Continuing with Donnelly's excellent nomenclature of naming its tires after airport codes comes the EMP Tire. For those not in the know, EMP is the airport in Emporia, Kansas which hosts what is arguably the world's most popular gravel race that covers 200 miles every summer. Since that race is almost entirely gravel, this tire's tread differs from Donnelly's other adventure tire offerings which usually feature a well-defined center strip for fast rolling on pavement. Instead, a tighter block pattern over the entire tread 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. Its tubeless-ready design means it should mount easily to most tubeless ready rim with a splash of sealant and its casing is reinforced for lower pressures and to ward off premature wear.
- Donnelly's adventure tire for tackling aggressive gravel
- Tightly spaced center knobs roll quickly
- Aggressive shoulder lugs provide excellent cornering traction
- Tubeless casing lets you enjoy fewer punctures and lower pressures
- The soft rubber compound is grippy and helps absorb impacts
- Integrated protection belt under the tread mitigates punctures