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If you want an easy but effective upgrade for your mountain bike, the tires are a great place to start. Whether your existing tires are worn or you just need a bit more bite, going with fresh rubber is always a good thing. One of our friends shares some thoughts on the WTB Vigilante Tires. Check it out!
Tires are my number one upgrade that can make or break your riding experience. So much so, that I often wish you could order a new bike without tires so I can throw on my preferred set. The WTB Vigilante is installed on 30mm internal width wheels. Installed without cursing, and inflated without a hassle. I cannot say the same when I installed a set on 27.5 with 30mm wheels. Not sure if some casing changes occurred, or if the 29er version is easier to mount. Both were 2.5 high grips, light casing. The only difference was 27.5 vs 29.
Since 2015 I have ridden mountain bikes and have ridden my fair share of tires since I am always in search of the ideal tire, to make up for my shortcomings as a rider. I have ridden terrain from Illinois, North Carolina, Texas, and Arkansas. In the last two years, I have ridden the older WTB Vigilante 2.3, Schwalbe Magic Mary, Maxxis DHF, and the improved WTB Vigilante 2.5 in both 27.5 and 29er form. Below I will list quick pros and cons of the above tires. All of the above were purchased in comparable casings and compounds. I care more about outright grip than rolling resistance. So my acceptable rolling resistance may vary from yours. My thoughts on other tires that are comparable.
It is a very predictable tire and just does what a tire should.
Schwalbe Magic Mary
Maxxis Minion DHF
WTB Vigilante 2.5
The WTB Vigilante 2.5 is a rather unremarkable tire. That may seem like a negative, but I believe a great component should just disappear underneath you, and shouldn’t require any thought after purchase and installation. I just came off riding the Maxxis Minion DHF, and didn’t notice much of a difference. That should speak volumes of itself since the DHF is considered the gold standard of MTB front tires. The WTB Vigilante is just more predictable in intermediate lean angles and digs a little deeper in loose over hard conditions. The only downside to the WTB over the Maxxis is weight and it doesn’t communicate the drift as well. I don’t notice the weight too much, but I’m riding a large Pole Evolink that weighs about 35lbs and haven't noticed any difference in rolling resistance. Some tires communicate a slight drift before sliding out, which allows you to back off and save yourself. I feel the WTB Vigilante has a more outright limit grip over the DHF, but it doesn’t communicate an initial drift and just lets out when you hit the limit. That circumstance is very far and few between but worth noting.
"The WTB Vigilante is an excellent jack of all trades and feels at home on most trails."