WTB is launching three new products at the Taipei show, but they’ve gone ahead and sent over a few preliminary pics and details.
The brand has been at the forefront of mountain bike tire sizing since the early days, and before then, near the front of the pack with tread design with things like the front-and-rear specific Velociraptors. When Gary Fisher and others needed a tire to fit those wacky new 29ers, the Nano Raptor was born. Last year, they introduced one of the first 27.5+ tires with the Trailblazer 2.8.
Now, they’ve added the Bridger 27.5 x 3.0, a proper plus-sized mountain bike tire that’s designed for ripping enduro courses to shreds. It’ll be available in two casings: The more aggressive TCS Tough: High Grip gets their sticky Gravity DNA rubber with a two-ply casing for pinch and cut protection. It takes the 27.5+ segment and puts it squarely in the realm of all-out, earth ripping performance…which is exactly where we see this segment heading thanks to products like the new Fox 34 “plus” fork and mountain bikes heading toward wider axles to accommodate such things.
There’ll also be a TCS Light: Fast Rolling model, which gives them a grippier tire for the front and faster rolling one in the rear when conditions allow. Claimed weights and prices are 1,235g/$67.95 (Light) and 1,510g/$76.95 (Tough), available in August.
If you’re sticking with your standard sized tires, there’s a new carbon rim for you, plus a new lightweight saddle…
First spotted at NAHBS holding up Chris Chance’s new Yo Eddy bikes, the Ci24 is WTB’s first carbon fiber rim. Available in both 27.5 and 29er diameters, the rims have been a long time in development. The goals were to make them strong and functional, adding ease of use everywhere along the path from building to mounting tires to riding them.
They use WTB’s 4D drilling pattern to align the spokes directly toward the hub flange. They say with a material as stiff as carbon, you can’t just drill a straight hole and expect good results; too much binding and bending will occur and it can make them hard to build and possible break spokes (or worse) as they’re stressed. They also use their TCS system design, which incorporates a UST-certified rim profile for secure mounting and (they say) floor-pump seating and inflation when used with their TCS tires and sealant. Claimed weights are 414g and 420g, measurements are 24mm inside width, 30mm outside. Depth is 31mm, available in 32 hole drillings only. Available in June for $549.95 each.
Lastly, the new SLG saddle gets a profile that’s reminiscent of current WTB saddles, but has its own character. The nose is long and slim, and the tail has a slight upward kick. The body is covered with their lightweight DNA padding throughout, and in the carbon rail form, it’s the lightest saddle they’ve every made at just 146g. Lest you think it just for road at that weight, they’re saying it’s ready for anything, with the carbon model having been tested under Team WTB riders Jason Moeschler, Mark Weir, Ben Cruz, and Marco Osborne as well as fellow Cannondale and WTB athlete Jerome Clementz, on the Enduro World Series and Big Mountain Enduro Series events throughout 2014.
They’ll be available in Carbon, Pro and Team models with prices ranging from $119.95 up to $249.95. Available in June.