Review: Terrene Elwood Tough 650B x 47mm Tubeless Ready Tires

“It’s all about the ride—it always has been. At Terrene, we put riding at the center of the experience. As riders, we understand what matters most—be it an afternoon on your favorite stretch of singletrack, a long day on an unending dirt road, or an extended tour. From the very beginning of the process until the tread hits the dirt, we mix decades of experience in product development and a passion for riding to create tires that are ready to ride for people that live to.”

Terrene is a relatively new player in the tire market. The company was founded in 2015 and opened for business in the Fall (Autumn) of 2016.

Terrene Elwood Tough 650B x 47mm Tires

The Terrene Elwood tire is touted as the company’s “Dirt Road Tire”, designed with a “fast rolling tread and aggressive side knobs.” The Elwood is available in 700c and 650B variants, in “Light” and “Tough” versions.

Terrene’s marketing department kindly sent Gravel Cyclist a pair of the Terrene Elwood Tough tires in the 650B x 47mm size for review. 650B wheels and tires are making big inroads into the world of gravel cycling. Thus, we thought it important to sample this tire in the smaller size, also known as 27.5″.

Things you should know about 650B Wheels and Tires

The overall wheel diameter of 650B with a tire installed stays roughly the same as a 700c x 28mm road tire. If you’re the type who likes to run 700c wheels and roadie width tires on your gravel rig from time to time, this is a nice bonus. Gearing is almost unaffected, and you get the advantage of some wider rubber for dirt and gravel roads.

Provided you have the frame clearance, the Terrene Elwood Tough 650B can squeeze into a gravel bike that would ordinarily only accept a 700c x 40mm tire. But remember, clearance is going to depend on a frame by frame basis, and not all frames will be compatible with a tire of this volume.

The Terrene Elwood 47’s clear one of our former review bikes, the Lynskey GR250 titanium gravel bike, and a current review bike, the Lynskey PRO GR titanium gravel bike, sans issue.

Weighing up the Terrene Elwood Tough 650B x 47mm Tires

The sample Elwoods in 650B weighed 523 and 528 grams respectively. These weight figures are in the ballpark of 650B tire offerings from other manufacturers.

Mounting the Terrene Elwood Tough 650B x 47mm Tires

The test sample Elwood tires were mounted with a minimum of fuss using Bontrager’s TLR Flash Charger pump (I really need to publish the review of this product) onto an American Classic Wide Lightning  650B wheelset, with tubeless valves by the same company and Orange Seal’s Endurance Formula Sealant.

If you have trouble mounting a tubeless tire, these tips can help:

  • Always dry mount a tire first sans sealant, to ensure it will seat and hold air. That can save making a huge mess and losing a bunch of sealant.
  • Remove the valve core and inflate. This process allows a greater volume of air into the tire and most times, will pop the tire onto the bead.
  • If this doesn’t work, apply something like Sleek Beeswax & Mink Oil Furniture Polish to the sidewall. This product is far better than soap and water, and will help seat even the most stubborn of tires. This product can be purchased from your local furniture store or online.
  • Once the dry mount test has been passed, install your favorite sealant and inflate. Don’t forget to keep a fingertip over the valve if you removed the core. This simple step will retain the air you just inflated; if you’re good at juggling, you can quickly re-install the valve core and still keep some air inside the tire. Then, inflate to the desired pressure.
Terrene’s Elwood 650B tires fitted to the Lynskey GR250 review bike.

Do the Terrene Elwood Tough 650B x 47mm tires measure up?

The Elwoods measured 49mm – 49.5mm mounted to the American Classic Wide Lightning 650B wheelset (super wide at 29.3mm internal). The Wide Lightning wheelset is an MTB wheelset whose wide rim bed assists the increase of tire width – the Elwoods benefit nicely. You have to love free tire width.

Riding the Terrene Elwood Tough 650B x 47mm tires

The tread pattern of the Terrene’s 60tpi casing rolls nicely on the pavement, a road surface you’ll likely have to ride on and off, in order to link up with the best dirt and gravel roads. For most of the review, the Terrene’s were inflated to 28psi on the rear, 25psi on the front. This made for a very plush ride on the pavement – were there bumps or small potholes as I rode to the next gravel sector? If there were, I hardly noticed them! With that said, the Terrene’s didn’t feel soft or squishy beneath me. With my body weight anywhere between 155lbs – 158lbs, I feel at these pressures, the Elwood tires were perfect.

Cadillac smooth on this historic Florida brick road.

Once onto the dirt and gravel with the 650B Terrene Elwoods, I made the point of keeping the tire pressure set to the same when I steamrolled over the pavement. The Elwoods roll superbly over fast, hardpack dirt and gravel road surfaces. The large volume of these tires really imbibes a great sense of security should you encounter loose conditions, particularly when cornering. I didn’t lay into the corners hard as you would at a local roadie criterium, but I pushed them enough that I didn’t have to worry too much about losing the front wheel.

Tough by name and tough by nature. I purposely set out to ride the Elwoods over some of the nastiest roads I know of in my locale. One such grouping of roads features a ton of sharp and loose gravel and rocks, just the ticket for smashing across with a set of review tires. Think crunching of gravel and the whack of an errant rock against the underside of the bike’s downtube – the Elwood Tough tires lapped up the punishment without visible damage to tread or sidewall.

Races such as the Dirty Kanza 200 are renown for their rocky terrain and flinty gravel. The Flint Hills of Kansas are not kind on tires and don’t discriminate on puncturing even the most well protected of tires. If I were to ride 650B wheels and tires at a future edition of Dirty Kanza, the Terrene Elwood would be high on my list of choices.

Riding tires at low pressures come with a certain element of risk. The possibility of burping a tire (loss of air), which generally happens during cornering when the tire is under a wee bit of sideways load, is greater. But courtesy of the tire and wheel pairing in this review (as in nice bead locking), I experienced no such issues.

