28mm Tires On Gravel – Complete Guide

Are you tired of feeling unstable and uncomfortable while riding your bike on gravel? Look no further than 28mm tires. These wider tires provide increased traction, stability, and comfort for an optimal gravel riding experience. But how do you set up your bike for these tires, and what can you expect when hitting the trails? In this blog post, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about using 28mm tires on gravel. Get ready to enhance your ride!

What Are 28mm Tires?

28mm Tires

28mm tires are a popular choice among gravel riders due to their versatility and performance capabilities. These tires, also known as 700c x 28, have a width of 28 millimeters and can be used on various terrains ranging from paved roads to loose gravel paths.

One of the main advantages of using 28mm tires is their increased traction and stability. The wider profile allows for more contact with the ground surface, which helps improve grip when riding on loose or uneven surfaces.

Additionally, these tires provide enhanced comfort and reduced fatigue compared to thinner road bike tires. They absorb shock better thanks to their larger volume, making them ideal for long-distance rides or bumpy terrain.

However, it’s important to note that not all bikes are compatible with 28mm tires. It’s essential to check your bike’s clearance before purchasing new tires as some models may not have enough space between the frame and wheels for wider options.

Understanding 28mm Tires On Gravel

Understanding 28mm Tires

If you’re considering switching to 28mm tires for your gravel rides, it’s important to understand what they are and how they differ from other tire sizes.

First of all, the size measurement refers to the width of the tire. A typical road bike tire is around 23mm-25mm wide, while a standard gravel or cyclocross tire can range from 30mm-40mm in width. So at 28mm, these tires fall somewhere in between.

While narrower tires may be faster on smooth roads and wider ones offer more stability on rough terrain, 28mm tires provide a balance between speed and comfort that makes them ideal for mixed-surface riding.

Another thing to note is that not all tire brands measure their products exactly the same way. Some might label a tire as “28c” while others use different terminology like “700×28”. It’s always best to double-check with the manufacturer when selecting your tires.

Parameter28 mm Tire
Air PressureTypically 70-100 psi (pounds per square inch)
WeightAround 250-350 grams
SpeedVaries based on various factors such as terrain, riding conditions, and cyclist’s effort
AccelerationDependent on cyclist’s power input and gearing
ResistanceRolling resistance can vary depending on tire compound, tread pattern, and road surface
Please not that these values are provided by general estimation and vary depending on these factor like, brand, model etc. It’s always recommended to refer to the manufacturer’s specifications and guidelines for precise information about a particular tire.

How To Set Up Your Bike For 28mm Tires On Gravel

Setting up your bike for 28mm tires on gravel is crucial to ensure a smooth and comfortable ride. The first thing you need to do is check if your frame, fork, and wheels can accommodate 28mm tires. Most modern bikes can handle this size without any issues, but it’s always better to be sure.

Once you’ve confirmed that your bike can fit 28mm tires, the next step is to adjust the brake calipers. Since wider tires have more clearance between them and the brakes, you may need to reposition them or use longer brake pads.

It’s also important to consider tire pressure when using 28mm tires on gravel. Lower tire pressures enhance traction and stability while providing a smoother ride over rough terrain. However, keep in mind that lower pressure increases the risk of pinch flats or punctures.

Another factor to consider is rim compatibility. Most rims are designed for specific tire widths, so make sure that your rims are compatible with 28mm tires before installing them.

What To Expect When Riding With 28mm Tires on Gravel

What To Expect When Riding With 28mm Tires on Gravel

When you ride with 28mm tires on gravel, you can expect a few things. Firstly, the wider tires will provide more traction and stability on loose terrain compared to narrower road bike tires. This means that you’ll be able to maintain your speed without slipping or sliding around as much.

Additionally, you can expect enhanced comfort and reduced fatigue due to the increased volume of air in the tire creating a cushion between yourself and the rough surface below. This is especially useful for longer rides where comfort becomes an important factor in maintaining energy levels.

