WTB '08 29"er Tires: Stout 29"er Update

2008 WTB Stout 2.3

The tire from the WTB arsenal of 29″er rubber that has the most aggressive nature of any of their 29″er models is undoubtedly the Stout 2.3″. In fact, it is the most aggressive 29″er tire you can ride, bar none. I have been running this tire for a month and a half now and it continues to be a tire that amazes me in many ways.

Stout front view

I have ridden this tire through the late fall leaves and right on into the winter snow and ice. Rock hard, bumpy sections of frozen snow and glare ice patches don’t even faze this monster of a tire. Grip and toughness are the two operative words I always use to describe the Stout. Out of all the 29″er tires I have seen, the Stout has to be the king in these two areas for 29″ers save the prototype WTB tire I rode out at Interbike. That tire won’t be out for another year to a year and a half, so the Stout should reign supreme for the time being. The thing is, there isn’t a tire even close to it to compare it to.

Sure, there are tires just as wide. The WTB Weir Wolf LT and the new Schwalbe Racing Ralph are just a wee bit bigger in volume. But the knobs on those tires pale in comparison to the moto grippers the Stout has. Sure, there are tires nearly as knobby, like the Nevegal, but the casing on the Nevegal would faint far before a Stout’s casing would even be tested. The Stout is the back alley brawler of 29″er tires and I don’t see any other tire capable of taking it on in its element for now.

For pressure, I had said that I thought I could run it down into the teens, and I have done that. I went down to 18psi for one ride on a cold, cold morning across some icy, frozen streets and flatter terrain. The tires were undeterred and had excellent grip. The thing is though, you can not get away from the fact that you are rolling 1000 plus grams of tire on each rim. I had to remind myself of that fact quite often that morning and just plug away at a higher cadence in an easier gear than normal. The rolling resistance is there, but for ultimate grip, there is a price.

I think ideally you would run this tire as an all mountain type tire in rocky. rooty, and really rough terrain where the grip and toughness of the Stout would be appreciated most. I hope to be able to do this as I plan on visiting the South West U.S. sometime in the beginning of ’08. This will prove to be the ultimate proving grounds for the Stout, in my mind, and I can’t wait to get there with these on my bike.

Stout clearance on an XXIX+G

The other thing I mentioned with the Stout was the clearance issues I had on my XXIX+G. The photo above will illustrate this clearly, I believe. You can see that I’m barely clearing the front derailluer in front of the tire. If you notice the front derailluer cage to the right, I can tell you that the cage is in the middle ring posistion. If I shifted it down to the inner ring, the cage catches the knobs of the Stout. A problem that might prevent this tire from being used on other bikes, especially full suspension rigs, which I think is where this tire belongs. Hopefully that won’t be a problem on most 29″er FS designs.

That said, I think the Stout is a great tire for aggressive, all out mountain riding and for those looking for a tire with ultimate grip in poor conditions or on really tough terrain. Hopefully I can get some first hand experience with both for my next Stout update.


No Responses to “WTB '08 29"er Tires: Stout 29"er Update”

  1. BearSquirrel Says:

    Stud Job ???

    So I take it the tall knobs and thicker casing would make this a good candidate for a custom stud job?

    Sorry if I keep asking the same question. I’m just trying to find the ideal tire with good volume to do custom with. The Nokians are just WAAAY too small.

  2. Guitar Ted Says:

    BearSquirrel: Well, those big, well supported knobs surely would be great for a home brew stud job, but at an already heavy 1100grams, you’ll be riding some of the heaviest tires known for 29″ers, if not the heaviest.

    Otherwise, yeah, I would go for it.

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