Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

New tyre day – Specialized S-Works Pathfinder 42

Posted by Matt | April 26, 2024 | 1 comment so far

Boxed Specialized S-Works Pathfinder tyres
Today the postman brought me a set of new tyres for my gravel bike.

My Cannondale Topstone has now done over 7,000 miles and 6,100 of those have been on Specialized Pathfinder Pro 38c tyres. Don’t talk to me about the original WTB Nano tyres though, they were very disappointing!

With a summer trip to Belgium coming up I feel it is time to change, but honestly? I think my existing Pathfinder 38c tyres have life left in them yet. They have been plugged three times (once at the front, twice at the rear) but if anyone wants a second hand pair, let me know.

Those Pathfinder Pro 38c tyres surprised me by being very capable over a wide range of conditions from tarmac, to hardpack trails to loamy woodland. Anything apart from winter mud really. That said, I have hankered for a long time for bigger tyres because the Cannondale has plenty of room and will easily take at least a 45c I think.

Specialized S-Works Pathfinder tyre detail

Having pondered a replacement, I have decided to upgrade to the S-Works Pathfinder tyre which comes in a 42c. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right?

Besides, a lot of 45c tyres are straying inexorably toward being narrow MTB tyres in my view. My theory in this case is a 42c is about the sweet spot, especially if your gravel adventures involve commuting or a bunch of tarmac, so it is time to put the theory to the test.

You can see from the picture there is a lot of subtle shaping going on with the tiny tread blocks either side of a smooth central strip. Unlike the Pro model it sports a T5/T7 dual compound and in theory a lighter, more supple carcass. I estimate I save about 50g a tyre despite the bigger volume, another plus.

Anyway, today the new tyres arrived. Time to get them fitted and see if I can start adding some more miles to the Topstone. Over recent months the Topstone has acquired a whole new drivetrain (chainset, chain, both derailleurs, cables) and the new Pathfinder tyres will go on my Hunt 4 Season gravel wheels (with a 25mm internal width).

My Cannondale should feel like a whole new bike!

Filed under Mutterings in April 2024


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

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  1. Related: Forever fettling my bikes - Mutterings - Muddymoles - mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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