Introduced in March 2022 to bolster Hutchinson’s gravel line-up with a four-season offering, the Tundra is said to have taken inspiration from the brand’s cross-country Black Mamba tyre.
The tyre surprised more than once on test, proving to fare much better on linking roads than anticipated.
That said, it doesn’t give the mud-slaying performance one might hope for.
Hutchinson Tundra gravel tyre specifications and details
Designed with mixed, rocky and muddy conditions in mind, the Hutchinson Tundra gravel tyre is the brand’s new four-season offering, catering for riders who seek out more technical off-road trails.
Bead-to-bead puncture protection has been included in the form of Hutchinson’s ‘Hardskin’ reinforcement.
Two different tread compounds are used: a more hard-wearing formula down the centre-line, while a softer, grippier rubber is used across the shoulders of the tyre.
The directional tread features large, flat and angled knobs, more widely spaced from the mid-line to the shoulder.
Along the centre-line, the knobs are slightly smaller and more closely packed.
Hutchinson Tundra gravel tyre performance
Getting the Hutchinson Tundra tyres set up tubeless was fairly straightforward, using a shot of pressurised gas at 120psi and some extra pumping to get the bead seated all the way round.
Set up on WTB CZR i23 rims, with a 23mm internal rim width, the Hutchinson Tundra tyres measure up a little over their 40mm stated width, at 42mm on the shoulder and 43mm on the shoulder knobs.
While a few extra millimetres will no doubt be good for more technical trails, I had to keep an eye on my chainstay clearance to avoid any frame damage, especially where mud was involved.
Heading out onto the road, I was taken aback by the performance of these tyres on tarmac.
Usually, winter-targeted gravel tyres offer more grip in the slop at the cost of road speed, but with the Hutchinson Tundras I felt like I had something akin to a tailwind.
The smoother central tread can take the credit here; it makes transfers between sections of gravel and singletrack much more enjoyable.
On gravel roads and rocky singletrack, the Tundras couldn’t be faulted either, offering a good level of grip through corners, even in the wet, and a smooth ride on the straights.
I sought out some muddier tracks to put the four-season positioning of the Tundras to the test. Sadly, that’s where they came unstuck.
Considering they have such large, widely spaced knobs – which usually leads to good mud traction and mud-shedding ability – I had high hopes for these tyres. But the reality was much more of a slip-sliding disappointment.
It reminded me of that first muddy cyclocross race of the season when you’ve yet to switch over from your summer tyres and you end up slithering all over the place.
Aiming for muddier sections, I could feel the rubber sliding about underneath me, with the rear wheel often slipping out to the side.
Although mud didn’t clog up excessively, there’s no doubt the tread doesn’t bite as well as some of the best mud-tailored tyres.
If your winter riding typically features more high-traffic muddy sections, there are certainly more appropriate tyres on the market.
The tyre’s puncture resistance worked well on my test rides, without a single puncture or loss of pressure, even over some flint trails that sometimes wreak havoc with sidewalls.
I don’t usually comment on the aesthetics of gravel tyres, but the Tundra looks really good.
The darker-than-usual tan is a classy touch, though there’s also black available should you prefer it.
Hutchinson Tundra gravel tyre bottom line
The Hutchinson Tundra tyre has proven to be an excellent choice for the wet roads and gravel of winter, providing good puncture protection.
Alas, its performance in muddy conditions lets it down – and that’s one of the key qualities you’d look for in a tyre such as this.
Therefore, the Tundra is best for riders who benefit from local well-conditioned tracks rather than sloppy bogfests.
|Price||br_price, 5, 3, Price, EUR €53.00GBP £50.00|
|Weight||br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 481g (700c x 40mm) – 490g claimed, Array, g|
|Brand||br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Hutchinson|
|Features||br_Features, 11, 0, Features, Black colourway with ‘Reinforced+’ puncture protection also available
|TPI||br_TPI, 11, 0, TPI, 127|
|Puncture protection||br_punctureProtection, 11, 0, Puncture protection, Hardskin puncture protection with tan sidewalls|
|Sizes||br_tyreSizes, 11, 0, Sizes, 700c x 40mm; 700c x 45mm; 700c x 50mm|