Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The "Mid-Fat" WTB Bridger: A Clue To The Future

The WTB Bridger 27.5+ 3.0"er tire for "Enduro+"
Well, well, well! Just last Friday we talked about the Fox 27.5" fork, and how this signaled   the beginnings of the "big push" from manufacturers on the bicycles that will be aimed at backpacking and enduro. Yesterday WTB followed this up with the announcement of a tire that goes beyond the initial 27.5+ offering of the 2.8" Trailblazer. This goes to "3" and is dubbed the Bridger. The specs point out something rather revealing and goes right along with where I figured this was heading all along.

I'm dubbing it "Enduro+". The newer form of the enduro bike will be a cross between the 27.5", long travel bikes we see now and the groundbreaking Salsa Bucksaw fat bike full suspension rig. The Bridger specs point solidly in the direction of this bike, as does the Fox fork. Check out what WTB is saying...

  • This will be available in WTB's "TCS Tough", High Grip, and TCS Light: Fast Rolling options. So, all enduro type conditions are covered here. 
  • Pre-production weights range from 1235 grams to 1510 grams.
Okay, so fat bike tire weights in a skinnier tread width? Yes. Especially for durability going downhill at speeds, maybe even ridiculous speeds. Anyway, you can bet the internet mtb'ers will be crying foul because these aren't 700 gram, lightweight, XC-ish/trail tires that will magically be tough and durable too. But what folks are maybe going to miss here is the fact that if you are not doing Enduro events or big mountain riding, these are not the tires you are looking for. Maybe someone will make "that" tire to swap out for fat bike tires for Summer riding, (and let's face it, you still could do that with the Bridger), but this is for those new "Enduro+" rigs that will be flooding the market real soon.

Yep. This is just the tip of the iceberg folks.


Doug M. said...

Intriguing but... have not full-on DHers had access to 2.7"-3.0" tires for years, and mostly not bitten? I like the idea of 27.5+, and I definitely like more options, but I'm not sure I understand the enduro racing marketing angle (or any marketing angles, for that matter).

Guitar Ted said...

@Doug Mayer- Good observation, but I think you may be overlooking a couple of small details. One is that the rims now are much, much wider and also- the larger 27.5"er has a different contact patch.

Both will have an effect on how the tire feels and handles. The wider rims give more volume and tire support. The larger diameter a slightly different contact patch which grips differently.

Plus, it's an idea that has gained favor now and didn't exits beyond the DH world at the time those tires were popular.