’Cross is coming, but for some, that doesn't mean gravel riding and racing is over. For others, that means it's time to get back on the cyclocross bike, often in the form of road miles and intervals, while reacquainting the body with a slightly different bike fit. For either group, Hutchinson has a new tire that could be a versatile addition to your rim's armor.
The Overide tire, announced last fall and on display at Sea Otter, is Hutchinson's long-awaited first gravel tire.
Some might remember that Hutchinson was the first major tire company to unveil a tubeless cyclocross tire. However, before the beads were modified to include the new carbon bead, the first editions of the Bulldog and Piranha tires were somewhat susceptible to burps at low pressure, leaving a whole generation of cyclocrossers scarred and some forever saying tubeless doesn't work.
Perhaps the French tire company learned from this first venture into the drop bar, off-road tubeless space, taking a more patient approach to gravel. This time it waited to see what riders were pumped to ride and where competitors had burps and hiccups before releasing its first gravel tire. Thankfully, the Overide seems to be worth the wait.
Hutchinson's Overide comes in two widths—35mm and 38mm—in both a tubeless and tube-type casing. Although Hutchinson's official website states the 38mm width isn't tubeless, our test sample was marked as tubeless and was set up and ridden accordingly. Hutchinson's Kendall Young has confirmed the larger size comes in both casings as well.
Interestingly, Hutchinson's tubeless models aren't heavier versions of the 66 tpi non-tubeless tires with beefed up casing and beads. The tubeless models, while gaining the company's Hardskin bead-to-bead protection, also inherit a lighter, 127 tpi casing and overall, tip the scales a few dozen grams lighter than their tube-type counterparts.
Actual weights on our two 35mm samples hovered around 360g on average, while the 38mm samples varied by a surprising margin, with weights of 411g and 444g (427.5g average).
To put those weights into perspective, the 35mm version is lighter than most cyclocross tires of similar width—there are fewer knobs and rubber here—while the 38mm version is 9 percent wider but 19% heavier on average. The 38mm version is still 140g lighter than a similar volume Vittoria Adventure Trail, but about 40g heavier than the more knobby Maxxis Rambler.
Two of our testers have spent time on both 35 and 38mm width tubeless Hutchinson Overide versions and have some early impressions.
Setup Is a Snap
Hutchinson's Overide tires mounted up easily on both Crankbrothers Zinc 3 rims and the Atomik carbon 38C carbon tubeless rims. Mounting the bead on the rim was possibly without tools, and bead seating was a snap with a tubeless inflation pump. The tire was airtight on the Zinc 3, but required a few inflations on the Atomik rims before fully sealing.
The Best of Both Worlds?
If you split your time training between pavement and dirt/gravel, the Overide could be an ideal tire, even if it's not a gravel thoroughbred. Its center tread is a fast-rolling ridge that, despite featuring a very fine texture, rolls almost as well as road tires at higher pressures. We jumped in group road rides and chased triathletes with the 35mm version pumped up to 50 psi and couldn't blame the tires when the gaps opened up.
On dirt and gravel, at lower pressures, the Override was surprisingly grippy, especially in the corners. Take some of the air out, and the side knobs start to engage for better driving, braking and cornering traction. We dropped pressure as low as 20psi for the 35mm tire (with a 165-pound tester) and 25-35psi on the 38mm tire (with a 210-pound tester), without experiencing any burps and enjoyed far superior cornering confidence compared to mostly-slick gravel treads like the Maxxis Refuse and WTB Horizon.
Should your bike commute combine pavement with dirt and gravel temptations, the Overide might as well come with a "running late" alert service for your boss or family. You'll want to explore, because the Overide makes it enjoyable. The casing is reasonably supple, and the high volume and lower pressure that tubeless allows will have you aiming for the road less traveled. Just don't expect the micro knobs on the center tread to last very long—they'll soon fade into a smooth center ridge—but don't impact the ride or traction.
Hutchinson's Young describes his company's Overide as "a superb Pavé tire" rather than a hardcore gravel tire, and we'd agree with him.
Young defines pavé as "the intersection between rough roads and gravel," and that definition describes the Overide's strengths and weaknesses well. It excels on pavement, bad roads, and dirt and gravel hardpack paths.
The smooth center tread holds the Overide back when conditions get loose or sloppy. It won't win any tractor pull contests in deep gravel or loose dirt. There's no tall center knob to cut through loose gravel, and certainly not enough side knob to offer much confidence in wet and slippery off-road surfaces. The Overide is most similar in approach to the excellent WTB Exposure line of mixed terrain tires, although the Exposure tread varies between each width option.
If your regular gravel riding involves terrain littered with tire-slicing rocks like those found on the Lost and Found and Dirty Kanza gravel courses, the Override also may not be the ideal tire. Hutchinson's Hardcase technology, which adds a bead-to-bead fabric layer, is said to "minimize cuts and holes in the casing."
However, on a high-speed descent, we suffered a big cut in the center of the 38mm tire that was too large for Stan's sealant to plug. It's the only issue we've faced so far, but a catastrophic one at that. Of course, it's impossible to know whether another tire would have survived the same impact—with fading light, we did not attempt to recreate the events using other riders' tires. However, tires armored with more rubber or heavier duty puncture protection may be a better choice than the Overide in tire-cutting environments.
We find many gravel newbies, especially those who come from the road, initially ride tires pumped way too hard during their early gravel escapades. Perhaps the seldom-used tire pressure guides on the side of the tire are to blame, and Hutchinson's sidewalls don't help this process by listing 43 and 86 psi as the min/max pressure on the Overide's sidewall, which is a range that will serve up a rough ride on all but the smoothest surfaces.
Hutchinson does deserve credit, however, for offering different tire pressure guidance on the packaging. The following table seems more sensible guidance to the gravel novice:
Those pressure ranges don't seem unreasonable for a gravel ride, especially without inner tubes. Ideal tire pressure, of course, should vary not only by body weight but terrain, but at least the packaging may help some cyclists avoid overinflating their tires for gravel.
The Overide is a mixed-terrain killer. If you find yourself mixing up road rides or commutes with gravel and dirt, you'll be pleased with the Overide's versatility and reasonably supple ride. The round profile and varying knob sizes will have you rolling with confidence on a variety of terrain. However, if your mixed-terrain rides never involve pavement, there are better, more confidence-inspiring options.
Andrew Yee and Alex Leanse contributed to this review.
Hutchinson Overide 38 and 35mm Gravel Tire Specs:
MSRP: $76.99 (tubeless), $57.99 (tube type)
Casing: 127 tpi (tubeless), 66 tpi (tube type)
Width: 38mm: 38.5mm actual on 21mm internal width rim, 102mm bead-to-bead width.
35mm: 34mm actual on 17.5mm internal with rim, 91mm bead-to-bead width.
Weight: 38mm: 411g, 444g actual (427.5g average), 400g list. 35mm: 360g actual, 350g list.
Protection: Hardskin bead-to-bead (tubeless)
More info: hutchinsontires.com