WTB Resolute Tire: Checkpoint

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WTB Resolute Tire: Checkpoint- by Guitar Ted

The WTB Resolute tire was a bit of a surprise offering by WTB which was unintentionally “revealed” at the Dirty Kanza 200 back in early June. WTB made an “official” release of the tire not long afterward and we were given a set to check out at that time. See our “Getting Rolling” post for that. Here in this post you will learn how the Resolute has done in a wide variety of conditions and on a wide variety of surfaces.

The WTB Resolute tire in the 700 X 42mm size

WTB claims this could be the “one” tire you mount up and tackle most anything you can encounter off pavement. This is a pretty heady claim. However; it is an appealing notion to many riders that do not want to mess with changing out tires, especially tubeless tires, for differing gravel conditions and events. In my initial rides, I sought out as many different types of roads and conditions that I could find. I managed to ride in rain, mud, sand, loose gravel, super smooth gravel, deteriorated gravel, and on pavement and on single track.  Here is how I found the Resolute to be in these conditions and on these surfaces.

Eventually all bikes grind to a halt in the clay. The Resolute went further than I expected though.

My first ride happened right after a shower had moved through the area and while I was finishing up this ride I got caught in another downpour. The road I went to check out is a local dirt/sand road which features both clay and black earth soils, all in one mile. A perfect stew of conditions to try out the Resolute’s claims of mud resistance and mud shedding abilities.

The black earth section was first and I cleared the entire length of that. Pretty impressive. Then I hit the clay and, well…… That was all she wrote. I was obliged to walk about half a mile until I got to some solid ground where grass was growing and the tires could roll again without picking up more clay. I wasn’t surprised by that, and honestly, I would not ever ride in to a clay or black earth dirt road here when they are wet. However; testing means that I have to try!

The tires were packed up a fair amount and when I got to rolling again, they did shed mud rather impressively. In fact, within a 1/4 mile of gravel, I was hard pressed to see any mud in the tread blocks at all. This is unusual. So, in that claim, I think WTB has hit the mark. Of course, there are lots of different kinds of “mud”, so this may not hold true in every instance. I can also add that in wetter mud the Resolute didn’t even pick up any dirt, which is nice to see, but not all that unusual.

The Resolute was amazingly fast and grippy on dry to tacky dirt single track.

I then went to the opposite end of the spectrum and tried the Resolute on my “roll out” test, which is a big paved hill that runs out on to a gravel two track. I’ve tested other tires here and the Resolute is amongst the very best I have tried, as far as speed carried and distance covered. These tests occur in different weather conditions, so I can not say that the Resolute was the fastest, but only the Panaracer Gravel King SK 40 is in this tire’s same league as far as the testing went. These two tire models now being the fastest I have yet tested. This also seems to verify WTB’s claim that the Resolute has a good rolling, fast casing. It also is a very comfortable tire. By the way, I haven’t gone over 40 psi with these yet. The front being run into the upper 30’s psi most of the time.

Then it was on to find out how the Resolute might do on single track. I have tested the Maxxis Ravager on single track before and it was a very good tire there. Would the Resolute be similar? In fact, it was. I would only say that I would hesitate to be as aggressive in corners with the Resolute as I was with the Ravager, but this tire is excellent on dry to tacky dirt. There is something about being able to rip your local single track twisties with a sub two inch tire. It doesn’t turn your all road/gravel rig into a mountain bike, but you get to do a lot more than you can with a road racing style bike with skinnier tires. Go ahead and take that dirt ribbon on the way home through the woods. I think you will find that the Resolute is up to doing that as well.

The fast rolling Resolute is excellent on less aggressive gravel like this.

Speaking of commuting, I spent time doing that on the Resolute also. The Resolute has a different sort of noise on pavement than I’ve heard from other tires in this class, but surprisingly enough, it isn’t rumbly feeling or slow. In fact, unlike the aforementioned Ravager, which was clearly slower on hard surfaces, the Resolute seems unaffected by paved roads. It still rolls really nicely, considering its size and weight. I attributed this to the lower knob height and to how those knobs are supported on the casing. The Resolute similarly is fast rolling and comfortable on deteriorated gravel, smoother gravel, and smooth dirt roads.

On our typical  gravel here the WTB Resolute did quite nicely. I noted a smaller amount of lateral movement with this tire than I did with the Gravel King SK 40’s. The Resolute seems to float over the chunky gravel a bit better, and I’m going to give the Resolute the tip of the hat when it comes to comfort here as well. It just was a bit nicer riding, calmer tire than a Gravel King SK. I would attribute this to the Gravel King having a puncture protection belt under the tread, which always stiffens up a tire.

So, then is it the “do-it-all” tire that WTB claims it is?

The boxes are all ticking off to that conclusion here. However; let’s keep in mind that the samples I am running are measuring out at 44.8mm in width. That’s a full 2mm+ over the claimed size, and it likely precludes this tire being of any use to many gravel riders. It simply will not fit in many frames at this size. Granted, I am running these on i25 rims, (internal rim width of 25mm) and WTB designed this tire to be on i23 rims, but still….. That Resolute size is a bit big for many folks. It even surpasses the width I got with a Gravel King 40Sk by a little bit on the same rims.

