WTB just released its new line of SG2 puncture protection tires on all their models that I had to check out on my new gravel bike. WTB Byway SG2 Tubeless 700x40c tires feature bead to bead protection and 120tpi thread, making them suppler then their 60tpi non SG2 version along with a whole lot more. I had the chance to get first dibs on the tires before the release and they have been my favorite model from WTB after riding others in the past like the Nano, Riddler and non SG2 Byway and I will tell you why.
In simple terms, SG2 is puncture protection. WTB added an ultra-thin nylon insert that wraps bead to bead on the tire giving you coverage all around. It adds protection to not just the surface of the tire but the sidewalls too. The SG2 nylon insert is designed with flat fibers that helps save on weight. Being that they are 120tpi means that it’s more durable and able to hold higher pressures, all the while giving you a suppler ride feel.
First Thoughts & Setup
After building my new gravel bike I put in over 500 miles testing out WTB’s new SG2 puncture protection tires on the Byway in a 700x40c setup tubeless. Having ridden their previous non SG2 model before in the tan wall option with my fair share of punctures, I was more at ease knowing I had more protection with the SG2 on my long rides.
The setup was easy. In my hands, I was able to feel a considerable increase in durability in the sidewall compared to my tan walls. The rubber also felt softer due to its 120tpi thread. Getting them on the rim was a breeze, no soap and water or tire levers needed. I was able to get them on with my bare hands, unlike other tires in the past.
How They Ride
The SG2 Byway model gave me the same ride feeling as my older Byway model – fast on the road and nice grip on the dirt while taking corners. I did feel however the SG2 model’s supple ride feel was taken up a notch. I generally ride at mixed pressures and have recently found my sweet spot to be at 40 to 45psi when on gravel or dirt. This may be pretty high for some riders, but even with these pressures the tires were still forgiving over rocks and roots and able to grip just fine. When on the tarmac I generally inflate my tires to 55psi to take advantage of that slick center thread the Byway offers. This gave me close to an identical ride feel my road tires would give. The SG2 puncture protection makes so much sense and it’s just what’s needed for a 15-mile tarmac ride outside of NYC just to get to a trail.
The Sum Up
These tires are staying on my bike. Why wouldn’t you want a tire with more puncture protection that doesn’t feel like a tank? And the smooth ride on gravel that transitions well to the road is what does it for me. WTB has been good to me with Byway’s, and I’m looking forward to trying out their new Venture models as well.
*This review was made possible through partnership with WTB. However, this review is based on my personal opinion and experience.
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Ridden & Written by
Dwayne Burgess (Manual Pedal)