Another thing to consider when riding with 28mm tires on gravel is their versatility across various terrains. While they excel on loose surfaces like gravel roads, they also perform well on hard-packed dirt trails and even some asphalt roads.

Efficient rolling resistance should be expected from using 28mm tires which helps preserve your energy during long rides while still offering good grip thanks to their wide contact patch with the ground.

Advantages of 28mm Tires on Gravel

Using 28mm tires on gravel has its advantages, and it’s no wonder why more and more cyclists are opting for this tire size. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits you can expect when hitting the dirt roads with these tires.

Switching to 28mm tyres may be beneficial if you’re looking for improved performance and comfort while riding on gravel routes – just remember to adjust your tire pressure accordingly!

Increased Traction and Stability

One of the biggest advantages of using 28mm tires on gravel is the increased traction and stability they provide. With a wider tire, there is more surface area in contact with the ground, allowing for better grip and control on loose or uneven terrain.

This means that you can tackle steep hills or tricky corners with confidence knowing that your tires will keep you grounded. Additionally, wider tires also help to absorb bumps and vibrations from rough surfaces, providing a smoother ride overall.

With 28mm tires, however, you’ll be able to confidently take on any gravel road without worrying about slipping off course. So if you’re looking for an upgrade that will give you more stability and control while riding over unpredictable terrain, switching to wider tires could be just what you need!

Enhanced Comfort and Reduced Fatigue

One of the biggest advantages of using 28mm tires on gravel is enhanced comfort and reduced fatigue. With wider tires, you’ll experience less jarring bumps and vibrations while riding over rough terrain. This can make for a more enjoyable and comfortable ride overall.

When you’re not constantly being rattled around by every rock and pothole, it’s easier to maintain good posture on your bike. This means that you’ll be putting less strain on your back, shoulders, and neck as you ride. As a result, you may find that you can stay in the saddle for longer periods without feeling fatigued or developing soreness.

Reduced fatigue also means better focus during your rides. When your body isn’t fighting against discomfort and pain, it’s easier to concentrate on navigating tricky sections of trail or maintaining a consistent pace throughout your ride.

Of course, even with wider tires providing increased comfort levels there are still some things to consider when using them on gravel roads. You should always ensure that your bike fits properly and is set up correctly for optimal performance with 28mm tires – this will help reduce any unnecessary strain while pedaling.

Versatility for Various Terrain

When it comes to riding on gravel, the terrain can vary greatly. From loose and chunky rocks to hard-packed dirt, each type of terrain presents its own unique challenges. This is where the versatility of 28mm tires really shines.

With their wider profile and increased volume, 28mm tires are able to handle a wide variety of terrains with ease. They provide enough traction to keep you stable on loose surfaces while still being efficient enough for hard-packed roads.

On loose or muddy terrain, the wider footprint of 28mm tires allows for more surface area contact with the ground which helps prevent slipping or sliding. On harder surfaces, they offer a smoother ride due to their higher volume which absorbs small bumps better than narrower tires.

Moreover, when it comes to mixed-terrain rides that combine both road and off-road sections, 28mm tires are ideal as they enable riders to adapt easily between different types of terrain without having to change equipment.

Efficient Rolling Resistance

Efficient Rolling Resistance is one of the key advantages of using 28mm tires on gravel. When you ride with these tires, you will experience less friction between the tire and the ground, which translates to a smoother and faster riding experience.

The wider surface area of 28mm tires distributes weight more evenly, reducing rolling resistance as compared to narrower tires. This means that it requires less energy from your legs to maintain speed or ride uphill, making you work less hard while still moving at a decent pace.

Efficient rolling resistance improves handling and control when taking turns or navigating rough terrain. With improved grip on loose rocks and dirt patches thanks to the larger contact patch provided by bigger tires like these ones, riders can have peace of mind knowing they’ll be able maneuver through any obstacle ahead with ease.

