How wide is too wide?

The temptation to fit the largest possible tires onto your gravel bike is a temptation many of us battle. I tend to want to push the frame’s limitations to see how large a tire I can fit. The WTB Venture 700×50 is the largest tire I’ve ever stuffed into a gravel bike and the questions started rolling in.

How will it affect the overall range? Is it more comfortable? Do you feel the weight? 

With a generous center tread for the road and an aggressive side tread for the gravel, the Venture is an interesting hybrid tread gravel tire that I’ve wanted to ride for some time. The Venture starts at $66 for black or tan sidewalls and $77 for the SG2 puncture protection.

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The Lab

The WTB Venture is an all-terrain gravel tire. Designed to have riders prepared for any condition of riding as a set-it and forget-it tire.

The Tread

The tread of the Venture tire is composed of elevated centerline ridges with two rows of outer knobs. The center tread is efficient on the road and conforms to the demands of gravel terrain. The side tread provides traction when you really need to push into the corners and you’re looking for traction.

Available Sizes

The Venture tire is available in 650 or 700 wheel size. For 700 wheel size there is 40 or 50c widths available, with a 47c width for 650. Additionally, they are offered in black or tan wall options.

Dual DNA compound

WTB’s Dual DNA tires feature two compounds. An efficient fast rolling compound across the center and a softer compound on the sides for traction.

Puncture Protection

SG2 puncture protection is available for all sizes at an additional cost. SG2 is full coverage protection from bead to bead. The nylon fibers also offer higher air retention.

Tubeless Ready

The WTB Venture is a Tubeless Ready tire with the TCS technology. The combination of TCS and SG2 is highly durable and will optimally cause flats to become a thing of the past.

Intended for Pavement, Hardpack dirt, and Gravel roads, the Venture tire is an ideal gravel bike companion. The SG2 puncture protection, although adds weight, makes this tire more capable and long lasting.

Mounting the 700×50 SG2 Ventures on for testing, the massive tire just looks cool. On an eBike the additional weight and size is a penalty we can afford and our first test was to see the overall impact it would have on the battery range.

A few months back we published a range test on the Venture tires where I led a 70 + mile ride with a friend. The Bosch-powered gravel bike read out 74 miles with a full charge in Eco. 72 miles later and a couple blocks away from my starting point, the Battery found its bottom.  A few miles shy of the “estimated” range before leaving, the overall range on the Venture tires seemingly left little to no effect.

Turning from overall range and looking towards traction and ride feel, we’ve spent the last few months on gravel roads and trails finding how these tires do. Dropping a few psi to increase traction and add some comfort, the Venture tires provide great traction for the dry conditions of summer. Charging fast down gravel roads with long sweeping corners or tight hairpin twists, staying on your line and keeping the bike on your track is effortless. Recovering from loose gravel and pointing the bike back to where you want it to be, the tires hook and catch similar to a mountain bike tire would.

Where the Venture tires start to show their limitations is the soggy and wet clay like dirt. With very few summer rains, I knew I had to get wet for at least one ride to see how they do. If the dirt in your area turns to a sticky type of clay when it gets wet, the Ventures fill up quick and feel similar to a minimal tread or slick like tire. Not as confidence inspiring, but as we know tires designed for the wet conditions are specific to that season and have endless downside in the dry months.

Something that has taken a while to get comfortable with while riding on the road, is the noticeable shelf when leaning the bike in corners. Diving into a corner you can feel the tires roll from the center tread to the side lugs. The float zone between those two areas is an interesting sensation, that can catch you off guard if you aren’t ready for it.

Overall, the WTB Venture tire has been a massive upgrade for summer. The high volume adds noticeable comfort both on and offroad. Additionally, the Dual DNA compound offers almost two tires in one. Commuting onroad to the woods for gravel rides, the Venture tires don’t have you suffering on road performance and efficiency. All the while they offer reliable traction and connection to the dirt especially when cornering on loose and rocky trails. We would argue the additional cost and weight for SG2 puncture protection is well worth it to retain more time pedalling and less time fixing flats.

Price: $66-77
Sizing: 650×47, 700×40, 700×50
Colors: Black, Tan

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