Bontrager XR Tubeless Ready 29"er Tires: First Impressions

The Bontrager tires have been mounted up and ridden. Here are my initial thoughts and a few numbers to chew on.

Bontarger XR Tubeless Ready Tires on the HiFi Deluxe

The Bontrager XR tires now come in the Tubeless Ready variety, which means you can run sans tubes with the aid of a sealant. I chose to use Stan’s NoTubes product, as it works better to seal up puntures than the Bontrager product does. Another turn from the normal Tubeless Ready system is my mounting these on Stan’s Flow rims. My experience may not reflect yours, so be careful, but I thought the XR’s mounted rather well. I got them to air up with a floor pump and they seated at about 35psi on the rim beads with a snap or two.

The XR’s didn’t look all that big when I first mounted them. I measured them out initially at 53mm casing width, 53.7 outer knob to outer knob. However; I knew from past experience that the Bontrager Tubeless Ready tires tend to stretch quite a bit after mounting, so I waited a few days and came back to the following numbers. Remember, the first is the casing width, the second number is the outer knob to outer knob width.

55.5mm/55.4mm front
56.3mm/56.3mm rear

Quite a difference! I noticed the difference visually after about a day of having them mounted. I have spoken to a couple of other Bontrager Tubeles Ready users that confirm that these tires do indeed stretch a bit.

After airing the tires to 20 psi front and 25 psi rear, I went out on a loop at our local Boy Scout Camp and did a few other rides on them. The Scout Camp is the most technical and challenging ride so far. Lot of roots, steep climbs, and some off camber. The trails consisted of some hard pack, loose over hard pack, sand over hardpack, and deeper sand with some rocks here and there. A gravel service road was in this loop too.

The big thing I noticed was how supple and smooth the XR’s are. Super smooth! They rolled quite well too, giving me no troubles with rolling resistance here. The climbs were mostly done without issue, but the XR’s grip was exceeded on a couple of occaisions. Off camber sent me skittering sideways once too. In most other instances though, the tire flew, and grip was decent. In sand, the XR’s exhibited a tendency to float. It was a sensation almost akin to skiing on snow. Corners took more real estate to negotiate, but the XR’s could be counted on to stay “afloat” and keep giving you a chance to drift right on through if you dare to.

Braking traction was good. I didn’t have any issues hauling the rig down to a crawl. Accelerations were quick and the tires felt nimble and fast. Overall I am most impressed with the comfort and float in sand that the XR’s have. These tires would definitely be high on my list of set ups for a hardtail or fully rigid bike in the dry conditions I experienced at the Camp.

I will be continuing to use the XR tires in varying conditions over the next weeks and months. look for an update soon!


No Responses to “Bontrager XR Tubeless Ready 29"er Tires: First Impressions”

  1. Oderus Says:

    This has been my favorite tire for some time now. I have been running them tubless on a set of Rhythm Elite wheels and they simply rock. I run mine 32lbs front and 35lbs in the rear. It is perfect for the riding here is Colorado. I highly recommend trying these tires out if you can.

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