We’re not sure what moonshine WTB have been drinking but their latest Convict is a beast of a tire, certainly the biggest and most aggressive to date. The Convict 2.5 is pitched unashamedly at those who live to get wild on the steepest, roughest trails. From the razor sharp rocks of South Tyrol to the muddy and slick trails of Scotland, we have been abusing the new WTB Convict 2.5 to see if it can live up to its lawless reputation.
WTB recommend this tire for Gravity/Enduro and it certainly looks the part for aggressive riding, with huge sipped knobs and claw-like side lugs. Price from £44.99 to £49.99 the ‘27.5 only’ tire comes in three versions, the lightest is the TCS Light with Gravity DNA sidewall, followed by the TCS Tough Gravity DNA, and finishing with the toughest (but also heaviest) TCS Tough Dual DNA. The 2.5 inch carcass is high volume and sits menacingly on the rim, knocking on the door of a plus tire and seating well on the Ibis 742 carbon test wheels (35 mm internal). The profile is not too tall, sitting wide and square on the rim so they should fit will in most forks and frames. The Dual DNA sidewall we tested feels very substantial, giving us the confidence to take wild (bad) lines through rocks without fear.
After many poor line choices, one thing that is unquestioned is the Convict’s durability, despite repeated attempts to kill them on the sharp rocks of South Tyrol they effortlessly shrugged off the impacts, the Convict’s are as delicate as a Sherman tank. A real highlight of the tire is the damping of the sidewall, the tire patters smoothly through violent hits eerily quietly without any deflection or unwanted rebound. The soft 45a knobs conform and grip to the ground like shit to a blanket, while the 60a base keeps the handling predictable. Running between 18-26 psi the sidewall has massive support and never collapses in turns or feels vague. They roll fast on the tall central knobs and hold lines tenaciously – in loose turns the sipped knobs hold on like a fat kid hanging onto a cake. We liked the smooth progression between the central knobs and the side knobs, this keeps the band of grip very consistent whatever the lean angle and makes the tire very predictable. In deep mud the spacing on the knobs is not wide enough to clear as quickly as a dedicated mud tire, but we were impressed with the grip on slick rock and roots. The WTB Convict 2.5 is a great ‘heavy-duty’ tire, working well in all conditions, wet or dry. However, in life you don’t get anything for free and the WTB Convict is no exception – toughness and durability always comes at a cost, and in this case the cost is weight, at 1317g per tire. The Convict’s do roll very well for such a burly tire and are perfect for winch and plummet riding, but you would need legs like Richie Rude to pedal them on long uphill missions – but that would be missing the point anyway.
For those that ride a lot over sharp roots, need a super aggressive bike park or enduro race tire, or just enjoy freight train speeds, then the WTB Convict 2.5 is an excellent choice – for those looking for more of an all-rounder for general riding, the WTB Vigilante would save a considerable lump of weight on the bike.
For more information check out the WTB website.
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