I swap between the 45mm Riddler's and 38mm Paselas regularly and while the Riddler doesn't roll on pavement as well as a smooth tread tire, it provides a ton of confidence in really loose stuff. I've run them as low as 25lbs (with tubes!) without any pinch flats. With 210lbs combined bikerider weight and running a good mix of loose gravel and pavement I usually get 1500 miles on the rear tire and 2500 miles on the front. I think that's pretty good for a tire this supple.
Mounting them sucks so much. The bead profile is made for WTB TCS rims which have a more square bead profile and it takes a ton of work to get them to mount cleanly unless you prep your rim. You WILL get wobble if you don't seat the bead uniformly and it takes a lot of pressure and effort. I've only been able to get these to mount cleanly by using soapy water on the rim and that is a supply that you usually don't have on you when you're on the side of trail trying to fix a puncture. Running tubeless with a tire repair kit (Dynaplug) hopefully means you can avoid all this pain because it sucks finishing a ride with a lumpy tire.
Im revising my original review. Im changing Almost Great to Dang Good. My original complaint of them being fragile hasnt held up with a second set. Im at almost 500 miles of rough gravel onthe current set without any hint of weakness. Theyre wearing fine as well.
My only suggestion for improving this tire is improved puncture resistance. Had one suffer a 1 cm cut on the center line caused by simple gravel. I run mine tubeless, with Stans at about 30 psi.
Mounting went easy, without problems, and without a gorilla.
Surprisingly good traction on a variety of surfaces. (No mud yet)
Pretty good float in sand.
Great in the corners.
Very confident feel.
Ordered this tire to replace Challenge Gravel Grinder - Race for a Fondo event. Couldn't even begin to get them mounted on my wheels. They should come with a gorilla to mount them. Never had a problem with fitting those wheels through Challenge or Continental.
I do a lot of miles on my 'cross bike on mixed rides in New England. I've ridden everything from single track to gravel races on these in the 37s - run tubeless - and I'm completely sold on the tread pattern. It's pretty amazing what I've gotten up on these....real slick rooty climbs, not a problem. And they roll on pavement much more nicely than other gravel type tires. They mounted up on Stan's rims without any problems at all.
The tires have a good profile and track well in a variety of conditions. However, they dont fit my Alex CXD6 rims. Both of my wheels have a nasty wobble at a range of pressures, and I couldnt keep riding on them. I have never had this in 4 decades of riding and probably hundreds of tires mounted.
The 45mm width provided excellent handling on a route with sections deep gravel and lots of rough rocks. Did not roll as past on pavement as the 35mm tires I used before. I would feel comfortable using these on most of the single track we have around here. If you ride roads that are smooth and hard packed, you could find a faster tire.