Just In – WTB Vigilante and MIO Alpha

by Brian Mullin on July 3, 2013

WTB Vigilante

The new WTB Vigilante is a 2.3″ Enduro tire, that comes in 26″, 650B and 29″ sizes. The All Mountain beef Meister uses an aggressive open block tread design, is TCS (Tubeless Compatible System), and utilizes their Dual DNA compound. It has a special nylon sidewall treatment for extra protection, and retail for $64.95, 67.95 and $69.95 (26, 650B, 29). The combination of the tough, thick and durable sidewalls and softer tread, should make for an excellent tire for Enduro racing and frequent muddy and rocky infused conditions.

Thoughts => It reminds me a mixed-up Muddy Mary and Big Betty? In person, this is one big tire, and the tread has a soft and pliable feel, with tough abrasion-resistant sidewalls. I’ll be testing the 29er on my Ibis Ripley and the 650B on my Mojo HD. I thought it was sort of interesting that the 29er weighed 55 grams less than the 650B. I’ll toss it into some nasty gravel and rock gardens asap, to see how the meaty blocks work in the real world.


  • 29 – 816 grams and 812 grams, width 2.27 inches
  • 650B – 870 grams and 867 grams


Company Propaganda

Born from the need to race in European enduro events, the Vigilante is our premier aggressive All Mountain tire, and first choice for Team WTB’s Mark Weir. The square-lugged open-tread pattern offers stability in loose or wet terrain, while the stiff outside knob’s grip at lean angles like nobody’s business. With Dual DNA rubber, this is the tire to ride when you are giving it your all.

  • Usage: All Mountain, Gravity
  • Conditions: Dry to Damp / Hardpack to Sandy
  • Sizes: 26″, 650b, 29″

MIO Alpha

The high tech ALPHA from Vancouver based MIO is the world’s first strapless, continuous heart-rate monitor you can wear on your wrist. It uses light beams and electro-optical cell technology to calculate your heart rate, so no need to wear a chest strap monitor that always seems to droop downwards during a workout. You can use the readout from the watch and also wirelessly transfer the data to a smart device via Bluetooth. It comes in Black and White and retails for $199.

Impressions => The watch is really comfortable to wear, and didn’t cause any pitch spots, even when worn snugly as per their instructions. The watch was large enough for easy reading, which was especially nice while bouncing along the trail. To use the watch while wearing my usual long sleeve jersey, I had to roll up the sleeve a couple of times, else it covered the readout. I really enjoyed not having the silly chest strap HR monitor, which besides being uncomfortable, tends to give spiking and sometimes inaccurate readings. Once my iPhone 5 or 4S shows up I can pair it with the Alpha (my iPhone 4 doesn’t use Bluetooth 4.0), and track my HR.

Strapless continuous heart-rate monitor
ALPHA is intuitive, with just two buttons to push and only the most essential features.

  • Continuous heart rate monitoring
  • No uncomfortable chest strap
  • Tested accurate at performance speeds
  • Bluetooth® Smart (4.0) technology connects with smartphones**
  • User-settable heart rate zones
  • Data review (total exercise time, average heart rate, time “in zone”)
  • Exercise timer
  • Clock

How Does Alpha Work?
Two light beams and an electro-optical cell “sense” the volume of blood under your skin. Because the blood volume pulsates in the rhythm of the heart, so does the signal from the electro-optical cell. This signal is processed by an advanced electronics circuit and passed on to a highly specialized computer program that is embedded in the ALPHA. To date, the stumbling block with this type of technology has been the arm movements while walking or running strongly interfere with the electro-optical signal to the point that it is no longer possible to extract the heart rate from it. In order to solve this problem the ALPHA has been provided with a separate motion detector. The computer program is able to use the information from this detector to compensate for the disturbance that is generated in the electro-optical signal by walking or running motions. As a result, the ALPHA can display an accurate heart rate even during motion-intense activities.


  • Soft silicone strap
  • Negative dot-matrix LCD
  • Intuitive 2-button navigation
  • Tri-color LED heart rate zones
  • Secure snap latching system
  • Bluetooth® Smart wireless transmitter
  • USB charging dock with magnetic alignment
  • Rechargeable lithium polymer battery

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