For those that are forever cursed with flat tires, this review is for you. Our customer Patrick recently sent us this review for some WTB Trail Boss tires. Because of the terrain in Auburn, CA he was constantly dealing with pinch flats, luckily the "tough" casing of the Trail Boss helps to prevent this. Check out his review and see how the tires worked for him!
I live in Auburn, CA, where most of the trails have embedded sharp-edged rocks. I have been running Maxxis DHR II single ply tires for the last two years, and, for the most part, have loved them in terms of their level of traction. Recently, however, I have been plagued with pinch flats. I've had a consistent routine when I get a new set of tires. I run them tubeless with Stans until I get my first pinch flat, which is usually after about the second or third ride. Stans is unable to seal the pinch flat, and I'm not willing to throw away a new tire, so I run with a heavy duty tube until the tire is worn out. Recently I've been getting a flat on almost every ride, which has really been frustrating. I've even been running at 38psi, which doesn't do much for my cornering traction and small bump compliance.
I started building up a new bike recently, and I decided it was time to do something about the constant pinch flats. A friend of mine recommended taking a look at the WTB Trail Boss (rear) & Vigilante (front) combination. I headed to the WTB website to look at the available options. They've got a 2.4 x 27.5 "Light" single-ply version that weighs 844g and a "Tough" version at 1050g, which has a two-ply casing. Since I've been struggling with pinch flats, the obvious choice was to go with the WTB Trail Boss "Tough" version. The 206g difference in weight between the two versions is still less than the 307g Maxxis Freeride tubes I've been running after getting a pinch flat.
When the Trail Boss & Vigilante tires arrived, I was initially a little disappointed by the small size of the Trail Boss knobs, especially since the trails were still fairly muddy from recent rains. For my first ride out I set the rear to 30psi and the front to 28psi. I decided to hit a trail that has a very steep technical climb near the end that I'm able to clean maybe once out of every five attempts. This time I sailed right up it. I think my concerns about the small knob size were unfounded. The Trail Boss has great climbing and braking traction, especially in dry dusty conditions. Traction in the corners is reliable and predictable.
The good news is that I made it through 23 rides (average of 16 miles per ride) before I got a flat. I scraped my sidewall on the side of a rock and tore a small hole in it. The tire was still showing very little wear at that point, so I put a tube in it and have been riding it for over a month since then. These tires currently have 34 rides and 549 miles on them, and the Trail Boss is definitely showing some wear on the side knobs, which are starting to separate from the tire. The center knobs are still in decent shape. This level of wear seems completely reasonable to me. Overall I am pleased with this tire. I purchased another Trail Boss and plan to install it soon. By the way, I am very pleased with the Vigilante in the front. It corners great and still looks almost brand new.