WTB Tires Update

I’ve talked to a few more people concerning the new WTB tires due out in ’08 and there’s lots of good news.

WTB takes pride in being among the early adopters of the 29er movement but realize that they’ve gotten stagnant as other companies jump on board. In the face of this they are dramatically expanding their line of tires for next year. A quote from a WTB source:

“We’ll have a tire that fits the need of every kind of 29er that’s currently on the market”

The tire I posted about yesterday is actually the Prowler SL and is one of three tires targeted to the race scene. They are also releasing the Stout tire in a 29er version which is one from their All Mountain line.

I’ve also been told from a semi-reliable source that the Vulpine will be released in a 29er however when I asked my WTB source about this I couldn’t get a confirmation.

Initially there was also a big, burly 2.5 inch tire in the works but has since been pushed back to ’09. I wasn’t clear if it was due to R&D problems or waiting to see if the freeride/downhill 29er market grows.

That’s what I have so far… plenty of new WTB tires for big wheels coming out for next year. I’ll continue to work the sources and grease the palms to see if I can get any pictures. Stay tuned…


No Responses to “WTB Tires Update”

  1. Rainman Says:

    Pushing back the 2.5 is a mistake … imo. The 29’er world is hungry for big tires, and “pushing back” the only really interesting tire in their lineup is a marketing blunder.

    If they provide a big tire, imagine how quickly frames will appear to accomodate it… no good saying that “We’ll have a tire that fits the need of every kind of 29er that’s currently on the marketâ€?…that’s ‘backwards’ thinking. WTB has to look forwards, not back or present tense.

    WTB could easily take the lead again in tires if they push the big tire forward and drop one of the smaller ones back. The very fast development of 29’er AM frames is proof that if a big tire becomes available soon, the 29’er Am scene would really take off, imo.

    New long travel forks are coming to suit this kind of riding, and WB already has the 135 on the market doing well saleswise. WTB could “kill it” with their big meats if they were on the ball. Every man and his dog would buy them…imo.


  2. Cloxxki Says:

    I’m with Rainman.

    WTB is the ultimate 29″ tire brand. and they say so themselves too.
    They are supposed to know the market, and it’s potential.
    VERY mediocre allround tires they’ve offered have been selling crazy well. Should this promote making more mediocre allround tire, or explore the extremes in performance for each type of riding?
    WTB is sitting on this knowledge and market potential. Like it’s up to the world to wait for them to take the lead, and it almost works this way too. Kenda makes a medium-width ultra grippy tire, just before it the only slightly wider sole Panaracer offering (which is a huge seller as well).

    Tires are what makes the bike. Every bike needs 2 of them in order to roll, a rider will need multiple sets. Being in the tire business is a great place, if you have the resources and knowledge.

    What’s taking the world to answer to NoTubes first attempt at a tire? The Crow rolls like mad, but can definately be improved upon for racing. Racing geeks, not WTB’s market so, are they in it to enjoy their own riding, or to make money and build the brand? Are DH folks even still picking their stuff? Just the cool guys that don’t *need* top equipment?

    I am eagerly looking forward to the next bunch of allround WTB tires. sure they’ll be better than what they’ve got now.

    The Weirwolf LT 2.55 is a great 2.3 tire for me. I’d like it to have a bit grippier rubber though, and higher spec, faster rolling casing. Others can do it, why not WTB? The Weirwolf is great, but does not excell at anything. It’s just sort of large. A dry weather sandy soil allrounder for all day riding. had this all been 26″ though, I’d not ahve bought it. 26″ offerings just blow tire tire away. Grippier, faster, lighter (per inch), bigger options are definately out there.

    Currently, there’s a PRO downhiller in this community. Alex aka BCD. What’s keeping WTB from signing him as sponsored rider and develop a tire with him, aimed at winning, rather than co-existing among other tires?

