US rubber and component merchants, WTB have been in contact to let us know about their latest road tyre for those who have a loose definition of what constitutes a road.
Over the last year, we have seen a gradual move to 650b wheels on many ‘adventure bike’ frames. This isn’t a new thing, or course. Just ask the French who have been using a smaller wheel size (in conjunction with high volume ‘demi ballon’ tyres) for their randonneur bikes for years.
The growth of the ‘middle size’ wheel’s popularity in mountain biking has meant a boom in the number of 650b rims available, and the omnipresence of disc brakes on new adventure bikes makes swapping wheels a simple job. Until recently, however, there have been limited tyre options. WTB and other manufacturers are looking to change that. Here’s their take on 650b ‘road plus’, and their new Horizon tyre:
The Horizon Road Plus tire brings supple plus-size traction and smooth riding characteristics beyond where the pavement ends. A smooth centerline and all-weather herringbone pattern with cornering channels make anything possible, just like the size. High-volume road provides deceivingly svelte performance on pavement, with resiliency that isn’t shaken by chasing confidants down dusty dirt roads. Sneak it into a cross bike, fit it into a road frame, the overall diameter stays the same as a 700 x 28 – 30mm road tire. Ride it on tarmac, take it to the dirt as well. Creating a new riding experience, regardless of where your exploits lead you.
Road Plus retains the same geometry as existing endurance road bikes but adds a high volume, tubeless 650b wheel and tire in place of a 700c. With the 650b x 47c Horizon Plus having the same overall diameter as a 700 x 28c tire, it only requires a little more chainstay clearance than a traditional road tire. Match it to a KOM i23 or i25 650b TCS rim and you have a light, high volume, fast rolling setup without going back to the drawing board for frame design. Visit our Road Plus Fit Chart at wtb.com/pages/road-plus to ensure compatibility with your current frame.
The Horizon Road Plus tyres are due out in July, and we have already requested a test pair to put through their paces.