Top Ten Favorite 29"er Products Of '08: WTB Tires

Editors Note: Yeah, yeah…..another year end review! Tis the season! So, here are my favorite things that have passed through the Twenty Nine Inches review process during the past year. I want to point out a few parameters that I used for what I chose here.

1. The product had to be in the review process during the time period of December 2007 through to the end of November 2008. Reviews that are currently in process I did not include and will be eligible for my 2009 Top Ten list.

2. They had to be products or bicycles that I personally used during this period. Nothing any of the other Twenty Nine Inches staff reviewed on their own could be considered for my list. This list doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone but me, Guitar Ted.

That said, let’s get on with this……

WTB Tire Pile

Number 10: Wilderness Trail Bikes Tires: WTB sent us three new tire models for 2008 back in November of ’07 for testing. All three were very different from each other and from anything else on the market at the time.

Why They Made The List: Well, all of these tires are unique and were a badly needed addition to 29″er tire arsenals. The Vulpine is a great race tire that actually has side knobs. The tire also can commute, do gravel, and is a great utilitarian tread. (See Salsa’s Fargo) The Prowler is such a good tread for all around use, and in my mind is highly underated. It grips off camber stuff really well, and oddly enough, it makes a decent snow tire! The Stout is without doubt the most heavy duty trail/AM tire 29″er freaks have available now. Those big, aggro knobs and thick casing are category toppers. (Not to mention weighty, but there isn’t any free lunch here!)

My Two Cents: While there were other good 29″er tires introduced in this time period, no other company did three tires for 2008 that were all really good. For that alone I would give WTB some credit. However; these tires are all workhorse, great multi-use tires that don’t have much, if any overlap in terms of what they are good at. That is an amazing introduction of 29″er rubber there and that’s why WTB tires for ’08 made the list at #10.

Next up- Number 9! Stay tuned!


No Responses to “Top Ten Favorite 29"er Products Of '08: WTB Tires”

  1. ia_ss157 Says:

    Their tires also have a slightly magical ride quality to them. Something in the sidewall construction, in combination with the rubber compound makes for an awesome experience. The rebound qualities at low pressures and suppleness… ok I’ll stop now. The Stouts are awesome .So are the Weirwolfs. The Stouts make you exude confidence in every situation. As well as being probably the most comfy rigid fork front tire ever. Exis are ok, I just like something a little more agressive if I am going to have that much weight in the first place.

    I would be interested to try the Prowler this coming season. I haven’t been on Ardents or Racing Ralphs yet, and they will get first dibs of new tire trys. That and the full size XDX.

    Good call on the first of the top 10.

  2. Steve Says:

    I’m really enjoying my Exiwolfs at the moment. I went back to an Exi at the front and Ignitor at the rear and am having a ball. Seems they really suit the terrain around my parts.

    Would love to try a Prowler as my everyday tyre with maybe even a Vulpine out back but for now the Exi will do me fine…

  3. The Monkey Says:

    And what about the classics? The Nanoraptor is one of the most capable and undersung tires out there. I wish they’d make it in a 2.3….

  4. Guitar Ted Says:

    The Monkey: Yeah, the Nano is a great, great tread. But we didn’t test it in ’08. 😉

    I agree though, they should do something spectacular for the 10th anniversary. A 2.3″er Nano would do just fine.

  5. prphoto Says:

    I love my Vulpines as a commuter and hard pack tire and just slapped on a set of MotoRaptors
    for the rough Bay Area winters (not!). They are the DNA compound. They seem to work well, I guess tire names change fast these days, but all in the name of progress, right?

  6. prphoto Says:

    GT just wondering what your success has been running the vulpine tubeless?Or if you have tried.

  7. Guitar Ted Says:

    prphoto: I’ve been using a set of Vulpines tubeless since last March. They work great.

  8. different Steve Says:

    Yeah, I noticed a huge improvement off-road by switching my front from a Nano to a Prowler. Left the Nano in back for speed, but that Prowler transformed my bike into a rideable off-road machine.

  9. Jon Says:

    I love the Prowler SL’s – running them front & rear since the beginning of the season. My one complaint about them: They wear crazy fast one pavement. Of course, it is sold as a race tire and does use WTB’s softer tire compound. Also, running the rear tire in reverse does offer heaps more traction. The rear is about shot after about 300 miles of on/off road use, but still does alright off-road run reverse. The Vulpine looks great for a commuter tire, but I’m worried how it will wear, given that it is also Race/DNA compound. I’d hate to use them as a commuter tire and burn them out in 200 miles on the road.

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