    While many tires are on the market now, should the fact that most are, compared to 26″ offerings, rather mediocre, mean that that’s the benchmark for WTB? They should know better, making 29″ tires for over 8 years now.
    Their line-up in 8 years so far :
    – Nanoraptor, it rolls and offers dry rear traction, but it’s heavy
    – Motoraptor 2.1, a 2.0 with what looks like knobs, and that’s it
    – ExiWolf 2.3, less knobs, more weight, medium volume, an outdated 2.2 already
    – Weirwolf, a 2.3 that is quick but meadium grip and not light
    All fair weather tires in my book. None close to a race winner in any application when compared to the world’s offerings in 26″.

    WTB, make up your mind already! Don’t use yourself or the current competing 29″ offerings as a benchmark. Start from scratch, and aim to outperform all 26″ tires, per inch. People won’t buy your tires in sufficient quantities? Then make what sells. Quality and originality sell. An old example, but look at Schwalbe. They deliver. More than excellent tire, even in 26″ already. They lack of understanding about the 29″ market is like handing over a gold mine to WTB & Co, but they’re ignoring it.
    when all of the market has switched to 29″, including the slowly understanding Germans, WTB will be a very small tire bran again. Not due to the big bucks of the competition pestering them away, but ue to their choice to be mediocre.

    We saw a pic of a WTB tire that’s being developed. Looks a bit like a Schwalbe Nobby Nic, it seems. So will it taste like house brand Coke, or better than the real thing? Does WTB even aim to beat the already legendary Nobby Nic?


  3. Guitar Ted Says:

    Rainman: While I agree with you, I think there is more to this behind the scenes than you might realize. (read- We know some things but can’t say yet 🙂 ) The tires are already in proto type stages, so it’s not like they aren’t trying. Stay patient, the bigger meats are coming and as soon as can be.

    Cloxxki: I might refer you to the lucrative OEM deals that WTB signed with it’s seemingly 29″er wide spec of ExiWolf tires during the past model year. Also, the 29″er crowd is mostly guys riding bikes off road, not so much racers. Racers tend to shy away from 29″ers for more reasons than just the tire selection, so WTB is hitting up the places that will return an investment. I think saying they are blowing it is short sighted. Seems like their business decisions have been spot on so far.

    As to your specific point, that there are no real high end, low rolling resistance 29″er tires available- I’d agree with you there. Would having them available now jumpstart the market? That’s the real qustion here for tire manufacturers. I think that they are carefully and slowly building this market brick by brick. Maybe Schwalbe will jump in with a Racing Ralph and blow the others away, but I’m thinking things are starting to move at a quicker pace in regards to tire offerings. I mean, we can click off the names and models of promised tire offerings right now that just three years ago would have been a pipedream at best.

    Those super fast 29″er tires are coming, I bet. It’s just going to take a bit longer, that’s all. 🙂

  4. Twenty Nine Inches | A 29er Bike site » Blog Archive » WTB Stout 29er Tires Says:

    […] I posted about the new run of tires coming out WTB and these pictures of the new Prowlers. Now I’ve gotten a first hand look at the new WTB Stout tires that were on the 2008 Raleigh XXIX+G. […]

  5. Jason Says:

    One of my favorite WTB tires was the Mutanoraptor Race 2.4 – big casing, low rolling resistance, predictable handling on a decent range of terrain – but that tire is no more. It would make an awesome 29er tire and would fill a void that’s been empty from any other manufacturers. Nanos roll well but don’t offer the cornering grip of the Mutano.

    i read post after post of folks looking for big volume low rolling resistance tires. We need endurance racing/epic ride tires that have some volume to them for comfort / predictability on longer rides. The manufacturers keep coming out with 2.0s and 2.1s. Don’t they actually talk to people who ride or read the 29er forums to see what people want? Where are WTB’s TLR tires??

    Specialized came out with a very capable tread design in the Captain but limited the size to 2.0. Makes no sense. I’m assuming it’s limited to 2.0 to keep so they could use the casing design of the Fastrak, but they could sell a ton in a bigger casing size. Same arguement holds true with not releasing a 2Bliss design.

  6. wtb tires Says:

    […] due out in ’08 and there’s lots of good news. wtb takes pride in being among the early adopters…http://twentynineinches.com/2007/06/28/wtb-tires-update/WTB Visit: The Prowler Family mtbtires.comWTB??s Prowler tire family is designed for a wide range of […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: