WTB_Riddler+Exposure

With a several sizes in two new and updated tires lines, WTB has you covered from 30mm Exposure slicks all the way up to a knobby set of 2.25s. And in between they have filed out a tire range designed to cover road riding on any surface, cross and dirt touring, to cross-country and trail adventures. The Riddler, which in its current guise includes a 2.4″ 27.5 enduro gets lighter 29er and 700c options to cover more ground, while the new Exposure lends more volume to the adventure road and tour categories…

WTB_Riddler_29x2-25_700cx37+45

Expanding on the success of their 27.5” trail tire – the Riddler – WTB  is expanding to two new versions this year. The Riddler was a tire designed to roll exceptionally fast on hardpack terrain, developed together with long-time sponsored rider Nathan Riddle, but still have cornering grip to make it hook up when the turns get loose or damp. The tire uses densely packed center knobs, combined with chunky, shouldered outside knobs that give structure in corners. It was essentially a blending of the WTB Beeline and Vigilante.

New versions include a 29 x 2.25” trail riding tire, which WTB envisions being used mostly in the rear combined with a meatier front tire. The Riddler 2.25″ TCS Light 29er uses WTB’s lightweight casing designed to be used with sealant in a tubeless setup and their dual compound DNA rubber. With early tire samples weighing in at 840g, the $70 tire is available now.

WTB have also added 37mm and 45mm casing versions as well to bring the versatile tread to cross, gravel, and dirt touring. Also both using the same TCS Light carcass they will sell for $55 when they are available in June 2016. Pre-production samples of the 45mm wide Riddler have been weighed at 560g.

WTB_Exposure_700cx34+30

We had a quick look at the smooth center tread of the narrower Exposure last week when WTB introduced their new 650b Road Plus Horizon. The Exposure comes in two widths – 30mm and 34mm. While both versions share the same tech and intentions of endurance road and gravel racing, the two tires are each distinct due to very different tread layouts. The 30mm Exposure uses a fast rolling smooth center tread, with a simple and low-profile set of file-tread shoulders for a bit of traction when the corners get loose. The 34mm Exposure on the other hand uses a more narrow slick center with siped sides, that transition into progressively taller diamond tread supported on the shoulders by larger, widely spaced lugs. It definitely looks like it will be more suited for riding in the loose stuff.

Both tires are at the premium road level from WTB and use their most supple casing and fast rolling Distance+ rubber compound. They are tubeless ready with WTB’s folding bead Road TCS. The 30mm slick claims a weight of 345g, while the 34mm semi-slick should come in at 370g. Both tires sell for $80 a piece and should be available in June as well.

WTB.com

16 COMMENTS

    • So what? Why is the assumption always that bike parts MUST cost less than auto parts? Don’t get me wrong – $80 is crazy for a tire, but the argument that it’s crazy because you can buy a car tire for the same or less is an tired non sequitur.

      • A car tire is usually more than 10kg. A bike tire is usually less than 1kg. That is 10 times less rubber for an higher price.

        • You’re not buying commodity rubber in bulk by the pound; you’re buying a tire. The comparison is based on the false assumption that the only determinant of the cost of a tire is the weight of the raw materials. You’re paying for R&D, tooling, labor, etc, not to mention the economies of scale mentioned elsewhere. You never hear this argument used with other parts of the bike, such as frames. “What, this carbon frame weighs half as much as this other carbon frame but COSTS TWICE AS MUCH?! I MUST be getting ripped off!”

    • If you’re spending $80 on a car tire, you’re likely buying the equivalent of a $20 Cheng Shin low-end tire at the local hardware store. The performance tires that I buy for my car easily surpass $200 per. Not to mention that the cost of production for a bike tire is substantially higher on a per unit basis due to the fact that bicycle tires are about 15% of the total tire market.

      Apples and oranges, man.

    • You’re comparing a top of the line bicycle tire with a lowest common denominator car tire that’s produced at 1000x+ of the volume.

      There are $10 bicycle tires and $500 car tires, too.

  1. The Riddler at 650×47 would be a great tire for my Cannondale Slate (though the Exposure at that width would be even better). The stock slicks are surprisingly good in the dirt, but I’d really like a little tread.

  2. Bridgestone or Michelin car tires are about $100/each from Costco.

    > Apples and oranges, man.

    Yeah, totally. The automotive tire has about 100 times the materials cost of a bike tire.

  3. How long have you fools been buying performance cycling equipment? $80 is what high performance bike tires cost. That’s the way it goes.

    Sure, you can get car tires for less that use more materials, but that’s the point – in order for the tires to meet specific performance criteria, and weight demands, they need to use expensive materials.

    Oh, and haven’t you heard of economy of scale? Car tires are made and sold by the million – bike tires, if a company is lucky, are by the thousand. Buy more, price per unit goes down.

What do you think?

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