WTB Resolute Tire: At The Finish

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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.

WTB Resolute
The 42mm Resolute on my Raleigh Tamland. This tire actually measures out to close to 45mm in reality!

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.

Otso Warakin
The 45mm Riddler tires were used on a recent century ride.

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.

Is the Resolute the “category defining tire” that Grannygear believes it is?

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.

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


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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31 thoughts on “WTB Resolute Tire: At The Finish

  1. Very nice work, Ted. Thanks for the series of write-ups.

    btw…just curious, how would you compare this to the larger Panaracer Gravel King SK (sans mud clearing?) I have a set of 35mm stated width (38.5mm measured on 21mm internal width rim) GK SK that does pretty much everything; though, give the tire’s small blocks, I wouldn’t ride them in mud. In other conditions, I wonder how they’d compare.


    1. @Justaute- First, thank you for reading and for the kind words.

      Secondly, you are on the right track when t comes to the Gravel King SK series. As I stated in my final review on that 40mm tire, it doesn’t fare well when things get wetter. This is where the Resolute comes out ahead. Plus, a Gravel King has a tendency to fling smaller bits of stone at times, which can be annoying. The Resolute will never do that. Nothing against the Gravel King in that regard, just a footnote there.

      The Gravel King doesn’t quite ride as nicely either, which I would say is due to the puncture protection belt that Panaracer put in it. Of course, that can also be seen as a positive depending upon your needs.

      1. LOL. I know exactly what you mean by the “fling” of those small bits. It is not easy to find tires that have my ideal combination of traction, smoothness, suppleness, weight and, of course, looks (like tan/brown wall). 🙂

        My GK SK measures 38mm (my ideal is ~40mm), weighs around ~375g, reliable as tubeless, and pretty good looking. I really want to try the Compass tires, especially the Bon Jon Pass or the new tubeless Barlow Pass; however, BJP seems to have a reputation of reliability/fit/tubeless issues and the new BP is quite heavy at ~460g for a 38mm tire. Though, Compass Steilacoom seems interesting, at least for loose/wet. Need more wide slick/herringbone tires like the BJP.

        As previously discussed, wish the Resolute (700c) were 38-40mm wide. Can’t think of anything else out there I really want to try. Panaracer is purportedly bringing out the 35mm-40mm tubeless GK (non SK version) slicks at some point mid-2018.

        Thanks for letting me rant. Have a wonderful weekend.


  2. GT, Thanks for the constant flow of awesome information! I am thinking of putting a set of these on my Cutthroat. I like a wider tire and have been debating if these Resolute’s will be wide enough for the loose stuff? I do end up riding a lot of paved road to reach the loose stuff so maybe this will fit the bill!?

    1. @Bob Hingtgen- Cutthroat, you say? How about taking a look at the Nineline if you think you want closer to a 2″ wide tire? The inspiration for the Resolute was partly from this tire which acts a lot like a Resolute.

      But that said, the Resolute, at almost 45mm on a i25 rim should be sufficient for paved to gravel riding most of the time with some mild single track thrown in. If you find the terrain you have in mind a bit more demanding on the dirt/loose side, go with the Nineline.

  3. Any potential benefits to staggering with the Riddler 45C, with one of these in the front and one of these in the back?


    1. @Nelson- hanks for reading the review!

      While I cannot comment on the Compass tires, having never ridden them, I can make a comment on the Elwood vs, Resolute.

      Keeping to the 700c version of the Elwwod, which I have ridden with the Light casing, the tires are nearly neck and neck in terms of ride comfort. The edge goes to the Resolute due to its slightly larger volume casing which allows for a bit more comfort on bigger washboard sections and on larger rocks. That said, they are so close in this particular characteristic as to be nearly indistinguishable one from the other.

  4. Great Review as always GT! I have recently mounted the Resolute (replaced my beloved Maxxis Ramblers) – I absolutely love the Resolute, and it breaks my heart that I have to take them off. Sadly, due to the ballooning width to nearly 45mm, if I pick up any muck on the side knobs – it rubs the chain stays. If it weren’t for that – this would be my all around tire choice. Dry conditions are no issue – so I will probably continue to run them for now and just stay away from anything wet. Otherwise, back to searching for a new tire – or going back to the Maxxis Rambler, which served me very well over five 50+ mile races and lots of training miles. It is one of the lightest 40’s in the bunch! However, I am not sure it will be the best choice if it is wet at Land Run this year. Perhaps maybe the Ravager would be better? Any comments on the “mud shedding” between the Rambler and the Ravager? Dang it, I wish those WTB Resolutes would fit 🙂

    1. @JP- Yeah, those Resolutes would be even better if there was a 40mm option. Maybe that’s something we will eventually see come out of WTB.

      Well, that Land Run clay is pretty sticky. I think the less you give it to stick to the less balled up it will become. That makes me think the Rambler would actually be the better of the two here.

      That said, I cannot say that there is any escape from that red clay!

      1. Was ready to buy the Resolutes until I read your post. So, what width rims were these on?

        I have 51 mm between the stays on my Chebacco and I’m looking for a fast rolling, multi-surface tire, which pretty much sums up the Resolute, but at 45 mm inflated, may not work. My rim is i24 mm.

      2. I went ahead, took a chance and ordered the Resolutes. Really nice looking tire.

        Curious though, how long does it takes to puff up. I inflated to 45 psi, and they are at 42mm right now 6 hrs later.

        1. Hello Jwilli –

          I have a 2017 Chebacco as well. Did the 45’s fit on your rig ? Are you still running them ? Looking for tires for the Dirty Kanza

  5. Thanks Ted…what a difference a day makes! Now at 45 mm at 45 psi and tubeless, so at least they are consistent. Hopefully they wont grow anymore.

  6. Hey Ted, I’m currently running the 650×47 Byways. They are just a couple mil too big. Are the Resolutes smaller than the Byways, including the knobs? I know this should be obvious by the size marked, I just find that this is often not the case. I’m running the Byways on Arches.

    Thanks so much.

  7. First off the tire looks amazing, its light, has the looks and thread design seems great. On pavement and hardpack DRY!! roads it is as good as any other tire from the competition.
    However, at the MINIMAL sight of wet surfaces, grass, roots, rocks, concrete etc it is a death trap, totally unpredictable and zero traction, actually quite dangerous! It is like riding on black ice, no kidding!
    Would only recommend for that weeken club bike that you want to take out for the looks alone. Everything else get another tire…

    1. Wow… That’s a scary take… And there was me about to invest in these for a 200km mixed terrain, Dirty Reiver in the north of the uk /: back to square one perhaps? The or the 40/44mm Raddle perhaps?

    2. This is BS, i rode a year or 2 in the mud with those tires? You need some more handling but a death trap?? jeeez. I use them for cyclocross terrain and it’s pretty good.

  8. I haven’t tried the Riddler, but love the 650 x 42b Resolutes. I was blown away by how well these roll on tarmac. Also, I was surprised how well they grip on 18% gradient fire road climbs.

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