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WTB’s First Fat Bike Tire, the Bailiff has the Best Packaging You Could Ask For

WTB Bailiff fat bike tire 27.5 x 4.5-12
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Over the past few years, we’ve seen fat bike tire options melting away faster than the snowpack. But now, some good news – WTB has just introduced their first-ever fat bike tire. Packed with WTB DNA, the all-new Bailiff looks like it could be a great option for those looking for an aggressive fat bike tire.

This may be WTB’s first fat bike tire, but they’re quick to point to their four decades of tire design and hundreds of hours of testing in places like Vermont that went into the creation of the Bailiff. Offered only in 27.5 x 4.5″, we’re told that there are currently no plans to offer the tire in a 26″ size.

Built around a TCS Light High Grip 120 tpi casing, the Bailiff focuses on providing a supple feel when aired down to fat bike pressures. The tire also gets a snow-specific tire compound that is intended to stay pliable in extreme cold to maintain traction. That TCS casing also means the tire is fully tubeless compatible with tire sealant. In case you’re wondering, the WTB tire sealant is optimized for temperatures down to 15F° / -9.4°C.

Tread Pattern

The tread pattern itself features closely spaced center knobs to minimize rolling resistance, but there are still plenty of working edges to bite when you need traction to slow down. The knobs are fairly tall compared to some lighter fat bike tires and are widely spaced to dig in both soft and hard snow, mud, sand, etc.

WTB Bailiff fat bike tire 27.5 x 4.5-12

When fitted to a 77mm internal width rim, the tire has a nicely rounded profile.

Offered in studded or studless versions, each tire has 312 stud pockets which are compatible with Terrene, 45NRTH, and other popular tire studs. WTB also has a stud placement guide to help you plan out your stud placement if you don’t want to utilize all 312 pockets. The WTB studded version uses carbide studs with a 2mm-wide tip.

WTB Fat Bike Tire Actual Weight

These are big, meaty tires. As such, they’re hefty at 1617g for the studless version. The studded version comes in at 1693g. That’s in-line with other tires of this size that have aggressive tread and aren’t terribly undersized, though.

First Impressions

WTB Bailiff fat bike tire 27.5 x 4.5-12

I’ve had these tires for a few weeks now, and here we are in January. Still no snow. It looks like we’re in for a brief Arctic blast next week, so hopefully I can finally get out on these tires and the Otso Voytek 2 in the snow (or at least frozen trails).

I can tell you that while the tires were tight to get onto my Whisky No. 9 80w wheels, the tires seated up tubeless without issue. The rubber on the bead felt particularly grippy, so I applied some Schwalbe Easy Fit to the bead which made it much easier to fit the tire to the rim.

Once seated and inflated to 12psi, the tires measured an actual 4.3″ wide on the rims with a 77mm internal width. Upon measuring them the next day, they had already expanded to 4.4″, measured at the widest point of the tread blocks. So while a little undersized out of the package, it seems like these might expand to the full 4.5″ width with some time.

About that Packaging

WTB Bailiff fat bike tire

Fat bike tires are big, obviously. Some brands package them in large cardboard boxes. Others zip tie them to cardboard or plastic sleeves. At one point, Maxxis was even putting them in reusable drawstring bags. But of all the fat bike tire packages I’ve opened, the WTB Bailiff is the best yet.

When you go to unwrap a Bailiff, you’ll find a reusable 25″ cargo strap and a small label made from recycled cardboard that is further recyclable. I’ve been meaning to buy some longer cargo straps for a while now – but now I have some thanks to the packaging of these tires. I can’t tell you the difference in quality between these straps and something like a genuine Voile Strap, but these will definitely come in handy. Use them to cinch down a spare fat bike tube for your ride. Or maybe strap an extra layer to your bike.

Kudos to WTB for coming up with a design that reduces the amount of packaging headed to a landfill while being actually useful.

WTB Fat Bike Tire Pricing & Availability

Starting today, the Bailiff is available in North America for $134.95 per tire. The studded Bailiff will sell for $279.95 and is also available in North America. European availability won’t come until March.

