Tech Help | WTB Tires Decoded

WTB mountain bike tires Verdict Judge Vigilante Trail Boss Cross Boss Ranger Comparison review


    It's no secret anymore that WTB Tires mean business, and the Verdict is one of our shop's all-time favorite tires for the varying conditions we experience in year-round riding here in the PNW. That said, if you've been riding Maxxis Tires and want to try out some of WTB's fresh rubber options, deciding the proper compound/casing options for your riding can be a bit of a headache.

    In the write-up below I hope to demystify WTB's amazing line of mountain bike tires by laying out simple explanations to everything written on the side of a WTB Tire, translate into Maxxis terminology (these will be highlighted in RED), and even give some tire combo recommendations for different types of riding and regions! Read on to see if WTB Tires are for you!

Casing Options

Let's start off by first getting some casing terminology out of the way:

  • TCS (Tubeless Ready): WTB's TCS or Tubeless Compatibility System is just their way of saying you can safely set this tire up tubeless.
  • LIGHT (EXO): This is WTB's more supple, gram-conscious casing. Like Maxxis' EXO casing, WTB Light Casing tires strike a great balance between light-weight and rugged durability.
  • LIGHT + Slashguard (EXO+): This is simply the light casing with an extra level of protection in the form of an extra layer of nylon. Great for an Enduro Front Tire!
  • TOUGH (Double Down): This is WTB's most durable and reliable casing option for seriously aggressive riding. It's takes their Light casing and... well... doubles it. Tough Casing is composed of two full layers of casing, leaving no area unprotected.

Rubber Options:

WTB offers a few different rubber options. The two most common options you'll find on higher end tires will be TriTec and Dual DNA. Read below for explanations:

  • TRITEC (3C): Three compounds provide optimal levels of traction, support and durability. TriTec is the most common option for recently released tires. Tires featuring TriTec Rubber will be the highest performing option for those looking for the most grip and support.
  • Dual DNA (Dual Compound): Dual DNA is the perfect mix of efficiency, traction, and durability. The centerline tread features a firmer rubber compound that boasts faster rolling and increased durability, while the side knobs are composed of softer, slower-rebounding rubber that improves control and grip.
  • DNA (Single Compound): WTB's proprietary 60A durometer rubber compound offers the ideal mix of rolling efficiency and traction for Cross-Country and trail riding applications.
  • Gravity DNA (Single Compound): WTB's 48A durometer, glue-like conforming rubber creates uncanny traction with tuned rebound characteristics designed to take harsh hits yet not fumble for footing.

Compound Options:

Let's start off by first getting some casing terminology out of the way:

  • FAST ROLLING (MaxTerra): A fast and efficient centerline tread compound matched to sticky, low durometer side knobs for the perfect balance of traction, low rolling resistance, and long-wearing tread.
  • HIGH GRIP (MaxxGrip): Soft, glue like rubber that offers ultimate traction with zero compromises. These tires will wear slightly quicker than the Fast Rolling option.
WTB verdict mountain bike tire review and comparison

Recommended Combinations

Below are some of our most commonly recommended WTB Tire Combos.

#1: Verdict (High Grip) + Judge (Fast Rolling)

This is the classic. Think Assegai/DHR here. This is the perfect setup for someone looking for a great all-around tire combo for aggressive riding. We love the Light casing up front with the Tough casing out back. Riding bike park? Toss a tough casing tire on the front! Riding in the wet? Swap the standard Verdict out for a Verdict Wet!

#2: Verdict (High Grip) + Trailboss (Fast Rolling)

Perfect combo for dry conditions riding on more aggressive Terrain. Think Assegai/Aggressor. Casings are again up to you, but we love the tough casing out back!

#3: Vigilante + Trailboss

Think DHF/Aggressor. Looking for a fast rolling tire combo that's just as at home an enduro bike as it is on a trail bike and can still handle some gnarlier terrain? Look no further. Choose the Rubber/Casing that best suits your local terrain.

#4 Trailboss + Ranger

Think Dissector/Rekon. This is the perfect tire combo for the emerging crop of "downcountry" or short travel trail bikes with aggressive geometry. Choose the Rubber/Casing that best suits your local terrain.

#4 Ranger + Ranger

Love your Maxxis Rekons front and rear? Well this could be your choice! Choose the Rubber/Casing that best suits your local terrain.

WTB mountain bike tires Verdict Judge Vigilante Trail Boss Cross Boss Ranger Comparison review

How they feel

    On the trail, I would say that WTB's feel quite a bit different than the competition, and this isn't a bad thing by any means. Where Maxxis Tires grip, WTB's bite. WTB tires offer a much more velco-like level of traction that is very, very confidence inspiring. Additionally, WTB's seem to wear slower than the competition and are just a tad more resilient to punctures and tears. If you find yourself constantly wishing you had slightly more grip or have a bit more flat resistance, you really should try some WTB tires. You just might find yourself a new favorite!

Got questions? Feel free to shoot us an email or give us a call!




Henry Hibbeln



Bellingham, WA

Current Bikes: Revel Rascal, Surly Straggler

Bike Size: Large

Favorite Trails: Galbraith/Glorieta Trails in Santa Fe

About Me: Transplanted from New Mexico and Michigan before that, Henry is a fan of spicy food, chunky trails, and endless bike park laps! Henry bounces back and forth between creating media content, taking photos, and helping customers get gear that will get them out on the trails. Looking for shock recommendations or where to get the best green chili? Henry might just be your guy.