Tires for Tour of the Battenkill

Hi all,

Jumping right into it, I’ll be racing the Tour of the Battenkill in a few weeks. It’s about 75 miles with around 20 miles on tightly-packed dirt / gravel roads, some of which include steep (15%+ climbs). The rest of the race on pavement. Thanks to coach Jake for getting me ready to race.

What tires would be the ideal setup for going fast on pavement but being able to feel confident on dirt?

For reference, I’m a tire noob. I generally run 25mm Conti GP5000s and have 0 experience on unpaved roads. I have also never run tubeless. It seems many people are able to run tires like GP5000s for the Battenkill without any issue – and doing that is what I’m leaning towards.

But the race is also famous for having “the most flat tires” in any one-day USAC race. So, as a follow up, should I run tubes or tubeless?

And I’m planning to bring “back-up” tires in case rain is forecasted for the day of the race. What tire would you recommend if it’s raining and that dirt turns into mud? Again, something fast on pavement but able to get through loose dirt / mud / gravel now. My bike can accept up to 30mm.

Thanks so much for your help. Asking here because I know you all are experienced and some (including Jake?) may have raced the Battenkill before. Looking for a variety of opinions.

Interesting question!

From my experience racing Battenkill and plenty of other dirt road races, I’d say your best bet would be a tubeless, 28 mm tire that’s a good blend of fast rolling and puncture resistant. I’m actually not sure if the GP5000s are sold as tubless, but a 28 mm GP5000 would be a good bet if so.

I’m not sure I’d run anything different in the rain. For one, you can’t afford to run anything with tread, as it’ll just be way too slow on the pavement. For another, you don’t want to run something too wide and have the space between the tires and frame/fork pack with mud.


Cool, I figured there were a few Battenkillers around here. GP5000s are sold tubeless in 25mm but not 28. Thanks for the help!

Seems like Schwalbe does a 700x28 “Pro One TLE Addix” tubeless tire that has some good rolling resistance ratings. Might try those out unless anyone else has experience with other good 28mm tubeless options…

I love the Panaracer Gravel Kings - not quite roadie-esque but they come in 28’s with a smooth tread and sidewall flat protection. Put some sealant in there and are you gtg.

They are beefy than GP5000’s and will decrease the probability you flat but are heavier. A pro/con

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Awesome – added them to my shortlist. Seems they have a “slick,” more roadie version. Either way, could be a good, beefier choice if the weather does turn sour.