We’re seeing more and more hard-hitting rear tires arriving on the market and WTB’s Trail Boss is a fine example of the breed. The idea is simple – the lower profile center section increases rolling speed while the raised side knobs keep things hooked up when cornering or traversing lumpy sections.
At 1,112g in this 27.5×2.25in size, the Trail Boss is no lightweight XC tire, so we’d recommend taking advantage of WTB’s Tubeless Compatible System (TCS), which is easy to inflate right from the packaging and holds its pressure nicely.
The tire pedals well up long climbs and despite the tacky High Grip rubber, rolls well on flat sections too, though harder compounds are available if you’re after more rolling speed. The big surprise came when we started tackling loose descents. The tire still offered plenty of braking traction and there was none of the low-grip fishtailing we’d half expected.
Those meaty side knobs, combined with the Boss’s round profile, help it hold fast through rooty off-camber sections too. It was only when we hit proper mud that there was a noticeable lack of adhesion when compared to a fully treaded tire.