WTB is rolling out a new line of gravel tires featuring lightweight bead-to-bead puncture protection for riders who frequently traverse rocky gravel roads and those who lean toward the rowdy end of the gravel grinding spectrum.
All WTB gravel tires measuring at least 37mm wide are now available with a 120tpi casing and all-new SG2 puncture protection. This new protection layer is a lightweight, ultra-thin nylon insert that provides bead-to-bead coverage to ensure all surfaces of the tire are provided with an additional level of defense against punctures. As events become progressively rougher and cyclists pedal farther, gravel gets tougher. It only makes sense for gravel tires to become tougher as well.
According to WTB, the company’s tests show the addition of the bead-to-bead SG2 puncture protection layer provides 33-percent more sidewall protection and 17-percent more tread protection than the brand’s standard 60tpi tires without SG2. The nylon fibers of the bead-to-bead insert also have a uniquely flat profile, which reduces the amount of rubber needed to fill the gaps between fibers compared to traditional protection layers with round fibers.
The increased fiber-to-rubber ratio helps to increase puncture resistance while the reduced rubber content minimizes weight and improves the liveliness of the tire due to decreased overall casing thickness. While SG2 is primarily a puncture protection layer, its tightly woven fibers also improve air retention, which prevents seeping at the sidewall and helps maintain pressure between rides.
“Rather than simply adding a layer of puncture protection to our 60tpi gravel tires and calling it good, we set out to increase durability while also improving ride quality and minimizing weight,” said Clayton Wangbichler, WTB’s product marketing manager. “Not willing to settle for anything less than optimal, we analyzed lab test data and put thousands of miles on a myriad of different casing and puncture protection configurations before we finalized our current specifications,” he added.
According to WTB, there is one downside: the SG2 protection will not be available in WTB’s skinwall tires. (Sorry, fashionistas.) WTB claims its SG2 protection results in a very minor weight increase of 5-10-percent over its 60tpi counterparts without puncture protection. This translates to a 15-50 gram increase in weight, depending on the width of the tire.
WTB’s 60tpi tires are still available with an MSRP of $59.95, while all SG2-protected 120tpi gravel tires have an MSRP of $69.95. The entire gravel tire line is currently in stock and can be ordered from your favorite local bike shop or WTB.com for cyclists in the USA.