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Panaracer overhauls the GravelKing tyre range

The Panaracer GravelKing tyre has been on the market for a while now, a decade in fact, as this year is the model’s 10th anniversary. It was one of the first specific gravel tyres to hit the market and has been well revered since. We even feature the GravelKing SK model in our best gravel tyres guide, but now it seems that the Japanese brand is ready to overhaul and update the popular tyre. 

Panaracer says that over the last two years, it has been busy developing new tech and specs for the entire GravelKing (GK) range. Despite the product line receiving updates and new sizes over the years, Panaracer says the evolution speed of gravel wheel and tyre tech has required a from-the-ground-up overhaul.

This overhaul means new branding, a new logo, new tread pattern, new sizing options, new bead technology, and even a new compound and model. We don’t have full details of the whole range of tyres yet, but we understand new GravelKing tyres will be priced at £54.99 per tyre whilst Plus and R-Line models will be £64.99. (International pricing is TBC).

A brand new tyre model 

Panaracer looks set to launch the first new GK model since 2017. In the form of the GK X1. The brand claims the X1 is the fastest GK tyre ever and has been in development for over two years using feedback from testers, athletes and the brand’s tech team. 

Specifics on the tyre are still fairly scarce and we will aim to test some in time, but for now, all we know is that the X1 claims to possess an aggressive, fast-rolling tread, with claims of superior clearing in wet and muddy terrain and improved control. 

We assume the X1 will feature the new GK logo and packaging Panaracer has created which is also to help differentiate between new and older models. Only the name and model treads are set to remain the same.

A sizing overhaul 

The original GK tyres were designed around a 17mm inner rim width according to Panaracer, which is very narrow compared to modern rim standards. 

The brand says the new tyres will bring better hookless rim compatibility alongside improving mounting and specs generally more up-to-date design specs. Sizing for tyres will start at 30c and increase in increments of 5 up to 50c. The 32, 38 and 43c sizes are being retired. 

While 32 tyres are still seen in the world of cyclocross, and even on the road nowadays, gravel bikes tend to be fitted- and ridden with larger volume tyres.

Panaracer says 650b, 26in and 29in options will still be available. 

New bead technology and a fresh compound 

Panaracer is also announcing a new ‘BeadLock’ technology in line with the new range. The brand says BeadLock is a redesigned tyre bead that should accommodate an ‘extensive array’ of rim types, both hookless and hooked. They also claim it should mean tubeless tyre mounting should be achievable with just a standard floor pump. 

There is also set to be a new tyre compound in the form of the ZSG Gravel compound, using what Panaracer calls Zero Grip Slip material. The brand says it is designed to perform well on gravel and tarmac surfaces and ensure low rolling resistance whilst maintaining grip. 

Finally, updated TuffTex and TuffTex+ material technology go into the GK tyre casings to provide durability and puncture protection. Similarly, a new TuffTex R material is used for the most supple and lightweight GK casings and helps provide the lowest rolling resistance available in a GK tyre.

SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
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