Last winter I decided to try something different and picked up a pair of WTB Vigilante tires. Coming from Maxxis Minions, I was looking for a tire that would be good in the wet for the PNW winter. I love Maxxis tires, but it's all I've ridden, so I was looking to shake things up, test some new grip, and see what happens.
I ended up riding the Vigilantes for months, the side knobs were massive, and I liked how the tires rode over wet roots. What I started to notice was that I wasn’t getting enough traction in the rear and eventually opted to throw a WTB Judge on the rear. I ran that combo for quite a while. It’s still one of my favorite combos. If you haven’t seen the Judge, it’s massive, more on that tire later.
Once I realized I would be racing Enduro this year, I decided to reach out to WTB and see if they’d be interested in supporting my season. WTB jumped on board and next thing you know I have a massive box of tires. We’ve all dreamed about getting these big sponsorship boxes from companies, and I am no different. I requested an assortment of tires that included the Vigilante, Trailboss, and Judge. I’ve put a lot of time on these tire both on the trail and at races.
So this is what I think about them. This isn’t your typical Pinkbike press release bullshit. This is my thoughts on each tire. Rad. Unfiltered. I hope it helps because I know when I was looking for info, I kept finding these fake press release articles that all said the same thing. So let’s go!
It’s relatively light, and the rubber compound is super soft. I used these tires all winter and found them to be excellent on wet roots and rocks. Under low pressure, the tires felt a little squirmy. I never understood that term until I went into a corner and I felt like I was losing my front wheel. User error? Maybe? It would be interesting to try these tires again with Cush Core.
I’ve run them as both a front and rear tire. I like them for both but note that the small center knobs don’t have the best bite and are a bit slow rolling.
I originally got this tire as rear but have been running it as a front tire for the past month now and love it. It has all the grip of a Vigilante but more sidewall support and a tougher compound that seems to work better in dry conditions.
This is my new all-around tire, and I won’t be changing it anytime soon!
The Judge is WTB’s rowdiest rear-specific tire. Seriously, it’s massive! I use this tire when conditions are super loose or super wet. My local trails are really steep, so there are months when I am running the Judge out of necessity to preserve my own life!
It’s heavy, it’s tough and honestly has more grip then you will probably ever need. I was at a race a couple of weeks ago and overheard a WTB sponsored Pro that he was thinking about running it on the front. Food for thought.
I have two sets of Judge’s, and I’ll be keeping them around for sure if you are looking for the grippiest tire for rowdy or wet conditions. The Judge is for you.
It’s funny I was really excited to try out a Trail Boss in the rear but my first experience with them wasn’t the greatest. The next day riding on a Trail Boss, I ended up going back to a Judge.
It had just rained, and I was riding some pretty steep trails. I felt like I couldn't get any grip and that I was sliding uncontrollably down the trail.
A month or so later, I decided to give the Trailboss another try. I loved how the tire rolled, the side knobs are massive, so I was curious. Was it the wet trail, or was it just the tire that gave me such a hard time?
Well fast forward to present day and I am currently running a Tough/ Fast Rolling Trail Boss mounted with Cush Core onto a Carbon Knight Composites Wheel. I’ve grown to love how fast the tire feels and how it grips. It doesn’t have as much traction as the Judge, but it feels well balanced. I’ve been riding it on all kinds of trails and just finished my first Enduro on them. I raced the Trail Boss on some gnarly trails, and they held up like a champ, no flats, no cuts, and an I had all the traction I needed.
So there you go. The Trail Boss is dope. It’s fast, it’s strong, and it has grip. Want more grip? See the Judge. Want to go fast, get loose, see the Trail Boss!
I am a huge fan of WTB tires. I love the grip they provide, I love the burly sidewalls, and I love that they have supported my creative projects.
My go-to set up has been the Vigilante upfront with the Tough Casing and High Grip. For the rear, I am running a clapped out Trailboss with the Tough Casing and Fast Rolling compound. To learn more about WTB's tire compounds, you should check out this in-depth video from Jeff Kendleweed.
I just got my hands on a couple of Verdicts, and I am excited to try those out this Fall. Huge spikes, massive grip, super stoked.
So you were probably wondering would I continue to buy WTB without their support? The answer is yes. I like how they ride, the massive sideknobs destroy corners, and I also love how they look.
So there you go. That's my review. That's what I've learned over the past months. I hope it helps. Shoot me a message or leave me a comment below if you have any questions. I am happy to help.