Long Term Update: Bontrager's Race X Lite Wheels & Dry X Tires

Hi Fi Deluxe mounted with the TLR Race X Lite wheels and Dry X Tires

Editors Note: This is an update on a couple of products being used and tested on a long term basis.

The Bontrager Tubeless Ready Race X Lite wheels and Dry X tires made it onto my Fisher Hi Fi Deluxe test rig recently due to the fact that I needed tubeless tires and wheels to help me to avoid the dreaded flat tire caused by cactus needles which are prevalent along the trails of El Paso Texas where I spent spring vacation. I was a bit hesitant to use the rather light and nimble wheels in the unforgiving rocky environs of Franklin Mountain State Park, but I was rather pleased with the out come.

You may remember how I was a bit concerned about wheel flex for a big guy like me on the Bontrager wheel set, and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting very good things out of the wheel set on these trails. The Bontrager wheels did just fine though and actually were a great asset on the many loose, steep pitches on the trails I rode. I didn’t notice the wheels flexing in the bedrock exposed off camber bits and tight turns were done with no drama. The acceleration factor was better than most wheels. That was something very noticeable.

The tires were actually not the original set I tested last year that did not have the production versions “AR” beefier casing. These were new production versions and they did just great on the dusty, loose rocks and deeper gravely bits. I was impressed with the traction, speed, and cush of the casings. The tires were being run tubeless with sealant, so no flats to report either. Yeah!

All in all, the Tubeless Ready System from Bontrager is very impressive and I highly recommend it. The only nit would have to be that the plastic rim strips for the Rhythm wheels are not yet available, but when they are, a wide range of possibilities will open up. Expect Bontrager to continue to add to the Tubeless ready tire pile as well.

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No Responses to “Long Term Update: Bontrager's Race X Lite Wheels & Dry X Tires”

  1. Keith Says:

    What sealant were you using? Bontrager Super Juice or other? I’ve used SJ before with success, but was curious what you had in there. Did you get any flats or sealed punctures while in Texas? In short did the sealant do it’s job beyond making the tires air-tight?

  2. ScottS Says:

    What psi did you find worked well for the Dry-X? Upon your reccomendations, I picked one up for a rear tire and was immediateley impressed with the sidewall thickness and that the tire actually held its shape on the rim without being inflated which are all good things in the desert. I have no trail time yet, but am confident that I will not blow these off my rear Cmax29 as I had the ACX TR in the past. I still have a Nevegal on the Front which looks monsterous in comparasin. FTR: The only reason I replaced the Nevegal was it was rubbibng the chainstay on my Sir 9.

    Do you like the Dry X as a front tire as well?

  3. Davidcopperfield Says:

    How would you compare effectivness of Stan’s No tubes fluid and Hutchinson’s to Bontragers’

  4. ODERUS Says:

    GT; the Rhythm strips are available. I got the Rhythm Elite 29ers back in October and got the rim strips about a week later. I have run them with the Dry X and the Jones tires just fine. I had to call my inside rep for the part number as they were not listed in TCG. But they are indeed out there.

  5. Guitar Ted Says:

    ScottS: I used about 30psi rear/27psi front in the rocky stuff. I was a bit worried about pinching on the narrower Bonty Race X Lite wheel, so I kept it right at about that. I could go lower on buffer rails. Surprisingly, I found it to stick pretty well in loose rock/gravel. I am not sure about “kitty litter” over hardpack, but hopefully I’ll find out soon. Last year the pre-production tires sucked on that sort of stuff, but with stiffer sidewalls, I may be all right.

  6. ScottS Says:

    Thanks GTed.

    I was just on the bontrager website. There is no Dry X listed. They do have an XDX tire with no photo shown. Do you know if this is the same tire?

  7. Guitar Ted Says:

    DavidCopperfield: No Tubes and Hutchinson’s Fast Air sealants are better at sealing punctures in my experience. Bontrager’s Super Juice is a great sealant but I have not had the best results at sealing punctures with it. I like the Hutchinson Fast Air the best since it seems to last longer than Stan’s does.

    ODERUS: I tried to get some Rhythm strips before my Texas trip and there were none available at that time. Not even my inside contacts could score me a pair just laying around. Must be rare as hen’s teeth at the moment.

    ScottS. Yeah, you are right. I just saw that too. I sent an e-mail off to the proper authorities to see if I can get to the bottom of this.

    I can tell you that the tires are listed in Trek’s parts catalog and I just scored a pair of Dry X’s about 2 weeks ago now. So they were available then, at least.

  8. Guitar Ted Says:

    Keith: I wanted to address your comment there. I did not choose to use Super Juice in Texas. I used another product instead. I have not experienced very good results with Super Juice as a puncture sealant. As a tire casing sealant it is top notch, maybe better than anything I have yet used.

    I rode with tubes there last year and I made the loop, but both tires were flat the next morning. I checked the tubes and patched them, but never actually found any needles in the tires.

    This year I never saw any signs that sealant had spewed out of either sets of tires I had down there. One set I had Stan’s in and the other set I used Slime’s tubeless tire mixture in. Judging from the size of my punctures last year, I doubt I would have seen anything on the outside of the tires as evidence that I had a puncture. I did notice that the air pressure was off by about ten pounds in the Dry X tires the next day, so perhaps that is the evidence we are looking for. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Oderus Says:

    ScottS, the XDX is the Dry X. Not sure why the name changed. The 2 sets that I got both say Dry X but they are listed in Trek’s Catalog as the XDX.

  10. funkenstein Says:

    they changed the name of the “Dry” X because they actually perform pretty well in all conditions . They work well in conditions other than “Dry”. I think they may have thought the name alone was steering peeps that were looking for more than just a dry only tire away from purchasing them. In my personal experience, they work darn well in everything but extreme slop.

  11. Guitar Ted Says:

    Oderus- funkenstein: Yeah, I know that there was a bit of dismay over in the Halls of Trek over the Dry X moniker. XDX is non-descript enough that perhaps it would bolster sales, I don’t know that it really matters though. When a tire is this good, I don’t think the name of it means a whole lot. That’s my opinion anyway.

    Another thing, the catalog at our shop, (I work for a Trek dealer) says “Dry X”, for what it’s worth. I suppose recent updated catalogs may show the newer moniker. My tires also still have the original Dry X hot patch too.

    Now………..what is really interesting is that on the Bontrager site there is a heading that says “26 and 29 Trail Tires” with a bunch of Big Earl stuff and some other tires listed. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. JasonDoubleU Says:

    Just a note about your concern re: the flexible nature of the wheel prior to your test riding. I had a similar feeling while test riding the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29, the wheelset seemed really felxible and almost “whippy” in the parking lot, but once on the trail, I didn’t really notice anything negative. I feel that a flexible wheelset may also add to the compliance and comfort on the trail as they might absorb big hits and bumps, this may not be a feeling for everyone, but as long as they stay true and don’t flex too much, I can see this as a good thing. Glad to hear that you had a good experience on these wheels!!

  13. Matt from Marshall Says:

    Great article, thanks for the info. My XDX’s (AR casing) arrive tomorrow, so now the question is do I try running them tubeless (on Bont Race X lite tubeless rims) or stick with tubes? I have 6 days until the Fat Tire Fest and have never dealt with tubeless before and don’t want issues on raceday. Yes, I live in fear of flats, 15 years at Chequamagon and ZERO flats running tubes. So what do I do? tubeless? Tubes alone? Tubes with Slime?
    Things were simpler on the 1983 Schwinn High Sierra…….

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