WTB offers what might be the widest range of gravel tires on the market. With something for everyone, the new WTB Vulpine 36c and 40c tires stand out for their fast-rolling design and excellent traction. I’ve been able to test both widths on two different bikes and I really appreciate their smooth demeanor and quality traction.
WTB Vulpine 700×36 and 700×40 Tires Features:
- Tightly-spaced square tread pattern
- Built for fast riding and racing
- Excels on road, gravel and hardpack
- 60 tpi. Dual DNA casing
- Weight: 390 grams (36c), 435 grams (40c)
- 2-year defects warranty
- MSRP: $65.95
Fast-rolling gravels with the Vulpine
As gravel bikes have become more aero, racy and fast, and as former racers are turning to the discipline, fast-rolling gravel tires have become commonplace. Some of the top gravel racers are even choosing to ride semi-slicks on a few races. Luckily, everyday gravel riders looking to push the pace don’t have to lose the knobs to also have a fast set of tires. And, WTB’s latest, the Vulpine, fits that bill with tightly-spaced, low-profile treads that excel on road, gravel and singletrack. With test miles aboard both the 36c and 40c widths, I’m a Vulpine fan.
Testing has taken place aboard both the Zipp 303 S Carbon and Zipp 353 NSW Carbon wheelsets. Both feature a wide hookless designs that worked great with the WTB Vulpine’s. Tool-free install was a breeze and inflation was simple using a trusty floor pump. Adding 3 oz of sealant finished things up and I was ready to roll.
Initially, I outfitted the Trek Domane SLR 9 AXS Get 4 with the 36c size. On the Zipp 303 S, they measured out to 36.5mm and left plenty of clearance on that bike at 38/40 psi. This size is likely compatible with many modern road bikes, like the ENVE Melee, Argon 18 Krypton Pro, Cannondale Synapse and more. Of course, follow your bike’s recommendations and ensure you have sufficient clearance, but the 36c size may be just about right to turn your road bike into a light gravel bike.
Speed is a hallmark of the Vulpine and aboard the Domane, they performed beyond expectations. My typical gravel tires are much wider, but I didn’t feel like I lost much traction or comfort on my local gravel rides. My two primary gravel loops include a bit of road, gravel and single track (Alpine Gravel Loop // Pleasant Grove Gravel Loop). Admittedly, I did step off the gas on the roughest terrain, but I was always met with confident traction — except for loose, rocky sections or standing climbs. Within their limits, I had no issues and found them to be fast and grippy. Alas, not all tires have the supreme traction of the Schwalbe G-One Allround 650b’s, but the Vulpine 36’s can hold their own.
Stepping up to the 40c tires, I chose to mount them on the Zipp 353 NSW wheels and onto my Open WIDE gravel bike. At 25mm internal rim width, the Vulpines remained right at 40mm at 36/38 psi. You may not think 4mm would make that much of a difference, but it did. Still, these racy tires are meant for going fast.
Some of my first rides on the 40c tires were in St George, Utah (view on Strava). Red rock desert gravel is smooth overall with some loose sections here-and-there. Transitioning from road to gravel is second-nature with these tires. They roll well at road bike speeds and only yield a fraction to road tires. On high-speed gravel descents, I had no issues, so long as I avoided the loose shoulders. Back in the Wasatch, I could ride anywhere I pleased and felt the Vulpine to be supple and grippy on all the terrain I expect to ride on a gravel bike.
- Fantastically-fast on road, gravel and singletrack
- Oodles of traction when pushed hard
- Easy seating and inflation
- Tread pattern transitions well from road to gravel
- Can handle terrain beyond expectations, but they do have their limits
- Lightweight construction feels zippy
- There are more capable tires for really rough terrain
- Do lose traction on standing climbs — just find the right balance point
The Bottom Line: WTB Vulpine 700×36 and 700×40 Gravel Tires
If your goals are to ride among the fastest gravel racers, the WTB Vulpine is an excellent choice. On fast gravel, they zip right along. Only the most loose terrain gives them pause (as it should). Outside of that, these supple tires really transition well from road to gravel as a one-tire solution.
Buy Now: WTB Store on Amazon