WTB Ranger Plus review

Mixed condition biggie-sized tire that's at home on a wide variety of terrain

2018 Tire Buyer's Guide 27.5 Plus Tires
WTB Ranger Plus

The WTB Ranger Plus has strategic siping and a high cornering knob for extra grip.

What is it

Whether heading out on a multi-day bikepacking adventure or just a quick after work trail spin, the WTB Ranger Plus is billed as a do-it-all fast rolling tire. Dry to wet, hardpack or loam, the WTB Ranger Plus can handle conditions ranging from dusty boilerplate to gooey mud. Multi-directional siping provides increased traction for accelerating, braking, and cornering, and it’s available in Light or Tough casing to suit your durability needs. Mtbr tested the 27.5×2.8 Light version.

Pros
  • Fast rolling
  • Great grip in mixed conditions
  • Solid cornering in the dry
  • Voluminous casing
  • Low weight
Cons
  • Sidewall protection
  • Sidewall stiffness
  • Grip on slick roots
Mtbr’s Take

Fast rolling and super grippy are descriptors that usually don’t apply to the same tire, but the WTB Ranger Plus does just that. While its tread is more cross country in design, it also has many other applications. Indeed, the inclusion of WTB’s High Grip compound means this tire can be ridden nearly anywhere. Mix that can-do versatility with a high volume 2.8 casing and you have a very capable tire.

WTB Ranger Plus

The WTB Ranger Plus has siping for maximum grip, and the tread is spaced widely enough to shed mud.

WTB tires have a distinct hand to them where the inside of the tire carcass is tough while the outside is smooth with a prominent bead line. And WTB’s High Grip compound is just that — grippy. You can feel it immediately. You can also see a distinct tonal change in durometer from sidewall to tread. Highly sculpted side knobs and siping throughout the WTB Ranger Plus tread gives the tire a unique ride feel.

Center knobs are tightly spaced to minimize rolling resistance and they are siped to grip in a variety of conditions. Ridden around 15-16 psi, the WTB Ranger Plus is a fast rolling tire. I found myself favoring higher pressure on cross-country trails and fire roads, but letting air out as the tech factor increased.

WTB Ranger 27.5x2.8 Plus

That’s light for a plus tire.

On the downside, the sidewalls are thinner than some other 27.5+ tires, which means lower weight (805 grams per tire), but also a greater chance for punctures or sidewall tears. Riders who spend excessive time on rough rooty and rocky terrain are advised to check out the more robust WTB Ranger TCS Tough compound.

Another place the WTB Ranger Plus excelled was on gravel roads where the combination of lightness, 120 TPI casing, and high volume make them a great choice for bikepacking or just country spinning.

WTB Ranger 27.5x2.8 Plus

That translates to 2.7 on the nose, which is actually a great place to be with a plus tire.

Bottom line, the WTB Ranger Plus is a great all-around tire, though we do recommend option for the tougher sidewall if you have a proclivity for rowdy riding.

Rating: 4 out of 5 4 Flamin' Chili Peppers
Price: $68
More Info: www.wtb.com


About the author: Jordan Villella

Jordan comes from the steep streets of Pittsburgh PA, where he learned to dodge cars and rip single track. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the cycling industry: from turning wrenches, store design, clothing production and bike park creation. Jordan spends his free time racing cross country and cyclocross around North America, though he has been know to enduro every now and then. His love of cycling is only second to his love of his family and punk rock.


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  • Plusbike Nerd says:

    I’ve been riding 29×3.0 Light WTB Rangers since they first came out a couple of years ago and I’ve been suprised how well they perform. They roll very fast, even on pavement. They are suprising durable for such a light tire. I haven’t ripped one yet and it is rocky and rooty where I live. Even though they have shallow knobs they seem to last as long as other tires. Switch out your heavy, slow-rolling, Enduro-ish tires for a set of Light Rangers and you will give your bike a new livelier personality.

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