Review: Judge & Verdict - WTB's Most Aggressive Dry-Condition Tire Combo

Jul 18, 2019
by Richard Cunningham  
WTB tires Verdict and Judge
WTB tires Verdict and Judge
Tired of slipping and sliding on your mid-summer dust? WTB's hyper-aggressive Verdict (left) and Judge combination will settle the score in your favor.


This review is about one of WTB's most aggressive tire combinations, but it begins with a similar tire from another brand. Schwalbe's soft and spiky Magic Mary is one of the best tires for dry conditions in Southern California. For the same reason that DH and enduro racers often resort to cut spikes for dry, off-camber courses, the Magic Mary's pointed tread blocks poke through the loose soil where the sticky rubber can find grip on the harder surface below. No surprise that it has been one of the most blacked-out racing tires in recent history. Now, the folks at WTB may have one-upped the Magic Mary with two of the most aggressive tires they have offered to date: meet their new Verdict and Judge.

I asked the folks at WTB for a tire combination that would tame the loose-over-hard pack, moon dust, and boulders that I wrestle with during the long Southern California summer. A few days later, I received a pair of tires that can only be described as "over the top," in both weight and design. The front was their 2.5-inch, front-specific Verdict in the TCS Light casing and High Grip tread compound. It weighed 1170 grams and bristled with tread blocks that could shame Monument Valley.
WTB Verdict
Use: Front-specific, Enduro/DH
Sizes: 29" or 27.5" in 2.5" casing
Configurations: TCS Tough /TCS Light casings, High Grip tread
Rubber: Three-compound "Tritec" tread
Weight: 1066 to 1291 grams (29" TCS Light tested @ 1170g)
MSRP: $80.95 USD
More info


WTB Judge
Use: Rear-specific, Enduro/DH
Sizes: 29" or 27.5" in 2.4" casing
Configurations: TCS Tough casing, Fast Rolling or High Grip tread
Rubber: Three-compound "Tritec" tread
Weight: 1281 to 1427 grams (29" Fast Rolling tested @1360g)
MSRP: $80.95 USD
More info

Next out of the box was the Judge rear-specific monster in the 2.4-inch, WTB's TCS Tough casing and Fast Rolling compound. The Judge had even larger tread blocks and weighed 1360 grams. Over the top? WTB's hyper-aggressive tires made my test bike look like a warhorse.

WTB tires Verdict and Judge


WTB Technology

WTB's nomenclature is intentionally straightforward, but it's worth a walk-through to get an idea where the Judge and Verdict tires fall into line in their range.

TCS: Simply means "tubeless compatible technology." WTB adheres to the European ETRTO tire standards for tire sizing and bead design, which means that they mount up best to rims that follow the original UST tubeless specifications.

Tritec: Three rubber compounds; a stiffer layer under-tread that supports the tread blocks, a medium-hardness for the center blocks and a sticky rubber for the edging blocks. WTB manipulates those durometers to suit specific terrain.

Slash Guard: Available on WTB's Light casings, it's a later of nylon cloth that protects the sidewalls and stiffens the casing without resorting to a double-wall DH configuration.

TCS Tough: Two-ply casing, 60 threads per inch

TCS Light: Single-ply casing, 60 Threads per inch

Fast Rolling/High Grip: Self-explanatory, softer, tackier tread compounds for maximum traction, harder, tougher rubber for faster rolling and longer wear.
Tire design info
TCS Light: Fast rolling vs High Grip.

Tire design info
TCS Tough: Fast Rolling vs High Grip.

WTB tires Verdict and Judge


Verdict: Front Tire

WTB makes a wet and dry version of their front-specific Verdict tire. Click here, if you want to explore the wet compound version. This show is about the other one, which is noted by WTB as an all-condition design intended for maximum grip on loose dry, loamy soil and for roots and rocks. Reportedly, the tall, widely spaced tread blocks also help to shed mud in wet conditions. That's about as clear a description of an enduro racing tire as it gets.

Our review tire used the High Grip version of the "Light" single-ply casing, which is reinforced with a nylon layer to keep air in the correct side of the tire through rock gardens. Actual weight was 1170 grams on the scale, slightly more than WTB's estimate. That's heavy for a trail tire, but squarely in the green for gravity sports.

Mounted to a WTB 29-millimeter inner-width rim, the actual dimensions of the stated 2.5-inch tire were 63 millimeters (2.475") at the casing and 76 millimeters (2.63") at the widest point of the tread. The height/diameter of the 29-inch-wheel tire was 29.55 inches when inflated to 23psi. At that pressure, the single-ply Verdict feels and acts much like a dual-ply-casing.
WTB tires Verdict and Judge
The Verdict's pronounced edging blocks are spaced well apart from the tire's center tread.

