Gravel tires have to do it all, from punching through slop to rolling fast. To help craft the ultimate all weather tire, WTB has paired small tightly spaced square knobs through the center patch, with offset intermediate size knobs on the edges. By packing the center knobs tightly, the idea is to minimize rolling resistance.The less densely packed side knobs allow for better mud dissipation.
According to Evan Smith, WTB's manager of new product development, "this tire was particularly challenging to develop" because of the conflicting design elements. As Smith explained, "it had to be fast, had to be light, had to resist flexing on harder surfaces and pavement, yet it still had to clear muck like a true all-weather tire."
The tire is only available in a 42c, although there's 650b and 700c flavors. The tire was designed around a 23mm inner rim. This width is said to increase tire volume and footprint, which offers better traction, a smoother ride, and more sidewall stability when cornering.
Whatever rim size you opt for, you'll be stuck with WTB's excellent TCS Light (fast rolling compound), lightweight casing, and gum sidewalls. Retail is between $51.95 and $54.95.
For more info, visit www.wtb.com.