The WTB Macro mountain bike tire is designed for XC racing, but that’s not all

The WTB Macro is the first XC race tire from the brand. It's lightweight, fast rolling, and 2.4" wide.

The WTB Macro, announced today, is the brand’s first cross-country race tire after 25 years of offering 29er tires for various riding styles. A lot has changed since 1999, not the least of which are the demands of XC racing, and the WTB Macro tire specs reflect the current state of the sport. I tested a pair of Macros front and rear ahead of the launch, and while I didn’t race on them, I can confirm they are fast and light without sacrificing durability or too much control.

WTB Macro key specs

  • Triple compound
  • Size: 29×2.40″
  • Weight: 800g as tested
  • Price: $76.95
  • Buy from WTB

The 29×2.4″ Macro features a 120tpi, single-ply “SG casing” which places a puncture-protection layer inside the sidewalls, though not underneath the tread, in order to save weight. It uses three different compounds to maximize grip and also minimize wear down the middle. Naturally, the WTB Macro is tubeless-ready.

The tread pattern features a variety of knob shapes and sizes that get taller as you move away from the center of the tire. Fast-rolling and short, angled knobs are designed to spin fast and smooth with wide-spaced transition blocks leading to the side knobs. At the edges, the side knobs are the largest of all, with good reinforcement for pushing into corners.

Before mounting the tires, I weighed one of my samples at 800g. Following about a hundred miles of riding, I pulled one of the tires (not sure if it’s the same one) and with a thin layer of dust and sealant, it tipped the scale at 820g. WTB claims the Macro weighs 732g, which is a good bit lighter than what I found. However, the brand tells me that up to 10% weight variation is to be expected within a production run, and 800g just squeaks inside of that.


The WTB Macro tires went on my Stans Arch MK4 rims without a hitch. I didn’t need a tire lever, or even an air compressor to get the tires mounted. Getting the beads to fully seat involved pumping both tires above 30psi. That’s a bit more than other tires I’ve tested recently, which leads me to believe the beads are on the tight side. However, I found the tires are not any more difficult to remove than others.

WTB recommends mounting the Macros to rims between 29-35mm wide. Mine are 28mm wide, which is just outside the range, and on the narrower rims the WTB Macro measures 62mm wide, or about 2.44″. The tire has an overall rounded shape that’s neither bulb-like nor overly squared-off.

On the trail

I managed to put a little over 100 miles on the WTB Macros ahead of today’s launch, although in mostly dry and dusty conditions. On hardpack, the Macros roll fast and provide plenty of grip, and the transitions from straight line to corners are smooth. I ran about 20-30psi of pressure during my tests, and at the high end of the range, that’s significantly more pressure than usual for me. Because my test rides were more XC- and distance-focused, I really wanted to maximize the fast rolling nature of the tire. However, at the lower end of the pressure range, the supple 120TPI sidewalls really come alive to hug the trail, and proved to be plenty pinch-resistant.

The WTB Macro tires were the perfect tire for a recent full-moon, summer solstice all-night ride. The route involved a mix of pavement, singletrack, and chunky gravel roads, and the tire’s fast-rolling nature was much appreciated. By the end of the 66-mile ride there was zero noticeable loss of pressure, and I avoided punctures despite some janky traverses.

Having such a lightweight tire for longer rides is nice, too. Beyond XC racing, I can see this being a good choice for bikepacking, depending on the route. In a lot of ways, the tire reminds me of the Maxxis Rekon Race, which is similarly versatile between cross-country riding and bikepacking.

Where the Macro compromises a bit is on climbing and cornering traction. On the steepest, rootiest climbs I found the tread tends to break traction, and while I didn’t ride in wet conditions beyond a few stream crossings, the Macro wouldn’t be my choice in wet or even greasy conditions.

While the cornering knobs are large and tough compared to the center tread, they’re still under-gunned compared to most tires designed for trail riding. Depending on the day, I might choose to pair a Macro in the rear with a slightly meatier tire up front, like a WTB Trail Boss. This seems like it would be a good setup for riding flowy trails. And for trails with steeper, more technical climbs, or slower rides in mixed conditions, I’d flip-flop and run the Macro up front and a rear tire with better climbing traction.

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Pros and cons of WTB Macro


  • Fast rolling and lightweight
  • Good transitions
  • Durable puncture protection


  • Not recommended for wet conditions
  • Minimal puncture protection, so bruisers beware

Bottom line

The WTB Macro may be an XC race tire, but at 2.4″ wide, it could also be a good choice for long-distance bikepacking or potentially even downcountry riding on groomed trails.