WTB Riddler 37mm Tire: At The Finish


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It is now time to give you the final verdict on the WTB Riddler 37mm tires which were released into the wild just a few months ago now. The tire also has a wider sibling, the Riddler in the 45mm width, which we also have and have been riding. I’ll have a bit more on the wider tires in a bit, but for now, just in case you missed the last post on the Riddlers, click here to review that. Now that you have that link to refer back to, let’s get on with the final word on these tires.

WTB has a winner on their hands with this Riddler 37mm tire. and wait till you see the 45mm one!

At The Finish: The Riddlers are a fast, fairly stable, and pretty decent riding tire. They are not “best” in some characteristics when I compare them to others in this class, but they are definitely above average and rise to the top in a couple of areas. The thing is, the two characteristics the Riddler has that are outstanding are two areas that many tires do not do well in. Stability and lateral grip would be those two characteristics. The Riddler really is a great tire because of those two things. In terms of spec, it won’t wow you with a low weight, but it is as wide as claimed. (See here for the technical specs on this tire and more.) It doesn’t have a fancy puncture protection belt, but it rides smoother because of this.

So, it rolls well, has decent cornering traits, is stable on loose gravel, and with WTB’s excellent TCS tubeless system built in, tubeless set up is a breeze on the right rims. I have only seen moderate wear with these tires, but there are some reports of wear that seem premature to some riders. I will update on that here if I notice this. Besides that potential nit, there isn’t much not to like about the 37mm Riddler. Well, other than that maybe you’d like to see something wider. That’s actually something that WTB thought about. So, here we have a much wider version of the Riddler. 

The 45mm wide Riddler isn’t just a little bit bigger than the 37mm one, it is a LOT bigger!

The Bigger Brother: The wider Riddler is barely contained by my Tamland’s stays. In fact, it is a 1.8″ wide tire, or for you metric folks, a true 47mm tire on my 25mm internal width WTB KOM rims. That is as wide as 29″er tires that were raced in XC mtb events in the late 00’s! Yes, this Riddler won’t fit many bikes that are currently in circulation that run road drive trains. So, is it for 29″ers then? Well, it could be, but keep in mind that 2017 bikes are on the way. The wider Riddler is spec’ed on many of the newer, wider tire gobbling “monster cross” type gravel/all roads bikes.

The review of the 37mm Riddler was a very positive experience.  I think this tire will be a hit with those that can slot this tire into a cyclo cross bike, or a late model gravel grinding rig. However; the bigger sibling is a completely different animal. We won’t bore you with spec and tech features, since that is all similar to the 37mm tire. Stay tuned for a break-out post on the 45’s where we will have the perspective of two different riders from two different areas to share.

So, to wrap things up, the 37mm Riddlers should be on your list as a tire that is fast, stable, and has a good ride quality. It may have a tendency to wear thin, especially in the center tread area. We’ll keep an eye out for that and update this review if we see that. Otherwise, this tire should be a front runner in your search for a 35-40mm tire that is a great all around performer and has excellent tubeless qualities.

Stay tuned for the Riddler 45mm tire update in a few weeks.

NOTE: WTB sent over the Riddler 45mm & 37mm tires at no charge to RidingGravel.com for test and review. We are not being paid nor bribed for this review and we strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.

Discuss and share your questions or thoughts about gravel bikes, gear, events and anything else on the Riding Gravel Forum


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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15 thoughts on “WTB Riddler 37mm Tire: At The Finish

  1. Mine served me well at Worlds and Tour de Lyon County! Excellent ride, never worried about punctures, and they set up easily for me on Stan’s rims. I’ll pull them off this week and compare front & rear side by side.

    1. Glad they worked well for you. How tight were they on the Stan’s rims? I’ve been told not to mix WTB tires and Stan’s rims. Thanks for any info.

      1. Mine were pretty rough to get on a Stans Crest rim. I mounted them on another wheelset at max pressure for a day before they would even slip over the Crests with ample soapy water and a bead jack. Being that tight, they inflated tubeless super easily and didn’t ‘pop’ onto the bead shelf until at least 40 psi. Then my tension and dish had to be fixed. Yeah, that tight.

        I have run them at 24psi front and 26.5 rear during a couple CX races with no burps. 190lb rider. While they weren’t made for each other, smacking the rim around would be what you’re worried about before burping in a dry CX race. Yeah, they do that gravel stuff too. I haven’t used them in anything wet because there’s not enough clearance on my bike. They also measure a bit over 40mm and rubbed my frame in the back a few times….

        Summary; it’s possible, but not a recommended combo.

  2. I bought a set after reading your midpoint review, and they quickly became one of my favorite tires for gravel riding. My bike can’t take wider than 38 in the rear, and the cornering knobs on these make a huge difference in loose dirt.

  3. Which 36-38c tubeless gravel tire do you think is the fastest rolling?
    Riding Kenda Flintridge currently. Good tire for me. I would buy the same tire again but wonder if a better race day option exists.

  4. In your opinion, would the Riddler 37 hold up well in the Flint Hills of Kansas? Ran the MSO 36 last year at DK2, considering a change as I like the additional stability of the outer knobs (stable like the Gravel Grinder.) Or stick with MSO?

    1. @Chris- Oooo! That’s a tough call. If you had good luck with the MSO, you probably would be okay with the Riddler, but keep in mind that the Riddler has the TCS Light casing which does not have puncture protection.

      1. Thanks GT! Looks like I’ll just have to make a call and see what happens. Seems like the Riddlers would be a nice supple ride. However, if anywhere, I’d probably like that puncture resistance whilst in the Flint Hills. Cheers!

      1. @Paul- I should think you would never run higher than 40psi on unpaved surfaces, but you need to do your research. You should have some tire deformation when you sit on the bike, but not too much as to be planting the entire width of the tread on the ground. You can kind of figure that out by wetting the tire and rolling across dry cement, for instance. But you pressures and riding style must match the terrain you ride on, so it is not really possible for an outsider to say “this is the pressure you use”.

        1. Guitar Ted, Thanks for the guidance! I got one pinch flat on my X’plor MSO 40mm’s after hitting a rock HARD here in the Granite State on a downhill with around 40lbs. As such I’ve been somewhat hesitant to go that low again…but as said that was a hard hit that might have done me in at the 50lbs I’ve been using since. I did get the Riddlers mounted up and they seem to grip well in our gravel parking lot and roll fast. Thanks for all you’re doing for the sport!

  5. I put the 37’s on my Niner Rlt Rdo 5/28/19 and as of 7/6/19 there is significant tread wear. I ride 3 -4 times a week with 60/40 gravel road split and the tires barely lasted a month. Too much dough to keep that tire habit going. HOWEVER—I really loved how they perform in the corners and on lose gravel/dirt. Great performance and the wear rate is not sustainable on my budget.

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