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To Be Determined Journal

To Be Determined is a journal of cycling, adventure and photography, curated by a NYC-based cycling team known as TBD Racing or Team TBD. From criteriums to cyclocross to product reviews and travel diaries, it is all part of the TBD Journal.

Review: Schwalbe G-One Speed Tires

As we move from Leaf Peeping Season into How Is It This Cold Season, you may find yourself dusting off your neglected road bike. Maybe you took it halfway apart to finish your parts-bin cyclocross bike. Maybe you broke it in your last road race of the season.

I’m writing today because there is a better way to train in the winter. Maybe it’s a better way to ride bikes regardless of season. I am of course talking about super-wide, semi-treaded, tubeless road tires for your cross bike (or gravel bike, I guess). I am here to talk to you about The Right Choice for your off season training tire.

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The Review: Schwalbe G-One Speed Tires

Installation and Initial Set Up

First things first, these tires were incredibly difficult to get mounted on my 25mm wide carbon rims, but I’m sure that varies widely across rims. Once I wrestled the tires on, getting them fully mounted was also a bit of an ordeal. But I eventually got them mounted and sealed on and they have held air pressure valiantly. I am generally a Stan’s guy, but decided to go with OrangeSeal tape and sealant on these rims. The tape is flimsy and delicate, but the sealant seems thicker and maybe more protective than the alternative.

Rating: 7/10

Ride Quality

These tires are excellent and great and every other good word I can think of. The huge volume of the 38mm wide tires means that I (an admittedly smaller rider) can flirt with 20psi if I’m riding trails or bumpy stuff. On the road, I found them fast and comfortable around 45psi – as always your mileage will vary based on weight. These tires can truly handle anything you throw at them. They’re fast and supple and comfortable as hell on the road, fun if a little slip-ey on the trails, and perfectly at home on gravel. Combined with a solid frame pump (I like a Silca Impero Ultimate), they are the perfect tire for a mixed-terrain wandering fall adventure rides, which is where you’ll find me until it’s time to race bicycles again in the Spring.

Rating: 10/10

Durability

No flats, no burps, no visible cuts to the sidewall or tread. While marketed as a “speed” tire, I’m finding these to be quite a bit more durable than road tires I’ve tried in the past.

Rating: 9/10

Cost

Like almost all bike products, the pricing on these tires can swing widely based on sales and where they’re ordered from. For reference, I paid ~$150 for the set, which is a non-trivial amount of money. It looks like at the time of publishing they can be had for around $60 per tire, which while still expensive, is a bit more reasonable.

Rating: 5/10

Conclusion

Despite the high cost and somewhat difficult mounting process, I do not hesitate to recommend these tires for folks looking to make their cross or gravel bikes a little more pavement-friendly this winter. Just make sure your thumbs are ready for some pain.

Overall Rating: 8/10

They’re wide as hell! For reference, a penny is 19mm in diameter.

They’re wide as hell! For reference, a penny is 19mm in diameter.