Being prepared used to mean carrying a spare tube, pump, and a modicum of tools. In the age of smart phones, however, preparedness has taken on a somewhat different meaning. For many, being prepared now means having the latest rideshare app installed on their phone. Carrying a phone while riding is never a bad idea, but a spare tube and the necessary tools are cheap insurance when you’re in a remote area with poor–or no–cellphone coverage.
My first experience with Wilderness Trail Bikes’ Ranger tire came shortly after the arrival of a Jeff Jones demo bike. Jones had spec’d the bike with Schwalbe Super Moto (29″ x 2.35″) tires, and while the stock rubber proved more than capable on dirt and gravel roads, I found myself wishing for something with a bigger footprint and more grip for the loose-over-hard trails that are prevalent on Colorado’s Front Range. And because my rides usually involve some pavement, I wanted a tread pattern that wouldn’t slow me down getting to the dirt and gravel. I shot an email to the folks at WTB, and they recommended I give their 29″ x 3.0″ Ranger a try.