Performance

Mounting up the Verdict tire earned a seven out of ten score on the Marin's aluminum rims. I needed a blast from my Topeak reservoir pump to get it seated, and it took a second inflation before the Stan's Pro sealant stabilized the air pressure. (FYI: airing the same tire on a WTB i-29 rim required a similar effort.)

There's no ignoring that this tire is weighty once you get rolling - and you're going to suffer a little on long stretches of pavement, where the grippy rubber compound offers up enough rolling resistance to suggest a downshift from the gear that you'd normally be cruising in. Once you hit the dirt, however, that rolling resistance melts away, even on hard-pack surfaces. I've noticed this with similar designs, like Schwalbe Magic Mary and e*thirteen tires as well.

WTB's rounded profile and the wide spaces between the top and side blocks should result in a lag in traction as the tire is leaned into a turn. That, however, is not the case. The massive edging blocks transition smoothly and begin to dig in well before I anticipated they would. How that occurs is a mystery. Luck may be as important as science when it comes to designing a successful tire.

bigquotesSomehow, the tire finds enough grip to replace pernicious angst with hopeful anticipation.

An unexpected advantage of that empty space is that it tends to keep most of the surfaces of the edging blocks out of the way while rolling in a straight line - at least on hardpack - which seems to reduce the tire's rolling resistance. I played with tire pressures and found the desired effect began at 23 psi and above. Hit the brake, and the tire squats down on the edging blocks, providing instant and ample stopping power.
WTB tires Verdict and Judge
WTB's 2.5" Verdict dwarfs a 29-inch wheel.

As promised, the Verdict grips corners insanely well. When I eased my way around a fast turn, it responded with "very good" traction - similar to a brand new Maxxis DHF. The key to getting the most from this tire, however, was to push into the apex with the cranks and pressurize the tires. Do that and the Verdict delivers the pizza with extra toppings. Similarly, the Verdict digs in to deep, sandy turns until it finds enough resistance, then it settles in for a smooth apex and exit.

Steep rutty descents and mixed soil - the fluffy, unstable mixture created by rear-wheel skidders, deposited in heaps that camouflage edgy ruts and slippery stone slabs. That's where the Verdict becomes the bacon saver. Somehow, the tire finds enough grip to replace pernicious angst with hopeful anticipation. Braking is far less sketchy and the edging tread sticks predictably to off cambers, especially well to rocks, where wiggly wet-condition tread blocks often lose grip.


Pros

+ Reliable grip in iffy dry conditions
+ Secure feel in ruts and off-cambers
+ Super tough rubber
Cons

- Heavy feeling under acceleration
- Bogs down on paved surfaces



WTB tires Verdict and Judge


Judge: Rear Tire

The Judge is WTB's "Oh yeah?" rear-specific tire. "Our rowdiest rear tire," they state, and they don't make any excuses about its weight. It's listed at a whopping, 1427 grams in the TCS Tough, Fast Rolling version we review here, and it's clearly advertised as an enduro and downhill racing tire - you're not buying it to improve your pedaling game.

There's some interesting science built into the Judge. Its profile is flatter, which better matches the reduced lean angle of the rear wheel as the bike is set up for a turn and that gets the edging blocks digging into the earth well before the G-forces build up in the turns. That flatter profile also means it has more tread available under braking when the tail end is lighter and rounder profile tires are under-utilizing their edging tread.

The Judge is also a little narrower, which mutes some of the effects of its heavier TCS Tough, dual-ply casing, and allows WTB to move more material to the tread, where it can provide more grip. Finally, those tread blocks are wider than we usually see, and that puts more rubber in contact with hard surfaces - an essential dry-condition component to establish traction on rock slabs and hard clay.
WTB tires Verdict and Judge
The Judge's tread is simply massive, and those wider blocks put more rubber on rock surfaces where pointy knobs often slip.

According to WTB's recommendation, the proper rear tire for the job was the TCS Tough casing, paired with their harder compound, Fast Rolling tread. It only comes in the 2.4-inch width which, when inflated to 25 psi, actually measured 55.2 millimeters (2.175") at the casing and 60 millimeters (2.375") at the widest part of the tread, again, mounted to a WTB 29-millimeter inner-width rim. Actual weight in the 29-inch size was 1360 grams on the scale, where WTB's stated weight is well over 1400. In case you wanted to know, the height/diameter of the Judge at the stated pressure was 29.3 inches.

