June 20, 2018 at 4:33 pm #242243
I recently purchased a new bike (Whyte T-130) that came with WTB tires. A Vigilante up front, and a Trail Boss on the rear. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden on WTB’s. I was a big WTB VelociRaptor fan back in the day (late 90’s) when everyone wanted that tractor looking front tire, which looks unchanged even today! With the exception of a trying a few Maxxis and other tires from time to time (my garage looks like a Discount Tire for mountain bikes), I’ve been a steady Kenda buyer since around 2003 or 4. So I really haven’t been on WTB’s for some time. Much to my surprise, the tires on this new bike are really nice. They look like an odd combo, to me anyway. But they absolutely work! Transition from top to side tread going deep into turns is seamless. As different as their tread patterns are, they act and feel the same. I’ve ridden them on hard pack, loose over hard, loose rock, larger fixed rocks, some sand, and a lot of steep rocky and rooty climbs and descents. No rear tire spin to speak of. Sidewalls are stout, as when I miss good lines (common occurrence 🙂 ), the tires hang on rocks by the outer edge knobs without collapsing or pinching. No mud yet, but don’t actually ride in it, so no loss there for me (trails close when muddy around here). Front and rear braking is great and feel and the same. Although not really a wide tire by today’s norm, they act like they have a larger footprint than they do. They’re mounted on 29mm (internal) wheels that come on the T-130. Very stable and confident tires on a very playfully fast and aggressive trail bike. I may be back home with WTB…
As for specific models, the Vigilante is a Light/Fast 2.4, and the Trail Boss is a Light/High Grip 2.3. 27.5’s.
Anyone else ride Vigilante/Trail Boss as a combo?June 20, 2018 at 5:35 pm #242246
I had the same combo on my Orange Crush for a while but didn’t care for it. Basically the bike made promises that the tires couldn’t keep and it felt like I was being held back in the corners. The trails I usually ride have lots of loose rocky corners and both tires couldn’t deal with it. That’s not to say that they were all bad though; the trail boss was a 2.25 tough fast rolling and it never got a puncture, even riding dh on it. The vigilante was a 2.3 light high grip, and while I didn’t care for it as a front tire I did like it as a rear tire with a maxxis minion dhf front. It rolled fairly fast and had sufficient traction while cornering, pedaling, and braking. Although the light casing was not up to to the challenge of my weight (215 lbs) plus being the rear tire on a hardtail that I ride as if I’m trying to punish it. It developed two holes in the tread, which I plugged and rode on for a few months, and later a massive, ride-ending slash in the sidewall that put it out of commission permanently. Mine were mounted on 25mm internal rims, so maybe the wider rims help them on your bike, in addition to the high grip compounds and wider widths.
I’m now running a maxxis high roller 2 double down, 3c, 2.5 wide trail tire on the front and a maxxis minion dhf exo, 3c, 2.5 wide trail on the rear and I love both of them, even if they are a bit heavy. The double down casing would be more useful on the rear tire, but the minion had more wear on it when I got the high roller so it went on the rear, and every front tire I have ends up as a rear tire once the rear tire wears out. I’m glad the vigilante and trail boss work for you though!June 20, 2018 at 11:46 pm #242263
Thanks for the Maxxis feedback Head Over. I often consider trying one combo or another from Maxxis… but get caught up with the myriad of possible combinations… over analyzing things. And I was wondering if the “Tough” versions of WTB are really that much tougher than their other versions.
By the way, in my haste, I mixed up my tire model and size/compound… should be the Vigilante is a Light/High Grip Fast 2.3 (front), and the Trail Boss is a Light/Fast Rolling 2.4 (rear). Yeah, the rear is wider than the front, but in label only. Oddly, the smaller front Vigilante is actually slightly wider than the rear Trail Boss.June 20, 2018 at 11:56 pm #242264
The high volume was one thing I really liked about the vigilante, they’re surprisingly large for a 2.3. Those do seem like they’d be a better combo for a shorter travel full-sus.
And yeah, the sheer number of options in tread compound and casing that maxxis has can be confusing. Plus those dang things are pricey.
I think the trail boss I had was a tough casing and I never got a flat with it, versus three on the light casing vigilante, so make of that what you will.June 22, 2018 at 8:21 pm #242405
I am a big fan of WTB tires. They have never let me down.June 26, 2018 at 10:41 pm #242525
I have a 2.3 Vigilante up front and a 2.25 Trail Boss on the rear. I agree that the Vigilantes look much bigger than 2.3. I ran into a guy on the trails with a plus bike, and he and I sat there puzzled when we realized his plus tires were minimally bigger than the Vigilante. I personally love those tires. The Vigilante eats up almost everything I throw at it, and I actually like the smaller Trail Boss in the rear because it allows me to get through small gaps between rocks with my hardtail. I even did both an enduro race and XC race on them last week, and those tires took everything that came their way. They had enough traction to deal with the high speeds of each stage (expect in the sand) but rolled well enough to grab me second place XC win in my age group.June 28, 2018 at 9:51 pm #242645
YES! Bronson (rear) and Wolverine (front) are my favorite general trail riding tires (to be read without the “bro-ness” of the term “trail”) and Nanorapters front & rear when I need to go fast and still get great grip, as in a race situation (yeah, I know racing is totally uncool these days but I love it). I even use 700c Nanorapters on my cyclocross bike
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