The WTB Resolute is one of the best all-round gravel tyres you can hope to buy. In this new SG2 guise it's had a whole leap in puncture protection and performance so what's not to like?
Plenty of grip without dulling rolling speed too much
Ease of tubeless setup
Only available with a black sidewall
By James Bracey
The WTB Resolute TCS SG2 tyres were selected for an Editor's Choice award in 2020. This year's list contains 78 items which scored a 9 or 10/10 with our tech team - this gear is the best of the best, and has received the Cycling Weekly stamp of approval.
WTB has just released this brand new SG2 version of the Resolute, one of it's most popular gravel tyres. Promising increased puncture protection through an enhanced construction, does it improve upon the one weakness in the Resolute's armour?
What's new with the WTB Resolute SG2?
The new Resolute SG2 benefits from a two pronged attack in order to increase performance and provide enhanced puncture protection. Firstly WTB has upped the thread count from it's usual 60 tpi (threads per inch) to 120 tpi, providing the Resolute with a much more supple carcass. This should enable it to deform and conform far better to provide a smoother ride with less deflection from any chosen line.
The real tech news lies in the SG2 puncture protection layer. This takes the form of a super thin nylon insert that covers the entire carcass bead to bead. Whilst this sounds like pretty much every brand's puncture protection method where WTB's version deviates from the norm is in the shape of the nylon fibres used. Rather than being the usual round shape these are flattened, meaning the layer has less of a corrugated shape thus requiring less rubber to fill the gaps when the tyre is constructed. This decreases any additional weight but also decreases the overall carcass thickness, improving the ride quality. According to WTB this layer also improves air retention.
Ride testing the WTB Resolute SG2
The new Resolute SG2 follows in WTB's other tyre wheel tracks in being exceptionally easy to set up tubeless. Pop it on, squirt in your chosen tubeless sealant and inflate. But where it deviates from most of the other tyres is it does this with minimal air loss. Often I have found that WTB tubeless tyre carcasses have been somewhat porous and have often had multiple points along the sidewall where tiny bubbles of sealant can be seen extruding and robbing the tyre of its precious air. This usually results in me having to put a little extra sealant in to ensure the entire inside of the tyre is covered. With the SG2 version I experienced none of this. It simply went up, sealed and remained up with zero loss of sealant. What was equally impressive is after the obligatory spin around the block to ensure the sealant is evenly distributed both tyres retained air overnight and when checked had dropped pressure by a single psi - impressive stuff.
The Resolute's open tread is a little taller and more aggressive than many gravel tyres and as such is suited for riding on mixed terrain. It works exceptionally well on grass and on forest loam. The pronounced side knobs, grouped in pairs and individuals, provide a confident shoulder and combine well with the rounded profile to provide a predictable level of cornering grip. The central tread is quite widely spaced for decent mud shedding but what is noticeable is an almost continuous central ridge of tread that keeps the Resolute from feeling too sluggish on smooth hardpacked trails and tarmac. In fact even during rides where the offroad was kept to a minimum the Resolute doesn't feel too slow and maintains momentum quite well when freewheeling.
One of the gripes that riders have with WTB tyres is often the lack of decent puncture protection but after a solid period of testing before the official launch of the tyre I have to say that I think the SG2 system works. After riding through multiple gorse and thorn bushes, smashing my way up and down rocky trails strewn with sharp boulders and scooting along cycle paths awash with glass I haven't received a single puncture or even any evidence of any sealed punctures.
The new SG2 version does add an additional cost and a bit of weight over the existing Resolute TCS. It retails at a not too cheap £54.99, compared to £44.99 for the standard version and adds around 20 grams to the weight. But the 499 gram weight is still pretty competitive for such a protective tyre.
So has WTB just stepped it up a level in terms of reliability and performance? I believe the answer is most definitely yes.
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