All of Donnelly's tires are named after airport codes where it's designed to thrive or locations that may have inspired its construction. Its latest adventure offering is the EMP Tire and if you aren't familiar, EMP is the airport in Emporia, Kansas, home to what is arguably the world's most popular gravel race, covering 200 miles every summer. The race is contested almost entirely gravel, and as such, this tire's tread differs slightly from Donnelly's other adventure tire offerings which usually feature a well-defined center strip for fast rolling on pavement. Instead, a tight block pattern over the entire tread surface and aggressive shoulder lugs are designed to dig in on the loose surfaces.
Make no mistake, this tire is still designed to roll fast, a boon in any long distance gravel race or training, however, with a full complement of knobs, this tire does place its priority on grip and will help find traction on sketchy corners and during steep, out of the saddle climbs. Furthermore, its soft rubber compound provides extra purchase as well and yields some shock absorption over bumpy surfaces.
The Flint Hills are pretty unforgiving and provide a nearly infinite amount of sharp objects that can pierce a tire, so Donnelly wisely integrates a puncture protection belt under the tread to keep you rolling when you're miles from civilization.
- Donnelly's adventure tire for aggressive gravel training and racing
- Tightly spaced center knobs are smooth rolling
- Aggressive shoulder lugs dig in during hard cornering
- Soft rubber compound provides extra grip and shock absorption
- Integrated puncture protection belt under the tread wards off flats