The WTB Bronson 2.3″ AM tires are ready for action in a variety of terrain. Weighing in at 810 grams, these tires feature a large number of relatively small, low-profile knobs along the center of the tire with prominent knobs along the edges for aggressive cornering. The Bronsons are also UST compatible for an easy tubeless setup if that’s your thing.
Photos taken shortly after installation.
My wheels aren’t set up for tubeless tires so I needed to run these as regular tires with tubes in them. As a result, I can’t speak on the ease or difficulty of tubeless installation. However, for a regular rim, these tires were pretty difficult to get on as they are UST tires. UST tires generally feature a heavier, tighter bead than your standard tire, making them more difficult to install on a regular rim. Changing a flat with these is really a pain, but I suppose if I was running tubeless I wouldn’t have that problem! With a little perseverance and a couple of tire wrenches, though, you’ll do just fine.
My Experience With the Bronsons
Product reviews can certainly give you a better understanding of bike products and they can also aid in your decision making before a purchase. I read bike and product reviews online and in magazines all the time and in my experience reviews are more helpful for some product categories than for others.
In particular, bike tire reviews can be influenced by personal preference and are often fairly subjective compared to other bike part reviews. Part of the reason is that it’s difficult to separate raw tire performance from one of many other variables including trail conditions, bike set-up, and rider skills. Despite the subjective nature of MTB tire reviews there are definitely a few larger-scale topics that can be addressed so I’ll attempt to hit all of the prominent points.
Where the Rubber Meets the Trail
For my riding style, 2.3″ tires are where it’s at. I’m not a big racer, so I don’t really care if I make it up the climbs a few seconds faster. I would rather sacrifice the climbing speed gained from a narrower tire and trade it for turn-gripping traction and additional control at speed through the rough. If you are of this same persuasion, the 2.3″ AM rendition of the Bronsons is a good choice.
When reading up on these tires I got the impression that they weren’t designed for any specific function, but rather to be an excellent all-around tire in almost every condition. Based on my experiences that’s actually pretty accurate. The Bronsons perform well on just about everything including hardpack, loam, leaves, roots, rocks, and even in wet conditions.
Due to the high number of knobs I thought that wet conditions would be the Bronsons’ downfall and that they would pack up with wet clay after just a few revolutions. While any tire will get coated in sticky red Georgia clay, I was very surprised to find that the Bronsons shed muck quickly and maintain traction well in the nast. I believe these mud-shedding properties are a result of the sloping sides and angled design of all the knobs; you won’t find a square-shaped knob anywhere on these tires. The sloped edges keep the tires running clean and tracking well.
The relatively low-profile knobs on the Bronsons allow them to feel very fast-rolling and yet they still provide excellent traction. The tires hooked up well in the corners and generally railed singletrack like a champ! As I mentioned above, they shone in almost all conditions including wet ones, but I personally thought they excelled the most on hardpack.
The only place I really thought the Bronsons didn’t shine was in really loose, rocky conditions. Despite the 2.3″ width they don’t have the same gnar-gobbling goodness provided by a larger-knobbed tire. But as an all-rounder, the Bronsons ($65 MSRP) are definitely a worthy candidate for your next tire purchase!
Thanks to WTB for providing these tires for review.