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Patrick
Patrick
1 month ago

Awesome packaging! From these pictures, they seem to have a bit in common with a Cake Eater. What do you think? All Terrene 27.5 fat tires have unforgivably loose beads and these might end up being a good replacement.

Patrick
Patrick
1 month ago
Reply to  Zach Overholt

What other fat tires would you compare to the tread to? Cake Eater? Or is it slightly more aggressive like a Gnarwhal?

Patrick
Patrick
1 month ago
Reply to  Zach Overholt

Thank you Zach. I wasn’t picking up on the aggressiveness of the lugs from the pictures. Much appreciated.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Patrick

I’m seeing it as a slightly modified Dillinger 5 tread pattern–just subtract the horizontal bars they have that connect the center knobs to the next row, and make the edge knobs more evenly spaced.

Patrick
Patrick
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

Cool. Thank you. I can’t keep my Yippee Ki Yays from burping and D5 is also of interest.

alaska rider
alaska rider
1 month ago

Packaging looks to be the best of it, though it could be a nice tire for mud. Too bad Schwalbe doesn’t make a 27.5 Jumbo Jim. I’m back to 26″ because there doesn’t appear to be a 27.5 that rolls as well as a Jumbo or has as much traction on generally level ice. And, of course, when it comes to off-camber ice, you really can’t put enough studs on a tire to make much difference.

Patrick
Patrick
1 month ago
Reply to  alaska rider

Schwalbe would end the 26 rim market overnight by releasing the JJ in 27.5.

DefRyder
DefRyder
1 month ago

$135 per tire? Ouch. Almost as expensive as a good (not high) quality automobile tire.

Bike/parts manufacturer greed rampage continues unabated. Can’t place all blame on them though, because customers who don’t care about finances continue to feed the beast.

Booyah
Booyah
1 month ago
Reply to  DefRyder

Comparing niche bicycle tires prices to car tire prices is boring. They are both made of rubber but the markets are totally different. There are far more car tire shops than bike shops in my town.

Try comparing these to some gnarly off road mud tire instead of a typical tire for your dodge stratus and that might be a more apt comparison.

Ryan
Ryan
1 month ago
Reply to  Booyah

The “but cars” comments are so tired and incurious. It’s well established that the market for niche bike products is infinitely smaller than the auto/moto market, thus driving up costs proportionally. Of course there’s some fat baked in, but the comparison is ridiculous. By that measure, every bicycle is an illogical purchase because I can get a base model motorcycle for less. I wish we could just move past this comparison once and for all.

E a
E a
1 month ago

These feel like me-too tires, as in the answer the question nobody’s asking. Overpriced, heavy, offering nothing that isn’t already covered by everybody elses features. And no 26? That’s a complete fail right out of the gate.

Dann
Dann
1 month ago

I bet WTB has their sites on the fatbike (and e-fatbike) OEM market with this tire, and being able to offer them at retail is just a fun bonus.

EBike Douche
EBike Douche
1 month ago
Reply to  Dann

None of these ebike brands making fat bike-shaped landfill fodder are going to put tires that nice on anything. They hate their customers and are all about the margin over landed cost.

threeringcircus
threeringcircus
1 month ago

I’m just happy to see that fat bike tires are still on the industry’s product development radar.

mud
mud
1 month ago

Holy Shit! Fat bikes are an expensive hobby.

Booyah
Booyah
1 month ago
Reply to  mud

Bikes can be in general but FWIW it takes forrrrrrrreeeeeeeevvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrr to wear out a fat bike tire if you primarily ride snow

Cyclekrieg
Cyclekrieg
1 month ago
Reply to  mud

Only if you make that. The tires are eye-watering expensive, especially for studded ones, but they do last longer than normal bike tires if you ride mostly winter conditions. Also, if you don’t have upgrade-itis and take care of your stuff, the bikes themselves tend to less finicky because they have simpler parts. (no suspension typically)

Brad
Brad
1 month ago

Surly has been doing this style of packaging for a few years now on their tires.

Aaron
Aaron
1 month ago

12psi is crazy high. I run my 4.8s at 5.5psi, unless I’m in snow, and then I drop to 5psi.

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