Thanks to a partnership between Nick Legan’s Rambleur.com, VeloPress, and Donnelly Cycling, you can get a FREE copy of Legan’s new book GRAVEL CYCLING with purchase of a set of Donnelly tires!
Legan’s book profiles 18 of the world’s favorite gravel grinders and reveals the gear selection and race strategy secrets of the race producers and recent top performers. Legan also weighs in on tire selection, drawing from his own experience as a ProTour bike mechanic.
“Donnelly dove headfirst into the gravel scene years ago and the result is a collection of tires that offers a wide range of performance for the diverse conditions found out on the road,” said Legan. “Donnelly’s MSO and USH series tires have found favor with seasoned gravel riders because of their durability and fast-rolling tread patterns.”
So if you’re on the hunt for some new gravel tires, which Donnelly tires should you choose?
We chatted with Donn Kellogg, the former bike messenger turned bike racer who founded Donnelly Cycling in 2009, to find out more. The first thing we asked him was, “What’s with the funny tire names?”.
“Naming a new product can be very challenging!” says Kellogg. “We chose airport codes because they represent awesome destinations for gravel riding—and because those areas have terrain that requires a specific tire. For example, our USH tire is named after the Ushuaia–Malvinas Argentinas International Airport. Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina and is widely recognized as the southernmost city in the world and an iconic point for adventurous riders travelling to the end of the Pan American Highway. Another example is our popular MSO tire. MSO represents Missoula, Montana, the hometown of Adventure Cycling Association, a nonprofit member organization focused on travel by bicycle.”
Donnelly’s tires are designed from the ground up specifically for dirt road, gravel, and rough path riding. They are not repurposed from cyclocross tire designs or resized mountain bike tires. Each tire will roll properly and have the right traction for its intended terrain. “Our tires have deceptively good grip for their terrain,” says Kellogg. “And that’s because of our development and design process.”
Kellogg focuses on tire design because he believes his tire choice saved his life. “When I was a bike messenger, I got hit by a bus once and to this day, I believe if it weren’t for the tires I was riding at the time, I would not be here today. Messengers are always looking for the quickest route from point A to point B. That meant taking shortcuts across all types of terrain. Everyone has their favorite all-purpose tire to handle the varying terrain. Because of that close call and my experience as a bike messenger, I’ve never forgotten the importance of a tire that was durable, rolled fast, and could grab onto a mix of surfaces.”
Gravel riders know the importance of matching up tires to race courses, too. Tire choice is highly dependent on the weather and conditions of the day, but Kellogg recommends the Donnelly MSO 36 tubeless for Dirty Kanza, the MSO 40 tubeless for Lost and Found (“Wider is a bit better for this rougher event.”), and the Strada USH 32 tubeless for Crusher in the Tushar (“It’s not as rough, so this tire is the right choice.”).
Legan weighs in, “For the chunky road of the Dirty Kanza 200, Donnelly’s MSO Tubeless tire in a 40 or even 50mm width is a great option. For the faster, slightly tamer roads of Nebraska’s Gravel Worlds, Donnelly’s Strada USH Tubeless is ideal.”
So pick up a set of Donnelly tires at pronetcycling.com/donnelly-clement and you’ll get a FREE copy of GRAVEL CYCLING.