Performance

Again, airing up the Judge required extra effort: the assistance of a compressor, for rims that mounted comparably sized Maxxis Minion WT tires with no issues and a standard floor pump. Afterward, the Judge continued to weep a small amount of sealant near the bead seats but created no problems beyond that. To its credit, I was able to mount the dual-ply casing by hand. I would discover later that the Judge is impartial to pressure as long as you stay within sensible boundaries. I chose my usual 25 psi and it was good from the get-go. (Nothing bad happened at 28 or 20 psi either.) It's a stiff, DH-strength casing with average volume that makes for a very stable tire.

True to its advertised traits, the Fast Rolling compound impeded progress much less than the softer and larger Verdict up front, and besides the feeling that I was accelerating a Mississippi Riverboat out of slow corners it maintained momentum surprisingly well - probably because the larger row of medium-durometer center blocks act as a sort of ridge when the tire is rolling straight and level.

bigquotesThe Judge is the first WTB tire that I have ridden worry-free in the corners.

Should you be worried about the weight? I don't use inserts and rarely resort to DH-strength tires for my trail bike, so all that rotating mass is foreign to me. Trail riders who do, or big bike owners, should find the Judge to be on par with, or a faster rolling alternative to the most popular gravity tires of the moment.

You'll appreciate how well the Judge performs under braking. That nearly flat tread pattern drives a lot of
WTB tires Verdict and Judge
WTB's 2.4" Judge has a distinctly flatter tread profile and beefier crown blocks than the Verdict.
rubber deep into the soil, so if there's traction to be found, the Judge will latch onto it. When most of your descents are loose over hardpack, that extra bite, however small it may be, offers up a significant measure of control.

Rear tires that perform well under braking usually deliver the goods on tricky climbs. WTB's judge claws up steep chutes like a brute. The flat profile acts like a paddle wheel in loose soil, and when those chunky blocks catch hold of anything hard, the bike ratchets forward in a series of short accelerations. I found the most useful aspect of the Judge was its near-seamless transition from soil to rock or wood. No need for
subtle weight shifts, just find a sweet spot, keep pedaling and let the Judge sort out the traction. There's no hiding its weight, however, and unless you're race-fit, the novelty wears thin in a minute's time - begging the question, "When will WTB make this tire in a lighter version?"

Saving the best for last, the Judge is the first WTB tire that I have ridden worry-free in the corners. With rare exceptions, WTB's aggressive trail tires stick like glue - until they don't. They do have a predictable release, which showcases riders with drifting skills. Look no further than WTB test rider Mark Weir, one of the world's most adept drift-meisters.

The Judge breaks that longstanding tradition with a

WTB tires Verdict and Judge
The Judge wept sealant from the bead area throughout the review.
stalwart row of edging blocks, carefully siped to add some sensitivity, and a flat tread profile that sets those knobs into the soil well before you arrive at the apex of the turns. I never blew out of a corner. There were times when I missed the entrance completely and still carved a decent line through the woods. I could blast deep, sandy berms and somehow carry speed through the exit. There was enough control to plant the rear wheel in a rut, and enough grip to hack out of one on command. I expect this level of confidence from a dedicated race tire. The fact that WTB makes it is the pleasant surprise.


Pros

+ Ultra dependable dry-condition grip
+ Corners like a boss
+ Long wearing rubber
Cons

- Weighs 1400 grams



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWTB makes good on their claim that their Verdict and Judge combination is a no-compromise performer in dry conditions. The security that this duo offers while descending sketchy Southwestern trails turns panic into a party. They still look fresh halfway through summer (Disclosure: I'm not a skidder), and have no sidewall slashes. If your Minions are slipping and sliding, and you don't mind riding DH-weight tires, WTB has an alternative that will make dust dwellers happy.RC



141 Comments

  • + 68
 Behold, it's the Magic Minion!
  • + 1
 hahahahaha
  • + 1
 More Magic Butcher, sounds like a funny name Smile
  • + 42
 For all of you chuckleheads who are typing how much these look like Minions, DHRII, Butchers,,,,, here are some things that are different and what tire manufacturers sweat over that may not be obvious on first glance.

1. The Millimeters of: Knob height, siping depth, spacing between all knobs.
2. Siping direction.
3. Knob shapes and how much to make your side knobs look like an "L" or leave straight.
4. How much camber to put on your leading knob.
5. Side Knob Shoulder support through knob shape and sidewall design.
6. Intentional Flex
7. Grip angles
8. Usable wear life
9. Rubber compositions
10. Knob shapes!!!

