CX/Gravel Tire Test: Zipp G40 XPLR 40

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  • Zipp G40 XPLR 40
Performance compared to all other CX/Gravel tires
(100% is best)
Pro Members get 11-point radar charts

Zipp G40 XPLR 40 road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

Zipp is best known for their carbon wheels, but they also make some tires to supplement those wheels. The Zipp G40 XPLR is their first try at a gravel bike tire, and to cover a large audience, the G40 is a versatile tire that should suit a large range of conditions.


A gravel bike tire that suits a large range of conditions usually comes with a denser tread pattern in the center to make it roll well on asphalt and more aggressive knobs along the edge of the tire to create some cornering grip under off-road conditions. This is also exactly the setup the G40 XPLR comes with, and from the looks of it, the tread pattern looks like a good tradeoff for most conditions.


The construction of this tire seems quite conservative as we find a 127 TPI casing with a bead-to-bead puncture protection strip which is common on many other tubeless-ready gravel bike tires. We also find hookless compatibility on the spec sheet as Zipp seems to push hookless rims. Unfortunately, we can't find anything about the compound on this tire which makes us suspect Zipp hasn't put any effort into this area.


We're not sure if it was intentional or a coincidence, but the G40 is only available in the 40 mm size. While most manufacturers release their tires in several different sizes, Zipp seems convinced the 40 mm size is the one to go for on gravel bikes.


Manufacturer Specifications


Manufacturer Specs
Brand Zipp
Model G40 XPLR
Year 2022
Supplied By Bought in store
New or Used New
Mileage 0 km
Price Range Very High
Buy At
Manufacturer part number 00.1918.192.140
TPI 127
Compound -
Bead Folding
ETRTO 40-622
Specified Weight 480 grams
Max Air Pressure (psi) 65
Made In Members Only
Available Sizes 40-622 (700x40c)

Zipp G40 XPLR 40 Test Results

Zipp G40 XPLR 40  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

Size, Weight, and Thickness Measurements


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Size, Weight, and Thickness Measurements
Specified Weight 480 grams
Measured Weight 473 grams
Measured Width Casing 39 mm (un-round)
Measured Width Tread 41 mm
Measured Height 37 mm (un-round)
Measured Knob Height Center 1.6 mm
Measured Knob Height Edge 2.0 mm
Measured Total Thickness Center (excluding knobs) 1.50 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 Conti Cross28 (160 gr)
Measured Width 39 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

(50 psi / 3.4 bar)
Members 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

(42 psi / 2.9 bar)
Members 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

(33 psi / 2.3 bar)
27.1 Watts
CRR: 0.00812
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

(25 psi / 1.7 bar)
32.7 Watts
CRR: 0.00980
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

Zipp G40 XPLR 40  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine
Puncture Resistance Test Results (higher is better)
Total Puncture Score Tread 30 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 1.50 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

Zipp G40 XPLR 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 1.6 mm
Measured Knob Height Edge 2.0 mm
Grip in points = coefficient of friction * 100
Wet Grip Test and Off-Road Tires (info)

Conclusion


  • Zipp G40 XPLR 40
Performance compared to all other CX/Gravel tires
(100% is fastest - lightest - highest - strongest)

Pro Members get 11-point radar charts

The Zipp G40 XPLR is an average performer in our tests. The weakest point seems to be the puncture resistance of both the tread and sidewalls. The low scores here are probably also partly attributed to the "fishnet" style puncture protection that will only work well on punctures bigger than 3 mm. Objects that are smaller than 3 mm will go through easily as the casing material seems made of a very soft material.


We tried puncturing through the reinforced "wires" of the sidewall but found the puncture needles to slide off the reinforced parts into the soft parts as it's laid out on top of the sidewalls. We expect most objects that want to penetrate the sidewalls to act similarly. With enough sealant in the tires, Punctures up to 1-2 mm shouldn't cause a huge problem.


The good part is that, although it isn't the fastest rolling compound, it's a very grippy compound offering excellent wet center grip. Given the wider spaced knobs, the wet edge grip on hard surfaces is pretty decent as well (grip data available through Pro View for now).


RATING: 3.3 / 5
TEST VERDICT:
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