Sunday, June 19, 2016

New Life For Twenty-Nine Plus?

WTB Ranger 29 X 3.0
The feeling I had for a long time here was that 29+, the size championed first by Surly with their Krampus trail bike, was a dead end, mostly, and that there were no really good tires out there supporting the size was a good indication I was on the right track. Then Trek came out with their Stache 29+, and I feel that kind of kept the life in the tire size, but still, no one else was biting. Surly was definitely supporting it, but without some other major brand name tire companies getting behind the size, I feel that it was only a matter of time before the size was a forgotten niche, kind of like 650B tires back in the 90's/early 00's.

That's why when last week a new 29+ tire was introduced, I was brought to attention. No, it wasn't anything by Vee Rubber, and yes, they make tires in this size, but historically anything they do hasn't been a good indicator that the market is behind a trend. So, I don't pay a lot of attention to Vee Rubber.

No, this tire is from WTB, and that should make you think. Why? Because lots of bicycle brands spec WTB tires on their models, and if WTB is making an oddball tire for sale in their line, it is my opinion that something is happening on the OE side that makes this profitable for them. So......

While the Ranger is a cool tire, and I wouldn't mind trying them out in the 27.5 X 2.8 size on my Fat Fargo, perhaps, I think the 29+ version of this model might point to something coming in 29+ soon from a brand tied to bike packing, or one that wants to be. That's my take on this tire.

Time will tell.........

4 comments:

José Pereira said...

Definively hope so.
I have a frame which can handle both 29+ and 27.5+ tyres but long term availability of the former would be great

Robert Hingtgen said...

Would like to try these on my Blackborow!

Bob said...

I have been using a 2.8 on my QBall here in the OR and it grips great. 14psi on a i35 rim using in the rear only. No rim or pedal strikes. Not a uphill mud tire but for everything else out there on and off camber it holds like glue. Rolls decent on the road also. It is noticeably wider than the TB in my (crimped) chain stays but still has decent clearance.

Pistil Pete said...

They kind of missed the mark a bit by only offering the 29+ in the light casing. I'm sure that the weight of the tough casing scared them but for honest to Jah backcountry riding a reliable tire is a must. Weak sidewalls mean carrying two tubes for the "Just in case" factor and there's no bottom line savings in that...