They’re certainly not as well known as other brands, but UK-based Halo has been producing its own tyre range for decades. That’s including BMX, dirt jump and street tyres too, so it’s no strangers to getting a lot of grip out of small knobs in mixed conditions.
We’ve been putting Halo’s new GXC tyres to the test to see how they compare to the best gravel tyres and, thanks to three years of development, they deliver those same levels of grip right over to serious lean angles. They also roll well enough to get you to the dirt quickly and easily, and the addition of Velcro straps to the packaging adds to their appeal, too.
Halo scores an early win with packaging that includes a reusable Velcro wrap strap to hold the tyre onto the header card. The GXC tyres are a tight fit onto some rims but that means tubeless sealing is rock solid and inflation easy with just a casual track pump session. The 60tpi carcass is relatively thin which means a low weight for such a tyre with a lot of tread and they’re really supple, too.
The thick carpet of tiny arrow-shaped tread keeps things flexible right across the crown and they don’t buzz or growl on hard surfaces. That means decent rolling speed to capitalise on the easy acceleration and the smooth carcass holds onto momentum well over rocky or frozen and rutted trails.
That already puts the GXC right up in the rankings as a comfortable, naturally rapid bike-flattering tyre, but where it really comes into it’s own is when you start getting really rad with your drop bars. While the knobs are only small, the fact the coverage is totally consistent and wraps right round the carcass gives exceptionally predictable grip to slide behaviour far deeper into lean angles than most gravel tyres. You’ll have to keep pressure up to stop the supple carcass deforming too much on narrower rims but the promo pic of Halo’s tyre development leader dragging his gravel bike is proof how far this tyre can go in the right (or maybe wrong?) hands! Even if you aren’t planning on getting moto with your bike-packing rig, the extra edge grip is reassuring any time the trail gets random. Also, because they’re small knobs, they don’t ‘walk’ or ‘warp’ if you lean on them too hard on the road either.
The only thing you need to be wary of is clay and/or really sticky mud blocking the tread and turning them slick faster than a bigger, more open tread. We’ve only been riding the tyres for a handful of months too so we can’t give solid long term feedback on how the supple sidewalls will hold up. The knob overhang adds protection though and they’re not showing any stress or scuff marks yet. We’ve not had any obvious sharp puncture or slice incidents with our black wall samples either.
However, while you get the choice of black walls (that we tested) or lighter tan walls, you’ll need to be on 650B wheels to try the faster rolling RXR and GXR options, as the GXC is the only Halo gravel tyre currently available in 700c.
Tech Specs: Halo GXC gravel tyres
- Price: £54.99
- Weight: 432g (700 x 38mm black wall)
- Sizes: 700 x 38mm (tested) 650 x 47mm
- Colours: black or tan wall