First Impressions: Bruce Gordon Rock ‘n Road Tires

Long before the invention of the 29er, Bruce Gordon was making large-wheeled bikes that could accommodate wide, dirt-capable tires. That bike was the Rock ‘n Road, and it featured eponymously named tires designed by MTB Hall of Famer Joe Murray. Twenty five years later, Gordon has reintroduced his venerable Rock ‘n Road tire with some not-so-minor improvements. Bruce Gordon Rock n Road gravel grinder Sun Ringle Salsa Vaya

Now produced in Japan by Panaracer, the Rock ‘n Road features folding Kevlar beads, and a supple casing available in your choice of tan or black sidewalls. The single inconspicuous logo is a refreshing change from the “billboard” look found on so many competitors’ tires.

Despite being described as an all-purpose tire, the Rock ‘n Road features deep lugs and a plump, high-volume profile. The result is improved flotation and (off-road) traction compared to the ‘cross-inspired tires usually associated with gravel riding and racing. While the Rock ‘n Roll excelled in loose or loamy soil, the paddle-style knobs also performed well on hardpack. On paved and chip sealed roads, the tires’ lively ride belied their weight (508g on my scale) and size (43.95mm knob-to-knob). Bruce Gordon Rock n Road gravel grinder Sun Ringle Salsa Vaya

If you’re looking to step up your off-road game, but you still want to pound the pavement, the Rock ‘n Road is definitely a solid choice. If your local retailer doesn’t stock them, fear not–Bruce Gordon offers a killer bundle that includes two tires and three presta-valve tubes for $114.

Disclosure: Bruce Gordon Cycles provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.

6 thoughts on “First Impressions: Bruce Gordon Rock ‘n Road Tires

  1. I wonder if these will fit my Whisky fork…I’m running 40mm Kenda Happy Mediums now and it’s a bit tight…?

    1. The RnR tires are larger. Plus, the deep lugs can sometimes trap stones, which might reduce clearance further.

  2. I’m currently debating tire choice for Dirty Kanza. (Who that’s registered for the race isn’t, right?) The two at the top of my list are the Clement X’Plor MSO 700×40 120TPI and the BG Rock n Road. However, my frame only has clearance for the RnR up front.

    What are your thoughts on a RnR front/MSO rear combo versus a pair of MSOs for Dirty Kanza?

    My thoughts are that the larger volume of the RnR up front should add a little comfort & make line choice slightly less critical when fatigue sets in. But, then again, the RnR is quite a bit heavier, it is a hilly race, and I am trying to beat the Sun…

    Also, can you tell what differences there are between the two TPI versions of the MSO? I know the 120TPI version should have a more compliant casing. And I believe it is also dual-compound. But is the puncture protection the same as the 60TPI version? I’m looking at ~$18/tire difference in price. Is it worth is to step up to the 120TPI, in your opinion?

    1. I haven’t ridden Dirty Kanza, so take my advice with a grain of salt… Unless the terrain is very technical and/or loose, I would favor the faster, lighter tire.

      My experience with the MSO is limited to the 60tpi version. You may want to contact Clement directly to find out what the actual differences are between the 60tpi and 120tpi versions.

  3. I love the Rock and Roads, you can ride what you want and not blink. Just pedal and you have tooth on anything, fast on pavement, grip in sand, carve in grave, challenge a mountain bike on single track.

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