Interbike 2014: New rubber -and wheel size- at WTB

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Not fat- nor terribly overweight
Not fat- nor terribly overweight

First shown publicly on Rocky Mountain’s Sherpa at Sea Otter this spring, Interbike marked the formal debut of WTB’s new wheel size.  Without a catchy name from the WTB side, we’re inclined to call it the B-Plus.  Really just big-boned 650b wheels and tyres, the 45mm-wide Scraper rim and mating 27.5 x 2.8in Trailblazer tyre are built for big kid shreddin’ and plus sized grinnin’.  No really, they are:

That's an excellent intended use
That’s an excellent intended use

Fitting in most 29er forks (and a good number of 29er frames), a change from 29er to B+ requires only (?) new wheels and tyres.  Or maybe just a new front wheel and tyre for some bouncy, drifty excitement.  In true 27.5 fashion, the size is said to deliver the best of both worlds:  in this case the manageable size of a 29er with the traction and lunar lander giggles from a fatbike.


And we’ll be darned if they don’t look kind of fun.  The sub-900g weight (if just) is reasonable and the rims shouldn’t be too bad either.  Coming from WTB, the tyres and rims will be tubeless compatible with sealant.

We're digging the new graphics
We’re digging the new graphics

Also fat and knobby -at least for their intended use- is the forthcoming tubeless-ready 700x40c Nano.  The first production 29er tread is still going strong and could be just the thing for that new gravel bike or on/off road ‘cross commuter.

Don't ask us about those.
Don’t ask us about those.

Hiding in plain sight on a still-dusty Cannondale enduro rig were a set WTB carbon fibre rims.  Definitely in the pipeline, representatives were reluctant to talk too much about the Ci24 wheelset, other than to say that the company was taking the time to get things right.  If the name follows WTB convention, then the wheels will measure 24mm inside.  More when we know it…

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