Tires are pretty much amazing these days and some very good standard layouts have been sus'd out at this point. It's refinement of details that these manufacturers are playing with. So yeah from a quick glance you might say this tire looks like that tire or that bike looks like that Trek, but small adjustments make differences.

These tires may not be for you but the Minion fanboi is really something to behold!
  • + 24
 It almost as if the people who say "It looks like a minion" or "It looks like a trek" have no sense of nuance. I wonder if they go to the bar and say that about different liquors "That looks like Jack Daniels", as if there isn't a big difference between products beyond first glance.
  • - 30
flag thenotoriousmic (Jul 18, 2019 at 6:45) (Below Threshold)
 Taking a minion and changing a few little details doesn’t mean it’s ok to completely steal someone’s product.
  • + 10
 I often wonder how people arrive at their "looks like a minion" conclusion. There is basically no tire that bears more than a very superficial resemblance to the DHF. And the Judge is very different from the DHR if you actually look at it.
It's almost as if "is black and has knobs" is enough similarity for people to start crying about minion copies.
  • + 5
 @Ttimer: I totally agree with you. Nuance matters in the tire game. Pictures don't show much without a direct side by side comparison. I'm excited to try these tires on some proper DH trails.
  • + 18
 I for one commend your use of the word “chucklehead.” It’s one of my favorites along with “bozo.”
  • + 5
 Minion fanboi here - I use DHF EXO casing w/ cushcore. Not concerned about weight, at least on my 27.5 bike. Anyway, I'd be willing to try these out. To me this was a glowing review about how to make a better Minion. Seems like this combo would fare well on east coast mud, roots & rocks.

Also, great points on the tire details!
  • - 12
flag thenotoriousmic (Jul 18, 2019 at 8:17) (Below Threshold)
 @Ttimer: come off it. The minion is the most popular tyre ever and up there with one of the best. These second rate tyre companies are stealing crumbs of Maxxis table and your defending it and I don’t include wtb as a second rate tyre company and I don’t see these as minion copy’s.
  • - 2
 I meant to upvote. Had to read all the way through. @thenotoriousmic:
  • + 0
 99. Sidewall graphics
  • + 2
 @thenotoriousmic: stealing some ones products? With that kind of thing we would have only one manufacturer of every product.
  • - 10
flag thenotoriousmic (Jul 18, 2019 at 12:48) (Below Threshold)
 @brncr6 don’t be ridiculous they could have come up with there own design. Nobody’s saying they can’t make tyres doesn’t matter anyway these minion copy’s never take off. In a years time everyone’s still going to be riding minions.
  • - 1
 ".. but the Minion fanboi is really something to behold".

Especially when the Minion get's its basic backbone copied like that.

Sorry, but "looks like a Minion" does indeed apply here. Cannot deny. Whether it handles like one is the question - in spite of all the "refinements".
  • + 3
 Small adjustments do make a difference. Like whether or not it's patent infringement.
  • + 4
 upvotes simply for the use of 'chucklehead'
  • + 3
 @thenotoriousmic: you say the same thing when you buy car tires? Dam look at the bfg all terrain nick off, they need to come up with there own all terrain and stop copying bfg.
  • + 2
 @ryan83: both good names for new treads
  • + 1
 Knob talk
  • + 1
 @jerryhazard: The rear tire does, superficially, look somewhat like a Minion DHR. Amongst other changes, though, if you look at the "L" shaped side knobs, you'll see they're flipped 180 degrees from the Minion. This is a change many other tires have been making lately, and I am not sure how I feel about it but, none the less, these side knobs are more like several other new tires than the Minion.
  • + 33
 WTB are on the right track with how they describe their tire variants. Most manufacturers shove so many acronyms on their products that even their own dealers and sales support personnel get confused.
  • - 6
flag DavidGuerra (Jul 18, 2019 at 3:55) (Below Threshold)
 I disagree in what concerns their "light" designation, whose tires weight the same as Maxxis Double Down casings. One gets the impression that the tire is both heavy and not strong enough. So, to hell with it...
  • + 14
 Looking at you Maxxis
  • + 2
 Yes! Maxxis tire descriptions are so complicated, I could easily and quickly know what type of tire I would want.
  • + 28
 THICC is how I like my tires, my women, my ramen, and cheese cake.
  • + 11
 I am running high grip tough casing judge front and rear and all I can say is that i wont be swapping back to maxxis any time soon. Yes they're a bit heavier and a bit harder to seat but for the price and grip, it's a no brainer. Already had them in the Alps and they were great! Doing another riding holiday and I'm not bothering swapping them, may need a new rear by the end of the second trip and will go fast rolling next time. Awesome tyres!
  • + 1
 Also its almost a challenge/bet to pop the tire. You have to wear the knobs damn near to the casing to make holes appear on the tough casing.
  • + 5
 Alot of talk about casing and tread pattern, but no mention of rubber compound... These tires grip on wet, unbarked, PNW roots like claws.. they sure wear quick but the absolute grip is well worth it..
  • + 1
 @denomerdano: Very true. I think rubber compound is almost more important than tread pattern to a point. I'm excited to get mine in some loamy rooty trails.
  • + 1
 @denomerdano: they're just brilliant tyres. Grip everywhere! I dont even think the rolling resistance is that bad and they dont pedal bad either.
  • + 9
 Been running these for a season. They are a bit chunky, but holy cow, the edging grip is unbelievable. Maxxis tires are great, but tend to grip in a bit more of a climbing shoe 'smear' sort of way. The WTB's have a very distinct edge, which bites and has more engagement in my opinion. Both great tires, but since I switched from Maxxis, I haven't thought about going back.
  • + 2
 Our of curiosity, what were the tire widths of the minions and these?
  • + 7
 WTB tires are kind of heavy, but for their intended purpose (in this case enduro/downhill racing or park riding) they’re competitive when riders are putting inserts in their tires. If you are, the weight difference becomes negligible pretty quickly. If you’ve never considered running inserts or found them necessary, then these tires are probably overkill.
  • + 3
 well said.
  • + 5
 Casing is at least as important as knob pattern. I'm a big fan of Maxxis tread designs but WTB wins when it comes to casings. The Tough/Fast versions of their designs are perfect for the rear wheel of aggressive hardtails. The last one I mounted on a dt swiss rim sealed with a floor pump before even adding sealant.

