WTB SG2 Gravel Tires: Raddler Checkpoint

WTB SG2 Gravel Tires: Raddler Checkpoint – by Guitar Ted

This past September WTB announced a new version of their gravel tire range with puncture protection dubbed “SG2”. Now you can get any tire over 37mm in width in the gravel range with this feature. We introduced three SG2 equipped tire models from WTB and as promised, we have been testing them out since then. This post will give you an update on the 700c X 44mm Raddler.

A Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross model bike with WTB Raddler SG2 tires
The Raddler tires with the SG2 feature as mounted to Guitar Ted’s Black Mountain Cycles “Monster Cross” model bike.

The SG2 Raddler is the more aggressively treaded sibling to the Riddler tire, a perennial favorite tire choice amongst many gravel riders. The Raddler has more grip, but at the price of some of the Riddler’s speed. The benefit though is increased traction for climbing, cornering, and braking in looser or deeper terrain. In the right applications, the Raddler is certainly going to out-perform the Riddler.

Detail of sidewall on a WTB Raddler SG2 tire
The branding on the WTB Raddler SG2 tire is so subtle that it almost disappears when the tire is dirty.

Ride Performance: The Raddler is the tire I would say is best suited to the ‘shoulder seasons’ and Winter around here. That better grip and stability is a bonus when the roads get a bit wet and sketchy during those times. As far as feel goes, this tire doesn’t ‘wow’ me with a supple ride feel, but neither did the non-SG2 Raddler. It’s decent in the speed category. again, nothing exceptional, just ‘good’. I did feel I had to dump a little more pressure with this model than I did with the Resolute to attain to the same or similar ride characteristics I expected from the non-SG2 models.

A bicycle leaning against a guard rail in a rural setting.

The casing on the SG2 Raddler just seems a little bit stiffer, and I think it shows up in how the casing reacts over rougher surfaces and in how this tire just didn’t stretch much after initial installation. As of this writing, the casing still measures 43.22mm, and again- on a slightly narrower internal width rim. So I just did not see a similar reaction to use and air pressures as I did with the SG2 Resolute.

So Far… This tire isn’t a ‘bad‘ tire, but for the MidWest it isn’t a tire that lights a fire underneath me when I ride it. It does the job well enough, sure, but with its slightly harsher ride quality and lack of volume, it isn’t on the same plane as the Resolute or the Byway, both of which we are testing in this series of SG2 reviews.

I imagine this tire being a lot more popular with riders in areas where crushed rock is rare, but dirt and embedded rocks are more commonplace. There the Raddler’s knobs make a lot more sense and would make for a great ‘under-biking’ tire.

I’ll have a final review on this and the other two WTB SG2 tires we were sent coming soon. Stay tuned……

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.

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Guitar Ted

Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004, he 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 backroad events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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