Hutchinson has been building up their tire line over the past couple of years and in the summer of 2020, they released the Touareg gravel tire. The Touareg, no relation to the Volkswagen model, is a new tire that “improves upon” the Overide tire, but made to be more versatile, durable, and ready for looser terrain. Whereas the tread down the center of the Overide is buzzed down for sheer rolling speed, the Touareg is an off-road tire with more pronounced knobs and available in bigger volumes; either 650×47 or 700×40 or 45. Both diameters come in either black or tan sidewalls. Respectively, they have a claimed weight of 585g, 490g, and 610g. The tires retail for $65, though online retailers like Wiggle sell them starting around $40.
Now, this is still a gravel tire, good for gravel roads, bikepacking, or light-duty trail riding, so the knobs are small and closely packed. There are tight, directional knobs running down the center, with offset transitional knobs surrounding the center line, and beefy-for-a-gravel-tire side knobs. The casing is a dual-compound, 127TPI, and tubeless-ready. Hutchinson incorporated their Hardskin textile grid layer for cut resistance from bead to bead.
On the trail
The Touaregs snapped in easily on my wheels with a floor pump, and I’m happy to report that they hold air nicely, only needing a few refresher pumps here and there to be back at optimal pressure. I opted for the 700x40s and on my scale they weighed about 10g over the claimed weight and about 75-100g more each than the Maxxis Ramblers I previously had mounted on my gravel bike.
Even though they aren’t the lightest tires out there, the Touaregs spin up like a top and keep their speed well, aided by the tight, angled center knobs. They are a breeze to pedal on almost any terrain you might find yourself riding a gravel bike on.
The tires offer grip on hardpack and slightly loose over hard pack well enough to inspire the confidence to carry speed down somewhat technical singletrack.
I knew I liked the Touaregs shortly after I installed them, but my appreciation for the tires grew tenfold after an eight-hour day on my gravel bike with friends. We linked up 20 miles of singletrack with 20 miles of road and 10 miles of gravel – seemingly the proper use for a gravel bike. The singletrack we followed in December included many snow-packed miles on the Colorado Trail, descending over square-edge rocks on the south-facing sections.
Any snow over two inches deep, and I’d sink, but the Touaregs keep traction well in packed powder. By hour five though, I’d had enough of hike-a-biking, and sought to make every dry piece of dirt count to make up time, and I knew I’d probably have some sort of breakdown if I caught a puncture down the Colorado Trail. Hell, I probably would have tossed my bike down a gulley and bushwhacked my way off the mountain.
But, that puncture never came. The Touaregs were reliable as ever for me and that won me over. Having put even more miles on them since then, they are still holding strong and keeping tread.
The Hutchinson Touaregs combine a few different properties to make for an excellent gravel tire. They grip up and roll fast across dirt. They are also reliable, and a decent weight – although they are not the lightest option. For a few extra grams though, I will gladly accept the Touaregs as a trusty, performance-minded tire, ready for multi-terrain adventures.