WTB Nineline 2.25″ Tires: First Impressionsby Guitar Ted

The weatherman hasn’t been all the cooperative around these parts but recently I have been able to get real dirt underneath the new wider version of the Nineline tires from WTB. You can see all the introductory information here.  I have these tires mounted to the Milwaukee Bicycle Company single speed scooter, so let’s see how they have been performing so far with a few dirt trail rides under these tires.


The WTB Nineline 2.25″ tires strike a good balance between weight and girth

Tubeless Performance: The Nineline 2.25″ers have continued my good impressions of the WTB’s “TCS” tubeless system. I have used the tires from WTB on other UST type rims, WTB’s rims with other UST spec tires, and of course, the full TCS rim/tire system. In every case, the TCS tires and rims have been nothing but reliable, easy to set up, and very easy to live with, as long as you stay within the UST family of products. These particular tires on the WTB i23 Frequency rims have been very impressive as far as air pressure retention, feel, and initial set up. I give these particular tires in combination with WTB TCS rims my highest marks. Very good stuff here from a tubeless standpoint.

The Nineline 2.25" doesn't give up anything in terms of speed to its smaller sibling.

The Nineline 2.25″ doesn’t give up anything in terms of speed to its smaller sibling.

Ride Performance:

In terms of speed, which is the Nineline’s reason for being, it gives up nothing to its smaller sized namesake, and gains a better feel in terms of comfort and abilities in cornering, which are slightly better overall. This holds true as long as the track is hard packed, rocky, or otherwise mostly firm. Loamy, sticky soils just pack on dirt and traction goes away immediately. In many ways, the 2.25″ version of the Nineline is a similar feel and a similarly purposed tire as the GEAX AKA. The difference here is that the Nineline has a better ride feel by far at the expense of the Velcro-like cornering grip the AKA has.

I am very tempted to say that the Nineline would make for a  great rear tire with a bit more aggressively treaded front for cornering traction. However; I pulled back on that recommendation after  a steep, root infested climb where I spun out the rear tire for lack of grip on a slippery root. That said, it wasn’t bad if the terrain wasn’t overly challenging.

The WTB Nineline is right at home in the tight twisties.

The WTB Nineline is right at home in the tight twisties.

That was pretty much the only hiccup so far in the dry, hardpack dirt we have had up until the rains hit here. The Nineline isn’t the tire you would take out in the muddy, greasy trails we have now! That points up the fact that the Nineline is something of a specialist tire. Keep it on smoother, hard surfaces, and you will be rewarded with speed and grip a plenty. As the technical features increase and the terrain gets looser, this tire becomes less comfortable to use, but maybe you would like that challenge!

Stay tuned as the trail time with the Nineline 2.25″ers mounts up and I’ll be back with the Final Review soon.

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.