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.