After seeing some of the new treads coming from WTB at this year’s Eurobike event, we got in touch with WTB to have a bunch of them sent out for testing. These particular tyres are destined for a combination of different riding styles, including a daily driver commuter bike, a gravel adventure bike and a (non-UCI approved) cyclocross bike. Before they get slapped on and ridden into the ground, we grabbed a few quick photos of the tyres on their own, as well as on the vicious Park Tools digital scales, so you’ve got an idea of what they weigh in at.
In our box of test rubber, we’ve got two sets of the new Riddler tyres in 37c and 45c widths, as well as a pair of trusty Nano tyres in a 40c width. There’s also a set of the Exposure 34c tyres too. All of them use the WTB Tubeless Compatible System (TCS), so you can run them with or without tubes.
WTB Exposure 700x34c
“Proven WTB performance now expanded to high-end road that won’t fall apart when taken past the traditional tarmac. The all-new, multilayered construction of the tubeless Supple Casing delivers a soothingly smooth ride quality without deteriorating under varied conditions. Elite-level road meets renowned tubeless simplicity in sizes that accommodate exploration while digging deep on lonesome roads. Exposure tires are available in 30 and 34mm for the ultimate versatility in road tires…meaning big days and few boundaries.”
The Exposure is designed as a tough all-surface tyre that’s ideally suited to pavement and gravel. It’s got a 34c width, though it’s also available in 30c too. With packaging, our test tyre came out at 403 grams. Factor in about 25 grams for packaging, and that takes them very close to the claimed weight. For the given volume, these suckers are pretty darn light!
WTB Riddler 700x37c
“You need a tire that keeps your legs on their game for hours on end, provides tenacious grip in the corners, allows you to drop your buddies off the start, while remaining composed when leaned over through the first turn. Luckily, we’ve made the ultimate tire for you. Aggressive cornering knobs meet
a fast centerline, making for a tire that carries speed into the turns yet corners like it means it. Roadesque enough in appearance, the Riddler 37c is just as ready for the local cross course as it is spinning down an empty gravel B-road. Rolls fast, eats corners. What else do you need?” – WTB.
The Riddler is a tyre we’ve gained some experience with already, as it’s the stock rubber on the Whyte Gisburn we currently have on review. The 37c model has a bit more volume than the Exposure tyre, and it’s also got more tread to it to make it better suited to cyclocross use. With a shallow centre tread pattern, it’s no mud tyre, but it’s already proven to be a surprisingly grippy tyre for off-road drop-bar excursions.
WTB Riddler 700x45c
“Built for unfaltering speed through a wide range of conditions, the Riddler 45c delivers added gusto to the rider who finds themselves on the roughest of roads. The proven tread design of the Riddler is now available in a wide drop bar width to drown out the harshness of the ride, without sacrificing performance. Expanding what gravel can do while happily accommodating dirt touring, the Riddler 45c corners with confidence on hard surfaces while still sinking its teeth deep into your favorite trails. Incredibly versatile in a what-can’t-it-do type of size, this tire breathes capability when mounted to any drop bar bike.” – WTB.
Based on our preliminary experience with the 37c version, we’re very intrigued about trying out the wider Riddler 45c tyres. With a bit more volume and a wider tread pattern, the 45c Riddler should deliver a little more comfort and a little more traction for rougher bridleways and off-road tracks. Claimed weight on these is 560gm, so again, once you factor in 25-30gm for packaging, that’s about on the money from WTB.
WTB Nano 700x40c
“FAAAASSSTT!!!!! The Nano 40c is built for speed, and let’s just politely say it delivers. A 40mm, rounded profile and an elevated centerline provide enough volume for lower tire pressures and a smoother ride while still reducing drag and rolling resistance. This makes for an all out gravel destroyer that can still appease those clamoring for a truly big cyclocross tire. Winner? We think so. So does superhuman, beyond endurance athlete, Jay Petervary.” – WTB.
We’ve used the WTB Nano tyre in its burlier 29er form before, so we’re looking forward to seeing how the skinnier 700c version will go. It’s got a deeper tread pattern than the Riddler tyre, so it’ll likely offer a little more traction on loose surfaces. With the 40c width though, it’s less likely to end up on a dedicated cyclocross bike, and more of a new-school CX/Adventure bike that has the necessary clearance.
Stay tuned to Grit.cx for further updates on our WTB test rubber. We’ll be putting these treads through the wringer over the coming winter months, and will report back on their performance and real-world durability on our crummy Calderdale roads and backcountry bridleways. Time to get dirty!