by Dave Anderson
February 21, 2014
Well worth considering for aggressive riding with a downhill focus.
OK, let’s get this out of the way to start with: like many things mountain bike these days, the Vigilante is aimed at and marketed as an enduro tyre. Which of course means it should be perfectly suited to mountain biking as we know it: riding up hills to come back down in a ‘gnarly XC’ (Steve Peat™) fashion.
As ever, there’s a balance to be found between grip, weight and rolling resistance and for its intended purpose the Vigilante is pretty spot on. It is, of course, tubeless compatible and while it’s not going to win any hill climbs weighing in at 970g a wheel, it’s certainly going to give plenty of confidence when the going gets gnadgery. Given the softer and stickier compound of the Team Issue (45a on a 60a base dual compound, rubber fans), I’ve been running it as a front tyre where the square-shaped blocks of the aggressive tread have offered plenty of grip without too much noticeable drag on uphill sections. For back wheel use I’d consider the harder compounds of the standard Vigilante.
The Vigilante has a less square profile than previous WTB tyres, which translates quite well out on the trail to less sketch and more predictability and grip as they’re leant over. Nice. With a fairly open tread pattern, mud packing hasn’t been an issue and the tyre has proved to be an admirable performer on wet roots, green slime rocks, loose descents and even a brief interlude of dust (yes, dust).
Overall: Plenty of grip with an acceptable amount of drag. Well worth considering for aggressive riding with a downhill focus.