The constant evolution of mountain bike technology over the past few years has been relentless. Mixed in with the breakneck progression comes fierce competition between the two powerhouses of component manufacturing; SRAM and Shimano. While Shimano was arguably a bit late to the 1x game when compared to SRAM’s early adoption of this technology, over the past few years they’ve proven they’re taking it seriously and have completely revamped one of their most beloved groups, Deore with trickle-down tech normally only found on the higher-priced tiers. I’ve been riding the entire M6100 kit for the past four months here in Santa Fe on my Mystic hardtail and I’m ready to talk about it, so let’s drop right in…
Always wanting to improve their tires, WTB has just announced a new casing for their gravel tires measuring at least 37mm wide. This casing is dubbed SG2, and is an ultra-thin nylon insert that coveres the tire from bead to bead under a 120 tpi casing. This means the 120 tpi casing will ride like a lightweight tire but will offer complete protection against snake bites and other potential damage.
These SG2 gravel tires only come in black sidewalls and will see a 5-10% weight gain over their 60tpi counterparts without puncture protection. This translates to a 15-50 gram increase in weight, depending on the width of the tire. All the WTB 60tpi tires that we’ve come to trust over the years 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.
Most people know Wilderness Trail Bikes or WTB as an aftermarket component manufacturer. While this has pretty much always been their MO their catalog once included a lot more than seats and tires. In the early days WTB products were further developments of the work done by founding partners Charlie Cunningham and Steve Potts.
This bike is the direct result of many experiences, beginning with my 44 Bikes touring bike and culminating with the Moots Baxter I spent a great deal of time on last year both fully-loaded and set up in what I could call expedition mode. After a lot of back and forth, I realized that I like 29+ bikes for bikepacking and yeah, titanium is really nice for desert riding. These mental musings came to the full realization after spending some time talking with Adam from Sklar Bikes this summer in Bozeman.
This year at Grinduro, eight frame builders presented bikes in partnership with Maxxis, Sram/Zipp, Columbus, and Hope Tech. The theme? What is your ideal Grinduro bike? This outstanding Sycip gravel bike brought classic Sycip details to a modern platform.
Bombtrack announced the Hook EXT C model last year. It was the flagship lightweight carbon gravel bike with a bit more versatility added in for the long haul, with the needed bosses for fenders, racks, and other touring essentials. The 2020 Hook EXT C now features a T47 bottom bracket, SRAM Rival, and 650b Hunt Adventure Sport wheels with 2.0″ gumwall WTB Venture tires.
The WTB Byway tire is a perfect choice for mixed-terrain riding. It’s been our go-to tire of choice for 650b gravel rides and while we’ve been really pleased with the tire’s abilities, our praise has been cut short by the lack of a 700c version. Today WTB announced the Byway is now available as a 700c diameter, with 34, 40, and 44mm widths, in both black and gumwall. Head to your local WTB dealer for ordering.
A few towns over from Downieville, California, where John works at Yuba Expeditions during the summer months, is Quincy, California where Cameron Falconer‘s workshop is. John and Cam knew each other back when they both lived in the Bay Area and since relocating to what is called the “Lost Sierra,” John really wanted a road bike that could handle the area’s veritable Sierra chunk.
Those looking for more grip on loamy surfaces on their plus bikepacking or trail bike can rejoice at the latest drop from WTB. The Vigalante is now available in a 29er plus package. To keep the weight down and the durability up, WTB utilizes their TriTec compound, which balances traction, support and durability, keeping your sidewalls tear-free and the casings supple. Head over to WTB to read more and your local dealer to order.
WTB has come a long way with their “road plus” tires over the years since the first Horizon tire hit the market. Now, the Venture has quickly become a favorite over here and now it’s available in both 650 and 700 in the 50mm widths. Head to your local dealer to see one in person and to WTB to see more information.
