Tires (or tyres if you prefer) can be one of the most personal items on a mountain bike. From skinny to wide, knobby to slick, everyone has their favorites and everyone knows just what’s right for their riding style and the conditions in which they ride. As a result, there are a myriad of choices when it comes to buying rubber for your mountain bike.
Most all-mountain trail bikes these days come with a 2.35-ish tire. This width is the perfect balance between rolling resistance and all-around trail grip. While Maxxis High Roller and Kenda Nevegal seem to be the most common standard equipment on trailbikes these days, I’m seeing more and more WTB tires come standard. The Mutano Raptor 2.4 should be such a tire. It’s lightweight and versatile enough for all-day riding.
About the WTB Mutano Raptor 2.4 Tires
Some of the lightest 2.4 tires on the market, the WTB Mutano Raptor tires tip the scales at a scant 595 grams. Yes, only 595 grams! That’s a full 100 grams lighter than the Maxxis High Roller 2.35 with kevlar bead. These tires are built with technology from some of the most popular WTB tires in the line. Here’s the word from WTB on the Mutano Raptor tires:
“The Mutano Raptor is derived by mating three of our most popular treads—we combined the fast-rolling centerline of the Nano, the aggressive square blocks of the Moto Raptor and the grippy working edges of the VelociRaptor. The result is a highly versatile and predictable tire that keeps its speed and traction on any trail. The 2.4-inch model actually weighs less than 600-grams, making it a real standout in the world of large-volume XC race tires.”
More features of the WTB Mutano Raptor 2.4:
- Casing: Aramid bead, DNA rubber, lightweight casing
- Weight: 595 grams each
- Widths: 2.24 and 2.4 (tested)
- MSRP: $60
WTB Mutano Raptor 2.4 Tire Review
I mounted these treads on a 2009 Santa Cruz Blur LT for a few months. Honestly, these are the narrowest 2.4 tires I’ve ever ridden. Compared to the Kenda Nevegal 2.35’s that came on the bike, they look like 2.2’s. But, as in life, looks can definitely be deceiving. What the Mutano Raptor lacks in width, it gains in excellent dry-condition traction.
My first ride was tentative (as are all first rides with new treads), because I couldn’t get over how narrow the tires seemed. Surely they wouldn’t provide the traction I was used to with other tires. Once over that hurdle, the Mutano’s hooked up very well. The long tread pattern provides excellent hook up in soft or hardpack while rolling extremely well. Carving hard into the corners, the Mutano’s track with the best of them.
The terrain I’ve ridden has been mostly soft dirt, hardpack and rocky. I haven’t taken them into super-technical, rock-strewn trails that eat tires for breakfast. Under the test conditions, I never had a single flat (nice work WTB), even though the casing is super-lightweight.
Good Mutano Raptor
- Amazingly-light at 595 grams
- Tracks well
- Excellent rolling resistance
- Hooks up in soft and hardpack
- Flat-free in 2 months of charging
- Solid braking performance
Bad Mutano Raptor
- Seems a bit narrow for a true 2.4, but widths are always relative
- Lightweight casing could meet its match in rock gardens
The Bottom Line on the WTB Mutano Raptor 2.4 Tires
Despite the seemingly-narrow 2.4 profile, the Mutano Raptors hook up with the best all-mountain tires. Used as front and rear, the Mutano’s are excellent choices for solid climbing traction, braking performance and overall handling. They have provided me with two months of riding without a single flat–that’s saying something for such a lightweight casing.
Buy Now: Find WTB at REI