And the award for the worst tires goes to….

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WTB VelociRaptor !

It was voted unanimously by Staff Members that the WTB VelociRaptor are THE WORST Tires we’ve ever ridden on. Why?

Well for one, they don’t grip. Each of the riders that have used these tires (mounted on the Ibex Ignition) felt like the tires didn’t offer any sidewall grip and it felt like the tire would roll under off the rim while taking a corner. As stated, sidewall grip was lacking, thus causing each rider to wash out…prime example: CLICK HERE.

Though the rear tread pattern was conducive for climbing, it does well if you’re going straight up. But we all know that when you climb that we sometimes will cover multiple lines in order to get to the top. As soon as you break your straight line and the rear tire has to utilize the sidewall treads, the tire will slip.

The front tire does the exact same thing. Straights are fine, but turns are sketchy. It is difficult to feel secure when taking a berm or maneuvering through a rock garden when tires don’t grab at all.

So from one mountain biker to another…(actually there were 3 of us that agreed that these tires suck), don’t buy them! If you get them on a new bike you just bought, replace them right away…trust us.

RL Policar

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of and Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).

22 thoughts on “And the award for the worst tires goes to….

  1. I just put some of these on my bike (Giant NRS). Give them a good try this weekend and they came up way short. They felt very sketchy on the downhills (my wife was behind me and asked me why I was being such a wimp). They have NO roll. Everything was a peddle and I was totally spent after just 15 miles. I’m heading back to my Pythons.

  2. ET,

    Man I knew that we weren’t the only ones…The rolling resistance on these tires are horrible. Its like riding on grass.

    I’m probably going to go with some Maxxis Advantage in the front and a Kenda Small Block 8 in the back. The SB8 are super fast!

  3. Wow, thanks for the heads up. I personally love Kenda Kinetics Stick-E and Conti Vertical Pro tires. I’ll go ahead and cross the VelociRaptors off my experimentation list.

  4. I didnt feel confident w/these tires. I pushed the bike where it should have done well but grip just wasnt there 🙁 I just remembered that I had the same tires on my GT Zascar many years ago. Didnt like them then, so I switched out the Panaracers.

    I now run Kenda Nevegals…love them! Havent had any issues. I also used the Maxxis Larsens TT. Sweet tires for the rear, go try ’em!

  5. I rode on those tires for a long time and never had any issues with them? That tread pattern is one of the oldest designs if not the original from WTB. If it was that bad why has it been around so long? Maybe it’s the operator? VelociRaptor
    USAGE:Cross Country
    CONDITIONS:Wet to Dry / Loose to Rough
    MSRP:Race $60 / Folding $36 / Comp $30
    The VelociRaptors are legendary mountain bike tires. They are quite possibly the most popular tires in the history of the sport. The front is renowned for its steering control, while the rear grabs the trail with predictable tenacity. After 13 years of diligent service, the VelociRaptors still shine as dependable front/rear specific tires.

  6. FlyRyn wrote: “I rode on those tires for a long time and never had any issues with them? That tread pattern is one of the oldest designs if not the original from WTB. If it was that bad why has it been around so long? Maybe it’s the operator?”

    So I must be operating these tires wrong? They didn’t come with instructions on how to ride them so I assumed I should use the same techniques that have worked for me with other tires for over 10 years.

    Now I will give it that they are aggressive and really cool looking, maybe that’s why I tried them but they certainly weren’t aggressive and cool in use. I think they would look really cool on a poseur bike. So when I take them off tonight I think I’ll hang them in the garage. My Hutchinson Pythons will be on my bike on the trail somewhere.

  7. These are rock-solid tires in my experience. I raced cross country for a year or two and made it through all kinds of sand rivers, loose rock and technical terrain. I learned to ride on these tires and have to strongly disagree.

    I think the main problem here is that you were running the tires on one bike…all three of you(IBEX). Probably would have made a difference. I rode that Ibex too and the handling was godawful. I mean HORRID. I’d fault the bike for the poor cornering performance, not these time tested classics.

    You have the wrong suspect!

  8. Lance,

    Perhaps it comes down to riding styles. Joe S. and I have a very similar style of riding. We both felt that the Ibex does really well when it comes to handling the toughest terrain. At the same time, we both felt that the tires were sub-par for cornering and sidewall grip.

  9. I’ll have to try the Small Block 8s someday.

    As far as the operators, don’t know about that… I used the WTB VelociRaptors for years. I didn’t really have the cash flow to spend on new tires so I stuck w/them. Wasn’t impressed w/the way they performed but I had no choice at the time. I’ve ridden cross country trails all over So Cal and even up north in the Bay area… I’ve seen all conditions. What I experience testing the Ibex were the same when I had my GT hardtail. Yes, I realize they are different bikes but if set-up correctly, it’ll work for your riding style. Tires just didn’t hook-up 🙁

    My bro-in-law was an avid mtbker and had these tires as well. He was one of the best climbers (locally) that I’ve seen ride. He switched them out way before I did for similar reasons.

