Most tandem owners have enough in the budget for one bike. For teams that own a mountain or cruiser tandem trips on pavement call for a slick high pressure tire to reduce rolling resistance and increase traction. TandemBicycling.com has logged 120 miles on a new set of WTB (Wilderness Trail Bikes) Graffiti SF 2.2 semi-slick tires and have found them to be a suitable pavement tire.
Sold as a dirt jumper/ urban use tire WTB markets this tire to be able to absorb big hits and varying urban type terrains; all perfect for 26″ tandem use.
The tread pattern is designed to allow large amounts of rubber to meet ground with multiple channels to clear water and soft stuff. The tread is directional with a knobular shape that provides a more aggressive look. The center channel offers great water clearance on wet roads.
Thread Count, Compound and Bead
The bead is comprised of foldable Aramid that was a bit tight out of the packaging. After working the bead a little on the rim it stretched enough to allow easy on-off by bare hands. The rubber compound is relatively soft with testers noting visible wear on the main contact patch. The high thread count, 60tpi, soft rubber, and wide 2.2″ tread combine to provide smooth cruising even under full 60 psi.
The tires work well for both front and back. There is no noise from the tires on smooth pavement. The large tire size, black sidewall, and aggressive tread afford the tandem a “don’t mess with me” appearance. Combined with the folding bead and easy on-off (after the initial break-in) these tires are a great choice for tandems that will see some heavy pavement use.