What’s WT and why does it exist?
Way back when we first began testing and falling in love with wide rims like the Ibis 741 or Roval Fattie, we always presumed tyre manufacturers would catch on and provide tyres that will especially suit wide rims. And here we have it!
The tread pattern and compounds are the same, it’s the shape of the whole casing that is different.
How wide do your rims need to be for WT tyres?
The WT tyres are shaped in a way that when mounted on rims up to and around 35mm in internal width, they will retain the shape that the tyre was initially designed to have when 21-24mm was considered ‘wide’.
We fitted the pair of WT tyres to two different wheels on our Canyon Strive long term test bike from WheelWorks Flite and Zelvy, a perfect match for with rim width around 30-35mm.
Check out the WheelWorks wheels here. And the Zelvy wheels here.
Do you actually need a WT tyre on a wide rim?
It’s no deal breaker, everything we mention here works in any combination, a regular tyre will fit 35mm wide rims, and a WT tyre will work just fine on regular rims too, and so on.
To prove a point we mounted the 2.5″ Minion DHF to a SRAM Rail 40 wheelset with 23mm internal rims, and it looked only marginally more round in its profile.
It looks like a downhill tyre!
The 2.5″ WT Minion on the front looks a lot like a downhill tyre, well, that’s because 2.5″ width tyres are very commonly used on the race bikes we see on the World Cup circuit. The 2.5″ WT is downhill size but rides much lighter without the heavy casing required for downhill racing.
Narrower out the back though, why?
Generally speaking, a narrower tyre rolls faster than a wider one with less mass to get moving, so going narrower on the rear will provide a faster feeling bike. Paired to the 2.5″ WT Minion on the front is the 2.4″ WT Minion on the rear.
Yes, grippy but also very cushy. With such a large volume of air beneath you, the bike rides a lot smoother and quieter over the rubble and rock-strewn trails. We dropped our tyres pressures down to around 18-22psi, which allows the tyre to conform to small rocks, sharp edges, roots and steps on the trail, letting the wheels roll over them without deflecting. This is huge benefit up and down the trail, traction in spades.
And when it comes to cornering there’s a lot of rubber to put your confidence behind when you tip it in. And in classic Maxxis fashion, the triple compound rubber strikes a perfect balance of tacky rubber to stick to hard surfaces yet supportive under load and tough enough to wear at an acceptable rate. It’s no secret that the Minion is the benchmark when it comes to meaty tyres.
The double compound version is $64.95 and triple compound goes for $79.95.
Isn’t it just a ‘plus size’ tyre then?
Well, no not really, but it’s getting close. Plus bikes typically use tyres with width ranging between 2.8″ and 3″ and what comes with the added width is also a larger tyre overall, the bag size is much greater and thus the volume of air too. The Minion WT tyres feel much more like a big trail tyre than a small plus tyre.
We’ll be seeing more big brands going down this path with tyres for wider rims, already from Bontrager with their SE range on the Remedy and Slash, Specialized with the new 2.6″ tyres found on the new 650b Enduro for example.
Up front the 2.5″ WT Minion DHF is 980g, and the rear 2.4″ WT Minion DHR II is 900g.
That’s a lot of mass to put on your wheels, while it is quite light for its size you must be sure that you’ll be making the most of it or pushing all that rotating weight on smoother and flatter trails will be a drain on your energy and rolling speed.
Worth a look then?
For a big travel bike on rowdy terrain wide rims and tyres are a must, stop worrying about weight, let those brakes off and relish in traction amounts previously only found on downhill bikes.
Where can I get them?
Maxxis tyres are available across Australia at a number of preferred dealers. Take a look below to find a dealer in your state.
FOR THE RIDERS / (o7) 3891 7561 www.fortheriders.com.au
CRANK’D CYCLES PH / (07) 4728 5838 https://www.facebook.com/crankdcycles/?rf=790415367668940
New South Wales/ACT
SUMMIT CYCLES / (02) 9661 4245 http://www.summitcycles.bike/
STEEL CITY CYCLES (02) 4267 1747 www.summitcycles.bike
FLOW BIKES www.flowbikes.com.au
MY MOUNTAIN / (03) 9388 8678 http://www.mymountain.com.au/
LIFE OF BIKES / (03) 5940 2299 http://www.lifeofbikes.com.au/
TBE / (08) 9277 9181 https://www.tbe.com.au/search.asp?mc=5&sc=951&b=25&slf=1
BICYCLE EXPRESS /(08) 8232 7277 http://www.bicycleexpress.com.au/
SPOKES NT / (08) 8931 3111 http://spokesnt.com.au/
SPRUNG / (03) 6334 5419 http://sprungmtb.com.au/