Panaracer makes the most complete, useful line of gravel tires out there, with WTB following close behind. Bang for the buck, you can’t beat either brand. For many moons we have been riding the Gravelking SK and the Gravelking Smooth, with nary an issue or quibble. No flats, no weird knob loss, good wear characteristics.
The Gravelking SS fits between the Smooth and the SK aka Semi Knobby. Is it a Goldilocks tire? I dunno, I’m not an entitled blonde girl B&E’ing a house looking for some porridge. I can tell you that if you spend most of your time on pavement, smooth dry dirt roads, and only occasionally on rougher stuff, this tire will be a solid performer. In our roll down tests, which consist of rolling down to the general store to get a 4 pack of Upper Pass, the SS tire was 98.3% as rolly as the Gravelking Smooth, as averaged over 58 roll downs. In our roll up tests, where we roll up to the swimming hole, the SS looked 21.4% more purposeful parked in the poison ivy than the Sk, while looking 3.2% less likely to get mistaken for a mountain bike tire by a white plate-er.
All of Panaracer’s tires are made in Japan, and the factory lunch room is famously serenaded Monday thru Friday by Guitar Wolf. When they are out on tour, Boris fills in. This ensures the workers are properly motivated to get back to work.
The Gravelking SS comes in two colors, all black and black with brown sidewalls. A bunch of sizes. Listed below. And two casings, a normal one and a beefier (dubbed by the "+") one. If you are doing real deal touring, get the beefier ones. If you ride with tubes, get the beefier ones. Otherwise, get the normal ones. They’re a bit lighter, a bit more squishy town (technical term for the made up term ‘supple’) and feel a tad more sprightly. Also a touch cheaper. Sorry. Less expensive.
700c x 28mm, 32mm, 35mm, 38mm, 43mm and 650b x 48mm
All black or black tread w/ tan sidewalls
Standard casing or "+" Plus casing