One of the latest additions to WTB’s extensive gravel tyre line-up, the Vulpine is the brand’s race-ready option.
The lightweight low-profile tyre utilises the brand’s SG2 puncture protection, and is designed specifically for fast-paced gravel riding on well-treated gravel roads.
Overall, the tyre has demonstrated real ability – delivering a reliable ride over smooth, dry terrain without compromising on speed.
WTB Vulpine SG2 specifications and details
The Vulpine’s tread is characterised by a near-continuous line of directional, short-profile centre knobs.
These are flanked by smaller rectangular knobs, and short knobs complete the shoulder of the tread.
Here, WTB’s SG2 casing adds an extra Nylon puncture protection layer that extends from bead to bead.
Alternatively, you can shave off a claimed 28g per tyre by opting for the 60 TPI tan-sidewall option, which doesn’t have the puncture protection layer.
According to WTB’s recommendations, the Vulpine is suitable for hard and mixed terrain such as tarmac, hardpack dirt and gravel.
It’s not recommended for loose and wet conditions.
WTB Vulpine SG2 performance
Comparable to other SG2 tyres from WTB (such as the Venture), tubeless setup was fairly straightforward and pain-free, fitting the tyres onto my WTB CZR i23 gravel wheels.
A shot of air from my Schwalbe Tire Booster at 120psi was enough to seal the bead onto the rim most of the way round, adding a few extra strokes from the track pump to become fully seated.
Inflated to 40psi, the tyres measured up at 39mm (front) and 39.5mm (rear).
The SG2 was tested on my usual local gravel loops on the edge of Dartmoor, UK, as well as on a bonus week’s holiday on mountain roads and gravel doubletrack in Sardinia. Touted as a race tyre, I was keen to see just how it performed at pace.
It was immediately evident that the lightly treaded tyre spins up to speed very quickly, both on the tarmac and when heading off it.
It certainly inspires you to push on, with no sensation of dragging or being overly grippy when you don’t need it in dry conditions on smoother terrain.
While the Vulpine tyre didn’t feel bad on chunkier trails, I’d definitely opt for a tyre with more defined tread if I was preparing for a gravel race that also featured technical riding, such as Grinduro’s singletrack sections.
Without any siping, it’s clear the Vulpine has been devised for use in the dry.
It felt a little slippy both on sections of wet rock and through the smaller patches of mud I encountered while testing.
As I’ve experienced with other SG2-equipped tyres, such as the WTB Venture and WTB Riddler, the puncture protection was excellent.
I didn’t experience a single loss of pressure, even after many miles on rockier Sardinian gravel lined with cacti and all manner of sharp, scratchy plants.
For racers (as the recent UCI The Gralloch gravel race evidenced well), being able to avoid a flat can make all the difference between a disappointing day out and staying in contention for a podium place.
Lightweight tyres may save you some seconds here and there, but puncture-resistant tyres have the capacity to save you minutes.
Nevertheless, the tyres are also fairly light at 453g, saving nearly 200g per pair compared to other all-rounders from the brand, including the WTB Riddler.
They’re 100g per pair lighter than the similarly race-centric Schwalbe G-One RS.
WTB Vulpine SG2 bottom line
WTB seems to have achieved what it set out to produce with the new Vulpine; a fast, reliable gravel tyre well suited to flat-out speed on well-conditioned, dry gravel tracks.
As with many things at the pointy end, these are far from fit-and-forget all-rounder tyres and are best suited to dry conditions.
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere dry and prefer less aggressively treaded gravel tyres, they could be for you.
|Price||br_price, 5, 3, Price, EUR €66.00GBP £55.00USD $77.00|
|Weight||br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 461g (700 x 40c) – 453g claimed, Array, g|
|Brand||br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Wtb|
|Features||br_Features, 11, 0, Features, Tubeless compatible
Black sidewall for SG2 tyres, lighter tan sidewall tyres also available for 60TPI standard tyres
|TPI||br_TPI, 11, 0, TPI, 120|
|Puncture protection||br_punctureProtection, 11, 0, Puncture protection, SG2 bead to bead nylon insert for puncture protection|
|Sizes||br_tyreSizes, 11, 0, Sizes, 700 x 40c and 700 x 36c|