Three Tires From WTB: Byway 40mm At The Finish

Three Tires From WTB: Byway 40mm At The Finish – by Grannygear

Granngear's Topstone with WTB Byway 700 X 40's mounted

I am keeping this review process short since this is not a brand new tire design, but rather an expansion of the size range into 700c from 650B.  That you can read about in my opening post on this and two other WTB tires. However, I have enough hours on it to get a pretty good feel for the performance on mixed surface rides and in moist soils.

Detail of WTB Byway
They say 40- We say 38.

First of all it is not a 40mm wide tire.  It is, after enough time mounted to grow to the maximum potential, a 38mm wide tire.  So that can be good or bad depending on what your needs are.  The tread design is not aggressive so I am not sure if more volume would be important to me in this tire. If it was, then there is a 700x44mm version of the Byway.  I hear it is true to size but I cannot confirm that.

So it’s a bit skinny if you are expecting a 40-41mm result.  However it will fit more frames this way.  Mixed bag, for sure.  Personally I came to like the size as I think it compliments the intended use of the tire.  A 38mm wide tire is pretty good for mixed surface use where I live and this one rolls very nicely on the road.  It’s fast.  Faster than my 42mm Resolutes.  They are pretty light too.  And it also feels very supple, noticeably more so than the similar sized 38mm Hutchinson Overides.  I ran 40 psi pretty much all the time as I did with the Overides and they are the same volume.  Tubeless performance was as expected. 

We have had a lot of rain early on in the season so dry soil is not what we have.  It’s hero gravel (dirt, really) for the near and distant future.  Even so, I do not expect this to be a prime choice for full time dirt use…maybe the Venture or Riddler is that tire.  My most recent ride was a 3 hour loop of 1/3 dirt with some bike path and open-road work on either end.  I also used it on moderately paced group road rides.  I never felt like I was handicapping myself in any of these conditions with the Byways.  The side knobs would be useful in ruts and soft corners where some tires in this vein are very smooth all the way to the bead.  The Byways felt very linear on faster paved corners, steering with no odd transitional feelings, etc.

Bicycle in rural setting
The Byway made for a good all-around tire in SoCal.

At The Finish: I have to say that these are compelling tires for mixed surface riding in our So Cal conditions.  The casing size is just enough, the tire is fast, it rides well, and has some side knobs for increased grip on looser corners.  I like them very much.

They are just not as big as the hot patch says they are.  And I have to say that annoys me.  I have gotten used to tires being bigger than they say they are.  But it has been while since I had one smaller. I understand that tire construction is a bit of a complicated thing and I guess exact sizing is a tough target to hit.  Still…that will not keep me from running the 700×40…ahhhh…make that 38…WTB Byways.  Even the cost at $59.95 each, is reasonable in this day and age of $75.00+ tires.

Note: WTB sent over the three models of tires to Riding Gravel for test and review at no charge. We are not being paid, nor bribed, for this review and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.

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3 Responses to Three Tires From WTB: Byway 40mm At The Finish

  1. Avatar
    DT January 28, 2020 at 4:16 pm #

    I hear your frustration with the sizing. I wish the tire manufacturers would just give us a bead-to-bead measurement, which would be universal and not dependent on rim width. That way everyone would be able to figure out true sizing on their own!

  2. Avatar
    ill_krm February 24, 2020 at 3:17 pm #

    Yesterday got my Byway 44. They measure at 43mm installed on a 22mm rim. Hope this helps someone.

  3. Avatar
    TiGuy March 9, 2020 at 6:40 am #

    Peaky shapes of Venture looks more promising with my track conditions. Thanks for reviews!

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by Riding Gravel 2014