WTB WeirWolf AM TCS 2.3

WTB offers the WeirWolf in two sizes, 2.1 and 2.3, as well as a number of casing and bead options. I’ve been riding the 2.3 in the AM TCS (“AM” is for All Mountain—so apparently these aren’t for just some of the mountain….). It also means the tire has their Inner Peace sidewall reinforcement: thin nylon strips that increase durability as well as create a nice dampened mini-DH tire feel (more on that later).

TCS is WTB’s Tubeless Compatible System. That means it has a beefed up UST-friendly bead, with a casing that is meant to handle sealant.

The AM TCS is said to weigh 930g, kinda porky, and actually heavier than their UST version. But, like I said, the casing plays nicely with sealants, unlike UST tires, and the AM/Inner Peace sidewalls increase durability and ride quality. I’ve actually found a few of my tires to weigh in just under 900g, so WTB is not under-reporting their weights.

I initially installed these tires front and rear to determine if I had a preference one way or the other. They mounted up tubeless quickly and easily with two scoops of Stan’s on Easton Haven wheels. (Note: That was with a compressor. But I have also recently mounted one used tire and one new tire on the same rims using a floor pump without issue.)

After a few minutes on the trail, my initial thought was “Jeez, I kinda feel sorry for the dirt.” They were extremely grippy when turning, climbing, and braking, or some combination thereof. I actually found the front tire to be a little too grippy for my style of riding. The WeirWolf bites hard. I prefer a little more drift out of my front tire.

Joe Hanrahan, WTB WeirWolf, Blister Gear Review
Joe Hanrahan on the WTB WeirWolf, 2011 Keystone Climax.

I did, however, keep the WeirWolf as my go-to rear tire for the better part of two years. It strikes a great balance of rolling resistance and traction. Both seem better than they should be.

I also am a huge fan of the Inner Peace sidewall. It makes for a nice, damp, DH-lite feel. Rather than the tire compressing then quickly rebounding uncontrolled off a rock or root, the WeirWolf AM rebounds a little slower, keeping more of the tire in positive contact with the trail a little longer. This is a huge benefit when hard braking through rough trail surfaces or when struggling for traction on a steep loose climb.

The WeirWolf has performed well in dry conditions, but is challenged by mud. There is a fair amount of space between the knob sets, but there are a lot of edges for mud to hang onto and pack up. This is a trait that took a while to reveal itself, as most of the mud I encountered with this tire was worse case scenario, high-clay-content stuff that would render any tire useless. But there have been a few episodes where I was surprised by the lack of mud-shedding when the soil had more organic content. Mud shedding traits are generally not issues in the Rockies and Intermountain West, but I may hesitate to recommend this tire for East Coast riders who encounter more healthy, black, organic mud more frequently. It could prove frustrating.

Joe Hanrahan, WTB WeirWolf, Blister Gear Review
Joe Hanrahan, Sheep Creek, Colorado.

Side knob wear is another concern. The upper terrace of the ziggurat, where the gods hang out, tends to get shredded fairly quickly, especially when doing a lot of desert riding with continuous slickrock sections. But that’s a tradeoff we all make for grip: such tires are going to wear a little quicker, but they sure are fun. After the initial wear on the tops of the side knobs, the rest of the tire wears normally, not too fast, but not so slowly one has to speculate about a sacrifice of traction.

Bottom Line:

I’ve been impressed with the WeirWolf 2.3 AM TCS. As I said, it’s been my go-to rear tire for the past two years when not trying or testing other setups, and I know of plenty of happy users running them front and rear. Traction, rolling resistance, sidewall durability, ease of use in set-up and maintenance as a tubeless tire, and even price all add up to make this tire a contender in the Trail/Enduro/All-Mountaining centrist mega-genre. It’s a bit of a sleeper when compared to the sexy, pricey offerings from Maxxis and Schwalbe, but I maintain that in dry conditions it can hold its own, and then some. The lack of mud shedding could be an issue in some regions, but for those in drier parts of the country looking for a balance of speed, traction, and value, it is worth a look.

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