Editor’s Note: Our SoCal writer, Grannygear, has this follow up on his testing of WTB’s new Wolverine 29″er tire.

Post By Grannygear:

I had to take a break from rolling around on the Wolverines when the Specialized Epic Marathon showed up for testing. I wanted to ride it with the stock tires for a while before I made any changes. Once that was pretty much accomplished, I mounted one Wolverine on the front of the Epic with tubes installed in the Roval wheel and paired it up with a Specialized Captain Control 2.2. The other Wolverine I swapped to the front of the Lenz on the Stan’s Flows tubeless with Caffe Latex sealant and matched it with another Captain Control 2.2 tire. I decided to pull the Wolverines from rear use as it seemed a bit overkill there. Climbing and braking traction was excellent as a rear tire but the weight and so-so rolling resistance compared to the Captain Control did not make it my first choice in aft rubber. I am sure that WTB offers a tire for the rear that would be a faster compliment to the Wolverine like the Exiwolf or Nano.


Note: WTB states that the Wolverine is NOT approved for tubeless use and I did this as an experiment. Neither I nor Twentynineinches.com suggests that you attempt to run this tire in any way without tubes installed as per the manufactures’ recommendations. And, in my opinion, that non-blessing from WTB needs to change. After experiencing the superb 2-Bliss tires from Specialized, like the Captain Controls, I have a hard time with any tire that does not come out of the box OK’d for tubeless duty. Personally, I blame the lawyers for this vague area of tubeless-ness as a manufacturers blessing but I could be wrong.

Now, that said, some things had changed since the last time I rode them in that it had rained quite a bit recently. It did not leave things muddy, but it sure laid down the dust and packed down the sand. If you recall in the Out of the Box article, I had found them to be a superb performer in dry/hardpacked conditions. Now that we were in ‘hero dirt’* conditions, I expected the Wolverine to still be a great steering front tire and it was. I have many hours on this as a front tire over a wide range of surfaces and across two bikes. It has fast become my favorite front tire for all around trail riding. I really like the dead neutral steering and the confident feel it gives on turn-in and braking. It holds nicely in sand, off camber surfaces, and has plenty of traction to get out of ruts. I even got it into patches of snow and it did just fine. Mud is not a condition I have tried it in, but looking at it I would expect it to be a marginal mud tire. Those multiple small knobs look a bit dicey for slimy mud.


It mounted up easily tubeless on the Flows and has held air with no leaks at all. The size has been very true to the specs: 2.18” wide on the Rovals and 2.2” wide on the Flows when measuring the casing width.

They make a really cool sound when spun up on pavement and very hard dirt. It is a high pitched growl that is unlike any other tire I have ridden. Not that this matters, but there ya go. What does matter is the weight issue. Remember that they had been coming in a bit portly at 850 grams each and that WTB was looking into the reason why. That is still in the process of investigation as far as I know. So is it a big deal if they never get any lighter? Not too much as far as I am concerned. I like it so much as a front tire that I would run it anyway; it really is that good. So weight weenies need not apply but I would imagine that extra weight has to be in the casing of the tire, and, if so, should make for a durable tire in desert and harsh conditions, an environment where the Wolverine should be a solid performer.

The Wolverine remains on my front rims and is likely to stay there for the duration or at least until the next tire plays ‘King of the Hill’ and knocks it out of contention. One thing is for sure – From the original Nanoraptor to the Dissent and now the Wolverine, WTB continues to develop tire options for 29er riders that make it easier and easier to enjoy the ride, wherever that may take you.

Note: The reviewed products were provided to Twenty Nine Inches at no charge for review. I was not paid or bribed for this review. I will give/gave my honest opinion or thoughts through out.

*”hero dirt“: A SoCal expression to describe a trail condition where the dirt is so tacky and “perfect” that any tire you use will make you look like a hero.