Our friends at WTB just brought by some sweet new tires in 27.5″ and 29″ varieties. 26″ missed the train…is this a sign of what is coming? Either way, they packed on some sweet new tires and here is the lowdown on how they operate.
Lets get it started:
Nine Line 2.25 (29″ only)
This tire is exciting. The Nine Line 2.0 is a great 29er tire in it’s own right, but it’s small, extremely xc, and leans more towards race-specific rear applications. The 2.25 adds some much need volume for everyday riding, while still maintaining an impressive 632g weight for the TCS-light version. It reminds us a lot of the Maxxis Ikon, but offers up more consistent cornering feel, while maintaining much better sidewall protection with TCS. While we wouldn’t personally run an Ikon up front (although a lot of locals do) we wouldn’t hesitate to run the Nine Line 2.25 up front for xc applications. WTB added more lines of tread with the larger version of this tire, and the results are impressive. Rolling resistance stays at race levels, while wet weather performance, cornering, and braking, all seem substantially improved. The benefits of the additional volume really showcase what this tire can do on almost any bike; trails bikes or xc bikes will see more Strava Gold in your future with the Nine Line 2.25 on your rig.
Nano 40c (700c / 29″)
Another tire we’ve pretty much been waiting for. The emergence of gravel-grinder rides and grasshopper-style rides/races highlighted a real demand for a smaller nano. The tread just works, but rocking a 29×2.1 won’t fit most CX applications, and is just a little too big for 29er-converts. The nano 40c accels must the same way the 29×2.1 did, it’s just FAST. It makes the user wanna get out and explore broken pavement and take the road less traveled, with more cush than a normal cx tire or large volume 28-32c road tire. I’m betting this makes racing a Grasshopper a lot more fun, while still maintaining a solid pace in roadie pacelines. As a bit larger than most big CX tires, the 40c nano targets the gravel grinder audience with an eye to those who love it’s larger volume brother. Bottom line, you can’t go wrong if it fits in your frame (and if it doesn’t, there is always the WTB CROSS BOSS 35c).
Trail Boss (27.5″ and 29″ only)
WTB has packed the marketing rocketship with this one. You’ve probably already seen the banners on the likes of MTBR, FACEBOOK, or other social media outlets, and for good reason. While we haven’t ridden this, the tread pattern looks promising. WTB has been missing that big-tread-block-do-it-all-tire-that-doesn’t-weigh-a-ton market, that local auburn xc/trail riders know so well. Pedal around a 1000g+ tire for 6 hours, and you’ll see what I mean. While the WTB Vigilante and Breakout can handle punishing Downieville runs and provide that extra rubber threshold for going big and shredding, it’s not something I’d want to pedal around all day if I’m lugging around Mr. Beer Gut (and chasing my much faster friends).
The Trail Boss holds all the cards to be a game changer. Think Purgatory/NobbyNic/TrailKing/Nevegal mixed into one, but it actually seats tubeless, and won’t leave you with a sidewall tear from a jaunt down Stagecoach. Tall knobs (that are blocked-out well) mean this tire has versatility and fantastic rolling resistance. From wet and muddy to loose and even hardpacked, this tire should be your day-in, day-out, shredder. The stepped sideknobs also mean you won’t just hook on the sideknobs and dig in and eat dirt. You’ll dig in and RAIL. WTB is offering this tire in new TCS-light and a TCS-tough Enduro casing.
Breakout (27.5″ only)
Think Big. Gnarly rocks. Steep, rough terrain. Think French Alps inspired Enduro runs. Think of a tire that keeps you pinned from the top of the run to the bottom. This is the WTB Breakout. Hitting the scales at over 1,100g, this tire is meant to be used and abused more than your first car. Pinned, elbows-out, big-grinned. This tire is for being the fastest down and having the most fun, no matter the trail conditions. From auburn peanut butter, to the loam-over-hardpack of the hot summer, this tire will take it and beg you for one more run.
WTB’s full lineup is available for review here: