Depending on the conditions you ride in, your tires can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Having the chance to ride a few different tires over the past couple of years, I have finally settled on a combo that works perfectly for me in the dry and dusty terrain of Southern California. This Combo includes a WTB Convict TCS Tough High Grip Tire 27.5 x 2.5" up front and a WTB Breakout TCS Tough High Grip Tire 27.5 x 2.3” in the rear of my 2017 Yeti SB5.
Around the Santa Monica Mountain range you have dry, dusty, and sometimes sandy terrain to ride on. Finding a tire that can accommodate these trails can be quite the hassle, especially when you only experience an average of 2 inches of rainfall a year; the trails are rarely maintainable most of the year and continuously get worse with the large amounts of daily traffic.
These WTB tires have worked perfectly for me ever since being installed on the bike and here is why. The first reason is the compound. Personally, I am not a great “cornerer” by any means. In fact, I would even consider my cornering skills to be sub-par and as you could imagine I have done my fair share of washing out. Having the high grip compound helps out a bunch but it is not the most important part - the tread design is what really saves you. Some other bonuses are the stealthy grey labels and easy installation.
The Convict has a design very similar to the Maxxis Minion DHR II and as you would assume the performance very similar. The design feels great to me. Having the perfect amount of space between such tall and beefy knobs creates just the amount of grip up front I would want and need. The only downfall about the tire is drag. The tire is heavier and beefier than most. Alongside it being the Tough / High Grip version of the tire I noticed quite a bit of difference in speed in comparison to the Lighter version of the tire. Now if you are like me and don’t care about weight or getting the fastest Strava time, then the 200g difference won’t matter to you.
The WTB Breakout has been on my bike for a while. Originally I had the lighter fast rolling version but after a few punctures it was time to go with the tougher version. This again is heavier and won’t roll quite as fast. The knobs are not quite as large as the convict but there are a lot more of them. To me it is the perfect rear tire and I have never really had the experience of sliding out even when braking. Having had the chance to ride this tire in many conditions ranging from wet Santa Cruz to dry Rocky Peak, it is safe to say it can handle it all.
In conclusion, the WTB Convict and Breakout perform incredibly well when matched together. Luckily WTB offers a few different Compound or Casing options to choose from so if you are looking for a “grippy” set of tires, you are not limited to going with something heavy. I am completely happy with this tire combo and wouldn’t ask to change a single thing about either tire.
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