The WTB Nano has been my tyre of choice for around 3,000 miles. It has been used on road and off road – bridleways and fire roads as well as single track. It has been through deep mud, deep sand and flints, hardpack and dust. In short, practically everything a year of riding in Britain can throw at you.
It has pretty much been my default tyre on the Mason Bokeh since the day I got it.
Available in a wide range of sizes, as long as it is 40c you are after. The tread is repurposed from an old XC mountain bike tyre. Let’s face
it, this is not a new kid on the block. It may even be getting a bit long in the tooth but is it showing its’ age?
The basic design of the WTB Nano is a series of ridges in a raised, directional chevron pattern. There is also a fairly pronounced central ridge.
The large volume carcass allows you plenty of scope to play about with pressures to suit riding conditions. Being 200lbs, I tend to pump mine up pretty firm and when I need to make adjustments to accommodate bumpier conditions, I let a few psi out, but not many. Friends who run the same tyres, but are smaller and lighter than me, tend to run them considerably softer.
I have used WTB Nano on a pair of Hunt 4 Seasons and Stan’s Grails.
In both cases, the tyre fitted easily, needing only a modicum of thumb pressure to get them on.
Inflation was a breeze, needing only a track pump. Once the tyres were seated properly in the rims, and sealant applied they stayed up with no further attention required.
I used Orange Seal Tyre Sealant and they have been fine ever since. Just in case you want to fit and forget….don’t. I top up sealant levels at least once in winter and more frequently in the summer when the warmer weather seems to dry it out more rapidly. (The same applies to Stans.)
In a word… fast!
When riding on tarmac I can cruise along at 18s or so. There is no drag to hold you back as you ride along on the central ridge. Despite the WTB Nano being an off road tyre, there is no buzzing, they are nice and quiet. I have read reports where the tyres have been criticised for being less than confidence inspiring while cornering on tarmac. I must say that the only time I have felt unsure about my grip was when they were (mistakenly) pumped up beyond the recommended maximum. There was one occasion when the front tyre let go, at speed, on tarmac. The lack of grip was down to a combination of rain and diesel so the tyres had no hope really.
Off road, I have yet to find their limits. This doesn’t mean you won’t slip out in any given set of conditions, simply that I have yet to push them so hard they break away. The firmer the trail, the more these tyres like it but they have proved more than competent enough when the going gets muddier too.
Having said that, the only time I feel a bit worried, because the compound is quite hard, is on wet rock or roots. They aren’t brilliant in deep, soft, sand either but which 40c tyre is?
Punctures? I have had a few, predominantly on the chalk and flint hard pack that abounds in the Brecks.
Longevity. After 3,000 hard miles I’d be lying if I said the tyres look as good as new but, apart from a few nicks here and there they are in remarkably good condition.
This tyre really is a jack of all trades. Not the newest design but I hope WTB keep it in production for a good few years yet.
Best run as tubeless.
The large carcass allows you to dial in the right pressures for the prevailing conditions. Once you get it right, there is plenty of grip off road and you will almost eliminate trail buzz. On the road, they are a better than average winter tyre which allows you to wander off the beaten track without worrying about grip or flats.
Shop around if you want to buy these tyres. It should be fairly easy to get them at less than the RRP.
For more info on the WTB Nano, head on over to WTB.com
Last modified: 8th June 2019