An interesting thing happened recently. I was asked if I wanted to check out the new WTB Ranger 29+ tires in the TCS Tough casing, but I didn’t have a bike. Then, the stars aligned and a bike with the monster tires basically appeared out of nowhere. For details on the bike, you’re going to have to wait, but the tires, well we can start to get into those now. Since 29+ seems to be growing in popularity (and will probably continue to do so), more tire manufacturers are starting to take notice. While there have been a number of tires already on the market, a number of them have emphasized weight over durability. That’s not good news if you’re a heavy rider, an aggressive rider, or someone who is looking for a good bikepacking tire.
That’s where the new option in the Ranger line comes in. It’s not light. But with WTB’s TCS Tough casing, it should be plenty durable to provide peace of mind for your plus size antics…
To be fair, when I say it’s not light, that’s in terms of a standard 29″ tire. This is a lot of rubber we’re talking about, and at 1147g with such a burly, tubeless ready casing, that doesn’t seem all that bad. For comparison, the bike these went on was equipped with the same tire, but in their TCS Light casing. Those weighed in at 886g for the same 29 x 3.0 size. It’s worth pointing out that the bike came equipped with the TCS Light tires on WTB Asym i35 rims but with tubes installed. Going tubeless while adding the heavier TCS Tough tire still dropped the weight by 13g. So if you’re afraid of the weight, but still haven’t gone tubeless, you’ll still net a lighter wheel.
Mounted up to the 35mm internally wide rims, the tires measure a full 82mm wide or 3.23″. Fortunately it seems like the days of undersized tires to make them lighter might be behind us. After installing the WTB TCS tape and valve cores on the rim, tubeless set up was a breeze with the tires easily popping into place with very little sealant loss. Since I rarely damage front tires, I kept the TCS Light casing up front and only mounted the TCS Tough casing to the rear. I’ll have more details on the performance of these tires when I reveal the bike, but for now, know that they have been without issue so far.
For 29+ the tires are only available in 3.0″ widths with the TCS Light/Fast casing selling for $69.95 and the TCS Tough/Fast casing selling for $76.95.