I have been using the WTB Resolute tyre in a 650bx42mm over the summer with the new Reynolds ATR2 wheels. When I was sent the Resolutes I’ll be honest my expectations were low because my last foray into WTB tyres was the Nano and I just kept cutting and puncturing them on rougher gravel tracks. The sealant fixed them but only after hassle and more air so I ditched them.
The Resolutes came in the tan side wall version that looks, I think, awesome especially with the deeper section Reynolds ATR wheels.
A combination of the reliable tolerances you’d expect from WTB and my Reynolds wheels meant they popped up tubeless with a track pump and I used about 60ml of Stans sealant.
To test them properly I first took them to my favourite loop of rough, rocky gravel tracks and absolutely hammered them! This was the failing ground for the Nanos however I was soon hitting almost 70kph on the spicy loose descent. It became apparent after a few KOMs and no punctures these tyres are crazy good.
They’re super light and roll incredibly fast on road. I was sitting at 20mph with these at 45psi and feeling good. If you look at a dusty tyre after a road section the clean black contact patch on these is the central ridge and about 25mm wide -which explains why it rolls so well. Off road traction is similar but felt slightly lower than on the Nanos and the Vee Tire Rails I think (the last two tyres I have used extensively). However in reality it is comparable because I think they also feel best at higher pressure where the traction will be reduced anyway.
Another factor in the pure smile response comes from the 650b wheels. While on long road rides they will be a bit more work the extra acceleration for hammering about on rough gravel was immediately obvious and addictive. In a 650bx42mm the width is similar to the 700×42 I have normally been running.
With two months use I have had to pump a bit more air in the rear once. Not bad for what must be approaching 1000km usage. Talking of which they show little sign of wearing down either.
On my morning ride I can choose from my Kinesis Tripster V1 for a road ride, this 650b Tripster ATR V2 for a gravel loop, my hardtail race bike for an XC trail centre loop or my Santa Cruz High Tower for some enduro trails. I was choosing the High Tower a lot recently but these tyres changed that and now I am grabbing the 650b gravel bike everyday!
Altogether my favourite gravel tyre I have used. However I said all this to the guys at WTB and it was a bit like telling a parent that their less favoured child is brilliant, their response was; “but everyone loves the Nano why did you get so many punctures, we’ve never heard of that before” They thought I must have had an older version and a bad batch. So I have a set of Nano’s to test again this autumn and I will report back if I was wrong about them if not you’ll know why. However it is going to take a lot of motivation to take this 650b combination of Resolute and Reynolds ATR off my bike and go back to anything else…..