I’ve been a fan of WTB tyres for quite a while, going right back to their Velociraptors and then onto the Weirwolf LT – which was probably my first venture into modern high-volume rubber, back when I still used inner tubes on 26in wheels.
Things have moved on and the US company now has a thoroughly modern range of rubber – and they were one of the first brands (alongside Schwalbe) to offer a very tough casing that wasn’t as heavy as a full dual-ply tyre.
And it’s this tough casing that first drew me to the Trail Boss, well that and the fact that they’re always under £30 on CRC.
I’ve ridden them extensively as a rear tyre in both 2.25in wide 29er format and in 2.4in 650b format – keeping them on right through the winter one year.
As you can see from the pictures, the Trail Boss has a square-ish profile, with reasonably good shoulder knobs and relatively low-profile, closely spaced centre knobs – meaning it rolls quite well and digs in OK on corners and off-camber sections.
If that sounds a bit lukewarm then good, because it’s not the best tyre at anything. It doesn’t roll or corner as well as a Rock Razor, it doesn’t climb or brake as well as a Hans Dampf or Minion DHR2. It’s not much use in mud and it feels a bit more wooden than Schwalbe’s Super Gravity carcass tyres.
It’s just a competent middle-of-the-road tyre that I’ve somehow never managed to puncture, even when I’ve bashed a rear wheel up so bad that the rim couldn’t be trued.
It copes well with riding in North West England – local to me and particularly on the rocky trails of the Lake District.
I will say that it’s a good job it’s so tough (hope I’m not jinxing myself here), because the 29er version in particular has been an absolute grade-A ballache to fit. It’s quite probably the tightest tyre I’ve come across and I needed to bust out my old DH tyre lever.
If I ever do manage to flat it on a ride, those tubeless repair anchovies better bloody work or I’ll be walking home.
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