e*thirteen TRS Tires

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First Look, First Ride: e*thirteen's Reinforced Tires

Changing tire manufacturers is a risky proposition, but e*thirteen's new tires don't skip a beat. They'll also be available in greater quantities and downhill versions.

Rating: Vital Review
First Look, First Ride: e*thirteen's Reinforced Tires

How do you make a great tire even better? It has to actually be available, for starters.

In 2016 e*thirteen released their first tire. Those who tried it, including Vital, were by and large impressed. We were very pleased with cornering traction, noting that the tires held quite a bit longer than most when it came to laying it over and pushing hard. We also found ourselves braking later and later into corners due to the tire’s excellent braking traction and overall control. The even, slow wear of the tires was another standout characteristic we enjoyed.

Word spread and demand increased. As time went on, though, e*thirteen was faced with the reality that the previous manufacturer could not (would not?) produce enough tires to meet demand, and the brand was forced to look to another

How do you make a great tire even better? It has to actually be available, for starters.

In 2016 e*thirteen released their first tire. Those who tried it, including Vital, were by and large impressed. We were very pleased with cornering traction, noting that the tires held quite a bit longer than most when it came to laying it over and pushing hard. We also found ourselves braking later and later into corners due to the tire’s excellent braking traction and overall control. The even, slow wear of the tires was another standout characteristic we enjoyed.

Word spread and demand increased. As time went on, though, e*thirteen was faced with the reality that the previous manufacturer could not (would not?) produce enough tires to meet demand, and the brand was forced to look to another manufacturer. Enter VEE Tire Co.

Our first TRS tire was an instant classic... Grip was the end goal, and these tires were the ticket. After winning multiple tire shootouts and with positive reviews from media and end users alike, we felt there were still some improvements to make. - e*thirteen Components

Making the switch to VEE might have a lot of you concerned that quality might not remain consistent. VEE is still a relative newcomer to the scene and has yet to really prove their merit on the enduro/downhill stage.

Curious to see what the difference amounts to on the trail, we've been riding a pair of the new TRS Race tires to see if there is a noticeable change. We also have some old versions on hand for a visual comparison. With the tires side-by-side, you're able to see both slight and major differences.

Old TRS Race and Plus tire
New TRS Race tire
New LG1 Race tire

The biggest difference is increased casing thickness on the new tires. e*thirteen is now offering the tire in both a single ply TRS version and a new dual-ply LG1 downhill version, which is very stout. For comparison, the three photos above show the casings of an old TRS Race tire, new TRS Race tire, and new LG1 Race tire being pinched by hand very tightly. There's far more material and overall casing thickness on the new versions.

For 2018, our TRS tires are reengineered with a more stable, supportive casing and better puncture protection. We now also offer a dual-ply LG1 downhill version with the same all-terrain tread pattern and true 2.35-inch width.
Old
New

Top: Old // Bottom: New

Looking closely, we observed slightly shorter, less deep center knobs with just a few degrees less ramp than before. Slight misalignment on our samples also resulted in some tread inconsistencies, jagged center sipes, and slightly misshaped side knobs.

Top: Old // Bottom: New Race version with woven aramid layer

An additional change we noted is to the side knobs, which now have a little less side-siping. The fancy pattern on the sidewalls is also gone, although the new Race versions look equally interesting thanks to a woven layer of aramid showing through.

Whether intentional or not, according to e*thirteen all but the casing changes listed above are "effectively cosmetic" and "don't affect performance."

e*thirteen Tire Specs and Features

  • Same true-to-size 2.35-inch tire width for both TRS and LG1 tires
  • Same ultra-grippy tread pattern
  • All tires have Apex inserts for added casing support, as well as cut protection.
  • Race tires feature a layer of woven aramid reinforcement that not only maximizes air retention, but better protects against sidewall cuts and punctures.
  • Available in single-ply TRS casing for enduro and dual-ply LG1 for downhill
  • Available in both Race and Plus compounds
  • MSRP: Race - $69.95, €74.90 // Plus - $59.95, €64.90

"Race tires use a slow rebound, tacky [52a durometer] rubber compound for maximum traction, while the side knobs use a high-tack [48a durometer] compound to maximize cornering and off-camber grip. Plus tires utilize the same tacky, slow rebound compound over the entire tread, without the high-tack side knobs. Both Race and Plus tires exhibit excellent wear characteristics due to high compound toughness as well as excellent load distribution on the tread under heavy cornering and braking."

