At Pure Gravel, the original IRC Boken has been our go-to gravel tire since it first hit the trail three years ago. SO we were beyond excited when we heard IRC was coming out with the sequel, the Boken DoubleCross.
We reached out to IRC to ask about name and we were told DoubleCross gets its name from it’s dual-sport design as both a Cyclocross tire AND a gravel tire. Furthermore, all tires currently bearing the Boken moniker share the same compound, casing, and reinforced sidewalls.
33 vs. the rest
Looking at the tires, the first thing you will notice is that the 33mm version has a dramatically different tread than the 38 and 42mm tires. The 33 s a true cyclocross tread and we don’t think it will be as popular among gravel riders unless they live in an area with sandy or loamy soil. The Pure Gravel offices are in hard-packed Southern California, so we will focus on the 38 and 42mm tires for this review.
Subtle differences between 38 and 42
The 38 and 42 look identical at a glance, but they are actually slightly different. The 38 lugs on the 38 are spaced closer together. This makes the 38 roll a little faster not he road, and makes the 42 grip a little more in the dirt. This is a nice touch that helps optimize each tire size for the needs of different riders. The rider who wants the 42 cares a little less about flat-out speed, but is wanting greater capability to handle rough terrain. The rider who chooses the 38 is likely wanting to keep weight down and roll faster on tarmac, and the tread design acknowledges this.
If there was a nock on the original Boken, it is that the disampnd file tread does not last long. Compound is soft, but because of the tread design it lasts forever (online the regular boken)
- the 38 is only 5g heavier than the 36!
- needed lower pressures than expected
- quiet! FEELS fast on the road
- does it roll faster than the boken?
- does it corner as good as the boken on hard or loose over hard?