WTB, or Wilderness Trail Bikes as few people know them by, have an offering of tires that are unmatched in the mountain bike world. Whether you are a fan or not, you cannot argue that each tire has it’s own purpose in comparison to any other tire on the market. We decided to round up some of the herd to go over what each tire is intended for!
There are many features that go into making a tire and WTB has dedicated their engineering into dialing in each and every part of the tire. Looking past the tread design, the compound is the second most important part of a tire. WTB has always offered a few different compounds to perfectly suit every rider and riding condition. They have redesigned their TCS tubeless system for a more robust and dependable system. As you may have noticed we didn’t go into detail with each. Good catch! There are simply way too many to name off and go over and for that reason, WTB has supplied the world with a list of their technology that we will link to here. Now let’s take a look at our favorite tires from WTB.
There isn't a better all-around tire in the WTB Lineup and the Trail Boss holds true to its name. Whether you are riding loamy singletrack or trying to grip on some sandy rocks, the Trail Boss seems to handle it all. With a block tread design that is spaced tighter than most tires on the market, the entire design reduces rolling resistance so the user can pin it to win it. The supportive side knobs really help traction when cornering or riding on those off-camber trails.
A newer version of the tire has been released in a wider range of sizes. The Trail Boss G2 will be offered in a 2.4” or 2.6” width. With a wider design, it only made sense to increase the size of the side knobs to help traction while cornering and braking. With a new 3-compound tread called Tri-Tec and a Slash-Guard sidewall protection, you won’t be left stranded on the trail. Both versions of the Trail Boss Tire are often used as a rear tire but can handle the task of a front tire : )
The WTB Vigilante just screams Enduro. The design opens up the opportunity to utilize this tire as both a front and rear tire. With slightly more spacing in between the knobs than the Trail boss, the Vigilante will bite into those steep, loose, and chunky trails without getting packed and clogged of mud.
The Vigilante has also seen an update that led to wider sizes. Taller knobs make sure to give the user that much more traction when riding some unforgiving trails. Updated siping arrangement places emphasis on cornering forces, while the larger knobs don’t discriminate against shamelessly forceful cornering or reckless braking. This wider version of the vigilante also utilizes the new Tri-Tec compound and Slash-Guard Protection offered by WTB.
The WTB Judge comes off as a Gravity tire but as more and more Enduro riders continue to use DH tires, it has been proven that the Judge can handle a lot more than just a lift assisted DH run. The most noticeable features of the Judge are the huge Side Knobs. The Side Knobs offer an immense amount of traction and literally grab anything. Simply put by WTB, “The Judge keeps everything in order, whether dry and loose or wet and sloppy.”
Cross Country isn’t dead yet and the WTB Riddler Tire competes with some of the best on the market when looking for a fast rolling, yet grippy tire. By looking at the tire you can see tightly spaced center knobs that reduce rolling resistance to keep the rider moving fast without working harder. Much like the rest of WTB’s MTB tire line, you will notice taller corner knobs for extra support in the corners or off-camber sections of the trail. This tire is optimal for dryer hard packed trails where keeping a high rolling speed is necessary. The riddler is also offered in a smaller gravel spec’d size for all you gravel grinders looking for a slightly knobbier tire.
The WTB Ranger Tire comes in two forms and for good reason. With the growth in popularity of plus size mountain bikes, the Rangers tread was ideal for that form of riding. However, blowing a tire up to 3.0” isn’t that easy. With this, WTB designed a plus version of the tire with extra side knobs for better traction.
Looking at trail riding, the ranger serves as a perfect as a fast rolling tire with minimal rolling resistance due to it’s smaller and closely spaced tread design and smaller side knobs than what is seen on the rest of WTB’s Tires. The Ranger would serve as a perfect tire for XC racing up front matched with a Riddler in the rear.
We threw in the WTB Nano Tire simply because of the crossover with gravel riding and mountain biking. The tightly packed and non-aggressive rotational tread pattern leads to a fast rolling tire with very minimal rolling resistance. You can run this tire on an XC race bike or on you weekend gravel bike.