WTB VERDICT/VIGILANTE TYRES - COMPONENT TEST
Updated: Apr 14, 2020
When looking into fitting some fresh daps there are so many choices on the market. The guys over at WTB have been hard at work trying to make the decision easier.
With an aggressive enduro setup in mind for a trip to the rough trails of Sierra Nevada, a verdict and vigilante 2.5 TCS Tough/ High Grip was sent over for test. WTB are a brand that are widely seen on production bikes, mainly with the rims being specified as well as a tyre. The newer line up from the company really should be punching with the likes of Maxxis and Schwalbe.
Tyre size - 29” x 2.5” TCS TOUGH/ HIGH GRIP. Below is a quick explanation of the technical details for these tyres from WTB's point of view...
TCS TOUGH / HIGH GRIP (THG) - Glue-like conforming rubber draped over two full layers of casing leaves no area unprotected. Developed through real testing during the Enduro World Series, TCS Tough tyres can take some serious abuse.
TCS TOUGH CASING - Take the proven, Lightweight Casing found in TCS Light tyres and... well... double it. Yep, Tough Casing is composed of two full layers of casing, leaving no area unprotected on our TCS Tough tyres. Developed through real world testing during the Enduro World Series, this casing is designed to take punishment and has been optimized for sealant usage, retention, and consistency.
Verdict weight - 1.34kg
Vigilante weight - 1.19kg
Let’s start by saying this setup is no super lightweight tyre, with the front coming in at 1.19kg and the rear at 1.34kg. However with some extra weight reliability should be high on the agenda.
Setting the tyre up tubeless was a doddle, the bead was tight enough on the rim to just be inflated with a simple track pump. No need for a bead blaster tool for this setup. This makes life far easier when you are in an environment that has not got the vast array of tools that you could need if this was an issue.
It is clear to see that these tyres are going to take no prisoners. The burly stance and highly aggressive tread make sure of this. The tyres were mounted onto a set of 30mm wide rims giving a good shape to the casing and nice hardy look. We fitted the WTB tyres for a trip over to Spain where the going was most definitely tough. The vast combination of rock, sharp rock, loose rock and harsh boulders would be the ultimate test for any rubber.
After the first few descents the grip on offer was clear. Being able to lean the bike over on the loose terrain of Sierra Nevada was impressive. There was more than enough traction on offer from the side knobs, whilst keeping the shape and hold that would be required when hitting corners with speed and aggression. The softer outer tread is then matched up with a firmer centre. This allows the rider to pick up momentum quickly when the bike is upright with minimal rolling resistance from the tyre.
The main thing for a tyre would be the way it takes an impact and prevents any foreign objects piercing it’s casing. The TCS Tough case seems to be the answer that we have been looking for. The tyre did not fail once, even after the harsh riding that it was put through. To put it into context the rear wheel died before the tyre. A quick wheel change and the WTB tyre was back in business. As reliable as it gets. That is a big deal especially when racing.
The WTB Vigilante and Verdict tyre combo is a setup that any of the more aggressive, hard hitting enduro rider needs to consider. If a wide footprint and high level of grip is what you are after then these could be the answer. Add the TCS casing into the mix, giving superb puncture protection, then the cocktail is complete. We feel that this WTB setup would even be hardy enough for DH use given the terrain that the tyres were subjected to without any issues or failures.
PRICE - £55
WORDS - Ieuan Williams
PHOTOS - Alex Hunter / Ieuan Williams