A great three-season option

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Bontrager XR4 Team Issue tyre

Product:

Bontrager XR4 Team Issue tyre review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£49.99
This product is featured in: Best mountain bike tyres for 2018.
The Bontrager XR4 Team Issue has always claimed to be a bit of an all-rounder that can handle loose, rocky, rough, wet or dry trails.

>>> Best mountain bike tyres for 2018

Bontrager’s latest 4-series tyres are offered from 2.4in up to 3.0in wide. We’ve tried the 2.6in size in SE4 (Super Enduro) and XR4 (trail) casings on both wheel sizes, with the SE’s ‘Core Strength’ puncture protection adding around 120g for claimed ‘DH-level’ security.

The tread uses pretty evenly spaced blocks, without a pronounced shoulder channel, and blows up rounder than most ‘in-between’ tyres. The dual-compound knobs are relatively low profile, so while the SE version is enduro-rated, it works best as an aggressive trail tyre outside of winter. The heavier version uses a 66tpi lay up, and the XR a single-ply 120tpi casing, both with extra layers under the tread crown and sidewalls to increase durability and cut resistance.

Bontrager’s casing is supple, with the thicker SE tyre feeling duller and more muted in the rough stuff. The tread has softer (although not that squidgy) 50a shoulders and firmer 61a durometer centre knobs, which are higher numbers compared to some, but there’s no noticeable reduction in hold on all surfaces and climbing traction is excellent, considering the tread height. We had zero burping or air loss issues either.

There’s a very uniform, no-surprises feel to the grip so you can trust the drift – the tyre never pings or fires off edges and, at the limits of traction, breaks away very smoothly, even really leant over. The lighter XR is tough enough for most parts of the UK, but the SE version will be better on the rear on rocky or sharper trails. Neither tyre is super-light, but they don’t ever feel sluggish or heavy and the bigger volume is comfy and rolls real fast, making these a great three-seasons option you can just leave on, unless you live in a very muddy area where a toothier tyre will cut in better.

Details

Weight:940g (XR4 29 x 2.6in)
Contact:trekbikes.com
Sizes:27.5 and 29 x 2.4, 2.6, 3.0in
Actual size:64.6mm (2.55in)