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Teravail Cannonball gravel tire review

Teravail tires are developing a great name in the US - particularly on the gravel scene - but how do its biggest, fastest race tires translate to damper conditions?

Teravail Cannonball gravel tire
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Fantastic floated ride feel from both the ‘supple’ and ‘durable’ versions of these fast, high-volume tires hides their hefty weight impressively well. Grip on dry and intermediate trails is good, too. Not for sloppy conditions, savage turns or weight watchers though

For

  • - Easy straight-line speed
  • - Luxurious ride feel
  • - Decent upright, dry conditions grip
  • - Stable at low pressures
  • - Extra durable option
  • - Plenty of size choice
  • - Tan or black wall
  • - Decent value

Against

  • - Heavy
  • - No meaningful cornering tread
  • - Slippery in slop

Teravail makes three 700c gravel tires with the Cannonball sitting between the raised-center slick Washburn and the mini stud Rutland. It’s a great all-around speed tire for drier conditions with a sublime ride feel, decent protection and plenty of size options. However, if you’re bothered by weight or like getting a lean-on in corners, you should seek out the Rutland or one of our other best gravel bike tires picks. 

Teravail Cannonball gravel tire

The Terravail Cannonball is the brand's off-road racer and the chevron center flanked by strips of file tread makes it quiet and a naturally fast roller (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Construction

Teravail tags the Cannonball as its off-road racer and the chevron center flanked by strips of file tread makes it quiet and a naturally fast roller once you’ve got the considerable weight rolling. The carcass feel is also sublime even in the reinforced ‘Durable’ version, which gets an extra layer of puncture proofing under the tread. That gave our 47mm samples a wonderfully floated hovercraft vibe across baked tractor ruts and cobbles, and the weight helps sustain speed as you’re stoking the pedals across extended rough sections. As long as the bike is upright, the rubber compound is good enough to keep reasonably assured traction under braking and power, and the fact you can run it at low pressures without wallowing or folding obviously helps the connection. 

The tread ends abruptly with some small interlocking chevron fins that are so thin they just flex and flop before you even apply pressure. Then it’s an empty gulf before you could hope to find even a slight amount of grip from the very shallow L-shaped blocks that sit right down on the sidewall. In practice, you’ll be sliding or spinning unsaveably long before they engage, whether you’re leaning or paddling through slop. As a result, we’d definitely point you towards the Rutland if you like to get dirty or dynamic with your riding.

Performance

While the 630g ‘Durable’ is the obvious choice for more threatening terrain, even the light and supple version seems sturdy when confronted with thorns and sharp sniper rocks on singletrack. While we’ve seen some reports of sidewall sealant leak on the tan wall versions, we’ve had no issues at all with our samples. We rolled them onto DT Swiss wheels (lever free) and popped both of them up instantly with a track pump. They’re reasonably true to size, too, with our 47mm samples inflating to 46mm on a 24mm internal rim at 28psi. If you want less volume and less weight then the 700 x 35mm version is a more reasonable 470g (claimed), and there are 650B and 29er options too in either tan or black wall. They’re decent value, too.

Teravail Cannonball gravel tire

Our 47mm samples inflated to 46mm on a 24mm internal rim at 28psi (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Verdict

If you’re looking for easy speed and a luxury ride feel on dry summer trails and are happy to trade peppy, lightweight acceleration for durability and floated speed then Teravail’s Cannonballs are awesome. The lack of meaningful side tread means aggressive/dynamic riders are probably best running them on the rear only, and don’t expect them to paddle through winter either.

Tech Specs: Teravail Cannonball tires

  • Price: $55 / £50
  • Weight: 550g (700 x 47mm ‘Light and Supple’) 630g (700 x 47mm ‘Durable’)
  • Colors: Tan (tested) or black wall
  • Sizes: 650 x 40 and 47mm, 700 x 35, 38, 42 and 47mm
Guy Kesteven

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect and Cyclingnews’ contributing tech editor. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He got an archaeology degree out of Exeter University, spent a few years digging about in medieval cattle markets, working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit he’s also coughed out a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too. We trust Guy's opinion and think you should, too.


Rides: Pace RC295, Cotic FlareMax, Specialized Chisel Ltd MTBs, Vielo V+1 gravel bike, Cannondale Supersix Evo Dura-Ace Di2 Disc road bike, Nicolai FS Enduro, Landescape custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg