The Specialized Pathfinder Pro is Showing it's Age
If you’re searching for the perfect tire to enhance your off-road adventures, you may need to keep looking farther than the Specialized Pathfinder Pro gravel tire. With its blend of performance, durability, and versatility, this tire is a legit contender in the gravel scene but there are better tires on the market. Very similar to the Panaracer Gravel Kings, these tires have been available for some time, and were at one point, the best around. However newer tires, from a variety of brands, have likely outpaced these once-best tires available. With that said, let’s take a look at our Specialized Pathfinder Pro Review
Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss 47mm
- Great Traction Climbing
- Great Price
- Overweight for Race Tire
- Not Fastest Rolling
- Not Confidence Inspiring
- Harsh Ride
- Feel Sluggish
The Specialized Pathfinder feels like a tire that is going to last. Out of the package, you can feel the thickness of the tire with their “Endurant Casing” and “BlackBelt” which is nice but immediately raises flags about how supple they are going to feel on the road even with their 120tpi casing. If you are familiar with gravel tires, these feel very much like the Panaracer Gravel King SS tires.
However, all that protection comes with a downside, the tire losses its supple ride qualities. Does that mean the tire feels harsh? No, not really, but if you are more accustomed to a softer tire, you will notice it on your ride.
They come in at a fairly heavy 599 grams. We tested the tires on a set of Bontrager Paradigm Elite 25 wheels with an internal width of 25mm, which set the tires out to a 48.14mm compared to the labeled 47mm width. A shockingly close measurement to label, especially with a wider width rim.
Riding the Specialized Pathfinder Pro
Embarking on my initial ride with the Specialized Pathfind Pro tires, I was a bit underwhelmed. This is probably more from the massive amount of use of this tire from pros and “fast” riders using them to get on the podium. Are they slow? No. Are they fast? Not really. Are they a good tire? Definitely.
Instead of mounting them on carbon wheels, I opted for a lightweight aluminum set that hadn’t got much love lately. They sat up tubeless incredibly easily and stayed up with minimal sealant. This wasn’t by choice, more of a ran out of sealant on a weekend when setting them up situation. In the Flint Hills of Kansas, the biggest complaint for these tires is sidewall cuts, however, I had no such issues or even a flat period in the 1,000+ miles I put on them. That’s an excellent sign for the durability when a majority of those miles were logged on what is the “north route” for Unbound Gravel while out on coaching camps, which is known for being much more technical and littered with sharp fresh gravel.
They are not the most supple tire either, they do seem to hit their stride after 200+ miles of use as the rubber begins to stretch a little and soften up.
With that said, these tires ride almost identical to the Panaracer Gravel King SS+: durable, a little rough, and decently rolling.
The Specialized Pathfinder Pro 47mm is definitely a workhorse of a tire. Would I race them? Maybe 3-4 years ago but now you can find a much faster tire in the Michelin Power Gravel or a more reliable Panaracer Gravel King SS+. However, I plan to keep riding them through the winter in a regular rotation and trade them out with the S-Works 42mm version.
Coach Seacat has carved a space for himself as an expert coach in the discipline of cycling. With 15+ years of coaching and prestigious certifications from USA Cycling and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), Coach Seacat brings a comprehensive approach to coaching that combines advanced training techniques with fundamental cycling strategies.