Anyone who hangs their cross bike on the wall when season ends is missing the point. A cyclocross bike is one of the most well-rounded rides you can own. I’ve said countless times before that my Geekhouse Mudville is my favorite bike I own. If only because I’ve made so many fond memories while riding it, in pain, covered in sweat, hating life, on a ride, not racing it.
For some reason, I never once thought to beef up my bike post-season. Well, I did, but I couldn’t fit my Bruce Gordon Rock and Road tires on it – the derailleur hanger clamp gets in the way. That was well over a year ago however.
Ok, the real reason why I never monster cross’d my cross bike is because there aren’t a whole lot of 40c cross tires on the market. In fact, just the other day I was planning on buying some of Surly’s 41c Knard tires when these 40c WTB Nano tires showed up in the mail.
The WTB Nano isn’t really a cross tire per se. It’s marketed to the finicky “gravel grinder” market, who need special equipment to ride dirt roads – please read that in jest. WTB claims it’s a go-to tire for the Tour Divide and other XC events. It even says “wilderness” on the casing.
In all honesty, when I first put these tires on, I wasn’t that impressed. All I kept thinking was how I’d need more knobs for the dusty, loose trails we ride in Austin and that they wouldn’t grip on roots or slick limestone like my Grifos would. Hey, I’m a creature of habit. I love my Challenge Grifos and it took a lot to make me take them off…
After I rode some familiar 1-track last Friday however, I fell in love. Sandy corners were cooked, roosts were had and tree roots, mixed with rock gardens were suddenly a lot easier on the wrists and back.
The WTB Nano is not a cross tire, but it’ll turn your cross bike into a monster cross. Its tread is just right for our conditions in Austin and I’m sure it’d be just enough on your home trails.
What I love about the Nano is that it doesn’t roll all sluggish and slow on the road, it’s actually got a smooth feel to it – but the second you hop into the dirt, it rips!
Not to mention the Geekhouse looks fucking murderous with them on it. I can’t wait to go 1x with this bike.
The WTB Nano is in stock now in both the Comp ($31.95 – 27tpi – 550grams) and Race ($49.95 – 60 tpi – 470grams) versions. Holler at your local shop to try out a pair. Seriously, your shop needs your business!