Hot on the heels of their new trail-ready Kraken, Hutchinson has unleashed a new Touareg gravel tire, a versatile all-conditions tire for riders & racers looking to expand their horizons. Developed as a best of both worlds tire – for both road & trail – the Touareg does a good job of finding a happy medium with fast-rolling tread that still grips in a range of conditions, and MTB-level durability that should hold-up to bikepacking and adventure racing.
Hutchinson Touareg is a versatile fast-rolling, durable gravel tire
In a word, the Hutchinson Touareg gravel tire is meant to be versatile. Hutchinson has tasked this new tire with supporting the ambitious & fast-growing adventure gravel community who embrace their gravel bikes as the “ideal tool with the durability of a mountain bike enabling venturing off-road while still retaining the efficiencies of a road bike, making it possible to cover such distances over varied terrain with ease”.
The new Touareg mixes tech from Hutchinson’s road & mountain bike platforms to get the best balance of fast-rolling over hard & loose surfaces alike, plus the protection needed for more adventurous gravel & other off-road riding and racing. Starting with their favorite Override gravel tire, the new Touareg gets beefed up with larger knobs, wider casings & an overall boost in tire volume for more rugged terrain.
First Impressions: Touareg gravel tread design
Much like the new XC/trail tire, the Touareg tread gets three prominent zones – fast-rolling continuous chevrons in the center, more widely spaced intermediate transition blocks, and linked pyramid-shaped & buttressed shoulder knobs to offer support when cornering in loose terrain. Hutchinson claims the high number of regularly spaced small blocks of varying geometry make the Touareg tread versatile across both wet hardpack, rocks, roots and even dry, dusty & sandy surfaces, as well.
While those sound like lofty claims, so far… they seem to match my first thoughts riding the tires over a range of trail conditions. It isn’t magic in wet or muddy conditions, but control is consistent and predictable whether wet or dry. And while the center tread does pack up more with mud, the open transition between intermediate & shoulder knobs clears quickly to ensure that cornering grip is ready when you need it.
Touareg gravel – Tech details
The small block tread design is the heart of Hutchinson’s desire to keep the Touareg fast-rolling. Officially it gets rated for dry, mixed & rocky terrain (not for mud).
Bead-to-bead Hardskin textile reinforcement comes directly from their mountain bike line, offering a high level of puncture protection, on top of a relatively supple 127tpi tubeless-ready casing. Featuring a tubeless-specific folding bead, they are designed to be used with Hutchinson’s latex Protect’Air Max sealant.
Dual-compound rubber promises a blend of low rolling-resistance, long wear and confident cornering grip. The French tires use a harder 60ShA durometer rubber under the entire tread, with the shoulder lugs and outer row of intermediate knobs getting a softer 50ShA rubber over top.
Hutchinson claims quite low weights for the tires across the size range 490g (700×40), 550g (700×45) & 585g (650×47) with a margin of error of +/-7%. The sample tires I’ve been riding both weighed exactly the same on our scale, but about double that deviation at 13.5% heavier than claimed at 624g a pop.
Hutchinson Touareg – Options, pricing & availability
The new Touareg comes in black or tan wall editions that share that same construction, and are offered in 650b x 47mm or 700c x 40mm versions. The black edition adds a larger third size of 700x45mm, which I have been riding for a couple of weeks now. All of the (relatively limited) versions of the new Touareg gravel tire are handmade in France. They retail for $65 / 37€, and are available now through Hutchinson distribution channels.