Some of the worst tires I have ever ridden were semi-slick tires. At first glance, these WTB Byway tires are just a 650b semi-slick. Semi-slicks promised blazing fast speed and enough grip to get you through the corners. The caveat was the corners had to be free of leaves, mud and loose soil. Part of the issue was that 90’s mountain bike tires were made of rubber that was either fast rolling or grippy. Semi-slicks were fast rolling. You couldn’t have both. So you’d be tearing along, leaning into a turn, and suddenly be sprawled out in the dirt wondering how you got there. They had traction...like a reboot of Red Dawn has traction. Actually, a Red Dawn reboot probably has more traction than old semi slicks.
Two things make the WTB Byway better than an old 90’s semi-slick. One: It’s a road tire. It’s not supposed to have tons of traction in slop. Put a knobby on for that. Two: The addition of silica to the tread compound means this tire can have grip and roll well. It would probably be a semi-decent mountain bike tire, if it was a bit wider! But it’s not. It’s a really grippy nasty roads tire, and it works well for that. More traction than the WTB Horizon, better cornering in loose stuff than a Compass, faster rolling than a full knobby. This is a great class 4 road tire, ideal for anything that doesn’t involve too much mud.
Plus, those brown sidewalls look great!
Tubeless compatible. Run it tubeless! Riders 110-140 start at 35 psi, but you can probably get away with less. Riders 140-180, Start at 45 and go down from there. Riders over 180, start at 55 and go down from there.
650b only. 47mm wide. That’s 1.85 inches. .05 inches narrower than the mountain bike tires I used to race on!