WTB Cross Boss tire review
WTB designed the Cross Boss with the recreational racer in mind. The blocky tread pattern is versatile, and the stated tire width of 35mm is wider than the UCI-mandated maximum tire width of 33mm.
Bigger by design
The square knobs roll fast and corner predictably Josh Patterson / Immediate Media
While we’re all swift as Sven Nys in our minds, the majority of cyclocross racers don’t have national championship or World Cup aspirations. Those who do are much more likely to run tubulars than tubeless tires anyway. WTB knew who it was targeting with this tire and it hit the mark.
The Cross Boss can be set up easily with a floor pump. I haven’t experienced any issues with burping the bead or tubeless sealant weeping from the tan sidewalls during the course of this test.
Our set of 700x35c WTB Cross Boss tires weighed in at 410g each and measured larger than expected at 37mm wide when mounted to rims with an internal width of 20.7mm.
The Cross Boss shines on dry and loose over hard-packed terrain Josh Patterson / Immediate Media
WTB positions the Cross Boss as suitable for a wide range of course conditions — from dry and hard-packed to wet and muddy. In my experience, there are better options when it comes to racing through the mud. The Specialized Terra Pro, for example, does a much better job finding traction in muck and shedding debris.
The Cross Boss is at its best in slightly damp to dry conditions. It’s an excellent performer when racing on loose over hardpack. On courses such as this, the two rows of center knobs roll fast and transition predictably to the blocky side knobs that provide generous grip when pushed hard through corners.
Because I found this tire to perform better on hardpacked courses, I ended up running the tires on the higher end of the spectrum (for a 150lb racer) at 28psi front and 30psi rear to prevent tire squirm. On dry, bumpy courses, the high volume casing allows the Cross Boss to float over ruts and provides more traction through turns.
If you’re looking for a tubeless cyclocross tire for dry and rough tracks, the Cross Boss will hold its own.