It is possible for the Elwood tires to break loose during the initial burst of power when stomping on the pedals and out of the saddle, up a gravelly climb. But considering the tread pattern which visually lends itself to smoother roads, the Elwoods grip and hook up well.

Deep sandy spots, something I encounter from time to time along a few of the more troublesome roads in my area, especially when there hasn’t been much rain, were well handled by the Terrene Elwood 650B’s. Much like riding through loose gravel conditions, a narrow wide tire will sink, a less than pleasing experience. On the other hand, the Elwoods floated on through, another advantage of wider tires.

Bridging between gravel sectors.

Summary

The Terrene Elwood Tough 650B x 47mm tire is an excellent performer on pavement and gravel. The smaller wheel and tire size of 650B provides an option for those who own frames with limited tire clearance, but are interested in experiencing gravel cycling on wider tires. Just be sure to triple check your frame before you go plunking down the cash for a set. I am thankful to say that no tire punctures were experienced during the review period. The Terrene Elwood is a rugged tire but without all of the weighty negatives that go along with that moniker – definitely one to consider.

The Terrene Elwood Tough 650B x 47mm tires have an MSRP of $US 65.00.

Terrene Tires

14 comments on “Review: Terrene Elwood Tough 650B x 47mm Tubeless Ready Tires

  1. Have you tested the Compass Rat Trap Pass 26″ x 2″ tires? I started using them on the dirt and they compare excellently with my previous Schwalbe Furious Freds. No problem climbing loose dirt single track hills. I agree with Jon Heine, you only need a file tread or lugs for mud.

    1. Hey Christian,

      No time on any of the Compass products, which correct me if I’m wrong, are made by Panaracer? I spotted a bunch of the Compass product in person during a shop recent visit; may have to reach out to acquire samples in the future.

      Very interested in their 650B goodies.

      1. I had tried the Compass Cypres 700x32c tires on single bikes and our tandem. Disappointed that I had more punctures and the kevlar bead stretched excessively at 120 psi. So switched to 700x32c Conti Gatorskins which have fewer flats and the beads don’t stretch.

        Yes they are made by Panaracer, I think Cannondale may have a copy. I put the Compass “Rat’s Ass” 26″ x 2″ tires on my Litespeed Obed dirt road bike with a rigid fork. A buddy used it for an 850 mile cycle tour of New Mexico on pavement. He had several flats, but he also rode in the gutter. While I could roll with him down straight descents on my 700x32c Gatorskins, none of us could stay with him on twisty descents, he flew! Everyone is jealous following me on rough dirt roads with 35 psi in them. Have had no trouble climbing on steep, loose dirt. No more more slippage than my Conti Cyclocross Speed tires. So yes, please try them.

        I encourage you to compare every tire you test with whatever you consider to be the best, so we can all get an idea of how tires really compare.

  2. This slightly off topic: But where can you buy a single can of the Sleek Beeswax furniture polish? All the online sources I’ve checked, including Amazon, only sell it by the case? Is there something else to use, that may be more readily available. I bought some natural beeswax furniture polish – but it came in a solid form – not a spray. Can I just rub it on the tire bead with my fingers? This is the stuff I bought: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0046VZG30/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 . I have an old pair of Compass Tubeless Compatible 35mm Bon Jon’s that I’m having difficulty getting to seat tubeless.

  3. Bobk,

    Don’t see why not. Would be similar to me just running some thick soapy water solution along the bead. Worked a treat on my ThunderBurts.

  4. JOM,
    A serious question…..for once!
    I’m about to build a gravel bike which already has clearance for 700×50 tyres, but I’m wondering if 650b wider tyres, ( tires), is the way to go. You’ve seen our dry gravel, but it does get very muddy here, you’re thoughts?

    1. Hard to build a bike with chainstay clearance for 700x50c tires, 650B would be difficult but easier, and even then you would need a wide Q Factor. I would recommend 26″ by 50c. I converted an old Litespeed Obed mountain bike for hard dirt roads and touring on Compass 26 x 2″ Rat Trap Pass Tires with a Surly LHT fork and drop bars. If muddy, I would switch to Schwalbe Furious Freds. You can find a 26″ tire anywhere, but a 650B would be very difficult.

    2. Steve, 650B’s running wider tyres would definitely give you a little more clearance. I am reviewing the 650B WTB Resolute 42’s at the moment, they have been nice performers in the mud. Also, they come in 700c x 42 which may work just as well for your machine?

      JOM

  5. Thanks Christian and JOM
    This bike is a Giant Revolt 0, please don’t laugh!
    It will be my “mud bike” when I want to keep the good bike for dry days. Giant claims it will take 700×50 tyres/tires…..I will experiment with both sizes before I order new wheels. I do have a sweet 26″ MTB frame if all else fails!

    1. Wow, I just checked the Giant website and they say it will take a 700c x 2″ tire. Incredible packaging! In that case my recommendation would be the Schwalbe Furious Fred or Compass 44c Snoqualmie Pass. The Furious Freds 360 gram tires are very fast, and may be comparable to the 380 gm Snoqualmie Pass.

  6. It’s really the ugly duckling of gravel bikes, like its rider…..but hey, I’m known for riding some strange bikes in the past : highly modified Raleigh 20!
    These tyres/tires look great but like a lot of things in the US, I can’t get it Oz.

    1. I remember those days in the 1990’s Steve… lusting over swanky stuff in the mail order catalogs that I could never acquire… then, I moved to the USA 🙂

      1. If I remember correctly, 19mm Conti’s, 8 speed STI, Rigida rims AND Look: pedals, shoes, socks, Knicks, jersey, saddle bag….. I was a real “Looker”

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