Tufo Thundero Gravel Tires – First Impressions

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We were asked to review the amazing line up of gravel tires from Tufo. Hailing from the Czech Republic, Tufo is perhaps lesser-known than its mainstream competitors, but it has been exclusively handcrafting championship-winning tires for over 25 years.

To give the tires a good workout we approached multiple Australian Masters Cycling Champion Michelle Newstead. Michelle is a true all rounder of the sport and holds the green and gold in 24 hour, marathon and gravel events.

“I didn’t expect to feel much difference – I was wrong!”

Michelle Newstead

Read our review of TUFO’s Swampero all weather tire here

In Michelle’s words

I don’t know tyres technically, but I do know what makes a good tyre and from a riders perspective and that comes down five simple factors Setup, Roll, Grip, Comfort and last but not least Look!

I put the Tufo Thundero 44mm on my gravel bike and have to be honest I didn’t expect to feel much of a difference – I was wrong!

The Setup

The setup was easy even using tubes and I had no issues seating the tyre.

Weight wise my 44mm x 700c tires came in at 470 grams which is heavier than the claimed weight of 450 grams but still lighter than many other gravel tyres on the market.

The Roll

They ROLL (beautifully): I jumped on my gravel bike after putting the tyres on and I was amazed at the difference from the old tyres, they just rolled so smoothly. I was on the road outside my house, it was sealed, but I could certainly feel the different. I knew there was more testing to be done!

The centre strip helps keep things rolling smoothly, backed up by the confidence inspiring side knobs when things got more knarly!

The Grip

They GRIP: I took the gravel bike on some roads I had ridden before and where I had slipped and skipped in places going uphill, and these tyres GRIP.PED in all those places. Being able to push that little bitter harder on hills or technical terrain makes a huge difference to the confidence.

I didn’t slip, I didn’t skip, I was able to put in a bit of effort over those area and the tyres gripped and got me up and out of the area.


They are COMFORTABLE: They soak up some of the roughness on gravel to a certain extent.

I gauged their comfort on feel and there is a smoothness to the tyres. I also gauged comfort on ‘bottle rub’. I run three bottle cages on my gravel bike, with one under the down tube, which, on rough stuff, had a tendency to pop out of the bottle cage, rub the tyre and make a noise and wear down the bottle lid. This only happened once on the roads I took it on and it was barely a movement. I didn’t set the variable of ‘bottle rub’ before my ride, its something that was noticeable absent on part of this ride where I was expecting it to happen more on COMFORT: I am 4 weeks into some busted ribs and thought I would test out the ribs on the gravel bike on some not so great sealed roads.

The day before I took my hardtail out on some gravel roads there were fairly rough and the ribs didn’t like it. I was a bit concerned riding the gravel bike on sealed road, not knowing how the ribs would feel. But the bike felt great, the bumps and potholes did not bother my ribs, the bike felt SMOOTH. I believe that it’s the tyres made the difference.

The Look

The Tufo Thundero’s LOOK great, with the small tan trim I am an absolute convert to the Tufo Thunderos and will be looking at them for my hardtail mtb (which I use for bikepacking) and possibly my mountain bike!

I won’t be back on the gravel for a bit but look forward to it when I get back out there, especially with these tyres.

What did Michelle think?

The setup was straightforward, and the tires, weighing in at 470 grams, are lighter than many competitors.

Michelle found the rolling performance impressive, noting the smooth ride both on sealed roads and rough terrain, thanks to the center strip and side knobs providing excellent grip.

Comfort was another standout feature, with the tires absorbing roughness and minimizing bottle rub, even on challenging terrain. Despite recovering from rib injuries, Michelle experienced no discomfort while riding, attributing it to the smoothness of the tires.

The tyres look awesome which won Michelle over, prompting her to consider them for her other bikes!

Overall, Michelle’s loved the Tufo Thundero’s performance across setup, roll, grip, comfort, and aesthetics, making them a top choice for gravel enthusiasts.

The Specs

Thundero 700 x 36C390g210/375$89.95
Thundero 700 x 40C430g210/375$89.95
Thundero 700 x 44C450g210/375$89.95
Data provided by PCI Sports
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