PRODUCT: WTB TRAIL BOSS
3.0 27.5 PLUS
Trail Boss 3.0 27.5+ Tire
Targeting Burgeoning Plus Sized Trail Category
WTB released their third plus sized tire named the Trail Boss 3.0 at day one of the 2015 Eurobike international bike trade show. Trail Boss 3.0 27.5+ tires drastically expand the tread pattern and casing of the popular aftermarket tire, which up until now, has only been available in 2.25” and 2.4” widths.
TRAIL BOSS IS THE THIRD 27.5+ FROM WTB
“Trail Boss 3.0 tires mark WTB’s commitment to the 27.5+ tire size,” stated Chris Feucht, WTB’s manager of new product development. “This [Trail Boss] is our third tire now for 27.5+ and it takes a highly successful trail tire for us and directly applies those real knobs and lugs to the plus sized category. There aren’t excuses now, you have a real tire for this size,” concluded Feucht.
The Trail Boss 3.0 27.5+ tire follows WTB’s original plus sized tire, the Trailblazer 2.8 27.5+ introduced in 2014 and the Bridger 3.0 27.5+ tire, which was unveiled at the 2015 Taipei Show this past March. The Trail Boss 3.0 marks a departure from the Bridger and Trailblazer tread pattern by taking design cues from an existing, traditionally sized aftermarket tire.
“What works for normal tires also works for plus sized tires,” explained Feucht. “A well spaced square lug is going to provide better braking and traction, regardless of the casing size and contact patch. People often get hung up thinking that a plus sized tire needs a minimalist, paired-down tread to be successful. If designed appropriately, you can get away with real knobs and reap the rewards – the Trail Boss 3.0 proves this with tighter pitch center knobs with an even shelf that are combined with staggered, aggressive side knobs – you can have rolling and cornering, you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.”
SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON BETWEEN NORMAL AND PLUS SIZE
Trail Boss 3.0 tires began development once members of Team WTB had spent time on existing Trailblazer 2.8 27.5+ tires, finding merit in the size yet requesting a more aggressive tread pattern. Jason Moeschler, WTB’s director of global OEM sales and racer for Team WTB elaborated on the thought process:
"I was lucky enough to be able to squeeze Trailblazers mounted to Scrapers [WTB’s plus sized TCS rim] into my Cannondale Jekyll OverMountain frame, which really gave me the ability for a side by side comparison,” explained Moeschler. “What was most noticeable was that I didn’t have to change my riding style, you are riding a mountain bike, you ride it like a mountain bike. But there was this extra sense of smoothness and traction and a little larger overall rolling sensation. It didn’t feel heavy, it didn’t feel light, it just felt like riding but with that added benefit. I started to think of the rides and races I’d done where it would help out. Then I raced it and I knew that for racers like Ben [Cruz] and Marco [Osborne], they were going to want something with bigger knobs, something they could push to the edge of things but that there was real merit to this size. That’s pretty much when development of the Trail Boss 3.0 began – now we have it, now people can really push things.”
WTB Trail Boss 3.0 27.5+ tires will be available in mid October of 2015 and will feature WTB’s Dual DNA Rubber combining a faster rolling 60 durometer center tread with stickier 50 durometer side knobs for enhanced cornering. The Trail Boss 3.0 27.5+ tire has an estimated preproduction weight of 1124g, carries a $67.95 USD MSRP, and utilizes WTB’s sealant-optimized casing for tubeless usage.
Photos by WTB
Information by Will Ritchie