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WTB shows high-end road tires — but what does 'high-end road' mean in 2016?

Published March 2, 2016
The 700c tire (left) beside a Road Plus 650b tire.

TAIPEI (BRAIN) — Last week WTB hinted that it would release some "high-end road tires" at the Taipei Cycle Show. But make no mistake: For the legendary mountain bike brand — and in the current market — the term "high-end road" doesn't necessarily refer to the silky smooth, barely treaded criterium tires that the term meant years ago. Instead, WTB is talking about wider tires for road riding even if the road turns out to be a bit rough.

About 10mm wider than fast road tires of a few years ago, the new Exposure 700 x 30mm and 700 x 34mm tires feature WTB's highest-TPI casing and its TCS tubeless-ready feature. The $80 tires weigh 345 grams and 370 grams in 30mm and 34mm, respectively. 

WTB also is showing new 700 x 37mm and 700 x 45mm versions of its Riddler mountain bike tires, for gravel road and cyclocross racing.

The introduction of the new 700c tires came a few days after WTB introduced its "Road Plus" 650b tires at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento, California. In fact, with the right wheels and frame (such as the stylish Open Cycle bike in the WTB booth), the new Exposure tires might outfit a second wheelset for a Road Plus bike, since Road Plus, though it uses a 650b rim, has nearly the same outer diameter as a 700c road tire.

In other news of interest to bike shops, WTB showed off a new Park Tool handlebar cutting guide for its PadLoc mountain bike grips. The grips rely on a mitered cut in the bar to prevent rotation and allow more room for grip padding at the outer end of the grip. The Park SGI-7 insert works with the Park SG-7.2 adjustable saw guide, which many shops already have for cutting seat masts, steerer tubes and other tubes. 


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