Bontrager XR3 Tire
|MSRP : $29.99|
Product DescriptionBontrager's XR3 tire has an open, aggressive tread pattern with a fast-rolling center region and strong, aggressive shoulders so you can ride one tire with confidence in a wide variety of trail conditions. The tire for those who ride everywhere and prefer to use a single tire in every condition.
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|Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)|
Date Reviewed: July 22, 2015
Strengths: light weight
Great mix of traction and speed for cross country and all mountain. Have not had them wash out on me at high speed or in races
Super Super fast on hardpack and typical Syndey sandstone terrain.
high resistance to flats despite having rolled across sharp igneous rock and typical sharp sandstone pebbles.
OK wear characteristics. seemed to wear fast initially but then have stabilised.
Weaknesses: More expensive than some compeditors
not so great in clay where they clog up a bit.
Go for an XR4 if you are planning more endeauro terrain or deep sand.
Sidewalls show suprising evidence of scuffs with hints of the canvas pattern showing. Does not appear to have impacted the structural rigidity.
Slow on tarmac - as expected
I ride these tires using tubes most weekends on my local terrain which is best described as typical Sydney Sandstone
basin. All mountain mix of sand, sandstone, tree roots, clay and gravel. often damp or wet. I have only had 2 pinch flats in that whole time. One of which was due to me having the pressure way to low.
These tires have done about 1300km in that time and still have about 50% tread left. They did seem to wear fast initially but then stabilised. I focus on speed, cornering and flow and find these tyres perfect for that. They are great when cornering as they have more knobs between the centre and outer tread than a Maxxis Ardent so no weird feeling as you lean over. They always provide you feedback when you are close to the limit. They can be caught out occasionally by wet diagonal tree roots. I have noticed that the rubber on the sidewalls seems to be wearing and showing hints of the canvas patten underneath. However this appears to be an asthetic issue as the tires have not had any blow outs or cuts.
They do get out of their depth and slip when doing extreme technical uphill/downhill endeauro style riding or in deep mud or clay. Deep soft sand also is pushing their limits. Several people I know use an XR4 at the front for that terrain with an XR3 on the back for speed.
For their relatively light weight, I consider these tires an excellent match to the dual 120mm travel XC/trail focus of my bike. I would highly recommend them to beginner/intermediate riders and amateur racers who want a responsive tire that will not surprise them. They are definitely not pure race tires but they are light and fast and I have raced several trail events with no problem,
I like them so much so that I am likely going to replace them with the slightly lighter XR3 Team Issue and go tubeless next time.
Note that I have also considered Bontrager XR4's, Maxxis and Schwalbe as replacements however they seem to be a lot heavier and less suitable for my style.
Date Reviewed: May 31, 2015
Strengths: Not a slow tire
Weaknesses: very poor uphill traction, looks slimmer than claimed, bad in loose conditions.
Date Reviewed: November 30, 2014
Weaknesses: No traction on hard pack, slightly lose dirt or pebbles, or roots. Or anything else
Date Reviewed: January 11, 2014
Strengths: Loose over hard pack, Southwest Arizona rocks, control in pebbly corners
Weaknesses: When pressure is too low you'll start to feel less control in corners
Ok, let me just say that the old XR3 design was crap. The new design however, is fantastic. I'm an avid Cat 1 racers and I only run Schwalbe tires, but after having the opportunity to ride the new XR3 in the lose and rocky Arizona trails I'm sold. The handling and cornering is fantastic. Grip in pebbly turns is predictable and I've never felt a tire track so nicely when things get loose.
I'm running the XR3 as a front tire on my 2011 top fuel and the XR1 on the rear. Both setup tubeless, and both 26". I'm about 135lbs and run 23.5 psi in the front, I found if I go much lower the knobs start to deform in the corners and I lose traction.
The entire Bontrager line is now TLR (tubeless ready). I ran this tire at 2013 mtb nationals where the course was insanely rocky with potential spots to puncture (there were over 100 flat tires) and it was great. I've never flatted it (been riding it for a year when they first came out.
Duration Product Used: 1 year
Purchased At: n/a
Similar Products Used: Schwalbe Nobby Nic
Bike Setup: 2011 Top Fuel 9.9 SSL
Date Reviewed: October 6, 2013
Strengths: Solid grip and response on dry pack, fire trails, moderate woodland tracks.
Weaknesses: Slow rolling, not huge amounts of grip on rough trails.