Actual Weights

  • Old TRS Race: 27.5 - 900g
  • New TRS Race: 27.5 - 1,020g
  • New LG1 Race: 27.5 - 1,130g

On The Trail

To see how these changes translate to the trail, we've ridden approximately 40 miles on the new TRS Race version. First we tried them out on the loamy steeps of Santa Cruz, then a variety of loose-over-hard pack, sand, clay, and rock-strewn trails in San Luis Obispo, California, home of one of e*thirteen's office locations and the 2015 Vital MTB Test Sessions.

We're pleased to report that the overall performance of the tire has not changed dramatically in one way or another when it comes to grip and control. The most notable change is a result of the casing updates. Previously, when heavy riders were cornering hard or subjecting the tires to major loads, the sidewall would occasionally collapse on itself depending on the pressure riders were running. That's much less likely to happen with the new casing.

At a given pressure, the tire does act a little differently through rocky terrain by translating more bump feedback to the rider. The new casing is just a bit firmer-feeling, and it's possible that the rubber is a bit less damped than before.

Our 175-pound tester has found the lighter TRS Race casing to be sufficient in all listed trail conditions, and riders who were content with the support the previous version offered may even be able to drop a few extra psi without worry. Even so, e*thirteen's Connor Bondlow, who weighs in at 200-pounds and rides quite well, prefers to use the heavier LG1 Plus rear tire on his pedal bike for rough, rocky trails.

Another notable change is the weight. The new tires gained 120-164g, depending on the tire diameter, model, and compound, but the added weight comes with improved sidewall stability and cut resistance – two things we'd gladly take in exchange for a few extra grams.

While e*thirteen claims that rolling resistance is decreased as a result of the new Apex insert, we didn't feel a noticeable difference. Rolling speed continues to be the tire's only real downside, which is why we prefer it as a front-only tire on our trail/all-mountain/enduro bikes. For lift-assisted use we'd happily mount a full set front and rear.

What's The Bottom Line?

Despite a factory change and slight visual differences in the tread pattern and manufacture quality, e*thirteen's tires are still awesome – a testament to just how good the tread design is. Thanks to a new casing they're now better suited for heavy and more aggressive riders, and sidewall cut resistance is also improved. This comes at a slight weight penalty, but the tradeoff is worthwhile. The new TRS Race tire is one we'd love to see come stock on the front of more enduro/all-mountain bikes, and the LG1 versions offer a lot of promise for downhill use.

Visit www.bythehive.com for more details. Tires are available now.

Vital MTB First Ride Rating: 4.5 Stars - Outstanding


About The Reviewer

Brandon Turman - Age: 31 // Years Riding MTB: 16 // Height: 5'10" (1.78m) // Weight: 175-pounds (79.4kg)

"I like to have fun, pop off the bonus lines on the sides of the trail, get aggressive when I feel in tune with a bike, and really mash on the pedals and open it up when pointed downhill." Formerly a Mechanical Engineer and Pro downhill racer, Brandon brings a unique perspective to the testing game as Vital MTB's resident product guy. He has on-trail familiarity with nearly every new innovation in our sport from the past several years and a really good feel for what’s what.

Photos by Brandon Turman and e*thirteen

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Specifications

Product e*thirteen TRS Tires
Riding Type Freeride, Trail
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b), 29"
Tire Width 2.35 inches
Tubeless Compatible Yes
Bead Folding
Durometer TRS Race: 52a center with 48a side knobs
TRS Plus: 52a
Sidewall Apex insert for casing support and cut protection
TRS Race tires feature a layer of woven Aramid reinforcement
Weight
  • 2 lb 3.1 oz (995 g)
  • 2 lb 6.6 oz (1094 g)
  • 2 lb 2.9 oz (990 g)
  • 2 lb 4.4 oz (1033 g)
Miscellaneous
Price
  • $69.95
  • $59.95
More Info

www.bythehive.com

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