WTB Resolute Tire: At The Finish- by Guitar Ted
With August on the wane it is time to wrap up our review of the WTB Resolute 700 X 42mm tire. I should also mention that this particular tire is also available in a 650B X 42mm version which, being slightly narrower than the 650B X 47mm WTB offerings, may slot into more bikes than its bigger siblings. Okay, with that said, I also wanted to point out that Grannygear gave an excellent review of the Resolute from his So Cal ramblings which can be seen HERE. My last update to this review can be seen HERE. Go ahead and check out those links to get caught up. Now let’s find out what the final verdict is on these new treads from WTB.
In Grannygear’s last update he crowed about this tire saying that, “Every so often a company comes out with a tire that nearly defines the genre. The Resolute just might be that kind of tire…..” Those are pretty strong words, and if it weren’t for one thing, I’d agree right off. However; WTB has another tire, the Riddler 45mm, which is a pretty darn nice tire in its own right. (See the final review on this tire here) I wanted to see what, if anything, the Resolute might be doing better than a 45mm Riddler.
The 45mm Riddler and the Resolute are nearly the same size, my Resolutes measure nearly 45mm on WTB’s KOM i25 rims, so I feel that the comparison makes sense here. In order to do the comparison I mounted some WTB Riddler 45mm tires to the Otso Cycles Warakin on test here. Then I rode that bike over 100 miles to get a read on the Riddler again. After that century ride I spent a few rides back on the Resolutes. The results of the comparison weren’t easy to distinguish, since both tires are similar in many ways.
In my opinion, the Riddler has a better corner bite on dirt, has a touch more stability in looser gravel, but it also has a few areas where it just doesn’t quite do what a Resolute can. These are the things that separate the two tires and would be why I would pick the Resolute over the Riddler for what I tend to do most with my gravel rigs.
The biggest difference is in how the Resolute has an uncanny ability to roll faster on pavement with a less “draggy” feel when pedaling. Coasting with Resolutes is fast and free on pavement. Don’t let what your ears hear fool you, the Resolute has a noisier sounding roll than a Riddler does, but it rolls faster than a Riddler. The Resolute also reacts well under hard pedaling on pavement also. I always felt that the Riddler had a higher rolling resistance when mashing the pedals.
The second reason I would choose a Resolute is comfort. Now WTB says that the casings on the Resolute and the Riddler are the “TCS Light, Fast Rolling” casings, but the Resolute, for whatever reason, seems to have a slightly more forgiving ride. I’m not sure why this would be, but I do feel a slight advantage to the Resolute. I’ll blame it on the skin wall that the Resolute has versus the Riddler. Why not!
The advantages of the Resolute appeal to me in the sense that I can have a tire that does gravel and dirt really well, but not give anything away on harder surfaces like pavement, and which has an excellent ride feel. Which, by the way, is exactly what WTB claims this tire is capable of.
At The Finish: The Resolute tread pattern claims to be fast rolling, have great traction, and decent mud shedding qualities. We cannot disagree with those claims, and in fact, we heartily agree with them. The fast rolling nature of these tires is uncanny on pavement and hard dirt. 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.
The question that remains is, “Are these the best tires you could put on your gravel/ all road bike?” Well, to answer that, you’d have to have a bike that can swallow these wide, voluminous casings. While more and more bikes in this category are being introduced with clearances for this big a tire, many bikes will not fit the Resolute. So, there you go right there- if it doesn’t fit, how can it be the best? That’s easy- it cannot be the best. Perhaps WTB will see fit to offer this, as they do with the Riddler, in a narrower version. And let’s not forget to wish for that wider, 650B version Grannygear mentioned as well.
So, for those bicycles the Resolute will fit in, this tire does rank among the best tires I could recommend. I would choose this tire for my riding over anything I’ve yet been able to try out because of its abilities on hard packed and paved surfaces while still being excellent in sand, looser dirt, and gravel. Sure, there are better specialist tires. If I were primarily interested in shredding dirt, I’d go with a Maxxis Ravager, for instance, but my riding takes me over a varied palette of surfaces which requires a tire to perform admirably over all of them. The Resolute has been that tire for me. Category defining? I’m going to agree with Grannygear here. The Resolute sets the bar high.
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.