The XR4 is your tire for rough trails, wet or dry. The aggressive tread design with deep, lateral cupped blocks, long shoulder blocks and buttressed tread block edges is ideal for loose and rocky conditions. Covered by Bontrager's Unconditional Performance Guarantee. Available in 2.20 or 2.35, aramid bead, 120 TPI.
Strengths: Good traction, light, lasted a long time so far, good-to-excellent cornering, true to size.
Weaknesses: I think my beloved High Rollers might corner just a smidge better. Not good on wet roots.
I have the 2012 version - 2.35 on the front, 2.2 on the rear - TLR. Mounted to DT Swiss EX 1750 rim (front) and Stans Flow rim on the rear. I believe the inside diameter is 21 and 23 respectively. I am running medium-weight tubes.
This tire out-performed and outlasted my expectations. I have had it on two different bikes for over a year. Actually, I didn't ride for 4 months, so let's call it 9 months. I normally run 2.35 folding High Rollers front and rear on my Yeti 575. I wanted to try these based on reviews and the possibility of running tubeless (I never did). Climbing traction was virtually the same as my High Rollers. Cornering was similar.
I changed to a Knolly Endorphin recently and have been running the same tires. I have been cornering like a madman on my new ride, and the XR4s seem to be up to the task, even though I bought them over a year ago. I felt compelled to write a review because they are wearing so well. The rear is showing some wear in the center, but it still works well. The front is basically good as new. I ride in SoCal as a weekend warrior - 15 mile rides twice a week in rock gardens and small ledges along with miles of fire-road and smooth single track. I weigh 210 and ride very aggressively.
I can run these with a little less pressure than I ran the High Rollers. (34 rear, 32 front). I have had one pinch flat in the rear, about 3 less than the HRs in the same amount of time.
If you like a Nevegal, these appear similar in design. Bottom line for me is they are light, work well and have lasted a long time. Get some unless you ride wet roots.
Similar Products Used: Maxxis high Roller 2.35 Folding, Schwalbe Fat Alberts
Bike Setup: XL 2013 Knolly Endorphin. 2012 Marzocchi 55 Microswitch TA, DT Swiss EX 1750 wheelset
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 27, 2013
Strengths: Grip, comfort, rolling resistance, these tires will absolutely keep your wheels on the ground. I have ridden these tires on all the dry, sandy, loose rocks, dusty, and wet boulder trails that Tucson Arizona has to offer. I can't imagine a better tire for grip.
Weaknesses: HOLY HELL THE PRICE! At $65 a POP it really hurts the pocket. Especially since the tires are paper thin. I've got +/- 450 miles out of them only a few months, with maybe a few hundred to spare ( as far as tread life is concerned) but I have shredded the sidewalls to ribbons. It's scarry to run these tubeless, they easily burp and take a few days to completely seal. Also run anything less than 25psi and they loose traction and become unpredictable.
WOAH... WAIT JUST A SECOND HERE! There is no way this tire deserves such a high rating. Think about the cost vs what you get. A $65 tire with loads of excellent traction that will last an avid rider 3months tops. The material is paper thin My $25 roadbike tires last well over 3000 miles. That just doesn't seem right. I would recommend these tires as a good front tire and, or, an amazing race day tire ( bring a spare tire)
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: December 3, 2012
Strengths: For me, rolling res. is very good for an aggressive tire, grip , price
Weaknesses: None so far
Have this tire on front and rear of my Intense Tracer. Love the tire overall, no pinch flats yet, great grip in the wet, muddy, rainy ,rocky, rooty west coast Victoria weather. Ridden in the dry also with NO issues. Corners well, brakes well. I have nothing bad to say about this tire, and for the $$ pricing isn't bad either. Never had Bontrager tires before, recommended from a GOOD rider at the Trek store in Victoria and will say I am impressed
Similar Products Used: LOTS OF OTHER TIRES & companies
Bike Setup: Intense Tracer etc.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 21, 2012
Strengths: Good quality tyre for a lower Price than the comPetition. Rolls pretty fast, feels precise when cornering.
