Tag Archives: First Impressions

First Impressions: WTB Exposure Tires

GRAVELBIKE.com gravel bike gravel grinder WTB Wilderness Trail Bikes Exposure road tubeless
Words and photos by Braden Govoni

Wilderness Trail Bikes (aka, WTB) has been cranking out dirt-worthy components for 35 years. Recently, however, the company turned more than a few heads with the release of their high-volume Byway and Horizon road-plus tires. Located in Marin County, the WTB crew has access to some of the finest road riding that California has to offer. And it’s precisely that type of riding that inspired WTB to develop their line of high-performance Exposure road tires.

Available in 700×30, 32, and 34 millimeter sizes ($79.95 MSRP), the Exposure utilizes WTB’s lightweight, supple casings and folding, tubeless-compatible beads. All three sizes feature black tread and sidewalls, which are complemented by the tires’ subtle, grey graphics. With a published weight of 320 grams for the 32 mm size, our sample tires weighed 314 and 319 grams. Straight out of the box, the Exposures measured exactly 32 mm wide on DT Swiss tubeless RR511 rims (17.8 mm internal width).

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First Impressions: Clement X’Plor USH Tires

In this age of hyper-specialized bicycles and components, do-it-all products sometimes get overlooked–or downright ignored–by gearheads. While it’s fun searching for the lightest or fastest gear, most of us are better served by equipment that performs well under a variety of conditions. For gravel and mixed-terrain riding, having the right tire can mean the difference between a great ride or drudgery. Drawing on the company’s deep cyclo-cross and gravel roots, Clement Cycling designed their X’Plor USH tire to excel in mixed conditions.

GRAVELBIKE.com Clement X'Plor USH tires gravel bike gravel grinder

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First Impressions: SRAM Apex 1 Components

Two years ago, SRAM caused quite a stir when the Chicago-based company announced their dedicated 1x Force and Rival drivetrains. While some traditionalists scoffed at the idea of a single chainring for road use, SRAM’s 1x setups quickly gained acceptance in the gravel and adventure bike spaces. But between the two groups’ top-of-the-food-chain positioning and XD hub/driver requirements, some riders were priced out of the 1x experience. Thanks to trickle-down and crossover tech, SRAM brings road 1x to the masses with their affordable Apex 1 group.

GRAVELBIKE.com gravel grinder gravel bike SRAM 1x 11 speed Apex GX Eagle GXP Continue reading

First Impressions: WTB Byway Road Plus Tires

Words and photos by Aaron VanDerlip

Wilderness Trail Bikes’ Byway 47 is a 650B/27.5″ tire ($67.95 MSRP) that borrows significantly from the company’s Horizon 47 Road Plus model. The Byway replicates the same smooth tread pattern along the centerline as found on the Horizon. Outside the centerline you’ll find a row of herringbone tread, followed by a diamond-shaped pattern that transitions to low-profile side knobs. If you crossed the Horizon with Clement’s X’PLOR MSO, you’d get something like the Byway as the result. From the side profile, it looks like a knobby tire, but the knobs take up a minimum of the tread surface.

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