WTB is unveiling a new 650b tire called the Horizon 650 x 47c Road Plus TCS at this weekend's North American Handmade Bicycle Show. The tires will be featured on bikes from Hunter Cycles and Soulcraft. Referred to as “Road Plus” by WTB, the Horizon 650 x 47c tire measures the same overall diameter as a 700 x 30mm road tire and is intended to be used with endurance road and gravel applications. This builds upon the same school of thought as WTB’s 27.5+ system, where an oversized 27.5” tire equates to the same height and diameter as a traditional 29” mountain bike tire.
The new offering should prove popular with gravel riders and would be right at home on the Cannondale Slate.
“At the same overall diameter as current endurance road bikes, the geometry remains unchanged–bottom bracket height, axle to crown, relative angles, all stay the same,” stated Chris Feucht, WTB’s manager of new product development. “Only additional chain stay clearance may be needed, though quite a lot of existing bikes on the market already clear this size.”
WTB has already compiled a list of currently compatible frames. Additionally, several bicycle brands have models arriving this fall accommodating WTB’s Horizon 650 x 47c Road Plus TCS tires.
Brodie Bikes, Miele, and Rawland will be supporting the size. While Masi has opted for enhanced gear carrying and compliance benefits of the new tire size, others are aiming for ultra light mixed-terrain usage as seen through 3T’s new low spoke count, wide carbon fiber wheels optimized for Road Plus. The 3T Discus Plus wheels will be offered in LTD, Team, and Pro versions with the Team model arriving with preinstalled Horizon 650 x 47c Road Plus TCS tires.
“The key to Road Plus is its versatility,” stated Will Ritchie, WTB’s drop bar category manager. “It furthers what’s great about current endurance road bikes–more compliance, less road noise and abuse on the body–and expands on this without having to push a bigger overall wheel than necessary. Our TCS [Tubeless Compatible System] version of the Horizon 650 x 47c Road Plus tire really takes advantage of this extra volume, allowing for a smoother ride on the road, a larger contact patch and lower pressure for taking things into dirt, and a more stable ride while touring or carrying extra weight."
"You can really see a lot of this potential with both the Hunter and Soulcraft bikes here at the show–they’re immaculately elegant road going bikes as we’d expect from these guys and the relatively smooth pattern of the Horizon Road Plus tire compliments this, yet they breathe capability," says Ritchie. "WTB is incredibly fortunate to be able to show the new Horizon Road Plus tires beneath these beautiful bikes from such accomplished builders–a big thank you to Sean Walling of Soulcraft and Rick Hunter of Hunter Cycles,” he added.
WTB Horizon 650 x 47c Road Plus TCS tires feature WTB’s Lightweight Casing and Dual DNA Rubber Compound with preproduction sample weights of 515g. The Horizon 650 x 47c Road Plus TCS tire will retail for $67.95 usd with a projected availability of June 2016. WTB recommends pairing the Horizon 650 x 47c Road Plus TCS tires with its KOM i23 and i25 TCS and Ci24 TCS rims to maximize the higher volume profile.
WTB will also be expanding its drop bar tire offerings with Exposure 700 x 30c and 700 x 34c Road TCS tires debuting at Taipei International Cycle Show March 2nd.
more info: www.wtb.com