WTB have long produced mountain bike tyres of great quality. Now, with a foray into the 700c market, they bring their world-class knowledge of tyre design to the church of drop bars, offering some seriously competitive options to any gravel-seeking road cyclist.
Their Nano 40c has long been the top choice of ultra-distance gravel racers thanks to its large volume and low rolling resistance on smooth roads, and great grip off-road; as the choice of professionals, it's clear WTB know their stuff.
It is the newer and slightly less aggressively knobbled Riddler 45c that makes the cut for the RCUK 100 2018 though, so let's look at why...
Seal of approval
We’d be hard pushed to recommend a more capable tyre of this volume, seriously. With gravel races lined up in the coming year, we’ll be returning the Riddler to our wheels ready for race day.
Having ridden Giro's Grinduro! in Scotland last year, in what can only be described as biblical rain (more on the bike we rode here), we were blown away by just how capable this tyre is. With a tubeless set-up, offering reduced potential of a puncture, and a massive 45mm of volume combined with the supple-feeling sidewall, the Riddler simply hovers over loose aggregate, allowing you to turn on the afterburners when others must tread lightly.
"Having ridden Giro's Grinduro! in Scotland last year, in what can only be described as biblical rain, we were blown away by just how capable this tyre is"
The tyres perform surprisingly well in the wet too; the rather understated tread provides ample grip on even the slipperiest of clay thanks to the slightly larger edging. This allows the rider to bank into corners with more confidence than initial impressions may bely.
WTB Riddler 45c
For those with slightly less frame clearance, WTB also offer a 37c version, as featured on the Pinnacle Arkose 4 in this year’s RCUK 100; providing the top-quality tyre to a wider market.
Having ridden both though, it is with confidence we champion the bigger brother. Often tyres of this size can ruin the feel of a light and nimble adventure bike, yet WTB have struck the perfect balance of drop-bar speed and flat-bar confidence.