The new WTB Trail Boss is an excellent rear tyre with great levels of grip in all conditions, and it rolls very well on hardpack. It can feel a little bit sluggish on soft ground, though.
On test we have the 29" version of the Trail Boss in its 2.4" TCS Tough/Fast Rolling guise (it's also available in 2.6" widths and 27.5" diameters). The 'Tough' refers to the casing – there are two other specs in this width, and both use the Light casing – while the Fast Rolling part refers to the compound.
That's a tactful way of saying 'harder compound' or 'less grippy', because while it's inevitably both it's also longer-lasting and less draggy than WTB's High Grip compound. This combo weighs in at 1,224g.
The Trail Boss is aggressively treaded with tall, reasonably well-spaced centre knobs and angled shoulder knobs similar to that of the Schwalbe's Magic Mary.
On a rim with a 30mm internal width, the 2.4" Trail Boss blows up quite square. Even though the Tough carcass is stiff, the tyre seats easily – I had no issues at all.
The Trail Boss is a solid performer in all conditions. It rolls extremely well over hardpack to make light work of any pedaling, but over anything softer its square profile and tall knobs are slower; not by much, but it’s noticeable uphill.
The payoff is tons of grip once you point it downwards, though – even on the climbs I rarely found myself spinning out on something loose.
Lean the tyre over and cornering grip is impressive and very secure. The angled shoulder knobs even give a sort of rear-steer feel, which adds a confidence boost when slithering through tight corners.
Braking is excellent too, thanks to those tall knobs, which is super helpful on the steeps where good braking is absolutely necessary.
While grip is plentiful and consistent in the dry, the Trail Boss is no slouch when the trails get greasy. It stays true to its dry weather form and continues to stay grippy, so much so that I would be happy riding this tyre in the wettest of wet.
If you’re looking for a tyre that delivers a lot of grip in a range of conditions, the WTB Trail Boss is an all year, fit-and-forget belter. It's not the fastest-rolling thing on soft of loose surfaces, but it's not bad – and that predictable grip means you may not care.
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