  10. I rode a set of Velociraptors for several years in Georgia and then Colorado. Never had a problem unless I was on a smooth hardpack trail. I never lost confidence in the tires, even on nasty sections of the Colorado Trail.

  11. Funny, though i have never ridden the VelociRaptor, Big Knob tires do well in the desert around here, i love the Fire XC, and due to a sidewall cut i just put some MotoRaptors on my bike and they also do very well in the desert, to break them in i took them on a 20 mile ride though not pushing them to the limit, i had no problems with them.

  12. WTB Velociraptors are the S**t! They aren’t designed for hardpack trails, that’s for sure. I never had a problem with them when I ran them on my hartails or F/S bikes. “Then, why don’t you run them now??” you may ask. Well, being “in the industry”, I need to keep myself abreast of new products. So, I usually am running different brands of tires. Most of the tires you mentioned changing to are all hard pack, low rolling resistance, XC tires. Keep in mind the terrain you ride in before totally bashing a specific tire. You aren’t going to be riding Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR’s on the Fullerton Loop or Kenda K-Rads doing DH runs in Big Bear! Come On People! Increase the Peace! No Tire Lines!


  13. Funny, I had the same issue that you have with the Velociraptors with the FireXC pros. Kenda Nevegals have proven to be excellent tires for the stuff I ride and for my style as well.

  14. I have been riding Velociraptors for years, I have tried other tires but always came back to Velociraptors, Living in Massachusetts the trails are very rocky, rooty and rearly ever run straight and the velociraptors grip to all of it like no other tire could.(I usually run 30 to 35psi)

  15. I have Kenda Nevegals on my Giant Trance X2..I’ll stick with the Kenda Nevegals, they work great here in Pennsylvania.

  16. I rode the Velociraptors on North East clay and I pushed them to the best of my ability to test its limit and never found it to be terrible. It’s everyone’s dream to have a tire that magically hooks up to all terrain in any condition, is lightweight, rolls fast, and is durable and long lasting. This isn’t that dream tire nor is anything else. I find that it’s a very economical tire relatively that’s not very heavy and hooked up better than anything else in its class for general XC stuff in on lightly moist clay, roots, and rocks and notably steered stable when riding in ruts. They didn’t roll as fast as some other XC tires (but those didn’t have as much control) and they didn’t corner or grip as well under certain conditions compared to other tires. There was the Specialized Team Master and Control, Panaracer Dart and Smoke, IRC Mythos XC, etc. They each had their ups and down… there’s no perfect tire. For the price and in my kind of terrain, they were solid.

    I think this is just the case of buying the wrong tire for the intended conditions. I once did that myself… I normally ride in dry stuff, but when it rained, I slipped on some roots, slid on rocks, and ended up going really slow. If I had the internet then, I would’ve ranted when I came back, but I rode those tires until they wore out without any complaint afterwards. If I went out to buy tires that were better for wet conditions and ran them also in the dry for 95% of my rides, I probably would’ve said they sucked compared to Velociraptors.

  17. Find it strange these guys found these tires to be garbage. I’ve been riding these tires for the last 8 yrs and love them. The grip is awesome and so is the durability. They climb great in all conditions. For those that complain about rolling resistance, I say to you get stronger and wont notice. These tires are awesome, has to be an issue with either the bike or the rider. These tires are top notch!

  18. I can only assume you’re not riding in the Northeastern part of the US. Here in the upper right corner of Pennsylvania, there has never been a more effective tire. We don’t have much in the line of ‘flowy’ trails, it’s all moss, mud, roots, rocks and all under several inches of loam added to annually by the autumns of coniferous forest. We have no sand, dry, dusty dirt and our hardpack has a film of slimy moss atop it, as the canopy lets in very little light and the dampness is a constant.

    I’ve tried tons of other tires (seems most are designed for West coast ‘wait til it dries up befor you ride’ terrain) and there hasn’t been a single case of a more effective tire for the local conditions.

    It’s also imperative you not over inflate Velociraptors, especially the front. You’re guaranteed to wash out & go down if you fill the front past 42 psi. And before you say it- I’ve ridden them like that for 20 some years, I’m a fat dude, and I’ve experienced a maximum of 4 pinch flats, ever. And I ride every possible moment, at least 5 days a week, since 1992. The rear works similarly. More than 45 psi and the tracking while climbing is seriously compromised. From you review, I can reasonably surmise your riders were rolling on overinflated shoes.

    So, although I have no doubt that Velociraptors are not the ideal tire for the terrain in your area, to dismiss them out of hand is kind of dopey. I don’t like beets. Doesn’t mean beets suck.

    Being the best selling MTB tire in history isn’t a fluke. They work. Mot everywhere, but place where it’s wet & slime 24/7/365 and if properly inflated (admittedly, it’d be nice if they gave me a heads up about inflation, instead of me feeling by trial & error).

    The only other tire I know of to stay in continual production as long is the Panaracer Smoke. A tried & true staple of West coast riders, still selling like hotcakes. However, they are unusable where I ride.
    They don’t work here, but that doesn’t make them suck.

    With that, I conclude my equally useless opining.

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