WTB has gotten right behind the resurgence of the 650b tyre standard, pitching it as a Road Plus tyre for those cyclists wanting smoother road on mostly road-based rides but with the capability to tackle dirt and gravel. It has just launched the new Byway, a tyre “intended for riders who prioritise dirt and gravel yet find themselves on paved roads to get there,” says the company.
The new Byway builds on the existing Horizon by combining a slick centre section with more substantial shoulder knobs, extending down the sidewall for added rock strike protection. A diamond-shaped tread provides a transition from the shoulder knobs to the smooth centre section.
The idea is to provide a tyre that offers better capability on dirt and gravel. The shoulder knobs will provide a little more cornering traction in looser terrain, whether that’s dirt or fine gravel. WTB has used a dual compound rubber to provide the best balance of grip and durability.
It’s a 47mm wide tyre and WTB says it provides the same outside diameter as a 30mm tyre on a 700c rim, yet you’re benefiting from a much bigger tyre volume, so lower pressures can be run for a smoother ride with less worry about pinch flatting in the rough. Like the Horizon, it’s a tubeless-ready tyre and weighs a claimed 535g.
It’s an interesting development and we hope to get our hands on a pair for testing soon.
More at www.wtb.com/products/byway
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.