I never thought of bar tape in terms other than thicker, plusher, fatter or maybe more or less likely to tear when I dump a bike and the handlebars–along with various body parts–get dragged through crushed rock. Since I never plan to crash, I honestly thought the point was to get tape as cushy as possible, and I certainly never encountered tape that performed differently based on the direction it’s wrapped.
I Like Gas Tanks
Or Do I?
The Bontrager Adventure Top Tube Bag ($39.99 MSRP), or gas tank, is great. Is it great for every single person? Purt near! So thank you to GRAVELBIKE for facilitating this review, because I was very happy to check out another version of this type of bag. I was especially pleased to see that it sports reinforced openings and screws for securely attaching to your top tube, because my only complaint about gas tank bags (in general) is that they doesn’t stay in place.
Summary: Slicks? For gravel? YES.
I labored over my opening line because I was anxious to establish cred right away–that I’m an experienced, observant rider and gravel influencer… um, what? I’m totally not! I realized that, as a newer gravel rider and gear geek myself, I’d rather read a review from someone who was like me. And maybe others would, too.
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).
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.