Feels disconnected compared to some other tyres
It’s not often a new player enters the tyre market, and E13’s debut tyre looked promising when it was launched earlier this year.
Designed for maximum grip and stability, and tough enough for enduro racing, without the weight of a dedicated downhill tyre, the TRSr looks perfect for the kind of riding I love.
Made for wider rims, up to 31mm internal, this 2.35in tubeless tyre is available in two compounds and inflates easily to give a tall, wide profile that is on a par with a 2.35in Schwalbe Magic Mary or 2.4in Maxxis High Roller II.
The TRSr casing uses sidewall reinforcement to prevent pinch flats and a folding bead to keep the weight low. The tread has a slightly lower centre with aggressive edge knobs, and looks similar to other leading all-mountain tyres, with the exception of deep diagonal sipes and an unusual concertina style structure on the outside of the edge blocks — although E13 was keen to confirm these are just cosmetic. The Race version uses a triple compound rubber with a 42a centre strip and ultra-tacky 40a edge.
On the trail, the spaced-out tread lays down a lot of rubber on rock and root, and rolls pretty slowly, but the compound and casing has great comfort and tenacity and finds grip on slippy edges and lumps at slower speeds.
So far, so good, but pushing harder and cornering faster raised immediate doubts about the TRSr’s performance when leant over. Since I’ve read nothing but positive reviews elsewhere, I double and triple checked with colleagues about the poor cornering ability I was experiencing.
Why so bad? The edge blocks simply don’t offer enough support and stability. I couldn’t hold my line on off-camber sections, or corner aggressively, and the edge blocks collapsed far too readily. And this comes in a sudden, unnerving manner, rather than a predictable one. When braking hard, the TRSr also moves around too much.
My theory is that the base of the super-soft tread just isn’t firm enough.
After testing 12 sets of trail tyres for September’s grouptest, I’m well used to adjusting to tyre design nuances, but no amount of compensation or familiarity made me want to keep using it. Michelin’s Wild Rock’R 2 uses a similar side-knob construction and soft rubber to excellent effect; the TRSr feels disconnected by comparison.