With the WTB Wolverine 2.2 tires already set atop my list of favorite all-around tires for Utah, I was stoked to see the new Bronson 2.3 and 2.2 29er tires at Bike DealerCamp this Summer. While I wish I could have ridden the 29er version, I was sufficiently stoked riding the 26″ version in a 2.3 width. The test bike was an Ibis Mojo SL that was also outfitted with WTB’s new Stryker wheels.
The Mojo SL is hands-down my favorite 26er trailbike on the market and one I’m very familiar with, so I could focus on the performance of the tires and wheels without distractions from a funky or unfamiliar ride.
The new Bronson’s you get a smooth-rolling center channel with spring-like outer knobs for unmatched cornering and grip. As an all-around trail tire, the Bronson’s look to be the ones to beat. Climbing traction was superb and cornering abilities were like Velcro. One of the unique features of this tire is the spring-like outer knobs. you can see they have a “V” cut out of them. This allows the outermost knobs to compress and spring back for improved traction.
At some point, I’d love to get a bit more saddle time on these tires in both 26 and 29er versions, so stay tuned.
As far as the performance of the Stryker wheels are concerned, I had no complaints. The bladed spokes reduce wind resistance and increase stiffness. While I’m talking spokes, the Stryker’s feature angled eyelets that are machined to the perfect angle so the spoke pulls straight to the hub. Go out and look at your current wheelset and I’m sure you’ll see the slight bend just after the nipples. This reduces strength and increases stress on the spoke — that all is completely eliminated with the Stryker’s.
The rolling legend, Mark Weir not only perfected the new Bronson tire, but also worked to refine the new wheels. The result is a lightweight, stiff and aerodynamic wheelset that tips the scales at just over 1700 grams for the 26-inch All-mountain version. XC versions drop weights down below 1500 grams and have been tested by Weir on DH and enduro courses worldwide.
Here’s to a great year for WTB in 2011. Both the Bronson tires and Stryker TCS wheels are going to nail it for both 26 and 29-inch bikes.
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Are the Bronson’s available for purchase now? Where do I find them?
Nice review. Looking to put on my own Mojo SL.
I’ve been told that the Bronson’s will be available later this month from WTB. I’m not sure when the ETA is for retailers. If I find out anything, I’ll let you know.
How would you compare the Bronson’s rolling to the Wolverine? To the Weirwolf? The Bronson kind of looks like a hybrid between the two.
That’s a pretty good analogy. I’d say you hit it right on. I love how the Wolverine’s roll, but the Weirwolfs do have a little better traction. It has been designed by Mark Weir, so he wants as much efficiency and traction he can get.
How would you compare the AM Stryker wheelset to the Crank Brother Iodine wheels you reviewed a while back? For riding in SLC area (where both of us live) which one would you buy to put on an AM bike and why?
Tim… the new Stryker’s are sweet in many ways. They have more standard-ish spokes (bladed is pretty common) and their weight is nearly 200 grams lighter. The Iodine’s have a more flexible front hub (9/15/20 interchangeable) while the Stryker’s make you select between 15 and 20mm only.
In the limited time I spent on the Strykers, I was impressed. I can’t honestly say they are better or worse than the Iodine’s since I only spent an hour. I can say that they felt smooth and were by far the best WTB wheels I’ve ridden to date.
I know you really like the Specialized Captain tires, how do these compare? Would you venture a guess in the 29er size as far a comparison?
It’s really hard to say without doing a head-to-head. For Utah terrain, I’ve really liked the Control and Purgatory 2.2’s for 29ers. I’m guessing the new Bronson 29ers will be on par overall, but it’s all just speculation at this point. I should have trail time in the Spring.