Review: WTB Dissent Tire

WTB Dissent Tire

The WTB Dissent Tire excels in any condition and loves bombing down hills.

Overview:  This tire has been designed from the dirt up to keep you flying down the trail. It’s made to do one thing – go downhill fast.

Price:  $24.99-$38.99

Ernest Hemingway said “There are only three sports: Bullfighting, motor racing and mountaineering; all the rest are games.” I have a feeling that if Mr. Hemingway had seen riders like Aaron Gwin, Fabien Barel or Sam Hill rip down a boulder infested mountain, he’d probably include downhill mountain bike racing as a sport as well.

Racers throw caution to the wind to be the fastest down the course. They depend on a combination of skill and equipment to beat the clock. Staying connected to the trail is key, making tire choice a crucial decision.

I put a set of WTB Dissent tires on my downhill bike last September and haven’t looked back since. Like the Maxxis Minions, they are strong and offer a great strength to weight ratio. I switched brands in search of a more confident cornering tire, and found exactly that in the Dissent on my first ride. The Minion is lighter but the Dissent has proven more durable in my experience.

The Dissent's broad knobs won't flex or squirm on rocky surfaces.

The Dissent's broad knobs won't flex or squirm on rocky surfaces.

Like Hemingway has his place in American literature, WTB has its place in mountain bike history. The company was founded in Marin, CA in 1982 near the very hills that gave the world the mountain bike. Based purely on providing the world with the highest quality mountain bike specific parts, they have grown into a world-wide enterprise without losing their passion for cycling.

The Dissent is WTB’s downhill/Freeride tire. It comes in two versions and sizes. The Team version, which is a wire bead, features WTB’s patented DNA rubber and a heavy-duty side wall construction. The lighter Race version has an Aramid bead and the same patented DNA rubber with a lighter sidewall construction. Size options include 2.5 and a 2.3.

WTB redesigned the Dissent in 2010 through feedback from several UCI world cup downhill athletes including Fabien Barrel. The updates include a deeper tread and wider spacing with a low enough rolling resistance to sprint form corner to corner.  Opposing directional side knobs increase cornering confidence.  These features highlight one of the best multi-condition downhill tires on the market.

I run the Team Edition (2.3 rear and 2.5 front) on my 2011 Giant Glory teamed up with WTB’s LaserDisc downhill wheels, which are the finest points of contact with the ground I could think of.

From the rocky and dusty trails of San Luis Obispo to the wet and tacky springtime runs down the famous Downieville trail in Tahoe, I haven’t found a place where these tires don’t connect.  Just one look at the tire and you know it means business (and cornering). The opposing side knobs allow you to lean the bike harder into corners with ease and give peace of mind on the dusty, flat high-speed turns.

The center knobs are well spaced and roll fast for the sprints and flats on any trail. When the going gets muddy, the Dissents are quick to shed the mud and offer continual traction in the slickest of spots.

Bottom Line: The World Cup team development shows in this tire as it is great for just about any terrain you can throw at it.