Disadvantage of Using 28mm Tires on Gravel

Using 28mm tires on gravel has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh them before making a choice.
Using 28mm tires is that they may not provide enough puncture protection compared to thicker options. Additionally, some riders may find them heavier or slower than narrower sizes.

While there are trade-offs involved with choosing 28mm tires for gravel riding versus other sizes available in the market today – each rider should consider what suits their personal preferences best based primarily upon factors such as terrain preference; overall bike weight distribution (including any gear); individual skill levels/experience with off-road cycling; frequency/lengths of rides planned etcetera

Considerations for Using 28mm Tires on Gravel

Considerations for Using 28mm Tires on Gravel

When considering using 28mm tires on gravel, there are a few important factors to take into account.
By taking these considerations into account when choosing to use 28mm tires on gravel roads, you’ll be able to enjoy an enhanced riding experience that maximizes traction while minimizing discomforts such as fatigue from vibrations caused by rough terrain.

Tire Pressure and PSI

One of the most important factors to consider when using 28mm tires on gravel is tire pressure. The right amount of air in your tires can make all the difference in terms of performance, comfort, and safety.

When it comes to tire pressure for 28mm tires on gravel, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on a number of variables such as your weight, riding style, bike setup, and terrain conditions. As a general rule of thumb though, most riders tend to run their 28mm tires between 50-80 psi for off-road use.

It’s always best to start with the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure range printed on the sidewall of your tire. From there you can adjust according to personal preference and conditions.

Keep in mind that lower pressures provide better traction and increased comfort due to more surface area touching the ground but may increase rolling resistance or risk pinch flats if too low. Meanwhile higher pressures give less rolling resistance but decrease grip and comfort levels since only a small contact patch touches the road surface.

Rim Compatibility

When considering using 28mm tires on gravel, it’s important to also think about rim compatibility. Not all rims are designed to accommodate wider tires, and attempting to use them together could result in a poor fit or even damage.

Firstly, check the width of your current rims to ensure they can handle 28mm tires. Generally speaking, most modern road bike rims can accommodate up to at least 28mm without issue. However, older or more narrow rims may not work as well.

Another factor is the internal width of your rim. This refers to the distance between the two sides of the rim that hold the tire bead in place. A wider internal width will provide better support for wider tires like 28mm.

It’s worth noting that running wider than recommended tire sizes on narrow rims can increase your risk of pinch flats and overall instability while riding off-road. Be sure to consult with a professional if you’re unsure whether your current setup is compatible with larger tires.

Tire Selection

When it comes to choosing the right 28mm tire for gravel riding, several factors need to be considered. The first thing you want to consider is the tread pattern of the tire.

A knobby or raised tread will provide better traction on loose and uneven terrain while a smoother tread will provide faster rolling resistance on hard-packed surfaces. Additionally, you may also want to consider a tubeless tire setup which can offer added puncture protection and lower rolling resistance.

Don’t forget about width compatibility with your rims – make sure your 28mm tires are compatible with your bike’s rim size before making any purchases. With all these considerations in mind, finding the perfect 28mm tire for your next gravel adventure should be an easy ride!

Personal Riding Style

When it comes to choosing the right tire size for gravel riding, personal riding style should not be overlooked. Your preferred riding style can have a significant impact on your choice of tires and how you set up your bike.

If you’re someone who likes to ride aggressively and push yourself to go faster, then wider 28mm tires may offer you more stability and grip on loose terrain. On the other hand, if you prefer a smoother pace or enjoy longer rides that prioritize comfort over speed, narrower 28mm tires could still provide enough traction while also being lighter weight which translates into less fatigue.

Your riding style also plays a role in determining the PSI (pounds per square inch) that is optimal for your 28mm tires. For example, if you are an aggressive rider who loves technical descents and sharp turns, consider increasing your tire pressure slightly higher than recommended as this will improve handling performance.

Tips for Riding with 28mm Tires on Gravel

Riding on gravel with 28mm tires can be a fun and exciting experience, but it also requires some preparation and attention. Here are some useful tips to help you ride safely and comfortably with your 28mm tires on gravel.

