WTB Nineline 2.25″ Tires: Final Review- by Guitar Ted

WTB has had a Nineline in their catalog for some time now which we reviewed here. Now they have a plumped up version of that XC shoe in a 2.25″ width which I gave my impressions on here.   I have had enough time on the Nineline 2.25″er in enough conditions to give my final thoughts on this tire, so let’s take a final look at them.

WTB Nineline

A bigger Nineline at 2.25″ from WTB

Tubeless Performance: The Nineline 2.25″ tires are made in WTB’s “TCS” tubeless ready format and with the Frequency rims are a perfect match. Tubeless performance has continued to be spot on with no issues whatsoever. Remember- the TCS system is based on UST dimensions, so TCS tires will not be a good fit on Stan’s EX series rims. UST dimension rims will work perfectly with the Nineline TCS tires.

WTB Nineline 2.25

The Nineline 2.25″ doesn’t do well on wet grounds. It’s really a dry conditions tire.

Ride Performance: 

Much like the thinner version of this tire, I liked the Nineline for its dual traits of speed and grip, but as mentioned in my last post on these tires, this is a mostly dry conditions tire. Once things get into deeper grounds, slicker, looser dirt, or sand, the Nineline will give up and you will be in a slide. Similarly, the grip for climbing and braking also begins to fall off precipitously when things get looser and wetter.

The one thing this wider version does better is that it tracks straighter in rougher grounds. The narrower Nineline had a tendency to ping off obstacles like embedded roots and rocks, but this wider version floats up over that sort of thing better. Interestingly, I felt that this wider tire was just as fast as the skinnier version, and perhaps on something like the American Classic Wide Lightning, it would be even better. (Excepting that the UST dimensions of the TCS Nineline would not play well with the more Stan’s-like American Classic rims.) The Frequency rims I mounted these tires on have a 23mm inner width here, for reference.

Conclusions:

WTB Nineline 2.25"

A skilled rider would find these Nineline 2.25″ers fast, competent tires on most dry XC courses.

The WTB Nineline 2.25″ers are a great choice for drier, hard packed conditions, rocky, rougher courses, or may even be decent tires on softer grounds under a skilled rider. They roll as fast as the skinnier Nineline does and have the same excellent TCS performance we’ve come to expect from WTB’s tubeless system. These might prove to be the sort of tire that may wean you off narrow tires and rims, because they do not ping off obstacles and they still retain the skinny tire speed. A wider, light carbon rim which was a UST dimension might really wake up the performance of these tires, but even on the i23 Frequency rims, I had excellent results running just under 30 psi to just over 30 psi for air pressures.

These 2.25″ Ninelines are not a good choice for looser conditions, deeper grounds, or mud. Forget these if you have any loose over hard pack, as they will give up grip suddenly and dump you. They really are something of a specialist tire in that regard. However; if your trails are in this tire’s wheel house, they should do very well for you.

WTB sent these tires to Twenty Nine Inches at no charge for testing and review. We were not bribed nor paid for these reviews and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.