WTB SG2 Gravel Tires: Getting Rolling – by Guitar Ted
In the “Gravel Grinder News” posting on the new WTB SG2 gravel tires, we introduced you to the technology and benefits claimed by WTB for these new tires. Riding Gravel was privileged to be one of the few that were granted access to some SG2 tires for testing previous to the announcement today. This means we have some impressions to share about these tires. We also will be drawing contrasts to the 60TPI, non-SG2 counterparts to these three models since we have already reviewed all three non-SG2 versions previously.
700 X 42mm Resolute: First up is the Resolute. This tire is one of my all-time favorite tires for gravel travel. The 700 X 42mm casing with the tan wall sides and 60TPI casing has been ridden all over the Mid-West and has been used on several bikes and wheel sets here. So, I perhaps have the best feelings for this tire versus its new SG2 counterpart than I do the other two models I’ll talk about in this article.
The SG2 Resolute weighed in at a respectable 566/568 gms for the pair. The 60TPI versions I tested here weighed 450/480 gms. the SG2 Resolutes also plumped up beyond their 42mm size, just like their 60TPI counterparts. these new tires came out to be measured at 44.21mm on HED Eroica wheels at 38psi.
I rode the 60TPI Resolute back-to-back against the new SG2 version, and I have to say that the difference in ride feel was minimal at best. I could discern only slight differences, with the 60TPI tan wall tires barely edging out the SG2 version in ride feel by a minor amount. In fact, if I had to ride the two blindfolded I doubt I’d be able to tell the difference.
700 X 44mm Raddler: The Raddler comes in a 700 X 40mm and a 700 X 44mm version in 60TPI. We had both in for review earlier this year. The SG2 Raddler we received is the 700 X 44mm tire so this comparison will be with the tan wall 700 X 44mm 60TPI Raddler.
The 60TPI Raddler weighed in at 504/511 gm. This compares to the SG2 version at 542/545gm. The SG2 was mounted to my rim brake Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross bike with the HED Ardennes+ wheel set. On these rims I got a width measurement of 42.63mm at 38psi.
The ride feel was really pretty smooth. I found this version of the Raddler is very similar in riding characteristics to the 60TPI version, so I will spare you a repeat of my original take which can be found here. The width is another thing. Of course, I need to take into account that the HED Ardennes+ has a narrower internal width than what most new rims have today. After a few more days where I first measured the Raddlers I saw a slight increase in width to 43.22mm. I’ll have to see if the SG2 casing allows stretch like the 60TPI casings did to the full claimed size. Stay tuned……
700 X 40mm Byway: The Byway was tested by Grannygear in the 700 X 40mm version. I have ridden Byways but only in the Road Plus, 650B X 47mm size. Grannygear weighed his samples of the 60TPI Byways at 443/420gms. The SG2 versions I weighed in at 463/461gms. I mounted these up on the FLO Cycling G700 wheels and at 38psi these came up at 39.22mm for me.
Grannygear was a bit surprised at his 700 X 40mm Byways in that they never did come up at 40mm wide. His were 38mm at best. So, these seem a bit more true to size. Of course, wider internal width rims may influence these measurements, and the FLO Cycling G700 has a 25mm internal rim width. For reference, the FSA AGX wheels he mounted the 60TPI Byways to have a 21.6mm internal rim width. Still, with a 25mm internal rim width, I am not finding these Byways to be their full, claimed width, and that’s after a good many rides.
Grannygear also exclaimed that he never felt the Byway held him back and said that he liked their performance very much. Of the three new SG2 variants, I have ridden the Byway the most so far, and I have to say that I agree with Grannygear in that this version of the Byway is a very compelling tire. Once again, this tire rides very nicely for a puncture protected tire.
Impressions Overall: It is obvious from our weight measurements that there is a bigger weight difference between SG2 versions and their 60TPI counterparts than claimed in some instances. Widths as claimed are maybe not quite there either, but given the wide variances in internal rim widths these days, maybe that’s to be expected. There will be a tad bit of casing stretch with the SG2 tires, so you may also find that these tires come into their own after a while, in terms of overall width.
That said, the ride characteristics have been largely preserved from the 60TPI versions we’ve tried. You may have to run a slightly lower pressure than you would with WTB’s previous offerings, but not like we have had to do with some other versions of puncture protected tires from other companies.
WTB has lacked a puncture protected tire for gravel riders up until now, so we are pleased to see this option from them. If any riders had reports of poor durability with WTB tires in the past, they will now have a viable option here with the new SG2 versions.
Our next posts on these tires all will be separated as to model. So, expect three “Checkpoint” posts, one for each model of SG2 tire we have. Then I will plan on doing one final review, the traditional “At The Finish” post, which will combine my thoughts on all three SG2 WTB gravel tires.
Note: WTB sent over the three models of SG2 gravel tires to Riding Gravel for test and review at no charge. We were not paid nor bribed for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and reviews throughout.