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Interbike 2010: WTB – New Carbon Railed Saddles, Speed TCS Wheels and Bronson 29er Tire

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We broke news of WTB’s new carbon railed Valcon (above) and Silverado saddles back in July, and now they’re finally ready to face the world, albeit from under your arse.

Both get a new Lorica leather-like cover that is lighter weight, breathes better and is embossed rather than stitched to keep you from sliding around too much. Both are fine for road or mountain bikes, and both will retail for $250. The Valcon uses a full carbon flex-tuned shell with small cutouts where your sit bones are likely to hit it, their Luxe Zone center relief area and woven carbon rails. It’s the lightest saddle they’ve ever made at 165g.

The carbon Silverado has the same carbon rails and cover, but uses kevlar corners for a bit more durability in the dirt. Check it out, along with their new-ish Speed TCS XC and AM mountain bike wheels and the everything-they-know-rolled-into-one Bronson MTB tire, after the break…

The Silverado doesn’t have the full carbon outer shell, likely making it the smarter choice for mountain biking.

The embossed Lorica covers replace any stitching from lower models.

Also new is the Silverado Syndicate, a titanium railed version with custom Syndicate team graphics. $160.

Speed TCS Wheels – Compared to the new high end Stryker wheelsets, these are the more value oriented trail wheels from WTB.

They still get the TCS (Tubeless Compatible System) rim profile, but they’re pinned not welded.

The hubs are different and use standard Shimano free hub bodies rather than the American Classic licensed hub designs of the Strykers (they’re not AC hubs, they just borrow some of that brand’s technology).

29er weights are 1023g front and 1241g rear and come in All-Mountain trim only. The 26″ weights are 815g front and 950g for the rear, Cross Country trim only. MSRPs are $185 front and $215 rear for both 29er and 26″.

The Bronson Tire takes all of WTB’s tire technology and blends it into one tire. It’s available in a 2.1 and 2.3 for 26″ tires and a 2.2 for 29er.  It uses a scalloped tread block design that removes a big portion from the rear of each tread block.  This cuts weight without affecting performance and allows the knobs to better mold around the terrain.  The dual compound rubber is firmer (60a) in the center and softer (53a) on the edges on the 26″ tires, and a single compound 60a on the 29er race versions. 700g for the 29er race version ($55), and weights for the 26″ models range from 600g to 810g depending on size and whether they’re the Race or TCS models.

If you read our recent review of the WTB Wolverine, you’d know that WTB doesn’t make a tubeless 29er tire (TCS or UST) yet because there is no formal UST standard for the larger wheel size…yet. However, talking with Chris and Jason from WTB, you can look for TCS versions of the 29ers mid season next year, meaning a standard must be in the works. In our tests, though, they work just fine with some Stan’s sealant.

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13 years ago

While it’s great that WTB continues to offer 29er treads, why is it that 29er tires from most manufacturers are treated like second class citizens when it comes to the rubber compound? If someone chooses to ride a 29er bike, it’s most likely that they have greater traction expectations than basic, single-durometer tires offer. Show big wheels some respect and offer 29er tires in the higher end rubber compounds that 26″ tires are treated to! I want “Stick-e” rubber on my 29ers. I want full size 2.35″ tires on my 29ers. I want the best that a tire can offer! But as a 29er rider, I’m relegated to lower-class 2.2″ 60a tires.

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