WTB Bridger 27.5 Plus Tire Review

by Brian Mullin on March 31, 2016


The WTB TCS Light Bridger is a Plus sized 27.5″ x 3″ tire that was designed for aggressive riding and utilizes an open and blocky knob pattern made with their Lightweight casing and Dual DNA rubber compound. The Bridger is a reliable and fast tire that offers great braking and traction and control in loose conditions and gnarly terrain.

The test tire weighed in at 1084 grams and measured 2.95″ wide and 2.8″ tall on 45mm rims. I primary tested the Bridger as a front tire on my Ibis Mojo HD3 with the Manitou Magnum 27.5+ fork that has 140mm of travel. I mounted the tire on the WTB scraper i45 rims and an Industry Nine Boost front hub.


  • Size – 27.5″ x 3.0″
  • Conditions – Dry to Wet / Hardpack to Loam
  • Casing  – Lightweight
  • Compound – Dual DNA
  • Level – TCS Light
  • Weight – 1207g  Lightweight TCS
  • MSRP – $67.95



The directional Bridger tire has a round profile on top that then transitions into a straighter shaped sidewall. It has eleven rows of knobs, including a single set of center knobs, followed by four sets on the sides and finally an outer set on the shoulder. The tread pattern utilizes small and well-spaced blocks with a variety of ramps and steps, and all of them except the center set have star shaped indentions in their middle. Those well-spaced knobs clear mud and debris and they bite nicely into loose trail conditions.



I set them up tubeless, which took only a minimal amount of work, and I haven’t had any issues once the sealant sealed the rim bead. I am running them at 15psi, which seems to be excellent comprise for ride quality, plushness, and float. The casing seemed thin at first, but it has so far been pretty durability in everything I have tossed at them. The casing has some nice suppleness and flexibility that helps it conform to the terrain and rocks and those characteristics improve traction and braking, and offer a better feel and ride quality. After several months of use, I got a tiny sidewall puncture which sealed up quickly, and it has been fine ever since then. I’d put up with a slightly heavier tire for increased sidewall toughness.

On the 45mm Scraper rims the tires measured in at an average of 2.95″ wide (carcass 2.92″ and lugs 2.97″), which is pretty spot on to their 3″ specification. The round profile and open lug design offered a meaty footprint onto the terrain, and with the innermost knobs having subtle ramps they rolled decently for such a big and aggressive tire. The open tread pattern is composed of square-shaped blocks designed for aggressive riding applications while providing traction, control, and braking. Except for the center knobs, every other one of them has a small Star or “X” molded into them, which I assume provides improved grip?

The tire offered up predictable control without any odd transitions when cornering, leaning and turning the bike. Even when pushed over for cornering the knobs seem to bite with aplomb with minimal front end washouts. When inflated to 15 psi they provided superb support and float, which gave lot’s of traction and cushiness through rocks, roots, sand, gravel and anything else the typical trail can throw at the tire.

Unfortunately, WTB only offers the Bridger in the 27.5″ × 3″ size and utilizes their TCS Light option with the Dual DNA compound and Lightweight casing. The rumor mill says’s they’re going to make a TCS Tough model with a Gravity DNA compound and an Enduro casing, which would toughen up an already great tire.


Bottom Line

The WTB Bridger is a great 27.5+ purpose-built tire, with a solid design, a good rubber compound, a durable casing and a decent $68 price point. The 3-inch width is just about ideal and the aggressive tread bites nicely into loose conditions with excellent braking and traction characteristics. The TCS Light casing offers suppleness and flexibility and decent durability though I’d like to see a TCS Tough model for stouter sidewalls. The knob wear has been excellent, and the tread pattern provides great support, float, control, and predictability. The tire works well on rock slabs, rock gardens, sand, gravel, soft loam and the slop and can plow through most anything with ease when its deep and loose. It’s decently fast rolling tire for such a big beast though it is on the heavy side of Plus sized tires.


  • Aggressive tread
  • Supple casing
  • Excellent traction and braking characteristics
  • Excellent knob wear
  • Cheap for a Plus sized tire


  • Needs more tires sizes
  • Not the stoutest sidewalls
  • Needs a TCS Tough model
  • Heavy

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