I wouldn't choose them for XC racing (their "Light" versions are not light enough), but for everyday hussle-free trail riding on rocky terrain they are highly recommended.

Their latest redesign of the Vigilante and Trail Boss make sense too (knob size, sipe orientation etc).
  • + 9
 Hussle-free trail riding is basically what my strava looks like
  • + 1
 @adrennan: Haha, sorry, meant to write hassle-free : )
  • + 4
 I like their naming scheme and the fact that they actually make a tough rear tire in better rolling rubber. (take notes, Maxxis and Schwalbe)
But the weight is just too much. How do they even mange to make them that heavy? When the "light" casing is heavier than a Speci Blck DMND something went seriously wrong.
  • + 6
 because they are like tanks, I ride them for 4 years now, never had one single puncture, or snakebite or anything like that. I guess they weight a lot, but I don't care about that, I just want trouble free tyres on my descends on the rockiest sections. Even did few days on my enduro bike in losinj Croatia on DH track, not a single puncture, but destroyed both rims.
  • + 12
 They aren't labeled for XC/Trail riding. They state they are for Enduro / DH. I know many people who run Maxxis Exo casing or Schwalbe lighter casings and complain when they get punctures riding enduro/dh trails. I personally rather have a tire that is too heavy and get full wear/use out of it than a tire that is too light and puncture it before half its wear life.
  • + 1
 @Jzang: That is all fine and dandy for the "tough" casing. Make that as heavy as you like, fill it with solid rubber for all I care. That one is supposed to be a tank.

