With all the Plus sized fuss these days at TNI.com, to get a true 29er tire in-house is almost odd. But after JeffJ having such good luck with the 29+ WTB Rangers, to get to try a ‘normal’ 29er tire in that tread design should be fun. I have them mounted on a carbon singlespeed 29er so I will be hoping for a nice combo of speed and overall performance.
From the WTB website:
Searching for the ultimate do-it-all tire? Meet the Ranger…you’re welcome. Tightly spaced center knobs set the pace while open outer lugs devour corners and shed muck with ease, making the Ranger equal parts trail ace and XC dominator. Completing the package, multi-directional siping assures the Ranger will grab hold whether tackling technical climbs or roosting into corners. Weight optimized to outperform in all conditions, wet or dry, hard-pack or loam. Forget trail conditions, the Ranger isn’t intimidated.
The claimed weight of theWTB Ranger 2.25 tire in a 29er Light/Fast Rolling version is 700g. That gives you the Dual DNA tread compound, TCS tubeless-ness, and a Lightweight casing. There is no Tough casing version at this time and it likely would not fit the intended use of this tire anyway. Suggested retail is $67.95.
The tread design of theWTB Ranger is smallish blocks with siping, set in rows with no large gaps between the edging knobs and the center knobs. The tire profile on the 21mm internal rims I have them on is a rounded one. I will make a width measurement as time goes on, but to the eye, they look true to size so far.
I weighed them at 726g and 739g. Mounting them was a bit of an issue with one set of SS wheels I had. They were a set of American Classic Singlespeed wheels with a bit of an older rim design, not too wide, just normal at a 21-22mm internal width. The front rim had the original honey colored tubeless tape that is fragile and finicky (American Classic has newer and more durable tape now) but very thin. I was barely able to get the tire on that one, so when I saw the rear rim had one wrap of Gorilla Tape, I was skeptical of success as the G-Tape would be incrementally thicker and allow less room for the tire to nest into the rim well. Indeed, I was correct as there was no way I would get that tire on there with any acceptable amount of effort.
So I unboxed a set of SS wheels from storage and tried them. They were also American Classic rims, but on Sun Ringle SS hubs. Those AC 101 rims are a different extrusion, and I hoped they would be more forgiving. They were, and the mounting was only nominally difficult, about right really, and they aired up with a floor pump with the valve core pulled. I also tried the 2.25 WTB Rangers on a set of DT Swiss XM1501 Spline wheels from a few years ago and that was an easy mount as well.
We are still in the miasma of compatibility when it comes to tubeless use and mountain bikes. The TCS system that WTB has is completely solid when used as that ‘system’, but what if you do not have WTB/TCS rims? Crapshoot, and it is not WTB’s fault. I applaud them in their use of a mated and reliable approach, but it is still the wild west out there with too many non-standard ‘standards’ across the board. Can’t we all just get along?
We will be running these in between the So Cal ‘storm warnings’ and general ark building that is going on this winter so we will have them in moister soil right from the get-go.
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.