After over two years in development, WTB released their new Ci24 TCS Carbon rim at day one of the Taipei International Cycle Show. WTB went through five different iterations of design and redesign, settling on the current design after extensive testing beneath Team WTB riders.
There are two things that dramatically stand out with this rim,” stated Chris Feucht, WTB’s product manager. “The 4D angled drilling with chamfer and the true TCS, ETRTO tubeless profile. When you’re dealing with a material as stiff as carbon, it’s imperative that the spokes are aligned properly for departure from the rim. If the holes are just drilled in a standard, perpendicular manner to the rim’s surface, there will invariably be binding and uneven application of stresses. This is especially critical when combined with a material as unyielding as Carbon. The result is broken spokes, nipples and even hub flanges in some extreme cases. WTB’s 4D drilling on the Ci24 Carbon rims solves binding, while still allowing easy access to the nipples for simple tensioning.
WTB first introduced 4D drilling in 2012 with their Frequency rims, later expanding the option to their race-oriented KOM rims and more recently with their 45mm Scraper rims aimed at the plus sized 27.5” and 29” markets.
The second thing is the TCS, ETRTO tubeless profile,” continued Feucht. “It goes beyond just being able to air up with a floor pump, it is wholeheartedly designed around retention, yet still mountable without tools, generally, you can’t find that in carbon. Now we could go on and on about this type of layup, or that type of weave, direction, or modulus but when it boils down to it, the important thing is it works. We added extra material where it needs it, we thought about the material’s characteristics throughout the whole process. Carbon isn’t for everyone – once you ride it, you don’t want to go back, but understanding that distinction is important. What we’ve done is make our Ci24 Carbon rims as strong as possible while staying true to that understanding that for certain applications or riders, alloy may be the better choice.
For Team WTB racer and Global OEM Sales Manager Jason Moeschler, Carbon is his material of choice:
"The direct, instantaneous feedback and precision you get from your wheels is hard to refute,” stated Moeschler, “but you still have to be aware that you’re riding Carbon, even if it’s strong. Different riders on the team favour different rims and a lot of it boils down to preference and riding style. "At the same race you’ll find Team WTB racers on Asym i29s or i35s, a Frequency i25 and i23 pairing, or sometimes I find myself on KOMs. I’ve watched these [Ci24] rims evolve over absolutely exhaustive testing. Yes, they have gained some weight but they’ve also gained an incredible amount of strength each time their design has been altered. While maybe not for everyone, a lot has gone into making these rims stronger."
WTB Ci24 Carbon rims come in 27.5” and 29” options, weighing 414g and 420g respectively. The Ci24 rims feature a 30mm outer width combined with a 24mm full TCS profile inner width and have an overall depth of 31mm. Available only in 32 hole configurations, the rims carry a $549.95 USD MSRP with an aftermarket expected availability of June 2015.
WTB released a new 27.5+ TCS tread pattern called the Bridger 3.0 at day one of the Taipei International Cycle Show. The Bridger 3.0 27.5+ tyre features an open tread pattern composed of square shaped blocks designed for aggressive riding applications including the enduro segment.
“The Bridger shows that we are once again thinking beyond conventionality,” stated Chris Feucht, WTB’s product manager. “Rather than stick within the confines of traditional plus sized tyre applications, we are directly targeting aggressive riding. We are offering the Bridger 3.0 27.5+ tyre in a TCS Tough: High Grip option. Sticky Gravity DNA rubber coating a full 2-ply casing begs for technical descents. There is really no reason why this tyre size isn’t perfect for aggressive riding applications.”
WTB TCS Tough tyres feature WTB’s Enduro Casing, composed of two full layers of their sealant-optimized Lightweight Casing. TCS Tough tyres are then broken down into High Grip and Fast Rolling options, primarily intended for front (High Grip) and rear (Fast Rolling) uses.
WTB introduced TCS Tough: High Grip tyres first with the Breakout tyre just over one year ago at Taipei Show in 2014. Existing applicable patterns within the line underwent the change over the past year. “The Bridger 3.0 27.5+ TCS Tough: High Grip tyre marks quite an opportunity for bicycle brands,” explained Jason Moeschler, WTB’s global OEM sales manager. “It allows ground up design – the tyre has come before the bike, a capable full suspension needs a tyre like this. We started this size and we are continuing to drive it through broadening its application and usage.”
WTB Bridger 3.0 27.5+ tyres will be available in TCS Tough: High Grip and TCS Light: Fast Rolling options. WTB lists preproduction weights of 1235g and 1510g for TCS Light: Fast Rolling and TCS Tough: High Grip options with a projected availability of August 2015.
WTB released a new saddle shape during day one of the Taipei International Cycle Show. The WTB SL8 saddle is WTB’s lightest production saddle to date, weighing 146g in its carbon level offering.
“The SL8 saddle makes a statement,” pronounced Chris Feucht, WTB’s product manager. “It proves that true comfort has never weighed so little. I think that people will really marvel at the SL8’s comfort considering its weight truly resides within the competitive high-end road class of target weights.”
While the SL8 is not marketed as a road or mountain specific saddle, it takes design cues from fellow WTB saddles. A long tapered nose shares similarities with WTB’s popular Silverado shape and a very slight rise to the tail is reminiscent of the Volt saddle. The SL8 saddle utilizes WTB’s highest end DNA padding throughout its offerings, putting a premium on support through lightweight padding.
WTB SL8 saddles have spent the last year in development and testing underneath Team WTB riders Jason Moeschler, Mark Weir, Ben Cruz, and Marco Osborne as well as fellow Cannondale and WTB athlete Jerome Clementz throughout the past race season with Enduro World Series stops as well as the Big Mountain Enduro Series. Team riders used SL8 Carbon models throughout racing and development.
“If it can withstand Team WTB and quickly become Jerome Clementz’s favorite, then that’s certainly a good sign for a good looking saddle,” stated Jason Moeschler, WTB’s global OEM sales manager and Team WTB racer.
WTB SL8 saddles will be available in Carbon, Team, and Pro models. SL8 Carbon saddles use WTB’s 7mm by 9mm oval shaped Carbon rail, are compatible with top-down clamp seatposts, and have no weight restrictions. Projected availability for all SL8 models is June of 2015.