Weaknesses: I found the 2.2 very wide and too tall for my 717s, so anyone considering these tyres with narrow rims should think twice. I can feel the tyre rolling around on the rim in corners and over root/rocks (feels scary). Probably would be corrected by a newer wider profile rim like a flow or equivalent. I also find the tyre locks up underbraking too easily and doesnt slow me down enough before it locks up. (that might be me being dozy).
Bought these tyres after reading good reviews, they're probably a good tyre if you're running the correct rim/tyre combination.
Similar Products Used: Highroller exception, specialised the captain control, panaracer razer mx protection, kenda nevagals.
Bike Setup: Giant trance x 2010, rebas 120, 717 on pro2 etc
Date Reviewed: July 16, 2012
Strengths: Fast rolling, great cornering, light weight.
Weaknesses: my tyre weighs only 600 grams which is good and bad.
This is my replacement for Maxxis High Roller 2.35 single ply maxxpro 60a folding that was my default. It is lighter, faster rolling, and corners just about as good. Doesn't have that HR "moment". Cost £30, so 10 quid cheaper than the HR.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: June 1, 2012
Strengths: These are a great all around all condition tire. Super fast rollers. Hook up nicely climbing and descending on loam, hard pack, loose and rocky, wet n' rooty...rips and grips everything! Shed mud pretty well too. Side lugs really let you lay the bike down in the berms.
Weaknesses: Weakness may be more rider than tire, but wet wooden bridges were like lubed up ice rinks.
These came stock with my Trek Slash and will probably become my tire of choice on all my bikes when thoses tires are in need of replacement. I've been on the FR3s, Nokians, Panaracers, Contys, Kendas, but the XR4 seems to be the best all arounder I've come across so far!
Strengths: Traction climbing and descending. Transition to cornering. Good flotation in sand.
Weaknesses: Needed to use an air compressor to mount them on my Mavic 823s.
I decided to try out these tires after reading reviews on them in MBA magazine. My Remedy had been outfitted with Bontrager XDX tires that were only good for keeping the rim from contacting the pavement. No traction in the northwest mud whatsoever. I swapped for a Specialized Purgatory (front) and Clutch (rear). When I moved back to Phoenix from Seattle I found that these tires were performing pretty good but transitions into a corner would be a little sketchy, sometimes losing traction enough to drift the tire until the side knobs could dig in and bite. This effect would increase with speed. My first trip out on the XR4 tires was measurably faster. In fact it was my fastest pace around the loop I normally ride. There was an immediately noticeable reduction in drag and weight too. I was definately able to put more power to the ground in steep and loose conditions where my other rear tires would break loose. At speed these tires feel better planted. I'm not getting the sensation of the tire rolling over even though I am using the same pressure or little less than the Specialized tires. The most important thing for me is the transition to corners. Traction is great and consistant through the corners. Very important when you're turning left and right through sweepers. We'll see how well they wear in the rocks and sand of the desert. Right now this is my favorite tire.
Strengths: Grips in all conditions I have rode in. Fast rolling, climbs like a dream and handles wet pinestraw very well.
Weaknesses: price, if you're cheap. I will buy them again.
After searching around for a great all around tire and reading the reviews I purchased a set of the newer team issue tlr tires. They mounted up easily on the stock wheels, bontrager duster. The tires are exactly what I was looking for. Weight was not my concern, traction was all I wanted. These tires have great grip and are fast rolling, the xr3 tires had dumped me on my head in corners more than once. Some of this might be my fault however not one front end washout since riding these for the last 3 months. Rocks, roots and pinestraw add some jumps and drops and I love these tires. Just for the record, the sidewalls have not been a problem, I have pinched and scrubbed the sidewalls with no tears so far. If you are looking for a great tire for xc and rough terrain and don't mind the weight this might be the one for you.
Strengths: New version is much better rolling than previous. Also grips great on everything I have ridden on so far. Mostly loose over hardpack and damp steep singletrack. These just feel right. Easy to set up tubeless.
Weaknesses: Expensive....but worth it. Confusing to some being as there are two versions...the old and the new....they should have renamed them.
I am very picky when it comes to getting my stuff setup to where I am comfy. Finally I got a set of the new xr4's and couldn't be happier. Make sure if you order these they are the new style. They have a very directional tread pattern. The old xr4's weren't nearly as good.