Schwalbe’s G-One tread pattern spans a huge range of tires. There are 13 in total with two different tread compounds and six different casings, ranging from the 700x35mm tested here, up to 27.5×2.8in plus size and 29×2.25in mountain bike tires. Russell Eich and Josh Patterson tested two pairs of G-Ones to see how this fast-rolling gravel tread stacks up.
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Schwalbe G-One 35c tire specs
- Actual weight: 374 grams per tire
Right on the side of the G-One tires it says ‘Tubeless Easy’. Decently big claims as setting up tubeless tires can be a challenge without a charger pump or air compressor. The G-Ones proved to be the exception. We were both able to seat the beads with floor pumps.
Schwalbe claims its MicroSkin high-tensile fabric is vulcanized to the rubber for less air loss and more puncture resistance. While the first declaration might hold air, the second seemed a bit generous, as we both experienced punctures that tubeless sealant couldn’t seal.
Fast on smooth roads
Similar to mountain biking, tires play a critical role in the bike’s performance. Like any light tire, accelerating on the G-Ones was exhilarating. It’s akin to feeling fitter or stronger than you actually are. The small round knobs skimmed the ground with very minimal drag. The supple casing does an excellent job of flexing and conforming to the terrain to deliver a fast and comfortable ride.
We tested the G-Ones on Colorado’s gravel roads. On these relatively smooth, hard-packed roads, which are more dirt than gravel, the G-One tread pattern performed well, rolling quickly and comfortably. However, we both experienced flats in areas where other gravel tires normally emerged unscathed.
A rocky relationship
The light and supple casing and fast-rolling tread do come with downsides.
While comfortable, the lightweight casing does seem prone to punctures.
The trade-off for the speedy micro knobs is a lack of braking bite and vague cornering on loose dirt and gravel. All of the knobs on the G-One are the same height, so while the transition from straight-line riding to leaning the bike over is consistent, the lack of larger side lugs means you’re not quite sure when you’ll run out of traction.
Russell also pushed the limits of this tire exploring ancient mining roads in Colorado’s high country. In these areas that probably hadn’t seen a wheel in years, the tires had met their match. “I was too scared to let it run on nasty stuff,” said Russell.
Josh also tested the G-Ones in the Flint Hills of central Kansas, home to the legendary Dirty Kanza 200. “Loose, chunky gravel is not the G-One’s strong suit. This is not the place for fragile tires,” said Josh.
Schwalbe G-One bottom line
Given the low rolling resistance and lightweight construction, the Schwalbe G-One is best suited to gravel racing on hardpacked dirt roads and on routes that have a lot of pavement intermixed with stretches of dirt.
If your gravel riding consists of exploring unknown paths, bikepacking, or racing on rocky roads, the G-One isn’t the best option.