In our quest to find the ultimate gravel tyre, our Northern gravel correspondent and photographer Dan Monaghan put the world’s trendiest tyres to the test: the Rosé Robusto 650b x 47.99 rubber from the USA’s Ultradynamico.
‘Handles both pavement and dirt like a skilled musician handles a Stradivarius’
You must know Ron, right? You’ve heard of Ron… yeah the peck deck, beard, Romanceur… that’s the guy. Along with co-founder Pat they created Ultradynamico: a passion project and business for high end rubber to suit your riding needs.
We all know your bicycle is an extension of your personality, your riding style a window into your soul. In a world paralyzed by dull and mediocre options we invite you to choose dynamically.
I’ve been a fan of Ron’s Bikes for a while, the back country rides always look so bloody cool, so when I got the opportunity to try a set of Ultradynamico Rosé Robusto tyres on my 650b hoops I jumped at the chance. It was also getting to that time of year when my handling skills (or lack of) on more gravel focussed tyres was beginning to waver… What I actually mean is I was falling off more in the winter mud on summer treads.
Ultradynamico now have three tread patterns on offer: Rosé, Cava and Mars. The Rosé is for wetter conditions, the Cava drier and the Mars for, well, Mars! Each comes in three levels: Race, JFF (just for fun) and Robusto with varying rubber compounds and hence weight.
I opted for a set of Rosé Robusto 47 mm tyres, which weigh 540g each (Race 490 g, JFF 515 g). The largest gravel tyres I’d mounted previously were 42 mm, so I was intrigued: more volume, lower pressures, more grip right? The result wasn’t what I thought or hoped.
I began testing around early November and have been consistently riding them up until now (UK Lockdown 3.0). I’m not lucky enough to have local gravel trails, in fact if someone asks me to go for a gravel ride they often get a look of ‘don’t you mean mud spin’. I have towpaths and trails, broken roads and mud pits, occasionally there will be gravel but not a lot.
The tread on the Rosé Robusto looked good out of the bag (they come with very cool individual bags!) and I was hopeful. I was running them on my Brother Mehteh.
Before I get into the riding, I should reluctantly go back to the beginning. Be prepared to ear muff the kids….
‘Mother f***er…. You absolute piece of s**t…. why the hell won’t you mount…. Just mount, the wheel is your home, why wont you go home’, at which point my wife had to check whether I was trying to change a bike tyre or the tyre on the van by hand!
I don’t think I’ve had to wrestle this much with a set of tyres ever. It wasn’t getting the tyre onto the rim, that wasn’t too bad it was getting the bloody thing to seat. I tried, I messaged friends, I used soapy water, I Googled, put one side on and used an inner tube to seat, then retried, but I really struggled. Eventually it mounted through sheer determination, but could I get it to stay inflated? Could I balls. Eventually it looked like it was holding, I went for the inaugural spin to test. It was muddy so I dropped the pressure, which the tyre didn’t like. I got home and we were back to loosing pressure. It felt like a real challenge to get the tyres to work. I had a few days of pumping up, spinning the sealant and seeing if it held…..
The good news is that after a few trials and tribulations things seemed settled, pressure held and I could confidently get back out on the trails to really start to test the tyres properly.
The rims in question are DT Swiss G 540, which measure up with an internal rim diameter of 24 mm.
*Editors note: with no industry standard rim/tyre combos are not always easy, nor predictable.
I’ve now done upwards of 15 mixed rides on the tyres and the more I ride them, the more confidence I gain. The weather has provided a mix of conditions too. In the drier weather the tyres roll nicely through anything that bottoms out to hard pack, and they love the towpaths. In wetter conditions, the tyres struggle a little bit. If the mud bottoms out then they run fine and grip well, but if the ground is on a camber or pure mud then they aren’t as effective, to the point where I was unclipping more than usual just in case, but there again I wasn’t expecting a cyclo-cross tyre.
As the weather turned much colder over the festive break, I found the tyres’ sweet spot: hard pack, frozen ground and snow. They really shined in these conditions and gripped really well. You’ll also be pleased to hear I haven’t had to play around with pressure at all since the (cough) early incident (cough), the tyres have really settled in well.
Tread and grip
The tread pattern on the Rosé Robusto’s are certainly unique, and they do offer grip in all but really muddy conditions. The centre tread features a directional arrow pattern with a little file tread, while on the shoulders – as Ultradynamico expertly put it – feature ‘aeronautically designed delta knob pattern for superior braking traction during gravel re-entry’.
On off-camber ground they aren’t as stable, but what’s a foot out between friends. The tyres are also supple, something that is pleasing having previously run Challenge Limus for cyclo-cross.
Width and volume
The 650b Rosé tyres I ran are a claimed 47.99 mm, with the soon to be released 700c coming in at a slightly narrower (and more clearance-friendly) 42 mm. Mounted on 24 mm rims, they come up at 49.99 mm at their widest point, sidewall to sidewall . I’ve been running the tyres at around 2.5 bar (36 psi), with slightly less in slippier conditions. It’s probably important to say I’m not a light rider and I’ve been running them on a steel framed bike too.
Even after months of winter use, the Rosé Robustos so far are still fresh. I’m looking forward to seeing the ‘High TPI mystery casing under that Robusto’... After the initial sealant and mounting issues I haven’t seen any seepage. The tyres are also made with a ‘Brevet compound’ to help with longevity on harder-wearing roads.
Puncture resistance and tubeless compatibility
Fingers crossed (and I don’t say this out loud), I’ve had no pu***ures that I know of. The tyres were challenging at first to set up tubeless, but I’ve long forgot about that and can happily crack on along the trails. The Robusto version of the Rosé tyres have added sidewall protection (at a small weight penalty), which is good news for the UK touring scene.
Options and aesthetics
My set of Ultradynamico Rosé Robusto tyres came in black. I’ll admit I was hoping for the funkier grey/ tan wall (which appears to only be available in the Race version) but actually I think they look nice and sleek in black.
Sizing is limited to 650b x this 47.99 (yes, really) or 700c x 42 mm, but Ultradynamico have a varied selection of other rubber to choose from, including some new 26″ Mars tyres that have yet to be released…
The Ultradynamico Rosé Robusto tyres verdict
Me and the Ultradynamico Rosé Robustos got off on a bad foot, there were things said in the heat of the moment amidst the sealant, but now that we’ve spent some time together I think things are better between us. Time is a healer, after all.
I enjoy riding the Rosé Robustos, in certain conditions they really shine and in most they do perfectly well. I love the thought behind the tyres and bare-chested heritage they come from. I’d certainly recommend them to those looking for a tyre with some feeling, a tyre made with passion and a tyre that will have people asking where did you get those from…
Pat & Ron, you did good, but next time can they come pre-mounted?!
Available in the UK from The Woods Cyclery.
Ultradynamico Rosé Robusto Tyres$75, £75 (approx €62)
Easy on the eye, great packaging and a solid tyre that will lend itself to most conditions. Find their sweet spot and you wont even notice how quick your flying along the trails.8.5/10
- Performance in almost any condition
- Fast rolling on tarmac
- Feel part of that backcountry, Nutmeg County romance scene that is the Ultraromance
- Could be tricky to seat if you use the same DT Swiss G 540 rims
- Premium-level price
Last modified: 18th January 2021