PRODUCT: PLUS SIZE TYRES
WTB's Trailblazer 2.8 27.5+ TCS Tyres / System,
Bridger 3.0 27.5+ TCS Thread Pattern,
Asym i29 and i35 Rims
The heat is on for Plus Size tyres! And with the tweener wheel size being the hot choice for most bike buyers, it's naturally one size we'd expect to see having a Plus Size option. And are we also expecting 27.5+ wheels to be the choice of enduro racers from here on? WTB received two design & innovation awards (d&i) during the recent Taipei Cycle 2015 d&i Awards Ceremony – for the WTB Trailblazer 2.8 27.5+ TCS tyre and WTB 27.5+ System from iF Design. In addition, WTB unveiled a new Bridger 3.0 27.5+ TCS tread pattern and Asym i29 and i35 TCS rims to further the usage and applications of their new 27.5+ category and tyre size. Here's the details.
THE 27.5+ CATEGORY RIMS AND TYRES
The WTB Trailblazer 2.8 27.5+ TCS tyre is a large 27.5” tyre that was designed to fit within existing 29” bicycles when combined with a traditionally wider 27.5” rim. When mounted and inflated, the WTB Trailblazer 2.8 27.5+ TCS tyre becomes 28.6” in diameter, causing roughly a ¼” drop in the bottom bracket height of most mountain bikes. Mark Slate, WTB’s cofounder and designer, who accepted the award on WTB’s behalf, elaborated on the Trailblazer:
The much larger air volume of the TRAILBLAZER allows lower air pressure, a wider footprint and better traction for more fun! The WTB TRAILBLAZER tyre changes in size based on rim width choice. Standard width rims have been 23mm and 25mm for big mountain bike tyres. Those sizes work well when using the TRAILBLAZER 2.8 tyre, but with the wider rims that WTB now offers; 29, 35 and 45 (inner widths measured in millimeters) the new + size tyre takes on a different character. Wider rims allow even lower pressure with plenty of support to keep the tyre tracking precisely for control. Wider rims create bigger tyres, so the rim choice needs to be in part based on the bike the tyre needs to fit.
As Slate mentioned, WTB has also released the Asym i29 and i35 rims, featuring 29mm and 35mm inner rim widths, allowing WTB Trailblazer users to fine tune the tyre’s fit within potentially constrictive chain stays. WTB Asym i29 and i35 rims will be available in 27.5” and 29” wheel sizes, retailing for US$84.95 and US$89.95 respectively. Asym i29 27.5” rims tip the scales at 512g with i35 27.5” rims hitting 560g. Both widths feature and asymmetric offset, hence the name Asym, that evenly distributes spoke tension and alleviates the need for dishing during build up. Utilizing WTB’s highest end WT69 Alloy offering, the rims are also directly intended for all mountain and enduro usage.
27.5+ TCS TYRE FOR ENDURO?
Also blurring the lines between plus sized usage and enduro and further augmenting WTB’s 27.5+ system is WTB’s new Bridger 3.0 27.5+ TCS tyre. Jason Moeschler, WTB’s global OEM sales manager elaborated on what this tyre means for production bicycles and the burgeoning category:
The Bridger 3.0 27.5+ TCS tyre really proves the legitimacy of this wheel size, marking trail worthiness and usage beyond a taste of plus sized ride characteristics. Big, blocky, spaced knobs hunger for technical trail and the size is unquestionably large. Bicycle and suspension companies are now doing ground-up designs around this larger, more aggressive size. Plus, offering the Bridger 3.0 27.5+ in a TCS Tough High Grip begs for enduro use considerations when designing a bike around it.
WTB Bridger 3.0 27.5+ TCS Light: Fast Rolling Compound tyres will retail for US$67.95 while the TCS Tough: High Grip option carries an MSRP of US$76.95. WTB lists preproduction weights of 1235g and 1510g for the TCS Light: Fast Rolling and TCS Tough: High Grip options with a projected availability of August 2015.
WTB’s proprietary sealant tubeless system, TCS (Tubeless Compatible System), revolutionized rims and tyres in 2009 when combining ETRTO, ISO, and UST standards with light tubeless rotational weights. This system allows standards-based tubeless system to weigh much less. Certified as the first sealant-based tyres for the UST system in 2012 by Mavic, TCS continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible through purpose-built tyres and rims tailor-made for every discipline of cycling.
A NEW USE AND RIDE EXPERIENCE FOR 29" BIKES
Following the awards ceremony, Mark Slate commented on what receiving iF Design’s Taipei Cycle d&i Awards for WTB Trailblazer and WTB 27.5+ System means to WTB:
WTB is proud and grateful to be recognized for the TRAILBLAZER tyre and the 27.5+ system. WTB feels this use of 29” tyre bikes – with a new wheel and much fatter tyre – defines a new type of use and ride. The ride is different than any other size, not too fat and not too big in diameter, it can fit many sizes of riders. WTB believes this 27.5+ size defines a very meaningful difference in the type of ride the tyre provides.
WTB has been at the forefront of new tyre size before. It was in 1999 that WTB followed advice of friends and created the first true 29” diameter tyre. The 2.1 size Nano Raptor was a bigger than ever before made tyre that fit the standard 700c road bike rim diameter.
WTB would be remiss if we failed to thank Wes Williams, Bob Poor and Gary Fisher for their help and support to bring new tyres sizes to mountain bike enthusiasts. WTB remains grateful to be able to produce tyre designs that are acknowledged for their advancement of bicycle control and pleasure.
All information and photos by WTB