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Terrene Wazia – First Look!

Terrene

Terrene is a new name on the fat bike block but is a company that brings some street cred to the neighborhood. Terrene is managed by Tim Krueger who previously worked as a brand manager for Salsa Cycles and is the founder of Advocate Cycles. Terrene recently came out with three tires: the Wazia which is a fat bike tire, the Chunk which is a 27.5+ tire and the Elwood which is a dirt road tire. We are going to be focused on the Wazia here but will have more info on the Chunk over at Plusbikes.com in the near future.

dsc_0530The Wazia comes in 4″ and 4.6″ sizes and two different casing designs: “Light” and “Tough.” Personally I find it is very refreshing to see a company labeling things as they are instead of some crazy acronym or obscure term. All Wazia tires come with stud pockets and you can get them with our without studs. I received a pair of 4.6″ Light studded tires as well as a single 4.6″ Light non-studded and a single 4″ Tough non-studded. I will be testing all of these variations but will be focusing most heavily on the studded 4.6″ tires this winter as I update readers in my mid-term and long-term reviews this winter/spring.

If you haven’t tried them previously, studded tires are a thing of beauty for winter and shoulder season fat biking. When it is icy the studs do their thing and can make dangerous or unrideable conditions great. When you hit regular snow or dirt the studs just disappear and don’t positively or negatively affect the ride. The only place they can detract is on the road where they make more noise and seem to add some drag. Luckily most modern studs are aluminum with a carbide tip so they are lightweight and you don’t need to worry about them wearing out if you use them on the road or other hard surface. I have had a pair of 45NRTH Dillinger 5 studded tires in my quiver of tires for the last two winters and they have really expanded the conditions I can ride in.

My pair of studded 4.6″ Light Wazia’s came in at 1,606g and 1,673g. The 4.6″ unstudded Light Wazia weighed 1,653g and the 4″ Tough Wazia weighed 1,553g. Yes, you read it correctly that one of the studded 4.6″ tires weighs less than the unstudded 4.6″ tires. Tis the nature of manufacturing variations in fat bike tires.

The 4.6″ Wazia measured out as follows:

  • Casing width: 4.2″ on 80 mm rims, 4.6″ on 100 mm rims
  • Knob width: 4.3″ on 80 mm rims, 4.5″ on 100 mm rims
  • Center knobs are 5 mm tall and side knobs are 6 mm
  • The overall diameter: 748 mm
  • The bead-to-bead measurement: 248 mm
  • Stud count: 154
  • Cost is $210/studded tire, $120/non-studded tire

The 4″ Wazia measured out as follows:

  • Casing width: 3.94″ on 80 mm rims
  • Knob width: 3.86″ on 80 mm rims
  • Center knobs are 5 mm tall and side knobs are 6 mm
  • The overall diameter: 736 mm
  • The bead-to-bead measurement: 236 mm
  • Stud count: 154
  • Cost is $200/studded tire, $120/non-studded tire

All of the designs are tubeless ready and I had a very easy time airing mine up. They fit slightly looser on my rims than some of the other tires I have used recently but the beads still popped right into place with no soapy water or Uncle Dicks Bead Slip being needed. The tires held air fairly well with no sealant but I definitely needed to add sealant to ride them for an extended period.

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The tires have a nice rounded profile. The casing feels very supple on the Light casing (similar to Surly and 45NRTH tires) and the Tough casing is definitely thicker and stiffer. That said, the Tough casing was still surprisingly supple feeling for a more burly casing so I am guessing there won’t be a huge drop in ride quality or a big increase in rolling resistance which is really nice. Construction seems really good with the tires mounting nice and straight with no bounces or bulges.

wazia knobs

The tread compound feels fairly soft. I don’t have a good way to test the durometer of tires but using the fingernail test the Terrene tires feel like they are softer rubber than my Dillinger 5 tires but are stiffer rubber than the soft white compound Pure Silica Compound used by Vee Tire. The fairly soft compound should allow the tires to conform to textured surfaces better but may not wear as well; time will tell. To give some perspective on the knob height and design, the lugs are not super aggressive (like a Dunder/Flowbeist, Bud/Lou or 2XL) but are still pretty darned substantial with big sipes, lots of biting edges and ramped center knobs to aide in rolling resistance. Based on looks alone, these look like great all rounder tires that should get you through a wide variety of conditions.

The studs are an interesting topic with this tire. Construction is fairly standard with an aluminum base and carbide tip but I measured them at 0.08″ tall vs. 0.06″ for both Vee or the older 45NRTH studs. 45NRTH recently released an “XL stud” that is bigger diameter but I have not been able to find any info on the height of their new stud design.

The Terrene studs is somewhat cupped and have three points at the top. In contrast 45NRTH uses a concave design (both on the older regular stud and the new XL stud) and Vee uses a pointy cone shape design. I will be interested in seeing how the three compare while riding and also how they wear over time. The Terrene studs definitely feel sharper and gripper out of the box compared to the other two manufacturers but 45NRTH has claimed that their studs wear in a manner that allows them to stay sharp, so long term performance will be a very interesting topic.

Terrene left, Vee Tire middle and 45NRTH right

Terrene left, Vee Tire middle and 45NRTH right

Yet another aspect about studs is the number of studs per tire. Terrene uses comparatively few at 154 per tire compared to 258 on the 45NRTH Dillinger, 224 on the 45NRTH Wrathchild and 240 on the Vee Tire Snowshoe XL and Snow Avalanche tires. Terrene feels that because their studs are taller and more effective that they can get away with fewer of them, thereby reducing cost and weight.

Lastly on the stud topic is the placement of the studs. The Terrene tires are all distributed fairly equally between the two center rows of knobs and no studs on the furthest out side knobs. The outer row of studs are placed approximately 71 mm apart. In contrast the Dillinger 5 tires have a higher proportion of studs further out towards the side lugs (but still not on the side lugs) and are placed 90mm apart at their widest. Once again, it is going to be interesting to see how these compare for both cornering and drive/braking traction.

I have done a couple rides with the non-studded 4.6 Wazia up front and the 4″ Wazia on the rear but to be perfectly frank, I can’t really discern much about how they are going to perform (yet). My trails are covered in leaves right now so I can’t really push these tires to their limit on dirt. Early indications are that they have good traction and roll well for this size tire but I am going to need some snow to flush out much more detail. On the road there is some vibration from the widely spaced knobs and there is an average level of self-steer for any given pressure when compared to other similar size tires.

I should be able to start testing out the studded version very soon. The Lake Michigan shoreline is a great test bed for studded tires because as soon as the temperatures drop below freezing and we get some waves, the beach will get icy sections to test tires on.

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The early indicators are all positive for these tires but I am really looking forward to testing these in some proper snow and ice. Terrene has put forth a design that is significantly different from other tires on the market and only time will tell how it will stack up to established tires.

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One Response to Terrene Wazia – First Look!

  1. Steamroller72 November 11, 2016 at 10:53 am #

    I almost view the Wazia as a studded fat bike commuter tire for winter. The lug pattern doesn’t seem to inspire confidence on snowmobile/groomed snow trails. I don’t see this as direct competition to the Wrathchild. I still plan on running a studded Wrathchild reverse mounted on the rear and a studded Dillinger 5 on the front of my FatBoy from January to March in Western NY.

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