Gravel Grinder News: WTB Introduces SG2 Puncture Protection On Gravel Tires – by Guitar Ted
WTB has been making tires for mountain bikes and gravel/back road bikes for a long time. They are responsible for several tire innovations like the first 29″er tire, the first tubeless gravel road specific tires, and the ‘Road Plus’ concept which ushered in the 650B gravel tire category. One thing missing from WTB’s portfolio of gravel and back road tires was any offering featuring puncture protection. Well, now that has been addressed by today’s announcement of the SG2 puncture protection options on any WTB gravel tires 37mm or wider.
WTB tire users on the mountain biking side may recognize the “SG” as being a reference to “Slash Guard”. That would be about the only similarity here though as “Slash Guard 2” is a new technology and is currently only offered on WTB’s gravel tire range. SG2 is also only offered on tires with 120TPI casings and in black wall versions only. WTB found in testing that tan wall tires did not offer the same amount of benefit as black wall tires when matched up with the SG2 puncture protection layer. That benefit is said to be 33% greater in sidewall protection and 17% more in under-tread protection than the current range of 60TPI tires offers against punctures.
That layer is from bead to bead, by the way, and is unique in that it utilizes a flat section nylon fiber. This flat cross section fiber requires less rubber to bind it to the casing and therefore the result is less weight than a typically round fiber cross section would require. This means SG2 equipped tires weigh only marginally more than the 60TPI casing gravel tires in WTB’s range. Which, by the way, remains unchanged. The 60TPI tan wall and black wall tires will still be available alongside the new SG2 black wall gravel tires with 120TPI casings. All are TCS tubeless as well. 60TPI tires will be $59.95 and the new SG2 120TPI tires will retail at $69.95.
The end result is that now WTB can offer the gravel/back road cyclist a puncture protection layer tire with minimal amount of weight gain over their standard 60TPI tires. These new SG2 tires also should retain a supple ride due to the SG2 layer being thinner, owing to the flat fibers, and due to the use of the 120TPI casings. Riding Gravel has three sets of these new tires and has been testing out these claims already. Look for our findings to be published in a companion post to this one here.
Note: WTB sent the new SG2 tires to Riding Gravel for test and review at no charge. We were not bribed nor paid for this post and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout. Also- information used in this post was provided to Riding Gravel by WTB.