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Review: Tyres: Bontrager XR4 Team Issue (2016)

Review Tyres: Bontrager XR4 Team Issue (2016)



Size: 27.5 x 2.35
TPI: 120 tpi
Durometer: 62a/60a
Bead: Aramid
Type: TLR/Clincher
Colour: Black
Weight: 780g

Summary:

The XR4 is the heaviest of the XR rough terrain tyre available from 26 to 29" in size.  Specifically the XR4 is available in 5 sizes and represents a good all-mountain and enduro tyre able to soak up a lot of damage while still being of very light construction.  Those who may look at a Hans Dampf or Maxis Minion or High Roller may find a similar tyre here from Bontrager and an impressive specification it is.


Riding:

The tyre can be extremely fast, considering the ridiculous ammount of grip it seems to offer in almost every condition.  Using tyre pressure cleverly it can be super low rolling resistance in character on a cyclepath and with its bombproof bontrager rimstrip can be a whippy and grippy tyre in a bikepark.  I actually think the tyres improve with age initially as the slightly raised centre knobs take on a more rolling-friendly characteristic on berms and other high speed turns as the side-knobs dig in during angled turns.
The only less than positive point would be on extreme sticky clay-like muddy surfaces, where the enduro-optimised knob spacing will not shed this type of mud easily.  In almost a year of riding them though i only found one day where this condition was found and after some distance on more normal surfaces the knobs emerged from the mud to provide good grip again even though they were caked in mud.
While not optimum on "kitty-litter" bikepath surfaces they love loam, loose rocky descents and technical climbing, and they eat up fireroads or even tarmac fine.  Lightness and consistency make them something you can forget about when you are at the limit on the next very hard climb.


Placement:

A front tyre only or equally at home on front and rear.  I'm finding it very hard to justify changing a front-rear set out on a full-suspension bike for anything more extreme in terms of mud-loving tyre, or bothering to opt for a higher density grip pattern more suited to XC.
Keith Bontrager, you are onto a winner again with these.


Testing:
(Review Model: 2016 tyre on a Trek Slash 9 (2016).)
http://www.trekbikes.com/gb/en_GB/bikes/mountain-bikes/trail-mountain-bikes/slash-2016/slash-9/p/1192700-2016

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