In 2014 WTB announced a “surprise” of a tire in the Nano 40. A 40mm wide version of the brand’s iconic Nanoraptor tire. The normally offered trail tires that dominate the WTB catalog are what many folks think of when they consider WTB tires, but now there was an option for gravel and backroad riders. You can check out my final review of the Nano 40mm tires HERE. Now WTB has followed through with their promise to make a Nano 40mm tire in a tubeless ready version.
What It Is: This tire is for all intents and purposes just like the Nano 40 which I have already reviewed, but this has one major difference that will make this tire feel different and perform differently as well. That difference is that it is a “tubeless ready” tire. This means that the bead design is different and is meant to handle the higher demands placed on a tire bead when it is run tubeless. In addition, the casing rubber is sealant compatible, and this will help keep the tire carcass from delaminating or blistering due to contact with sealant. Finally, the “TCS” designation means that this tire will match up with any suitable TCS rim from WTB for a perfect tubeless tire and rim system. Well……theoretically speaking. We will see here in a bit if that actually was how it went.
The TCS versions do weigh a bit more due to the necessary bead change and casing treatment. The two samples I weighed came in at 510 gm/520 gm each. This compares to a folding bead Nano 40 which weighs about 470 gm, give or take a bit. That 40-50 gram difference is acceptable as a trade off for lowering pinch flat chances to near zero and getting a tire with a theoretical advantage in terms of rolling resistance. Again- these are things we will explore in this review.
I already had a set of Frequency i23 rims from WTB laced to disc hubs, so this was a perfect opportunity to try out the total “system” approach that is now offered to gravel riders by WTB. The internal rim width of 23mm would also be perfect for giving this tire good support at lowered pressures and would help give the Nano 40 a bit more volume. The tubeless set up with this combination was so easy, it was a bit surprising to me. I have been setting up tubeless tires for a long time on my bicycles and the TCS tire and rim match is one of the- if not the best, when it comes to ease of set up. What is more, the air retention of the Nano 40 TCS on the Frequency rim is top notch. Very impressive. By the way, after 48 hours at 40psi, the Nano 40 TCS measured out right a 40mm on the Frequency i23 rims. Perfect!
First Ride: Due to an ongoing illness and Winter, there hasn’t been much riding at all, but I did get a short spin on these. I went with 40psi R/38psi F and found that I maybe will bump the rear pressure up a touch, but again, this was a first ride and I have some “getting to know you” time to put in before I can say too much more. Much like the tubed Nano 40 though, I felt that the rougher/more unpaved the surface, the faster this tire felt to me. That wasn’t a surprise. I did like the way they felt as far as suppleness at these pressures though and that is something better than the tubed Nano 40.
So Far…. Great tubeless performance, but a tad heavy for this size tire. They hold air really well and the Nano 40 TCS seems to roll very smoothly.
Stay tuned for the Checkpoint on these tires where I should have ridden many miles on them and this will give me a better idea on the performance of these tubeless tires.
NOTE: WTB sent over these Nano 40 TCS tires at no cost to RidingGravel.com for test/review. We are not being bribed nor paid for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.
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