WTB Byway in review

Fast tires from the mountain bike pros at WTB? Who would have thought that the US brand would make a semi-slick tire like the Byway. But does that go hand in hand with minimal traction and poor performance on the trails? We put the tire through the wringer in our gravel tire group test to find out.

WTB Byway | 477 g | € 54,95 | Manufacturer’s website

Few other brands have as much off-road heritage in their genes as Wilderness Trail Bikes. It’s literally in their name. While they’re known for their MTB tires, they also offer some stand-out gravel tires. The Byway follows the same principle as the fastest tires in the test field. A smooth central tread and pronounced shoulder knobs promise to offer the perfect compromise between efficiency and traction. But WTB do things a little differently here, making the shoulders knobs slightly wider and flatter than those of the competition. Typical WTB, on the other hand, are the classic tan walls and hassle-free fitment, not even requiring any special tools.

Speed or all-round – What is the WTB Byway all about?

The WTB Byway looks really fast, but how does the tire perform in real-world tests? You’ll immediately notice how much fun this tire is, offering agile handling on asphalt and hardpack, and leaning into corners with ease. At the same time, however, it’s not the most efficient. Our lab tests confirm this. Aat 22.1 W rolling resistance, the Byway has a hard time keeping up, and even the significantly knobbier WTB Riddler is faster. When you hit the loose ground or forest soil, you’ll likely stop smiling because the agile tire feels out of place the moment you veer off-road. As expected, the semi-slick tread offers little to no grip off-road, and the shoulder knobs tend to slide around more than grip on loose terrain despite their width, which we found surprising. The Byway gets average marks for puncture protection, and it offers even less resistance to pinching, making you want to get back on the asphalt sooner rather than later. At least it performs better than the rest regarding compliance, in which case the American brand have done a stellar job. Ultimately, the Byway is reserved for dry, hard surfaces, and when you don’t need optimal efficiency.

Tire Characteristics

intended use

  1. asphalt/hard pack
  2. trail

rolling resistance

  1. slow
  2. quick

pinch protection

  1. low
  2. high

puncture protection

  1. low
  2. high

handling in wet conditions

  1. slippery
  2. grippy


Even if the WTB Byway doesn’t look like it, it’s clearly more of an all-rounder than a speed-oriented model, because it lacks the necessary efficiency. While it offers moderate grip on almost all surfaces, we would only recommend it for asphalt and hardpack. It’s a tire for leisurely all-road bike rides with occasional gravel excursions in dry conditions.


  • stylish look
  • a lot of fun on hardpack and asphalt


  • very inefficient according to lab results
  • below-average puncture protection
  • insufficient grip in wet conditions

Made in China | Tested size 40-622 | Tire width in mm¹ 36,2 | Tire height in mm¹ 32,10 | Tire height + Test rim in mm² 77,42 | Weight 476,8 g | Price € 54,95
1 measured dimensions with 2,5 Bar, 2 Test rim: ZIPP 303s 622 x 20.3C (Rim height 45,32 mm)

For more information head to:

In our introduction of the best gravel tire on test you can’t just find our most interesting findings and our overall conclusion, but a good view on all tires tested.

All tires on review: Challenge Getaway (Click for review) | Challenge Gravel Grinder (Click for review) | Continental Terra Speed (Click for review) | Continental Terra Trail (Click for review) | Maxxis Rambler (Click for review) | Maxxis Receptor (Click for review) | Panaracer Gravelking Knobby (Click for review) | Panaracer Gravelking Slick Plus+ (Click for review) | Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H (Click for review) | Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC (Click for review) | Schwalbe G-One Allround (Click for review) | Schwalbe G-One R (Click for review) | Schwalbe G-One RS (Click for review) | Schwalbe G-One Ultrabite (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Pathfinder (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Tracer (Click for review) | Vittoria Terreno Dry (Click for review) | Vittoria Terreno Mix (Click for review) | WTB Riddler (Click for review) | WTB Byway

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Words: czajac Photos: Jan Richter