Everything you want in a MTB tire is packed in one awesome package, the WTB Trailblazer 2.8.
In the emergence of the plus tires for the 29inch and 27.5inch wheels, one tire stands out from the pack due to its design pattern, looks and performance… the WTB Trailblazer.
WTB Trailblazer 27.5 x 2.8 Review
The crew from Valleybikes have long been pushing the envelope in using stout tires because we believe fatter means more traction when it really comes down to it. Downhill, berms and climbing, we yearn for those side knobs and chunky blocks to do the job in giving us that “stick”.
The trail conditions we ride nowadays are dry and hard pack with some loose leaves. The leaves erase all traction to any tire, meaning you simply have to trust on your instinct to ride well and just go with the trail’s natural flow. This tire makes all the difference… due to its 2.8 balloon tire quality, the surface area touching the ground gives the rider more control and confidence. I am used to riding 2.35 Maxxis Minions front and back… that never fails me when it comes to traction especially with the tall knobs— with the WTB Trailblazers, even if the knobs are much more tamed and smaller, but because of its chubby side walls, the tires never fail me when I need the grip.
Berms: bring it on! The tires act as if it was glued to the trail, no slipping (unless you want it to).
Climbing on the trail: hit the track with the correct tire pressure (recommended is 30-45 psi) and the WTB will do its wonderful job of sticking with the ground.
Road riding— Add more pressure to the chubby tires and it inflates like a Stay puft Marshmallow man, giving the center line a smooth traction for the road. Translation: It is an excellent chubby tire for concrete because the knobs aren’t too noisy and they roll well. The center line gives an excellent smooth ride and it won’t slow you down. In short, this tire is not an excuse when doing road, the intensity you transfer to the crank translates well on the wheels and the tires give minimal resistance.
There are fat tires and there are chubby tires. I classify the WTB Trailblazers as chubby because it is the thin (or should I say “non-thin”) line between practical and aesthetically nice. It is not the lightest tire in the market (980g from WTB), but it is one of the bang-for-the-buck performance tires. I especially commend the plus size tires when getting out of the rut, you just flick the handle bar, and your bike would obey and rise from the rut. With normal MTB tires, you would have to choose the wall on where to climb out from the rut, but with the plus size tires, it just rolls over the rut easily with little effort.
When urban riding, the tendency is to ride the rain gutter sometimes because the cars would force you to the side. In my experience with the WTB trailblazer, if it is time to get out of the canal rut, it is not an issue. With thin tires, there is a tendency to slip and cause you to have an accident. Even if you clear the front tire, the rear tire won’t grip the side of asphalt and make you loose control. NOT with the 2.8s. It will just roll over anything. No problemo.
WTB makes a mark in the plus size category with their chubby Trailblazer 2.8. It gets the bigness of the 29er wheel plus it gets the traction of a good trail tire. If that doesn’t gel the ride that you want, this is not the tire for you. But if you want to ride the plus size wave, this is the right chubby babe for ya.