WTB ‘08 29″er Tires:Prowler SL 29″er Update II

Editors Note: The WTB Prowler 29″er tires are a new addition to the WTB 29″er tire line up that we recieved for testing last fall. Since the bad winter kept us at bay, the updates have been slow in coming. Finally Captain Bob has been able to get out there and put the Prowler through it’s paces once again. Here’s the latest…..

Late last fall was the last time I reported on the WTB Prowlers 29″ers and I do have some new miles I need to ramble on about. We have had a wet spring here in Iowa, so getting in some really good trail rides has been a challenge. I have logged about 150 more miles since winter has passed. The tread wear is minimal so I have a feeling these tires will offer a good amount of life. Gotta love getting your moneys worth! A few of my rides have been on gravel roads and there are still no surprises here with the Prowlers. In terms of rolling resistance, I would place them in the medium range. Traction and durability seem to be where WTB put their focus when designing the Prowlers. The sidewall casing is fairly thick and seems very durable. I like how the tread seems to cut through the loose gravel roads too. None of the the hopping and skipping feeling I get with some tires. Loose gravel corners are nothing to worry about. “Confidence inspiring” is a phrase that comes to mind often.

I did get a couple dry single track rides in and the tires just worked well. They are not the fastest rolling tires out there, but those “fast” rolling tires don’t always work in many other conditions. The Prowlers do. We have some off camber trails with a good share of roots thrown in and I never was able to find fault with them. Climbing with the Prowlers for me seems to be where they really shine. Not sluggish, they just grip. They almost seem to rip the ground up and launch you forward. Since I run fully rigid bikes I was wishing for a larger volume Prowler. Not sure how much larger they could go before pushing into the Stout sales. Maybe I need some “squishy” for the fronts of my bikes……

I was also able to race the the Prowlers in some mud which I was not excited about. I am a wimp, I hate getting muddy. When I pre rode the race course I wasn’t feeling so well about the conditions. I was not ready to suffer that day so the the head games started playing out. I ended up rolling the Prowler in the rear and mounted up a larger volume knobby in the front. Bike was the Salsa Mamasita with Origin 8 Black Ops carbon fork. The event was the Decorah Time Trial, and it has arguably the best singletrack in Iowa. More off camber sections and switchbacks than I am use to. The Prowlers packed up with mud just like any other tire would. It never became overly packed though. It seemed to shed mud well enough. Almost always the knobs were still visible which means it was still working, right? Well, it worked. Climbing in the tacky to muddy sections was not too much of a challenge. I never felt the rear washing out at all. The only paved section of the course was about 1/8 mile and the tire seemed to roll slower there than in any off road section, but, it isn’t a road tire so that was to be expected. I probably didn’t need to use the larger tire on the front after all since I wasn’t moving that fast and never really hit any part of the trail that needed a larger volume tire. Oh well…..live and learn.

So, I plan to keep logging miles on these WTB Prowlers and might get the chance to report back on them again. I can’t stress enough on the climbing traits these tires have. If you are looking for a super fast lightweight tire you may want to look elsewhere. But, if you are looking for a strong, long lasting, durable tire that is medium fast this could your tire. I know I plan to keep them (unless the boss makes me give them back). I give them a thumbs up.

Look for further WTB updates now on the Vulpine and Stout coming soon!


No Responses to “WTB ‘08 29″er Tires:Prowler SL 29″er Update II”

  1. Satan Spacemonkey Says:

    Hmmmm…. Looks like a good choice when my Weirwolf tires ware out.

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