I was amazed at the number of 333 Fab bikes rolling at this year’s Super Stoke Weekend. One of which was this limited edition, Kyler Martz-designed, Now You’re Finished-painted, AirLandSea all-road/light tourer, piloted by Gideon Tsang from Austin. Morgan Taylor reviewed one for the site last year. Max from 333 Fab designed these bikes as a “Cascadian Rambler,” meant to take on all day or multi-day dirt road rides throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
These bikes are made in a limited production run, with various sizing to ensure the rider can get their custom fit dialed in. You can choose from one of seven sizes, with the ability to fit riders ranging from 5’ – 6’5”. The sizing doesn’t stop at the geometry alone, Each individual size has its own specific tubeset with engineered tube diameters to ensure a proper ride quality. How they build up the frames is up to them! I particularly took to Gideon’s build spec, as it’d be close to how I’d build one of these up myself.
If you’ve ever been to Downieville, you know what a magical place it is. So magical that WTB teamed up with the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship to make a run of these commemorative Volt Pro saddles with a special Downieville graphic. On sale now for the holidays and a perfect fit for your trail bike! Head to SBTS’ webshop to scoop one up.
Wow. Just wow. Robert from Blue Collar Bikes brought my favorite bike to the 2018 Grinduro Town Hall. Painted to match his iconic van, this Nigel 650G featured components from PAUL, 3T, WTB, White Industries, SRAM, and a Fabric saddle. There are so many NorCal brands on this bike, all within a short trip from Sacramento where Blue Collar is based.
There’s not much else to note about this bike, as it’s a prime example of a bike that tells its own story. My only regret was not taking this photo as well!
Following up with their popular Byway tires, WTB launched two new road plus options. With a 27.5 by 47mm design, the new Sendero and Venture tires are for your all-road, or ‘cross bike and while the Venture features a minimal tread design, the Sendero has aggressive knobs. See more details at WTB and holler at your local dealer for ordering.
Just over a week ago, I was meant to be racing this bike, in my first ‘cross race in a very long time. The Friday night before the race, I pre-registered to make things go more smoothly on race day, and had everything ready to go. As it turns out, I wasn’t going to make it to that race.
WTB’s Riddler 45mm tire gets some love in the latest from the tire manufacturer.
This year, I’ll be covering the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s Triple Crown events: Lost & Found, Grinduro, and the Downieville Classic. My intent with this is to grow the Stweardship’s presence, help them raise money and spread the stoke for the Lost Sierra. Jumping on board with this project is just the icing on the dirt cake!
“Custom frame makers Sklar, Stinner, Mosaic, and McGovern have teamed up with world-class component makers ENVE, Chris King, SRAM and WTB to create four unique and beautiful custom bicycles that will be raffled after the gun goes off for the Lost and Found Gravel race. All proceeds will benefit the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship.
Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is a non-profit organization that builds and maintains multi-use trails in the Sierra Buttes, Tahoe, Plumas and Lassen national forests. Their mission is building sustainable recreation-based communities through stewardship, job creation and hosting world-class events. SBTS has donated an estimated 72,000 hours of volunteer labor, maintained over 800 miles of shared use trails and created nearly 80 miles of new trails since 2003.
The bikes will be exhibited at the Lost and Found gravel race and the raffle will be live, with $20 tickets, from June 2nd through June 15th, hosted by The Pro’s Closet. All donations and raffle ticket purchases are tax deductible.”
Check out more details on these bikes and how to buy a raffle ticket below!
This is a great-lookin’ saddle, with an even better story and cause!
“WTB has teamed up with the NorCal High School Cycling League to introduce a limited edition saddle where a portion of the proceeds contributes to the Buddy Newman Scholarship Fund, which in turn covers race entry fees for high school athletes throughout the racing season.
With over 1200 kids actively participating and racing in the NorCal League between grades 9 to 12, the league has provided an introduction to the mountain biking community for an ever-increasing amount of high school students. The NorCal League introduces riders of all skill levels to the benefits of a lifetime of mountain biking and helps support the next generation of mountain bikers.
The WTB NorCal League saddle is a Team-level Volt 142 saddle, which features titanium rails and our top-tier DNA Padding. It’s available for purchase through WTB.com for a retail price of $129.95 and a portion of the proceeds will be contributed to the Buddy Newman Scholarship Fund. We only made 100 of these California-inspired saddles, so they won’t be available for long! ”
Scoop one up at WTB!