Review: WTB All Terrain Tire

What the hell is this?! How on earth could this tire be made? It’s an abomination to it’s clearly superior predecessor. What was once an amazing tire by folks at WTB is now, quite clearly, an inferior shell of its former self. What I got was an all-around great tire that handles incredibly well on gravel while still rolling reasonably fast on the road…but instead of having an incredible name like “All Terrainosaurus”, this pathetic excuse for an boldly-named tire was named, simply, the “All Terrain”.

Why would you give up on a good thing? Was it too costly to add the remaining seven letters to the side of the tire? It is the exact same tire!

Now that I have that out of the way…

I bought a set of these tires the day before someone had mentioned a weekend gravel grinding trip. I was running some slick tires on my Straggler to get a little more speed around the city, but needed something a bit more rough and tough after quickly wearing through a pair of Surly’s Knards. At the same time, I wanted to come back from the trip without losing speed around town, since I despise swapping tires out of complete laziness. I figured a 37 was just narrow enough to not be obnoxious on the road yet just wide enough to shred some gravel trails.

The Surly Straggler is my main ride, and I put in most of my miles on the streets where I want to be comfortable while riding to and from work or grocery shopping. My only qualm is I often feel so slow compared to other cyclists and traffic. I don’t regret purchasing this tire on a whim though. The tread pattern closes any extremely wide gaps so it feels speedy when cruising on pavement. When the pavement is wet there is no uneasiness when coming into corners despite not having any side tread, but I have noticed that they take a bit of stopping distance when braking in an extreme emergency. I haven’t experienced an overabundance of water being kicked up onto my back when riding, although not long after throwing these on the Straggler, I eliminated that possibility altogether with the addition of full fenders.

When riding on the road, these are whisper quiet tires. No annoying whir as you fly down hills.

On gravel these manage quite nicely. They aren’t up to snuff with a lot of other tires on the market but coming down steep, heavily graveled descents did not make me feel unwary that I was going to slip. I got no wash out when coming into tight turns either. Throughout the weekend we were in and out of creeks and stormy weather, and I ran into no trouble navigating thick mud or rocky creek beds. Where I did see some fault though is when it came to crossing pretty much any depth of sand. These tires do not roll over sand and mainly carve straight through it, causing you to stop or slide out quickly. For more technical cross courses or trips near the coast, I can’t say I’d recommend them highly.

For longevity, so far they aren’t showing considerable wear. I am going on more than 4-5 months of everyday use on mixed terrain and while they might not look up to their full, virgin self, they still have some decent life in them and still feel great on wet pavement and deep dry gravel. If you are looking for some cheap, yet good all around tires I would suggest these. They’re not exactly going to transform your cross bike into an XC bike, but for a 37mm tire, they definitely zip fast and grind hard. They retail for $31.95 but I’m sure you LBS has a pretty sweet deal on them.

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