But why even bother with offering a "light" casing if it is heavier than the heavy casings of all other tires? For lighter riders or people not living in super rocky areas they might as well call them "too heavy" and "far too heavy".
  • + 2
 Maxxis has double down's in their medium compound now, but up until this year that was definitely missing
  • + 4
 they weigh a lot but i don't feel the need to run inserts. ya i can run a featherweight maxxis, but without cushcore, i will pinch flat the tire in no time
  • + 11
 @Ttimer: When comparing these tires to Maxxis offerings the weight is on par. These are Enduro/DH tires so to compare them to a Maxxis Exo/Exo+ casing would be unfair. Comparing a Maxxis DD to a WTB Light casing and a Maxxis DH casing to a WTB Tough casing would be a more fair comparison. When comparing the two brands this way you will see the weight is on par. A Maxxis DHF 29x2.5 WT DD is 1237-1335g (www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-468-121-minion-dhf). Verdict is listed at 1193 in the light casing. Now looking at the DH casing Maxxis DHF (29x2.5 wt) runs 1295-1335g, DHR (29x2.4 WT) runs 1265 and Shorty (29x2.5 wt) at 1335g all listed on their website. The Judge comes in at 1295g, Verdict Dry 1291g, and Verdict Wet 1332g. Now the weight doesn't seem so bad.
  • + 2
 @Jzang: worst part is when you need to fix it mid ride or walk to trails end. Heavy tires ftw,
  • + 2
 @adespotoskyli: For sure. I rather not deal with the headaches of pinch flatting a thinner casing tire. These beefy tires should last a while and get full tread wear without punctures. I also don't have to be concerned if I want to ride my trail bike at the DH park. I welcome the beefy casings.
  • + 3
 I currently run the Bontrager SE5s and when these came out I was really excited to give em a go but the weight on WTB is just such a killer for me. At these weights I could run the dual ply G5 DH casing and have a nearly indestructible tire with a reliable tread pattern for around the same weights. WTB makes some amazing tires and tread patterns but the weights are just too much when already running a 29er and rolling weight is already a concern. Maybe I should be less of a weight weeny and just get stronger legs but is what it is.
  • + 9
 Wtb’s tough casings are dh casings just with harder rubber. They’re as tough as they come.
  • + 2
 29x2.6 SE5s get my vote.
  • + 2
 My 26 inch 2.35 Minnions weigh 850 grams. Ardent 2.4 Is about the same weight. The only 1100 gram tire I have is a Minion DH casing for the rear. My local Bike shop still carries 26 inch rubber. Outer rotational mass. Most important place to save weight.
  • + 2
 The mary has angled side knobs. We saw verdict does not. It will never corner like the Mary. That was a bad comparison for the review to make. It would have been more appropriate to compare the less aggressive Vigilante to the Mary.
  • + 1
 Have not used the Verdict, but do use the Judge. Northeast riding, Catskills, Berkshires and Green Mountains. Burley rear tire. It rails turns. Handles shale, roots, hard, loose surfaces just fine. For the record I use a Vigilante 2.5 on the front. This set up is powerful.
  • + 1
 im wearing WTB rubbers on WTB rims last 5 years on several endurobikes, where there are totally awesome, i cant to blow of in the corner or click out bead in the turn, almost no flexing etc... on EN bike
Also, no weeping thru sidewall like Maxxis or Schwalbe doin.
i try them also on my V10 26" and they were unusable there Frown i used tough Vigilanties and theyre flexed so much in hard turns and berms, that i eventually get rid of them and use 360 TPI Conti Kaisers instead, which are totally bombproof, but also pain in the a55 to set them like tubeless because they are not so ready for it...
Maybe those newer ones up there in review, should work better, but i think they will be not in 26" anymore :/
  • + 1
 I have a verdict up front, and actually on off camber rocks and hard surfaces the large, but very soft side knobs sometimes flex too much and squirm, puting me off line sometimes when charging. not quite as locked-in feeling as minion in those circmstances. But, in deep loose dirt its the best- thats clearly what its designed for. Note: Im in socal, in summer trails vary between .moondust, where it excels, and hardpack/rocky chunk, wherwe it can squirm. Love the rubber compund and casing tho.
  • + 1
 "I expect this level of confidence from a dedicated race tire. The fact that WTB makes it is the pleasant surprise."