So Far……. The Resolute sports a big casing. Maybe it is too big? The unique tread pattern claims to be fast rolling, have great traction, and decent mud shedding qualities. So far, this has proven out to be true. The reddish/tan colored sidewalls are not everyone’s jam but they do class up a bike well. Tubeless set up is normal and with WTB TCS rims, very stable and predictable. Stay tuned for the “At The Finish” update coming in a couple of weeks. In this upcoming post I will draw a comparison to WTB’s other big gravel tire, the Riddler 45.

NOTE: WTB sent over the Resolute tires at no charge for test/review. We were not bribed nor paid for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.

Discuss and share your questions or thoughts about gravel bikes, gear, events and anything else on the Riding Gravel Forum

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Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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20 thoughts on “WTB Resolute Tire: Checkpoint

  1. Thanks, Ted! I am putting together some i25 rims now, and am planning on using the resolute instead of carrying over my 45c Riddlers. Looking for something a little more grippy in the slip n slide mud, and hopefully a little better puncture resistance. Still a little worried about that due to the low tire weight, but maybe the finish line report will have some more intel regarding durability.

    1. @Volsung- You know, I used to think that. Well, that is until I actually saw a fat bike try to roll sticky mud at the Dirty Kanza 200 in 2015. It doesn’t always work like you’d think………

  2. Very nice update, GT. As in our previous exchange, I wish these were available in 700×38. They really to seem terrific — now confirmed by your rides. Maybe the 650×42 will balloon up to 45mm, which is about right for 650b tires. 🙂

      1. Nice. I also mentioned it to WTB on a call. Of course, I’m certain our input weights much more than mine. Thanks again for doing great work.

  3. Here’s the inevitable question of how the Resolute (at 42mm+) compares to the Nano 40 now that you have some experience on the new model. Thanks!

    1. @Bryan- Two things to note here. First- The Resolute is a far bigger volume tire than a Nano 40 is. Secondly, the Nano is not nearly as fast a tire and excels at straight line traction more so than the Resolute.

      What results is that on the one hand, with the Nano 40, you have a tire that is adept at climbing, braking, and maybe most importantly- fits many cyclo cross bikes. On the other hand you have a general purpose off-pavement tire with exceptional ride feel, speed, and that has good stability on loose gravel. However; the Resolute is not going to fit a lot of older bikes. This is why I call out for a 37-38mm variant.

      So, if both tires were similar size the conclusion would be that the Nano 40 is more of a specialist while the Resolute is more of an all-around tire.

      1. I’ve heard from some that the 42c Resolute actually mounts up smaller than the 40c nano on an identical rim. Can any confirm this? I have a 19 mm internal rim currently and can just squeeze a Nano between my rear stays in dry conditions!

    1. @Ryan- Those two tires are quite similar in terms of ride feel and in how they roll on loose gravel. I am comparing the Terrene 700 X 42 Light casing, by the way.

      The Elwood doesn’t have quite the mud shedding capabilities, nor is it as confidence inspiring on dirt/singletrack. That’s where I give the Resolute the nod. I also feel that the Resolute is faster rolling, oddly enough. As I stated in the review, only the Gravel King SK 40 is in this tire’s class in that regard.

      Those are both very good tires that might be great choices for gravel if your bike fits them.

  4. Hi Ted,

    Great review! How do these tyres compare to Schwalbe G-One Allround 1.5s? I’m looking for some 650b tyres to go on a Cannondale Slate. Thanks!

    1. @Martin- The G-One is a tire I have not ridden, but in the 650B X 1.5″ size, it would be less voluminous and less wide than a Resolute. (38mm vs 42mm), so I would expect a significant difference in ride feel. I also have heard that the G-One is really good when it is drier and harder surfaced, where as the Resolute is a more all around specialist.

      By the way, the Resolute is OEM spec on 2018 Slates.

  5. Hi Ted!

    First of all thanks for the review. I’ve been riding the Challenge Gravel Grinders Pro Open 36c, which have been great on roads and smooth trails. However, when things got a bit rough and rocky, the lack of volume made the ride pretty shaky. I was wondering if you think upgrading to the WTB Resolutes would make a lot of difference. I’m mainly concerned in two aspects: 1) Road performance. Will I feel much slower on the road? 2) Singletrack perfomance, does the size difference improve a lot the comfort? (knowing that the gravel grinders have 260 TP)

    Thanks a lot in advance!

    1. @Jordi- Thank you!

      The Resolute is actually quite surprisingly fast on hard surfaces. It looks like it should not be fast, but…..it is! Faster than many tires in this class are on paved roads.

      The casing’s supple nature surely has something to do with its speed, and that also has a lot to do with its comfort. TPI rating should be taken with a grain of salt. The Challenge tires are very supple, and if you have that Challenge tire in that high thread count, I will say that it is likely going to feel more comfortable than a Resolute at similar pressures. That said, the Resolute has a lot more volume, so bigger hits, rougher terrain, and loose, marbled gravel will feel better on the Resolute. Especially tubeless.

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