WTB

2.5” Vigilante & 2.4” Trail Boss

Four weeks ago I received delivery of my new enduro bike and set it up with a pair of WTB tyres.  I’ve been out attacking trails already and here’s how I’m getting on so far…

Riding 27.5” wheels with a 30mm inner rim width, I chose the 2.5” Vigilante for the front and a 2.4” Trail Boss for the rear wheel.  I received these tyres in their typical folded state, so opened them up and gave them a couple of days to regain their correct shape before trying to set them up tubeless. The installation went as smoothly as you could hope, with both tyres popping the bead with just a floor pump. There was no need for an air compressor to inflate them, which I was very impressed with. With the sealant inside, both tires lost a touch of pressure the first night, but since then have remained consistent with holding the pressure I choose.

When I used tubes in my tyres, I always had to run my pressures high to avoid getting pinch flats.  At 95kg/210lb I would run tubes at 35psi or more, to give tyres the the durability I needed for rocky trails or hitting jumps.  Since switching to tubeless, I struggled a little with riding lower pressures as I found that I didn’t like how the rubber squirmed under me, especially on hardpack trails.  With these tyres I’ve been running 25psi on the front and 28psi on the rear, and have found that they still roll well but haven’t knocked my confidence when cornering.  How much this is related to my growing comfort with lower tyre pressures, or the strength and make-up of the side-walls on these WTB tyres, I’m not too sure.  Either way, if you like to run low pressures, these tyres should handle it.

I’ve already ridden the bike in a variety of conditions on a range of surfaces and have been very impressed with how much grip I’ve had across the board. In wet and sloppy mud, both tyres clear the dirt well and keep a good tread.  On dry, dusty dirt and loose gravel I still have a lot of faith to lean into the corners and trust that this rubber will keep me upright.  On wet slate and rocks I’ve found that the grip is still fantastic, with no sense of lost traction or confidence in the tyres.

Previously I’ve experienced slips and falls when riding other tyre brands that have knocked my confidence to really commit to some corners or features.  Some tyres which have performed well for me in wet mud have let me down on loose gravel; others that have been good in the gravel haven’t quite had what it takes in the wet or the mud.  I’ve always tried to match my tires to the conditions, and usually have different winter/summer set-ups.

This WTB combo, however, seems to fill me with confidence in all conditions and trail types I’ve tried them on so far.  Whilst we are approaching summer here in Britain, we have had lots of wet weather this last couple of months and I’ve ridden some horrid, sloppy conditions, much like you would find in winter.  These tyres have performed as well as, or even better than, any winter combo I’ve tried previously, so I’d be more than happy to stick with them next winter.  On the few dry days I have ridden on, the grip has still been exemplary, so I’m hopeful that the summer will soon be upon us and I can really test the tyres on some dusty trails and dry loam.

Overall, I’m very pleased with how well they are performing so far. As yet, they don’t even look like they been ridden on, they’re holding up so well! I’m looking forward to getting out to explore more of the UK this summer to ride new and familiar trails on this new bike with this new confidence-inspiring rubber!

More on the Trail Boss here

More on the Vigilante here