With the boom of gravel riding and racing, tire choices abound. Zipp’s modest tubeless tire line now includes the Tangente Course G40 and is a welcome option for anyone wanting to go fast on the gravels. Available as a single, 700x40c size, it hits the sweet spot of width, speed, traction and comfort.
Zipp Tangente Course G40 Features:
- Optimized, high performance gravel tire
- Aggressive cornering side knobs for excellent control
- Fast rolling center section
- Aramid bead-to-bead puncture protection strip
- Recommended 30-65 psi
- Tubeless Ready, tube compatible
- 127 TPI casing
- Tan sidewall
- Hookless compatible
- Weight: 485 grams (actual)
- MSRP: $65
Zipp’s zippy gravel tires
Many may overlook Zipp’s tire line because their wheels and cockpit bits deservedly take most of the spotlight. Truthfully, I’ve had good luck with their tires over the years and the Tangente Speed RT28’s remain some of my favorite 28c tubeless road tires. When Zipp launched the gravel-friendly Tangente Course G40, I was sort of surprised since they still don’t have a RT30/32 model. As it turns out, the G40 is a solid entry into the fast-rolling gravel tire market.
Loaded up on the still-relevant 21mm internal Zipp 30 Course Wheelset, the G40’s measure out to 41mm and sit at 39mm tall (that’s an important number for fitment on the 3T Exploro RaceMax). At that volume, the G40’s look substantial and end up riding like a dream (but rear tolerances were tight on the RaceMax). First, let’s talk about installation.
The G40’s were pre-installed from SRAM HQ on the 30 Course Wheelset and ridden during several hundred miles of testing, through that, they have performed flawlessly with no burps, weeping or issues. Stan’s sealant was used and is as reliable as usual. I’ve also personally installed them on the previous-generation Zipp 303 Firecrest Wheelset and it was a breeze. I got the tires on the rims without tools (or swearing) and inflated them on the first try with the Blackburn Chamber Tubeless Floor Pump. Even without sealant, the tires seat up and maintain air super well. I’ll continue testing them on other wheelsets in the future and add more install info here.
For my 170 lb. rider weight, I typically inflated the G40’s to 35/38 psi. front and rear. Most of my rides with these tires were about 60/40 gravel to road ratio. On the smoothest, fastest gravel, the G40’s simply fly. With low-profile treads and fast-rolling center knobs, you’ll enjoy the speed and efficiency these tires can maintain. On the road, they roll very smoothly and don’t hold me back much on long tarmac climbs. No, they aren’t as fast as a set of ENVE SES 29c Tires, but they really aren’t going to slow you down much. That supple, 127 tpi. casing definitely adds to the overall feel of the tires as they easily conform to the terrain.
As the gravel gets more demanding, the Tangente Course G40’s respond well. The well-spaced side knobs grab predictably as needed through corners. I enjoyed ripping up the local singletrack just as much as the gravel roads around my home. You really can push the G40’s hard and their large volume is very forgiving.
The only time I lost traction was on loose, standing climbs. You really have to maintain the proper weight balance to keep the rear tire from slipping out, but that happens with the best tires too. I haven’t had any significant air loss, nor have the sidewalls shown any sign of damage — even though I’ve ridden them pretty aggressively.
I have subsequently ridden the G40’s on both the Zipp 303 S and Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51 wheels. Both feature a 23 mm inner width which makes the G40’s measure out to 42 mm. I felt good enough with how the G40’s roll that I went with them for the SBT GRVL Blue Course in 2021. After many, many tough gravel miles, I’m still pretty stoked on these gravel tires.
- Very fast rolling
- Side knobs deliver excellent cornering in the dirt and gravel
- A great tire for dry conditions
- Tool-free and swear-free mounting
- Hold air pressure extremely well
- Have held up to a good amount of abuse
- I’m a big tan wall fan
- The height of the tires caused tight clearances on my test bike
- You’ll need just the right balance to maintain traction on loose, standing climbs
The Bottom Line: Zipp Tangente Course G40
Zipp is focused on speed and it shows with their fast-rolling G40 Gravel Tire. I can usually keep up with my Strava segment times set on narrower, road tires with ease. The tool-free install is such a welcome trait for any tubeless tire these days, but especially gravel tires. Leave it to Zipp to develop a gravel tire that’s fast, reliable and easy to install.
Buy Now: Available from SRAM
Jason, how would you compare these to the Pathfinder Pros that you used for SBT GRVL? I’m looking for a tire for SBT GRVL black (I did blue like you in 2019) and perhaps also for Crusher in the Tushar and this seems like it could be a good candidate-fast enough on the paved sections, enough grip on loose corners, and durable. Thanks.
You’ve got some great experience under your belt! Glad you rode SVBT GRVL too. What a fabulous race. I really liked the Pathfinder Pro’s for SBT GRVL. The fast-rolling center proved awesome for the road connectors and fast, smooth gravel elsewhere. I loved the 650b size for that rolling middle section back to town where the gravel got to be pretty loose in areas.
Back to the G40’s… I really like this tire. I think it has slightly better grip than the Pathfinder Pro’s because the center section (though close together) does have actual knobbies that can hook up on standing climbs. As I think about it, I would have no concerns rolling the G40’s on either of those races, but I would love to see a 42mm width for a little extra girth. I think you’d be happy with these tires though.
Thanks for the response and good points-agree that I wish there was a “G42.” Keep up the great work on the reviews!