The WTB Vigilante 29 x 2.5 Light / High Grip tyre is a great all-rounder, with a constant and reliable feel in a wide array of trail conditions, it's only compromised when things get really wet, steep and muddy. In all other instances, it remained a steady, balanced tyre, and in the 2.5, it adds more cushioning and grip whilst not being so bulky it feels slow.
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WTB Vigilante 29 x 2.5 Light High Grip Tyre - Technical details
In the Light / High Grip guise of the Vigilante 29 x 2.5, the tyre is built with SG2 puncture protection. This aims to keep the structure stable on the sidewalls and support the tyre without the weight penalty of the Tough (Dual-Ply) casing WTB also offer. It feels strong, and the sidewalls are reassuringly stout in feeling.
The actual tread is made using TriTec, which uses three types of rubber compounds, as the name suggests. The tread pattern uses closer blocks on the outer edge with small sips cut out of them in the softer compound, then more open staggered blocks in the centre, which use the firmer compound. All the blocks are all square and shaped in a similar way. These tyres are TCS-ready and seated easily with no inflation issues.
WTB Vigilante 29 x 2.5 Light High Grip Tyre - How they ride
I liked the Vigilante for almost all riding conditions; it rolls well, it's got some capability in the mud and slop, and there's a reassuring feel when you corner it in dry to damp conditions. It really only lacks in very thick, sticky mud on steeper trails.
On rocky trails, it happily ploughs through stuff and is reliably predictable. There is a point in the wet when it becomes less able, but that's really into wet weather tyre conditions. The close blocks on the outer edge sometimes feel a little skittery on slabs of rock, again to be fair, not much handles that type of terrain.
It's very much a front tyre, and squarely aimed as that, the wider open blocks at the centre and middle are supportive under heavy braking and harder cornering - there isn't a huge feeling of squirm. I ran them pretty low at times - around 20psi - but preferred them a little firmer as the sidewalls and shape worked better with a little more pressure. This obviously will vary for rider and conditions.
The sidewalls have shrugged off all rock gardens and generally abusive line choice, with no nicks or cuts making any performance changes. There are no punctures or slices through the tyre, even in the Lighter sidewall version. The general wear of the tyre has been good, with some slight scuffing on the square edges but generally holding up well.
WTB Vigilante 29 x 2.5 Light High Grip Tyre - Summing up
I'd recommend this tyre for riders who enjoy riding natural trails and predominantly harder, rocky trails. I think it lacks the real bite and spike of a mud tyre for very muddy, loose conditions in winter, but it has a good balance of grip and speed in other conditions. It weighs over 1kg (1,179g), but the reassurance, balanced with the grip and predictable feel, didn't make it any issue.
If you are after a tougher all-around but front-focussed tyre, this is a worthy option, but maybe not enough for very wet, sloppy steep trails. It's got plenty of positives, and when compared to the Specialized Butcher Grid Trail T9 Soil Searching 29 x 2.3, it sneaks past with stronger sidewalls, tougher tread and all-around grip. For £5 more, it's comparable in value, with the only compromise being that the WTB is 200g heavier.
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