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Bontrager SE5 Team Issue TLR Tire

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Bontrager SE5 Team Issue TLR Tire

Hope you don't get a bad egg..

Rating: Featured Member Review
Bontrager SE5 Team Issue TLR Tire
The Good:

Great tread design that holds well in multiple types of conditions, Outstanding tread life, Descent price.

The Bad:

The sidewall ripped on multiple tires.

Overall Review:

When it comes to increasing one’s confidence while riding there are a few components that have a huge impact on finding oneself riding on or fall off a trail. Through my own experience, suspension, brakes, and tires are some of the most critical ones to get right. In hopes to increase my confidence, I picked up a new set of endure specific Bontrager SE4 Team Issue TRL tires at the end of last season. With adequate miles on them, here are my impressions:

Out of The Box:

Unlike some previous models made by Bontrager, I found the SE5 tires to be very well thought out. From the top of the tread all the way to the sidewall design, the SE5 looked like a solid option and decent competitor if thrown into a WWE steel cage wrestling match with a bunch of Maxxis Minions.

Getting the tires seated on my Spank hoops was very simple and straight forward. In one attempt of using my Bontrager Charger pump, the tires took and lost next to no Stan’s sealant. After several hours, the tires lost no air which I was quite happy about.

Photo

Unlike other tire brands out there, Bontrager didn’t under exaggerate the weight of the SE5 tire. In fact, I feel they may have slightly over exaggerate It’s weight. Claimed weight came in at 935 grams and mine came in at just 902 grams with near perfect tread left.

Photo

When it comes to tire width, actual tire widths are are often no where near what they are claimed to be. One reason why this may be is due to the fact that internal rim width varies between wheelset to wheelset but. The second reason, and slightly more frustrating one is that companies flat out get their measurements wrong. With all this said, I am glad to say that the Bontrager SE5 Team Issue TLR tire's actual width (59mm = 2.32") is spot on with what it's states width (2.3"); Keep in mind this was compared with a 29mm internal width rim. 

On The Trail:

Riding mostly in the high desert climate of central Utah, I found the Bontrager SE5 tires to offer excellent grip and bit well in a variety of types of dirt (wet, tacky, loose over hard, and full blown moon-dust.) Having ran Maxxis Minions DHF style tires on the front for most of my biking life, I was very impressed with how well the SE5 stayed on track in non-bermed, loose corners. If I had the option of any tire, I would probably stick with a DHF style tread up front because I am very use to how it handles but you won’t have a terrible time running a SE5 front and rear and I did that for several months with no issues.

 

Durability:

What does Nicholas Cage and Maxxis tires have in common? They are both gone in 60 seconds. What does Nicholas Cage and Maxxis tires NOT have in common? One has a proven track record of stellar performance. You decide which of the two that is..

 

Anyways, back to the review. The main reason I wanted to try out the Bontrager tires is because I wanted knobs that lasted a little longer on the dry, sharp rocks I ride on almost every ride. After months of of wear and tear, I’m glad to say they have done just that. I may have not gotten the absolute best traction compared to other tires but the 61 durometer rubber on top and 50 durometer side knobs has kept my tread and myself intact for much longer than any Maxxis I’ve owned.

 

One Major Issue:

With an aggressive tread and durable knobs, what could go wrong? Well, how about a torn casing? How about two torn casings? That’s right, shortly after taking photos of the actual width of the tire, the casing tore on my rear. This happened while landing a hip jump which has actually torn other Bontrager tire casings before. Throwing my front SE5 on the rear, two weeks later I tore the second tire’s casing while riding accross a sloped hill. Needless to say, this is unacceptable in my book and because of this reason, I can’t recommend these tires. Luckily, my LBS is very good at getting defective products warrantied and so I will most likely get a replacement pair and sell them to hopefully get some of my money back.

 

Bottom Line:

These Bontrager SE5 tires look and perform great. They offer durable rubber but have absolutely horrible casings. Tearing both tire’s casings within 2 weeks of each other with near perfect tire tread left is unacceptable. Because of this, I can’t recommend these tires. 4 Stars for performance, 5 Stars for tread-life, 0 stars for casing durability.

Specifications

Product Bontrager SE5 Team Issue TLR Tire
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b), 29"
Tire Width
  • 2.3 inches
  • 2.6 inches
Tubeless Compatible Tubeless Ready (TLR)
Bead Aramid, Clincher
Durometer 61a/50a
Sidewall Core Strength has sidewall and sub-tread protection, 60 TPI
Weight
  • 2 lb 1 oz (935 g)
  • 2 lb 2.9 oz (990 g)
  • 2 lb 3.8 oz (1,015 g)
  • 2 lb 6.1 oz (1,080 g)
Miscellaneous Enduro-style tire designed for loose, rocky, and wet conditions
Aggressive tread for confident cornering and braking traction on wet, slick, demanding trails
Price
  • $74.99
  • $84.99
More Info

www.trekbikes.com

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