In the last few years, Specialized have done a lot of things right and developed a sense of how to make good bike tires. Is the Pathfinder Pro a serious alternative to the more established brands?
Despite being the heaviest gravel tire in our group test, the Pathfinder really cleans up in the lab: third-lowest rolling resistance, good snakebite resistance and top marks for puncture protection. From a standstill, this tire isn’t the best at accelerating due to its weight. However, once the Pathfinder is up to speed, it rolls extremely fast and efficiently, regardless of whether you’re on the road or gravel. Corner coming up? Then with the Pathfinder, you can forget about normal steering! Just shift your weight and lean into the corner like you would on your road bike. Pure riding fun! Thanks to the numerous shoulder knobs, grip is distributed evenly and even if you set up for the corner incorrectly, you can correct your line without sliding out. Thanks to the continuous tread in the middle there’s lots of grip available for heavy braking on asphalt. However, on gravel, the tire locks up quickly and loses grip. Uphill, it only works when things are completely dry. The Pathfinder doesn’t like damp rocks or roots and tends to spin out.
The Specialized Pathfinder Pro is fast and with its unique road bike character is particularly fun in the corners. However, it has problems when braking and unfortunately, this gravel tire is only available in a limited range of sizes.
- low rolling resistance
- good puncture protection
- lots of cornering grip
- lacks braking traction on gravel
- limited sizes available
Made in Thailand | Tested size 42-622 | Tire width in mm¹ 41.7 | Tire height in mm¹ 40.9 | Tire height + test rim in mm² 64.9 | Weight 568 g | Price € 41.90
1 messured dimension with 2.5 bar. 2 Test rim: Stan’s NOTUBES Grail 622 x 20.3 C (Rim height 24.5 mm)
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In our introduction of the best gravel tire on test you can’t just find our most interesting findings and our overall conclusion, but a good view on all tires tested.
All tires on review: Continental Terra Speed (click for review) | Continental Terra Trail (click for review) | MAXXIS Rambler SilkShield TR (click for review) | Panaracer GravelKing SK (click for review) | Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H (click for review) | Schwalbe G-One Allround Evolution (click for review) | Schwalbe G-One Bite Evolution (click for review) | Specialized Pathfinder Pro (click for review) | Teravail Cannonball Light & Supple (click for review) | Vittoria Terreno Dry (click for review) | WTB Riddler TCS Light/Fast Rolling (click for review) | WTB Venture Road TCS (click for review)
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Words & Photos: Benjamin Topf, Philipp Schwab