What is that supposed to mean? WTB have always made fantastic tyres. My personal favourite tyre manufacturer. Never had any issues with WTB or Conti but 3 individual failures with Schwalbe (Overrated brand)
  • + 1
 my opinion ( I know no one asked ) these look great but for the same price as the Assegai i'm not sure If I will try these anytime soon....Its hard to pay Maxxis prices for a non maxxis/schwalbe tire even though they are on my list to try............eventually.
  • + 2
 Exactly. As a rider who is somewhere between intermediate and advanced I get a full season out of a maxxis combo for 120 Canadian a tire and incredible reliability. They'd have to raise their prices significantly for me to bother looking at anything else.
  • + 2
 I ditched the Aggressor on the rear and fitted the Judge about 4-5 months ago..... Unlikely to go back to a Maxxis rear.
I notice the weight only a little on some climbs, but the grip OMG the GRIP!!!!!!!
The Judge on Wellington's wet rocks, roots and mud has vastly more grip than the 29x2.5 DHF on the front.
Long time Maxxis fan, but I'm a total convert to these tyres..... As soon as the local importer has the Verdict as well that's going straight onto the front of my bike!
Had zero issues getting them onto my carbon rims with a FCK tyre insert (not sure why I bothered with this brand insert.... It's a bit shit).
Had the old tyre off, new tyre on, stans'd, inflated and beaded in sub 5 min.... haven't noticed the weeping around the bead that the review was on about though??
  • + 3
 Maxxis are hardly a premium product IMO...good tyres but no Michelin.
  • + 2
 You can pay less than maxxis/schwalbe and get a killer tire...Vittoria.
  • + 1
 In Canada we don't really see any of these tires in the wild. Here in BC I've only seen maxxis and specialized tires on bike store shelves. The specialized tires are half the price but people who run them seem to get lots of cut sidewalls. Can probably get other stuff but you'd have to special order it.
  • + 1
 So I was very excited about these and got me a set, went for soft compound and they are about ready for the bin now. Rear did 6 days in Pila 2 days Bormio 2 rides in Garda. I kinda just about expected that, The front didn’t turn up till Bormio so it’s done just 4 (fairly mental) rides and the edge blocks are falling off..... Back to Maxxis I’m afraid. They would make epic race day tyres for those with a bit of spare cash to burn
  • + 1
 The Judge in 27.5 Tough / Fast was the hardest tire I've ever attempted to seat or get on a rim. It claimed 2 plastic tire levers, a solid blood blister on my thumb, and required me to actually use my DH tire lever which for years has just been relegated to removing fork seals. I tried every trick in the book but I was never able to get it to seat on a Nobl TR38.
  • + 4
 Seated my 2nd judge yesterday in about 5 mins flat. A ratchet strap is the key...
  • + 2
 @pargolf8: please explain..
  • + 4
 Just seated my 29x2.4 Tough/high grip with minimal effort. I even got sealant in the tire without making a mess. I thought they were the easiest tires I've put on yet. Maybe it depends on the wheels.
  • + 2
 @laxguy: I had to do the same with my Vigilante 2.5 and 2.3 in thought casing. Basically you take a ratchet strap and run it the full circumference of the tire and crank it down so it crushes the tire. Then you inflate (with a compressor in my case), pushing the ratchet strap off and seating the tire
  • + 1
 @Ders316: I've done that working in the automotive shop seating car tires but never successful using that technique with bike tires. Did you try taking the valve core out to get higher air flow into the tire with the compressor first? Just curious.
  • + 1
 @pargolf8: I tried a strap, soapy water, and basically threw everything I had at it. To be fair I did seat a 29 Judge Tough / Fast on a E1900 rim pretty easily. It still took the DH lever to get the tire on but sealed up with just soapy water.

Both were done with air compressor and the fancy Park Tool air chuck.
  • + 1
 @Ders316: interesting, never seen that done but sounds pretty cool!
  • + 1
 @laxguy: yes an auto mechanic showed me the trick. I start with it fairly compressed and slowly back it off
  • + 1
 @Ders316: exactly. An auto mechanic showed me this. Between that a compressor and warm tire ive had 0 issues since
  • + 1
 @Jzang: i just go right through the normal presta head. Actually just use a shrader head converter too
  • + 2
 I had a set of WTB Vigilante and I had to give up....I tried all the above mentioned methods...straps, soap, yelling, heat gun(yikes), blood, yell some more, walk away, yell again then give up...
I also had to cut off a brand new Advent(off same rim) when I got a flat as I couldn't get it off the rim, even taking it to a shop!
I think some rims just don't get along with some tires
  • + 1
 @pargolf8: Next time try taking the presta core out and using the shrader converter right over the valve stem without the core in it. Presta valve cores clog up with Sealant making it hard to get high volume are flow in to expand the tire quickly to get it to seat. If I ever have trouble seating a tire that is the first thing I do and with an air compressor it blows right up.
  • + 1
 @GlassGuy: I agree. I've noticed increase difficulty with asymmetrical rims.
  • + 1
 I have the same rims, I had to use a tube to get one side seated then pulled the tube out and finished the job.
  • + 1
 @Jzang: ya I did remove the valve core. Honestly I’m still scared of seating new tires after having one blow off the rim in a small garage, so the ratchet strap just makes it even scarier! But it works...
  • + 5
 Now the real question is how the Verdict stands up against the Vigilante.
  • + 3
 It's a lot larger despite both reading 2.5 on the sides. I moved my 2.5 Vigilante to the rear and put the Verdict up front. Magical, downright awesome combo. The Vigilante is a surprisingly adept climber and while not the best at braking, has real predictable drift and hooks up in corners extremely well. We typically ride loose with rock here in NM and this is my favorite combo so far, although I had some hero dirt yesterday and actually was oversteering due to the cornering lugs on the Verdict. Also, no longer dinging rims as frequently as I was with a DHR 2.3 DD @ 28psi
  • + 2
 @Klainmeister: what I was hoping to hear..
Vigilante is moving to the rear to make room for this beast..
  • + 3
 Looking for a front tire and these look nice. Gonna go with a Conti Kayser though just because these are a bit too heavy.
  • + 1
 Don't know if you're talking about the DH or the protection apex version, but i just tried the protection apex version in 29" and it's amazing... cornering feel is insane, locks in and rails
  • + 2
 yeah yeah a very good tyre I'm sure but why can't we have butterscotch, grey or blue ones?
Looks are more important than grip
  • + 4
 Im running this combo currently. I dont know if i will ever change
  • + 0
 Anybody here ever see those Simpsons episodes where the whole family LOOKS like the Simpsons, but not really?