I usually ride on 2.2 Maxxis Ardents, but XR3 tires were on my new Fuel Ex when it was delivered, so thought I'd give them a go - all in all, I found them to be pretty good for XC riding. Reading the other reviews, I thought that I'd be riding some kind of death trap sled bike with these equipped, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Not too much vibration on the flat, decent enough grip on some moderately damp woodland trails, seemed to dig in pretty well on sandy trails when climbing (although not as much as the Ardent's). I'd not buy them personally (yet), but plan on keeping them equipped for the next few months to see how they bed in.
Bike Setup: Trek Fuel Ex 29er
Date Reviewed: August 16, 2013
Strengths: good fast-rolling centre and very fast on fire trail
Weaknesses: cornering on loose single trail makes like interesting (keep up insurance payments !), when jumping at speed on hard mud can skid,
Date Reviewed: June 2, 2013
Weaknesses: The 2012 version of this tire sucks. Where the center tread forms an "S" curve - it leaves an almost 2" gap where there is nearly zero traction on any type surface - asphalt, hardpack, loose gravel, rocks, EVERTHING! They do a slip-grab, slip-grap, on and on. Makes for a very exciting ride. I bought a 2012 EX8 with these tires and they are going in the trash ASAP - I have a new set of Kenda's on the way. If you have these tires on your bike, get them off at once. They are dangerous!
Date Reviewed: April 15, 2013
Strengths: Great rolling speed, and wetter conition.... That's it!
Weaknesses: All of the above!
Zero traction on dry, sandy condition. Southern Californian's stay away.
Tread life is pathetic, rode them for 3 months and they are nearly destroyed.
I have washed out more times than I can imagine because there is absolutely zero side rail grip. With that said there is no chance of being able to predict the slide like most good tires. The slide with these tires will put you on the floor trust me. Any sprinkle of sand on a turn and expect to loose it. I did happen to take the same trail that I was slipping and sliding on after a sprinkle, and it did grip well. Positive note it does roll better than i thought.
Duration Product Used: 3 Months
Bike Setup: Trek Fuel Ex8 2013
Date Reviewed: March 9, 2013
Strengths: Low price with side track. Better rolling in the center especially hard dirt track not so well for wet track
Weaknesses: Not so well with wet track. The compound of tires not durable easy peel off
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2013
Weaknesses: No tracking at all
Washes out when cornering
Date Reviewed: November 12, 2012
Strengths: Light..Rolled well
Date Reviewed: June 1, 2012
Strengths: None for Southern California riding, unless you like wasting all your energy climbing and being scared out of your mind descending.
Weaknesses: Would slide out all over the place when going downhill. Absolutely no grip when climbing in or out of the saddle.
Date Reviewed: May 25, 2012
Strengths: Good traction and cornering grip on dry hardpack and in moist conditions.
Weaknesses: Amazingly sluggish.
I can't comment on durability as I have only done 30km or so.
I might keep these tyres for wetter conditions that my WTB Wolverines can't handle. If they don't perform I'll shell out for some faster wet weather tyres.
4 Stars for grip and traction
2 Stars for rolling resistance
Date Reviewed: May 24, 2012
Strengths: Roll fast
Weaknesses: Slide out from under you in dry dusty conditions. Slides and gets sideways while rolling over small-large diagonal roots.
Purchased At: Richardson Bike Mart
Similar Products Used: Kenda Nevegals
Kenda Small Block 8's
Bike Setup: Brand new 2012 Trek Fuel EX8
Date Reviewed: May 17, 2012
Strengths: Very good handling in moderately sandy conditions.
Good control/handling on dry packed & wet tracks.
Works well at lower pressures 35-40psi.
Good control/handling at normal and higher pressures 45-55.
Weaknesses: Lack of speed overall through the trails.
Lacks grip (rear) in wet/soft conditions.
As a front tire for use in a multitude of situations this is a great option for many riders. Though it was not ridden in the moutainous trails of NC, it was put to a tough test here in FL. My trail riding includes muddy conditions, wet (non-muddy) conditions, hard packed clay trails, hard packed/occasionally sandy trails, and all of them have 15-20ft drops and inclines. This tire will get into the corner, stick, and bring you out precisely on the line you chose with no room for worry.
As a rear tire the tread pattern leaves a lot to be desired. This tire clearly failed miserably in slighty/moderately muddy conditions. When the trails were dry and packed there was an increase in dig/grip, but overall was sluggish/slow through all conditions.
My plans are to remove this tire from the rear and keep it as a front spare, or maybe unload it to someone else who needs a decent front. My next step will be replacing the rear, and after looking through just how many options are out there at the many different price points, I am certain I will be able to purchase a much better substitute at a much better price than the XR3 from Bontrager.
|Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)|
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