WTB is a common choice on complete bikes and the Trail Boss is probably the most popular rubber in its range, particularly on the rear wheel. It’s versatile with useful velocity and better grip than you’d expect if you look after it.
The TCS Light carcass pops onto rims smoothly and easily but still blows up a breeze even with a track pump and a casual slop of sealant. The three-two-three-split top tread arrangement gives just enough gap for better than expected mechanical grip on most surfaces.
Grip gradually increases as you lean it over into the corners too thanks to the Dual DNA compound, so carrying speed along swerving and curving trails is a no-brainer. Sightly sloped faces on the relatively close-spaced blocks give a fast skim and impressive sustain over hardpack too, so it never feels as heavy on the bike as it actually measures on the scales.
The amount of rubber in the tread means it wears well and doesn’t suffer from torn knobs if you lean on the brakes too heavily either.
The bulbous thin wall carcass gives balloon tyre comfort but it’s prone to scuffing from rocks and it’s not stable enough to stay predictable at lower, ground-moulding pressures. Despite the high volume, the Trail Boss is pinch-puncture-prone when used with tubes too, while the heavy-duty versions are prohibitively heavy and wooden in feel.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.