The new Weirwolf is not radically different to its predecessor. For the rebirth of this popular tyre WTB has concentrated on addressing some of the less desirable personality defects of the original design, while also tailoring the construction and materials of both the UST and non UST versions to better suit a tubeless setup. Fitting a new set of tubeless tyres is a nerve-wracking experience that usually leaves you collapsed on the floor, a slobbering mess of latex and tears. I’ve seen very competent professional mechanics struggle for long periods with tubeless setups only to give up and fit a tube instead. We put these tyres to the ultimate test by getting Caleb to try fitting them. Astonishingly, he was able to do so (on his own), with only a crappy floor pump and very little sealant. It should be noted that he was fitting the tyres to tubeless specific rims—it may be less straightforward with a non-tubeless rim conversion.
The biggest issue with the original Weirwolf was a lack of consistency when leaning the bike into corners. The transition from the centre of the tyre to the side knobs was not always predictable and as a result riders with a nervous disposition were often unwilling to really test the tyre’s ability to corner. WTB has remedied this by more evenly spacing the knobs laterally, which results in a smoother transition when leaning the bike over.
Also new is the introduction of terraced profiles to the side knobs. This terracing, or stepping, purportedly improves cornering traction at both low and high speed. It’s hard to know whether this is fact or not, but the Weirwolf does corner well, particularly in dry and loamy conditions. WTB is the first to admit that wet, muddy conditions are not the Weirwolf’s strength, but I was actually surprised by how well the tyre coped with the majority of Wellington’s winter riding. Its only real weakness seemed to be under braking while heading straight down steep slippery slopes—in this situation the centre knobs appeared to have significantly less traction than other tyres of this genre.
The work that WTB has put into improving the Weirwolf should be well received; this already popular tyre is now more predictable, better suited to most riding conditions and a great tubeless option. If you regularly ride on loamy trails the Weirwolf would be a great all-season tyre. If you have to regularly tackle slick clay and roots in winter I’d only recommend the Weirwolf for summer riding. LEIF ROY
Kiran MacKinnon is a human dyno. When Santa Cruz Bicycles needs to test, experiment and validate suspension then Kiran is the one of the main people we call on to do that work. Not only is he an extremely talented bike rider and incredibly knowledgeable about suspension, but he can actually interpret and translate what he’s feeling in a way that he can communicate to the rest of the engineering team. This enables them to cross-reference the data they’ve collected with real life, on-trail experience to build better bikes and provide the right setup for our riders. We’re constantly refining our VPP™ suspension as well as the damping tunes shocks we spec on our bikes in order to make sure our bikes ride really, really good.