CX/Gravel Tire Test: Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss Ready 38

Published: by
  • Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss Ready 38
Performance compared to all other CX/Gravel tires
(100% is best)
Pro Members get 11-point radar charts

Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss Ready 38 road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

The Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss Ready is a tubeless-ready gravel bike tire made for a mix of asphalt and gravel roads. The Pathfinder Pro has a remarkable tread pattern that we expect to work well in most gravel bike conditions as it comes with a slick center tread, small, closely spaced knobs between the center and edge of the tire, and larger and wider spaced knobs along the edge.


We already tested the 42 mm version of the Pathfinder Pro (read our review) in 2021 and found it to be an excellent performer in our tests. The strong performance comes from Specialized's Gripton compound, which offers a low rolling resistance with excellent performance in our wet grip test. The BlackBelt anti-puncture strip under the center of the tread is quite rare for a gravel bike tire, but it works well to prevent punctures.


On paper, the 38 and 42 mm versions of the Pathfinder Pro appear to be the same tires, with the only (obvious) difference being the smaller size of the 38 mm version. We'll compare the 38 mm version of the Pathfinder Pro against the 42 mm version, but it will be hard to draw conclusions as there are 18 months in between these tests, and for a proper size comparison, it works best if the tires are from (nearly) the same batch.


The availability of the Pathfinder Pro has been quite dramatic over the past few months, but in late November, we finally found a 700x38c sample with black sidewalls in stock. As it's been sold out for all this time, the sample we have here should have been manufactured very recently, and it should give a good indication of the quality of the current batch of Pathfinder Pros.


Manufacturer Specifications


Manufacturer Specs
Brand Specialized
Model Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss Ready
Year 2022
Supplied By Bought in store
New or Used New
Mileage 0 km
Price Range High
Buy At
Manufacturer part number -
TPI 120
Compound Gripton
Bead Folding
ETRTO 38-622
Specified Weight 480 grams
Max Air Pressure (psi) 80
Made In Members Only
Available Sizes 38-622 (700x38c)
42-622 (700x42c)
47-584 (650x47b)

Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss Ready 38 Test Results

Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss Ready 38  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

Size, Weight, and Thickness Measurements


Size, Weight, and Thickness Measurements
Specified Weight 480 grams
Measured Weight 480 grams
Measured Width Casing 36 mm (un-round)
Measured Width Tread 37 mm
Measured Height 35 mm (un-round)
Measured Knob Height Center 0.0 mm
Measured Knob Height Edge 2.3 mm
Measured Total Thickness Center (excluding knobs) 2.30 mm
Measured Total Thickness Sidewall Members Only
All size measurements are taken at low air pressure on a 17.8 mm inner width rim.

Rolling Resistance Test Results


Rolling Resistance Test Results
Inner Tube None (30 ml sealant)

(current protocol)
Conti Cross28 (160 gr)

(test protocol)
Measured Width 36 mm 36 mm
Rolling Resistance
Real tire width in mm:
30-32 = 66 psi/4.6 bar
33-35 = 60 psi/4.1 bar
36-38 = 54 psi/3.7 bar
39-42 = 50 psi/3.4 bar
High Air Pressure

(54 psi / 3.7 bar)
Members OnlyMembers Only
Rolling Resistance
Real tire width in mm:
30-32 = 55 psi/3.8 bar
33-35 = 50 psi/3.4 bar
36-38 = 45 psi/3.1 bar
39-42 = 42 psi/2.9 bar
Medium Air Pressure

(45 psi / 3.1 bar)
Members OnlyMembers Only
Rolling Resistance
Real tire width in mm:
30-32 = 44 psi/3.0 bar
33-35 = 40 psi/2.8 bar
36-38 = 36 psi/2.6 bar
39-42 = 33 psi/2.3 bar
Low Air Pressure

(36 psi / 2.6 bar)
23.0 Watts
CRR: 0.00689
26.8 Watts
CRR: 0.00803
Rolling Resistance
Real tire width in mm:
30-32 = 33 psi/2.3 bar
33-35 = 30 psi/2.1 bar
36-38 = 27 psi/1.9 bar
39-42 = 25 psi/1.7 bar
Extra Low Air Pressure

(27 psi / 1.9 bar)
26.7 Watts
CRR: 0.00800
31.7 Watts
CRR: 0.00950
The CX/Gravel section is a multi tire size section, air pressures have been adjusted to the measured casing width.

All numbers are for a single tire at a speed of 29 km/h / 18 mph and a load of 42.5 kg / 94 lbs.

Use the formula: RR (Watts) = CRR * speed (m/s) * load (N) to calculate rolling resistance at a given speed and load.

Puncture Resistance Test Results

Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss Ready 38  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine
Puncture Resistance Test Results (higher is better)
Total Puncture Score Tread 46 Points
Total Puncture Score Sidewall Members Only
Tread Puncture Force Sharp Needle Members Only
Tread Puncture Force Blunt Needle Members Only
Tread Total Tire Thickness 2.30 mm
Sidewall Puncture Force Sharp Needle Members Only
Sidewall Puncture Force Blunt Needle Members Only
Sidewall Total Tire Thickness Members Only

Hard Surface Static Grip Test Results

Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss Ready road bike tire on a grip test machine
Static Grip Test Results
Wet Grip Average 75 Points
Wet Grip Center Members Only
Wet Grip Edge Members Only
Measured Knob Height Center 0.0 mm
Measured Knob Height Edge 2.3 mm
Grip in points = coefficient of friction * 100
Wet Grip Test and Off-Road Tires (info)

Conclusion


  • Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss Ready 38
Performance compared to all other CX/Gravel tires
(100% is fastest - lightest - highest - strongest)

Pro Members get 11-point radar charts

The 38 mm version of the Pathfinder Pro performs a little less strongly than the 42 mm version we tested 20 months ago (read our review). The 38 mm version suffers the most in the rolling resistance tests as it rolls some 10% slower than our older 42 mm version. The puncture resistance of the tread comes in slightly lower, and the puncture resistance of the sidewalls comes out slightly higher. Both fall within the margin of error of the puncture tests, which makes it hard to conclude about puncture resistance.


We also see a slight difference in the wet grip tests, with the center grip coming in slightly lower on the 38 mm version. There is a good reason for the lower center grip, as the sample we have here probably barely made it through quality control. It seems like the molds were slightly off-center during the manufacturing of this tire and one side of the tread is somewhat higher than the other side by roughly 1 mm. This results in a reduced contact patch in the center grip test, which results in less grip.


We haven't seen a tire with an off-center tread yet in all these years of testing tires, but as we're talking about roughly 1 mm, it shouldn't be a massive issue in real life and should level out after a couple of 100 km/miles of wear.


RATING: 3.7 / 5
TEST VERDICT:
Recommended


Comments



Get updates on new articles