By following these simple tips , you’ll be able to enjoy a smooth ride while exploring new terrains with confidence knowing that you’re prepared for any situation!

Tire Pressure Optimization

Optimizing tire pressure is crucial when riding with 28mm tires on gravel. The ideal tire pressure will vary depending on the rider’s weight, terrain, and personal preference. Generally speaking, lower tire pressure increases traction and comfort but decreases efficiency and stability.

To determine the optimal tire pressure for your bike setup, start by consulting the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific 28mm tires. Then experiment with different pressures to find a level that works best for you.

When testing different pressures, pay attention to how your bike handles in various terrain conditions. Take note of any bouncing or excessive rolling resistance which may indicate that you need to adjust your tire pressure up or down accordingly.

It’s important to regularly check and maintain proper inflation levels before every ride as changes in temperature can affect air volume in tires. Use an accurate gauge to ensure consistent measurements across all tires.

Proper Bike Maintenance

Maintaining your bike is crucial, especially if you want to make the most out of your 28mm tires on gravel. Here are some tips to ensure that your bike stays in top shape:

  • Clean and lubricate your chain regularly. A dirty, dry chain can cause unnecessary wear on both the chain and cassette. Use a degreaser to remove any dirt or grime from the chain before applying lubricant.
  • Check your brakes for proper alignment and pad wear. Worn-out brake pads can lead to decreased braking power and even dangerous situations while riding.
  • Inspect your tires for any cuts or abrasions that could potentially lead to punctures on rough gravel terrain. Regularly checking tire pressure is also important as it affects ride quality and performance.

Choosing the Right Gravel Routes

When it comes to riding your bike on gravel, the route you choose can make a big difference. Not all gravel roads are created equal, so it’s important to do some research before heading out.

Firstly, consider the distance and elevation of the route. If you’re new to riding on gravel or have limited experience with longer rides, choosing a shorter and flatter route may be best for you. As you gain more experience and confidence, you can gradually increase the distance and elevation.

Another factor to consider is road conditions. Some gravel roads are well-maintained while others may have deep ruts or loose rocks that could pose a challenge for riders with narrower tires.

You should also take into account local weather patterns when planning your ride. Heavy rainfall or extreme heat can make certain routes impassable or uncomfortable for biking.

Think about what scenery and surroundings appeal most to you – whether it’s rolling hillsides or dense forests – as this will help determine which routes would be most enjoyable for your tastes.


Can I use 28mm tires on any bike?
While 28mm tires can fit most bikes, it’s important to check the compatibility with your specific bike model and rim width. Some bikes may have limited clearance or require narrower tires for optimal performance.

Are wider tires always better for gravel riding?
Wider tires offer more stability and traction on loose terrain, but they also come with added weight and rolling resistance. It ultimately depends on personal preference and the type of gravel riding you plan to do.

Do 28mm tires provide enough puncture protection on gravel?
Tire punctures can happen regardless of tire size, but choosing a higher quality tire with adequate puncture protection can minimize the risk. It’s important to also check tire pressure regularly as low pressure increases the chances of getting a flat.

How do I determine the optimal tire pressure for my 28mm tires?
The recommended PSI range is typically listed on the sidewall of the tire, but factors such as rider weight and terrain should also be considered when adjusting pressure. A general rule is to start with a lower PSI for rougher terrain and increase for smoother surfaces.

Can I switch between different tire widths for different terrains?
Yes, some riders prefer to switch out their tires depending on the type of terrain they will be riding on. Just make sure that your rims are compatible with both sizes and adjust air pressure accordingly when switching between widths.


As we come to the end of this article, it’s clear that using 28mm tires on gravel can have numerous benefits for riders. These tires provide increased traction and stability, enhanced comfort and reduced fatigue, versatility for various terrain, and efficient rolling resistance.

Also Read: How much do bike tires cost? Understanding Pricing and Quality