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I need some advice on what wheelset/tyres to get.

I currently have a gravel bike as an all-rounder with WTB i23 650b wheels and WTB Horizon 47 tyres. When I first got this bike I thought I would be doing more gravel so I wanted fatter tyres. I also have a lot of potholes and speed-bumps on my commute and I jump onto sidewalks as well. These tyres are very comfortable and you can hit a pothole at full speed without any problems. However this combo is somewhat heavy and I realized I ride 80% road and 20% gravel, so I want to get myself a Christmas present and get another set for road riding (and some light gravel). I would leave 650b wheels for rougher gravel riding.
I am looking for something affordable, not too heavy with tubeless compatibility. Also some tyres with which I can still jump onto sidewalks and are relatively comfortable on day long rides. I was thinking 700x32c with some puncture resistance as I would also take these on some light gravel and I still can't lift my back wheel when I jump onto sidewalks. I do lift my front wheel and put my weight to the front when I jump, and I don't do it at full speed so the rear doesn't hit as hard, but still some puncture resistance would be good.

This is what I was looking at:

Wheelsets (around 350€ or 400$) :
Hunt 4 season disc            1600g    20mm internal    370€
Hunt Mason X                      1600g    19mm internal    380€
Alexrims Boondocks 3     1700g    21mm internal    350€
Hope 20FIVE - Pro 4          1750g    20mm internal    400€

Tyres (32-622):
Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL        45€    Very good but expensive, not great puncture resistance
Continental Grand Prix 4-Season     35€    Not Tubeless ready?
Panaracer GravelKing Plus                  35€ Good price, not enough info for puncture resistance or performance
Donnelly Strada LGG 120tpi              30€ Cheapest, mixed reviews, not great puncture resistance
Pirelli Cinturato Velo TLR                   45€    Very good puncture resistance, expensive
Schwalbe G-One Speed                      40€    30c, heaviest
Vittoria Corsa Control                          45€ 30c, expensive, not any better than 5000TL?
Specialized Roubaix Pro                    30€ Heavy, not great puncture resistance

These are all "facts" I got from forums, articles and some websites, so I can not comment on accuracy of these  1
Do you think size 32 is OK? I'm worried 28 would be too thin for comfort, and prone to punctures when hitting speed-bumps or potholes or gravel.
I am looking at spending some 400-500€ for wheels and tyres. So far the best options looks to be Hunt 4 season disc with 4seasons or GravelKings (or Pirelli Cinturato Velo if I want to spend a bit more).
What would you recommend, any experience with these? Maybe some other wheelset/tyre combo?

6 comments

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peted76 [1637 posts] 1 month ago
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I've got some Schwable X-One Speeds.. they are plush and good enough for a bit of offroad in the dry.

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spiroX [2 posts] 1 month ago
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Those look good for light gravel and dry CX but how do they ride on tarmac, are they draggy? This setup will be 80% road, 20% light gravel if I feel like it. I'll leave 650b setup for when I want to go gravel riding.

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ed-m [4 posts] 1 month ago
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Currently riding standard tubeless GravelKings in 32 and would recommend, have had them a couple months and they've performed very well. Have smacked into a load of potholes and ridden over hedge cuttings with no troubles so far (touch wood), and I'm not the lightest.

Wheelset - take a look at Superstar Components.

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spiroX [2 posts] 1 month ago
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Thanks for that, I was hoping someone would say something good about GravelKings as I can save some money :). Will look at superstar as well.

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peted76 [1637 posts] 1 month ago
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spiroX wrote:

Those look good for light gravel and dry CX but how do they ride on tarmac, are they draggy? This setup will be 80% road, 20% light gravel if I feel like it. I'll leave 650b setup for when I want to go gravel riding.

No not very much, I mean yes as in they are draggier than a slick, actually, you could look at the G-One Speeds, they are not draggy (also tried/owned).

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kil0ran [1771 posts] 1 month ago
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Gravelkings are fantastic but a little delicate sidewall-wise (although I think I read there's a new version that improves that). I ran the Gravelking SK for most of my commuting miles in 2016/17 and only had one issue with a split sidewall. I was running tubes though so it's less of an issue I'd imagine if you're running tubeless and low pressures. 

Swapping from 650B/47 to 700c/32 will be bone-rattling until you get used to it, although lower tubeless pressures will help. Personally, I'd not be too concerned about the weight of the wheels because the ability to bash over everything the road throws at you will offset it through increased rider comfort.

I recently got these - an absolute bargain at £144 - if you want to stick with 650B. I can't find weights for them but they ride absolutely fine on tarmac for me and feel fast, even with Senderos on.

https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/WPFSAAB650/fsa-afterburner-650b-6-bolt-whe...