650b is one of the hot trends in the cycling world at the moment and WTB is partly responsible, its 47mm wide Horizon and Byway tyres gaining a lot of fans since they launched just a couple of years ago, and now it has added the Sendero and Venture models for even more adventurous off-road riding.
The Horizon and Byway, with their slick tread patterns, are largely road tyres that are able to tackle smooth gravel roads. The new Sendero and Venture are aimed at more rugged off-road terrain and push the already blurred line between gravel and mountain bikes a step further towards the latter camp.
The Venture looks a natural evolution of the Byway. It has a slightly deeper and more aggressive centre tread moving into angular shoulder blocks for cornering grip. It uses a dual compound rubber construction to maximise grip and rolling resistance and is tubeless compatible. It costs $67.95 and weighs a claimed 573g.
“Venture 47 is our most versatile Road Plus tire, delivering optimal performance across the widest range of conditions. The supportive centerline tread provides traction on hardpack terrain while the countless working edges of the intermediate ridges grab hold on gravel or dirt. Two rows of outer knobs provide additional cornering confidence and sidewall protection in loose or rocky conditions. Venture 47 is the tire of choice when the destination is unknown but you’re sure to encounter a variety of terrain along the way,” says WTB.
The Sendero is a much more aggressive tyre. It looks ideal for typical UK winter conditions (mud) with a tread pattern comprising well-spaced knobs of alternating size and shape. The Sendero weighs a claimed 530g and costs $67.95 - we’re waiting on UK prices.
“Sendero is for those who believe sending it shouldn’t be limited to mountain bikes. As the first Road Plus tire designed solely with dirt in mind, the Sendero combines drop bar efficiency with the capabilities of an aggressive tread pattern. Ramped centre knobs minimize rolling resistance while substantially spaced outer knobs ensure footing in loose terrain. Sendero was designed to be an aggressive tire without compromise. Looking to ride mountain bike tires on your drop bar bike? The Sendero is for you,” explains WTB.
Both tyres measure 47mm just like the original Horizon and feature the same TCS tubeless-ready casing construction.
We'll have a closer look at these new tyres just as soon as we get our hands on them. In the meantime check out www.wtb.com/collections/gravel-cx
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.