismiss it out of hand because of your choices. That’s fine. This review is not being done to evangelize anyone. But those who have a more open mind to new ideas should read on.
So who is this tire for…..They are the kind of rider that wants a bullet-proof, easy tubeless set up, a tire that doesn’t require baby-sitting in terms of air pressure retention, and a tire that wears well. That is a tough combination to get right, but I believe that Pirelli did get this right with the Cinturato Gravel H tires.
So, who is this tire best suited for? I believe that the way Panaracer has made this tire and the way that they market it as the “strongest version of the GravelKing SK..”speaks to a cyclist who craves a reliable tire with volume for rougher surfaces and/or heavy loads.
I’m pretty impressed by the Cinturato. It does ride well, handles well, especially for a tire with not much tread, and it is almost a ‘set it and forget it’ tire in terms of width and air pressure retention.
The Gravel King SK+ tires have decent roll, are seemingly quite resistant to punctures, and have copious volume for their size. In fact, you had better have room for 50mm tires on your bike if you want to try out these 650B tires.
There are several sizes of the Gravel King SK+ tires in the range, we happen to have the 650B X 48mm versions. The tires we have are the blackwall versions, but Panaracer lists a skin wall version as well. None of the funky colors as with other Gravel King variants here though, which you don’t get with the SK+. Just plain black tread.
The tubeless ‘dance’ isn’t hard to do once you get the hang of it. That said- it isn’t for everybody. Using tubes is definitely a lot easier and comes with less maintenance issues. Of course, they do fail when punctured, there is no free lunch. You’ll just have to decide which suits you better, and if all this maintenance is worth the benefits for your riding.
This tire isn’t a ‘bad’ tire, but for the MidWest it isn’t a tire that lights a fire underneath me when I ride it. It does the job well enough, sure, but with its slightly harsher ride quality and lack of volume, it isn’t on the same plane as the Resolute or the Byway, both of which we are testing in this series of SG2 reviews.