To kick off Sea Otter, WTB has launched two burly new tires: the Verdict and Verdict Wet for gravity and enduro riding.
The new tires share a tread pattern designed for, as WTB puts it, the loosest, rowdiest conditions where relentless traction takes priority over rolling efficiency.
Available in 27.5in and 29in versions, both tires will come in 2.5in width and are made using WTB’s new TriTec Compound. The three separate rubber compounds are claimed to provide different levels of traction support and durability based on their placement in the tread.
“Dry and dusty during the loose summer months in California, Colorado or Italy? Go with the Verdict. Wet and sloppy like an average spring ride in the Pacific Northwest or UK? Go with the Verdict Wet,” says WTB product marketing manager, Clayton Wangbichler.
“The Verdict gives you ridiculous amounts of grip, but the Verdict Wet is for greasy days where no amount of traction is enough. Days where you wish your goggles had wiper blades,” he continues.
The Verdict (left) and Verdict Wet (right) Courtesy
WTB says the entire tread pattern is supported by a base of high durometer (hard) rubber, which transitions halfway into the height of the knobs and allows for the use of softer compounds elsewhere without the tire folding due to cornering forces.
The tops of the centre knobs use a medium durometer compound to provide traction and durability while maintaining some rolling efficiency, and the outer knobs feature the softest compound of the three to deliver maximum grip and slow rebound.
The Verdict will be available with a TCS Light or Tough casing, while the Verdict Wet only comes in the Touch variety. The TCS Light tires feature what WTB calls ‘Slash Guard technology,’ incorporating a nylon insert through the entire sidewall for puncture protection without the weight of a dual-ply casing. The Tough casing provides a stout foundation which is said to prevent the unwanted flex and squirm that often comes with tall knobbed tires.
“As soon as I saw the Verdict Wet, I knew it would be an absolute game changer. From super sloppy mud to the deep dust of the Sierra Nevada, it hooks up like no other tire I’ve ridden! A tire seriously worthy of “confidence-inspiring” traction. Then there’s the Verdict, the do-it-all spike that can literally handle anything loose and rocky. Excited to put these new tires to the test on the sketchiest EWS lines”, says Marco Osborne, WTB enduro athlete.
With such an aggressive tread pattern the Verdict is a front specific tire, and WTB recommends it’s paired with something like the Judge 2.4in tire on the rear.
Notably missing from the press information and the WTB website is the claimed weight of these new tires, though we’re willing to bet they are chunky.
The new Verdict and Verdict Wet will be available in North America in May and in Europe mid-June. Pricing will range from $70.95 to $83.95 depending on the diameter and casing with international pricing to be announced.