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review

WTB Exposure TCS Fast Tyre

7
£55.00

VERDICT:

7
10
A bit weighty, but this is a smooth-rolling tyre that delivers confidence-inspiring grip levels
Quick rolling
Good grip in the corners
Hold pressure well
Very tight to fit to rims
Weight: 
424g

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The Exposure TCS Fast Tyre is designed for adventure/road according to WTB, and a pair of them in this 36mm width will turn your gravel bike, hybrid or all-road bike into a smooth-rolling machine on any hardpacked surface. Rolling resistance is great, and they feel supple too. Just put aside a bit of time to fit them though, as I found them a tight fit to get on the rims.

We are seeing road bikes such as the Mason SLR, the Fara F/AR, and the currently being reviewed J.Guillem Major coming fitted with large-volume tyres, ranging from 35mm to 47mm wide in these cases, and these are exactly the sort of bikes the Exposure is pitched at, especially in this 36mm size. That and the fact that you can easily convert your gravel bike into a road machine or make it more suitable for commuting on the tarmac. If you're after new gravel tyres why not check out our best gravel tyres buyer's guide, or our best road bike tyres buyer's guide for slicker rubber.

Weighing 424g on the road.cc scales the Exposures aren't exactly light compared to some others on the market. For example, a 35mm Panaracer GravelKing Slick TLC weighed in at just 309g.

That extra mass does blunt acceleration a bit, especially from a standing start, but that is offset by what I felt to be good rolling resistance. For such a large tyre they zing along the road and with its 120TPI (threads per inch) casing they feel reasonably supple too, a suppleness hardened just a little by the bead-to-bead SG2 puncture protection layer.

2022 WTB Exposure TCS Fast Tyre Fitted 3.jpg

This layer is designed to keep deep cuts and holes at bay, and over the winter review period the tyres seemed tough enough to be used on hardpacked surfaces such as towpaths or shared-use paths.

The Exposures use WTB's Dual DNA compound. This has firmer rubber in the centre for durability and that reasonable rolling resistance, while the shoulders use a finely textured, softer rubber for improved grip in the corners.

The result is a set of tyres that gripped well even when both the tyres and the road surface were cold. They don't have the performance of a lightweight race tyre, but when you ask them to, they track well through the bends and give you plenty of confidence when you push on a bit.

2022 WTB Exposure TCS Fast Tyre Fitted 2.jpg

One of my test routes has an off-camber chicane on a fast downhill, and in this section, I found the tyres positive even when they were firmly pumped up. I found they offered a decent level of bite on the asphalt, and when transferring the weight from one side of the tyre to the other without breaking traction as they passed through the firmer centre section.

Feedback levels are also good.

The main downside of the tyres is that I found them far from easy to fit. I tried them on a couple of rims with internal widths of 21mm and 23mm, and on both of these I had to really push the final section of the bead over with a tyre lever. These aren't tyres you want to run with an inner tube, as it would be very hard to fit without causing a pinch puncture.

2022 WTB Exposure TCS Fast Tyre 2.jpg

The much better news was that after a week mounted on the rim the Exposures had stretched enough that they were easy to remove, easing my concerns over having to take them off while in the middle of nowhere to fix a puncture.

I have found that with lot of WTB tyres I have used in the past, especially those with tan walls, they weep like mad when you first fit them tubeless with sealant. I had no such issues with these, though, as once I'd inflated them using an Airshot no sealant came out of the sidewalls, and they maintained pressure with barely any drop over time.

Value

They are priced at £55 each, which is just a fiver dearer than the Panaracer GravelKing Slick TLC tyres mentioned earlier, which Hollis found tough, light and grippy.

If you want something light and fast at this size, the Challenge Strada Bianca tyre is a great choice as we've found each time we have reviewed various iterations and sizes. Dave was certainly impressed with the 36mm Challenge Strada Bianca Pro TLR when he put it through its paces, but you're now looking at £83 per tyre in this width. Even if it is a handmade classic that is a lot of money.

Conclusion

Overall, the WTB Exposures are a competent all-rounder. They are carrying a bit of weight which blunts acceleration, but for a tyre that is reliable over various surfaces I wouldn't say that is a dealbreaker.

Verdict

A bit weighty, but this is a smooth-rolling tyre that delivers confidence-inspiring grip levels

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road.cc test report

Make and model: WTB Exposure TCS Fast Tyre

Size tested: 36x700

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

WTB says: "This versatile tyre is designed for dependable rolling performance, wherever your next road adventure leads you. WTB has equipped it with a high-quality Dual DNA compound for the perfect mix of efficiency, traction and durability as you tackle every mile of road. Thanks to its TCS Light/Fast Rolling configuration, its fast and efficient centreline tread compound matched to sticky, low durometer side knobs coat a supple, gram-conscious casing. Another highlight is its SG2 puncture protection, which defends all surfaces of the tyre by providing an uninterrupted layer of protection from bead to bead."

The WTBs are a reliable all-round slick tyre that works well on the road.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Compound: Dual DNA

Level: TCS Light/Fast Rolling SG2

Puncture Protection: SG2

Use: Adventure Road

TPI: 120tpi

Bead: Tubeless Folding

Type: Clincher

ETRTO: 700x30c Option: 30-622; 700x36c: 36-622

Optimal Inner Rim Width: 700x30c Option: 15c - 24c; 700x36c: 17c - 26c

Single or Pair: Single

Conditions: Pavement

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
6/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

A quick-rolling tyre with good puncture protection.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Good grip levels in the corners.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

They were tight to fit on a few different rims.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

They are around the right sort of money, coming in at just a fiver more than the equivalent GravelKings, which are well known for their good value for money.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Not the lightest, or the fastest rolling, but they are robust and reliable while still offering good performance on tarmac and other hard surfaces. They aren't the easiest to fit either.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!

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