Rain. Rain. Rain.
Amazing, Biblical amounts of rain is what we have been experiencing here in So Cal. The local reservoir, once 100′ below waterline, is now full. The soil is barely able to hold anymore water. Creeks are running that have not run in years. There are puddles everywhere and frogs are popping up like magic, filling the evenings with a chorus of croaks and making for challenging trail obstacles…don’t squish the frog please.
So it has set the tone for the testing of the WTB Ranger 2.25 29er tires which we began talking about here. I have had them on the singlespeed, which in this Plus fueled madness that I have been feverish with, happens to be the only 29er I have right now.
That in itself is quite amazing, but I digress.
So I have had plenty of time on them in moist soil conditions, but not really mud in the true sense. You see, we have a mix of clay soil and sand here. If it is clay soil and it is really wet, it is like gumbo and nothing will roll though it unscathed. You can hardly even walk through it.
And the sandy soil is fine no matter what. Winter rains just harden the surface and make it more rideable.
Now when the clay soil dries a bit, it turns into ‘hero dirt’. You can drag an elbow on your cross bike on that stuff, the cornering traction is so high. All this to say that I have not been able to truly get the WTB Ranger 2.25 29er tires into the normal conditions I would have them in….hard pack, sandy kitty litter over hard pack, rocks and ruts, etc.
Still I do have some first impressions and they are all favorable for the WTB Ranger 2.25 29er tires.
Sizing seems to be right on at 2.2″ by my calipers and that is on a narrow rim at 21″ internal. I would expect them to gain some width on the current crop of wider rims. They only look slim to my eye after coming from so much time looking down at 3.0 tires.
Tubeless-wise they have been stellar, losing barely any air at all in between rides. No weepy sidewalls, etc. I could not get them over the rim wall of one set of American Classic rims (older 29er rims) but they worked fine on the American Classic 101 rims on another wheel set. TCS can be a bit persnickety as to what rim they will and will not fit. I also put them on a set of DT Swiss Spline 1 wheels from a couple of years ago with no issues.
The rolling performance seems to be quite good. On pavement I feel and hear very little vibration/noise. Not much drag either. I expect these will spin up well on hard dirt roads. Handling seems to be dead neutral. The knobs do not have any big rows of void where cornering becomes great only when you are either hard over or straight up. I don’t feel any vagueness in the transitions.
As I said, the dirt needs to dry up a bit before I can get a feel for what they do there, but looking at them I expect these to be a solid performer for most anything but an aggressive rider that is really driving hard, and then we should be looking at a tire more suited for that with bigger knobs, etc. Perhaps like WTBs Trail Boss. But for general XC and light to medium trail use, I bet these will just quietly do their job with little attention or complaints.
On the wet soils they have cleaned out decently well, but really, I hardly feel like I am qualified to talk about a good mud tire. Still, they have not scared me at all, but we don’t don’t have wet roots and such to deal with. I would not, by looking at them, think “heavy mud tire” but I could be wrong.
I will hope for drier days ahead as well as getting these into the hands of another rider on a bike capable for pushing them a bit harder to see how they perform.
Until then I am betting they will be turn out to be a fine all-rounder for the average XC type bike.
Note: The products shown here were provided at no cost to Twenty Nine Inches for test and review. We are not being paid, nor bribed for these reviews and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.