Bontrager has given its mountain bike tire range an update, with more protection for most models.
The Trek component sub-brand is aware that XC riders are getting into more technical terrain, thanks to the downcountry bike trend. That means the best mountain bike tires for cross-country need to survive more roots and rocks.
Tire engineers and industrial designers at Trek have worked on the XR1, which is marketed at a lightweight XC tire.
Bontrager has added its faster-rolling TM-Speed rubber compound to the XR1, which features a minimalist center tread block pattern and 120TPI casing. Despite weighing only 630g, when sized 29x2.2 inch, the XR1 does contain an Inner Strength single nylon insert to deliver sidewall protection.
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More protection with the SE5
Riders who want something with greater grip can opt for the new XR5 or SE5. Although the model names differ, both these tires use a similar tread pattern. More aggressively shaped tread blocks across the tire contact patch make the XR5 and SE5 ideally suited as trail tires.
Bontrager has used TM-Grip in the construction of its new XR5 and SE5 tires. So, what is the difference, if they look the same? It is all about the casing strength.
The XR5 tire has the same Inner Strength casing as the XR1 and a 60TPI construction whilst the SE5 is 120TPI and adds an additional nylon layer to form Bontrager's Outer Strength casing. The casing runs bead-to-bead, to improve puncture resistance, at the cost of a bit more weight.
Bontrager is offering the XR5 and SE5 tires in 27.5 or 29er sizes, with a large 2.5inch casing. Weights? The XR5 is 945g in the 27.5 inch size and 1,000g if you ride a 29er. That additional bead-to-bead nylon on the SE5 makes for a corresponding weight rating of 960g and 1,026g.
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Finally, Bontrager has updated SE6 which is aimed at aggressive trail enduro riding. TM-Grip compound is used for the tread that uses squared and sipped center knobs with taller side lugs for grip across a range of conditions. The SE6 shares the same Outer Strength puncture protection as the SE5 and 120 TPI construction. The SE6 is only available in 29x2.5 inch and weigh in at a claimed 1,045g.
Interested? Bontrager has priced the new XR1 and XR5 at $59.99. The more robust casing SE5 and SE6 tires will retail for $74.99.