The Gear: WTB SG2 toughened gravel tyres
Gravel Union On
6 November 2020
WTB SG2 toughened gravel tyres
€59.85 (or £54.99 in the UK)
WTB gravel tyres
We all know that gravel bikes are just the perfect bike for 99% of the riding we do – they offer incredible flexibility allowing us to ride anything from smooth tarmac to gnarly singletrack. But we also know that there’s a point at which the trail becomes too rocky and the risk of pinch flatting or cutting the sidewall becomes too great.
Until this point, unless you were Inspector Gadget you couldn’t just switch from supple gravel tyre to toughened trail tyre mid-ride, so you had to either ride your lightweight tyres super carefully on the rockier sections or put up with the weight gain and loss of suppleness with more heavy duty tyres.
But now things are set to change as WTB launch their new SG2 puncture protection system.
All of their tyres bigger than 37mm width are soon to be available in 120 thread-per-inch (tpi) casing version with their SG2 puncture protection system built in. They describe the new system as “a lightweight, ultra-thin nylon insert that provides bead-to-bead coverage to ensure all surfaces of the tyre are provided with an additional level of defence against punctures.”
Their laboratory tests show 33% more sidewall protection, plus 17% more tread protection. The downside is a slight weight increase compared with their standard 60tpi tyres (they calculate a 5-10% weight gain), but the benefit of increased puncture protection, greater suppleness and better air retention (so less sealant seepage and better air retention between rides) sound like a great trade-off for a small amount of weight to us.
Our intrepid test-pilot James Deane has been riding the new tyres recently and reported “Same great WTB tread designs that we've come to know and love, but now with the extra confidence of added puncture protection. I headed out to the most flint-infested* trails that I know of and came away unscathed”
*For anyone who doesn’t know what flints are – they’re some of the sharpest rock known to humankind and can reduce brand new gravel tyres to shreds in seconds