The popular new Ranger tread from WTB has in fact already been raced at top-level XC this past year, digging in at last season’s World Championships in Nové Město under WTB’s sponsored athletes, including Canadian Raphaël Gagné above. But now as regular riders look forward to a new season of racing and trail riding, you can actually get ahold of the new lightweight 2.25″ tire. Developed to be a wide ranging conditions tire with grip in wet and dry, the Ranger comes in both fast rolling and high grip rubber compounds and two wheel sizes…
The Ranger 2.25 is a fast rolling tire that still sheds mud easily making it transition well for both dry and wet riding, although it apparently really shines once the trail starts to get damp. The design has proved popular and universal to the point that it has become one of WTB’s most popular new treads from the 3″ wide 29+ off-road bikepacking version to the same width 27.5+ tire for aggressive trail riding, and even good ole’ 26″ in a couple of plus sizes.
The low-profile, tightly spaced center knobs are the same as on the earlier wider plus-sized versions, which goes a long way to making the Rangers fast rolling. But to get the grip and versatility they add in open lug spacing (and one less row of knobs on each side) and split shoulder knobs that can grip but shed mud for cornering in a range of trail conditions. WTB rates it for all conditions, but the Ranger likes it best wet. Their team riders have adopted the tire as a go-to whenever the weather and trail conditions are unpredictable, due to their ability to stick to wet rocks and roots, while still feeling fast on pavement and hardpack.
The key here though is a lightweight TCS tubeless casing and the option to pick one of two levels of sticky rubber. WTB keeps the jargon to themselves mostly and makes the choice simple, either: Fast Rolling or High Grip. Both options get dual composition rubber. The Fast tires do it by pairing fast-rolling 60a durometer rubber along the centerline and stickier 50a side knobs. The Grip tires use a 60a rubber from bead-to-bead, but then use a softer 45a rubber for all of their tread blocks making them extra grippy.
Available in both Fast Rolling & High Grip in either 27.5″ or 29″ x 2.25″ or Fast Rolling in 2.0 for either diameter, the 2.25″ Fast preproduction samples weighed in at 685g and 695g for the two wheel sizes respectively. The 27.5″ tires retail for $68 in either rubber option, with the 29ers just a couple of bucks more at $70. All are available now from WTB directly or through your friendly local retailer.