WTB Nineline 2.25″ Tires: Out Of The Box- by Guitar Ted

Recently we announced that we have received two sets of new WTB 29″er tires, one of which is the new Trail Boss, (currently being ridden and we’ll have a post up on those soon), and the other a wider variation on the Nineline theme. We reviewed the Nineline last year, (see here), and I liked the tire for its characteristics which included speed and something unusual for a racing tire- grip. In fact, I opined in the Final Review on the Nineline that I wished WTB would make a wider version of the tire.

A wider Nineline is here.

A wider Nineline is here.

Wish granted!

Yes, a wider Nineline, which comes from WTB’s XC/Racing tire line up and in the excellent TCS tubeless ready system. Following are the technical features as put forth by WTB:

  • An extra row of knobs and wider spacing between the knobs than the narrower Nineline
  • Intended to work as a wider racing tire or a choice for fast, hardpack trail conditions on a trail bike.
  • Estimated weight @ 635 grams +/-
  • TCS Light version w/dual DNA Rubber, folding bead. MSRP $69.95USD
  • Comp level version features DNA rubber, durable casing, with wire bead. MSRP $39.95USD
  • Both versions due to become available in June of ’14.
The Nineline 2.25 mounted on a WTB i23 Frequency rim.

The Nineline 2.25 mounted on a WTB i23 Frequency rim.

Initial Impressions and Set Up: The Nineline 2.25″ers were a welcome bit of news when I heard they were coming. Once I busted them out of the cardboard shipping box, I was struck by how light and thin the casings appeared to be. No wonder- a racing pedigree will do that to a tire design. The TCS label meant that I was going to mount these on my “Project Wheel Build” test mule wheels that I reviewed here. (See that by clicking here) The WTB TCS system is a snap to use, in my experience, and has proven to be very reliable.  Following are the weights and initial tire measurements.

  • Weight: 620/630 grams for the pair.
  • Width at widest point of casing: 57.5mm/ 2.26″ @ 35lbs psi/ 2.4 BAR

Okay, so that is right on target! This is not my usual experience with tires that come in for testing, so I am impressed by this finding. Assuming the tires stretch a bit, we’ll see the measurement grow a touch, but that will be something we look at later, after some trail riding. You will also note that I did not give a tread width measurement. It really wouldn’t tell you much, since the tread area is low, and wrapped around the casing and will not affect how these tires fit any frames out there.

Mounted and ready to single speed.

Mounted and ready to single speed.

The tread, by the way, is of the same nature as the narrower Nineline sibling- low, squarish blocks with an even spread across the carcass of the tire. The tire casing is a bit weird on the WTB Frequency i23 rims. It looks like an ellipse, not rounded. I can only assume this was to promote fast rolling, as it is a racing design. It is a departure from the flattened, “shallow C” shaped casings I have noticed on many newer tires of late.

The tires mounted up super easy. A simple floor pump was used and the tire beads snapped into place with several soft pings at 25psi. Along with the Shimano UST type rims and matching tires that have UST dimension beads, these are the easiest tubeless tires to set up that have ever come through here.

Now it is time to find some open trails! Hopefully that will happen soon, and I will be back then with a First Impressions post.

Note: WTB sent over these Nineline 2.25″ tires at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches for test/review. We are not being paid nor bribed for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.