Thats both of these tires 100%.

Sorry, not sorry.

observationdeck.kinja.com/the-way-they-was-six-totally-different-shows-the-simps-1677711647
  • + 4
 the family on the left is from the original pilot episode in the Tracy Ulman show
(Fun Fact)
  • + 3
 Everyone saying this look like X or Y tire is wrong. It obliviously looks like a Session.
  • + 1
 Underrated comment!
  • + 1
 Does anyone have a picture of the two tires physically right next to each other? I have lost all sense of scale with those first two pictures.
  • + 7
 Side by side, the Verdict looks massively wide, while the Judge looks much thinner. Without the edging blocks poking out, it's casing would look like an old school 2.125 tire.
  • + 1
 I can provide a side by side of the Vigilante and Judge but not the Verdict unfortunately.
  • + 6
 @ZappBrannigan: Here you go, I sized them as close to their actual volume as I could for comparison in this image:
www.pinkbike.com/photo/17485960
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: Thanks, helps my brain!
  • + 0
 The Judge looks just like a DHR II and the Onza Citius. Is WTB better at heavier casings? Or what would the advantage of their tire be over the 3 or 4 sidewall options from Maxxis?
  • + 2
 I just got the Judge 2.4 in tought/high grip. Id say the casing is tougher than any casing offered by maxxis. The rubber softness is softer than Maxxis 3C Max Terra (found on trail tires) but slightly harder than Maxxis 3C MaxGrip (found on DH tires). Id say a lot of the extra weight comes with bigger knobs. The side knobs of the Judge are significantly bigger than the DHR2. I compared them side by side. Comparing weights of the DHR 2 in the DH casing and the Judge Tough/high grip the Judge is heavier. I think due to the bigger knobs.
  • + 1
 Say what you want but looks like minion. No but seriously, that front might not be as exact as the rear, but then look at the Assegai and simplify that one.
  • + 1
 Bogs down on paved surfaces, well, who'd of guess a hardcore MTB tyre would do that. If there tough and grippy, then they'll do for me.
  • + 3
 Literally just bought this exact combo two days ago.. I'm onto you PB.
  • + 1
 Eating popcorn in my garage with a cold lager while phone internet surfing. Feet propped up on back of bike with "minions". Said no one, LMAO.
  • + 1
 You should not be allowed to list a mountain tire's lackluster performance on paved roads as a con.
  • + 1
 Cons: Bogs down on paved surfaces. Well ya don't say! No wonder the Tour de France guys aren't running them very much!
  • + 11
 @Heckler76
Compared with similar tires in the category.... It's worthwhile knowledge if you ride to trailheads.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: Thanks Richard! The majority of my rides involve pavement to and from the trails and this definitely factors in to my tire choices
  • + 1
 DHR II and a Specialized Butcher. They must be good because they are two top tyres!
  • + 2
 Funny that Bruni and Finn isles are on maxxis tyres front & rear now, almost like they discovered what it is like to ride a decent tyre since going to a DHF for the 29" wheel on the front.
  • + 2
 @zyoungson: hmmm, how did you find out they were using minions?
  • + 2
 @zyoungson: instagram post on loics account from July 3rd looks like he was running dhr 2 front and rear
  • + 0
 More like a Hillbilly
  • + 1
 Love these tires. Enduro racing, bikepark, loose sierra silt. The tame it all. Better than maxxis IMO
  • + 1
 Sooo the perfect ebike tyres!!
  • + 1
 The Judge = a perfect e-bike tire.
  • + 2
 Bricks
  • + 0
 WTB is hard to get here. If only i could get the exact same tires from another brand...
  • + 1
 Now I want pizza with extra toppings
  • + 1
 26" is f,,,ed up
  • + 3
 I just purchased my second pair of 26” Vigilantes Tough/High Grip. They’re just dandy!
  • + 1
 @EricHarger: Vigilante is a great tiry, man! Riding same pair! But they are quite old and difficult to find in stock sometimes.
  • - 1
 I like the part where the reviewer says “bogs down on paved surfaces”. We are still mountain biking right?
  • - 1
 There's a reason everyone uses Magic Mary's and Minion's...
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