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New Specialized S-Works Pathfinder gravel tires shed 210g per set!

specialized s-works pathfinder gravel bike tire shown on a bike riding on dirt roads
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By dropping the weight of a road bike tire off their combined rotating mass, the already-very-fast Specialized S-Works Pathfinder gravel tires are looking to notch even more wins.

What’s surprising is how much stays the same, with the same tread pattern and 42mm width, same Blackbelt puncture protection, and same tubeless compatibility.

specialized s-works pathfinder gravel bike tire shown on a bike riding on dirt roads

Where it differs is in the amount of rubber surrounding that casing, and the switch to their dual-density Gripton T5/T7 rubber compounds. And an all-new GRID RACE sidewall casing.

The original Pathfinder tires had a three-layer Endurant casing, which provided great protection, but… three layers. That gets heavy.

Specialized says the new S-Works Pathfinder uses a lighter GRID RACE casing with a supple cross-woven polyamide reinforcement that protects against cuts without being heavy. Or stiff. Which means the tire should be more supple.

specialized s-works pathfinder gravel bike tire shown from the side

For the rubber, the center section’s smooth-rolling solid strip gets the firmer, faster T5 rubber. Shoulder knobs get the softer, grippier T7 compound.

We’ve really liked these compounds on their mountain bike tires, as well as those tires’ ability to hold shape while still conforming to the ground, so we’re excited to see how these changes translate to gravel.

specialized s-works versus pro pathfinder gravel bike tires comparison

Side by side with the Pathfinder Pro (right), the S-Works model’s (left) tread depth looks slightly shallower, which would be surprising since the extra rubber means extra weight, and these are meant as a race tire.

specialized s-works pathfinder gravel bike tire shown on a bike riding on dirt roads

The new S-Works Pathfinder tire comes in at a claimed 435g for 700×42, the only size available. Retail is $60 (€60 / $95AUD).

The original Pathfinder Pro carries over with a 540g (700×42) single-compound Gripton rubber, the Endurant casing, and three sizes. Sport and Sport Reflective models are also available.

Specialized.com

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90RPM
90RPM
11 months ago

Can’t wait to get my mitts on a pair of these!

Jon McLaughlin
Jon McLaughlin
11 months ago

Apologies if I am misunderstanding. But you mention the S-works appears to have shallower tread, which is surprising because it’s lighter… Wouldn’t shallower tread be expected to be lighter since there is less rubber involved? I would have expected shallower to be lighter personally…

Paul
Paul
11 months ago
Reply to  Jon McLaughlin

You aren’t misunderstanding Jon, i picked up on there mistake as well, you assume the same as me, they obviously got this wrong way about

blahblahblah
blahblahblah
11 months ago
Reply to  Jon McLaughlin

because there is less rubber over all you can only make the tread so deep

Ed.
Ed.
11 months ago

No one can compete my old furios fred’s

FritzP
FritzP
11 months ago

Let’s see how they fair on the drum at BicycleRollingResistance.com.

tech9
11 months ago
Reply to  FritzP

BRR needs to update their testing methods. 1. they mount all their tires to a 17mm ID rim. INCLUDING MTB TIRES. which is 2008 widths. 2. a steel drum is not indicative of real life roads and for that matter gravel roads. They test their mtb’s tires and gravel tires on the same drum as their road tires. Many studies have shown that flat roads are not “flat/smooth”. 3. their PSI’s they test at are not particularly real world psi’s we’d run. So yes in a controlled platform as their lab a certain tire on a 17mm rim at 25 or 50psi might be xx.xx watts, but what would the real world say about the same tire lets say on a 25mm ID rim at 20psi over gravel roads?

benedict – Did you happen to throw a caliper on these things once inflated? Specialized’s latest generation tires have hit the mark on the claimed weights, but they have been wayyyyyyyyyyyyy narrow when it comes to their widths.

Alex
Alex
11 months ago
Reply to  tech9

It might be time for BRR to update their testing a bit, but if they do that, you can’t compare results with the new test against those from the old test. In any case, their results are consistent, so when they say one tire is faster than another, that is still valid.

Dinger
Dinger
11 months ago
Reply to  tech9

“they have been wayyyyyyyyyyyyy narrow when it comes to their widths.”

This has been a “trick” employed by tire makes for years to result in the best “width x weight” ratio for marketing. Interestingly, I’ve been finding that road tires trend the other direction. Sidewall says 25c (For example) but actual width is wider. This might be due to these legacy sizes needing an update to follow the trend of wider rims on the road.That and road tires are so light these days that I don’t think as many riders still place a lot of importance on it, further evidenced by the wider tire trend (weight weenies would stay on 23’s..).

tech9
11 months ago
Reply to  Dinger

Agreed with your observations 100%. Everyone is stamping larger sizes on the side of their tires, but really they are getting more narrow even on wide rims. Looking at you schwalbe!

Greg
Greg
10 months ago
Reply to  tech9

Their drum has diamond a plate surface. It’s still not coarse like asphalt, but it is not a perfectly smooth surface either.
Their gravel pressures go down to 25psi. I think that’s pretty realistic. You could hypothetically follow the curve to extrapolate even lower pressures if you like.
Yes the rim is narrow, but it is consistent. I’ve never seen a tire have crappy rolling resistance in one rim width and awesome rolling resistance in another rim width, compared to all the other tires.

Dolan
Dolan
10 months ago

I picked up a pair of these from my local shop and ran them this past weekend in the Peloton Gravel MOB. Compared to my previous 38mm GKSKs, they were marginally less grippy, more supple (4mm extra volume will do that), and MUCH faster, especially on hardback and pavement. The cornering was very predictable, which made for an easy transition — they will reward you for digging in those side knobs. Weight was ~550g a tire and they sealed up with no fuss, as expected. If you’re looking for a dry conditions race tire, they’re definitely worth a look.

Randy Hermann
Randy Hermann
4 months ago
Reply to  Dolan

At ~550g per tire you almost certainly have the standard version if the tire (claimed weight for the 42 is 540g) instead of the S-Works version which weighs 435g.

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