Tempting as it may be to read the above as a 700 x 44 Nano of 2001, lovely as that sounds, it was a relatively narrow, speed demon of a 26" tread. This doesn't mean that ideas of various sizes and applications of the Nano Raptor weren't already brewing - take a look at the 1999 Nano Raptor 2.1 29" tire after all, the first 29" mountain bike tire. It does mean, however, that there was a Nano 44, something I'd heard about but never found - now there's proof; proof in the 2001 catalog, description below:
Along the lines of experimentation, notice the red-orange band to the Nano 44. You can scour the 2000 catalog, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004... you won't find anything referring to a red-orange DNA strand hinting at compounding. You can even harass the poor Trail Boss himself, he'll kindly hunt (he doesn't have to but he still will) over old part numbers and defunct P,C, and Ds, surmising that it must have meant a lower durometer, which it must have. Next to its 2002 description, top most photo which strangely didn't have the strand, was a lovely collage of present and past WTB employees:
Weir, top, obviously still is very much integral to WTB - Karpiel Disco in it's lowest possible travel configuration matched to a lovely Z1 fork, WTB Moto Raptor 2.4 DH tires, Shimano 646 awesome pedals, those almost look to be Hayes "Purple Hayes" downhill disc brakes - can't life get better? Awesome time period. Wesley Meyer I've had the pleasure of meeting at Interbike, now working for REI, and Dan Sherwood, formerly East Coast Sales, is reportedly well on the other coast.
This just in: the orange band found on the 2001 Nano 44 denoted a wet weather, yet lighter weight compound, you learn something new every day. Feeling left out? Go grab yourself a set of Nano 40s, a tire perfected through years of size iterations and experimentation.