Bontrager XR3 Tire

Bontrager XR3 Tire 

DESCRIPTION

Bontrager'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.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 17  
[Oct 05, 2018]
JBarn


Strength:

This review is for the Team TLR version that came on my Fuel EX 2016. 1400 mies of XC racing and training and still had tread left! Not a single flat. It rolls decent, not to heavy and ahs plenty of traction for my needs. So bullet proof that I just got a new set. Installed tubeless almost as easy as a tubed tire.

Weakness:

I liked the older graphics better but I sound like I'm whining....

Price Paid:
55
Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2018
OVERALL
RATING
5
[May 20, 2016]
jake banana

Strength:

fast and light

Weakness:

slippery tire,

I had one ride on these tires and got three flats

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
[Jul 22, 2015]
David
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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

This review is specifically for the 2014 XR3 Expert 29 x 2.3 as provided on the 2014 Fuel EX 8 29er.

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.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[May 31, 2015]
Guy
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Not a slow tire

Weakness:

very poor uphill traction, looks slimmer than claimed, bad in loose conditions.

Its just not a good tire...

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
[Nov 30, 2014]
Dean Wiseman
All Mountain Rider

Strength:

None

Weakness:

No traction on hard pack, slightly lose dirt or pebbles, or roots. Or anything else

I have been riding a 26" hard tail for 20 years. I just bought a 2014 Trek Fuel EX 8 with the 29" Bontrager XR3 Expert tires. Today was my inaugural ride. I planned to ride a trail that I have ridden a million times to get used to the bike. Within a mile I hit the ground harder than I can ever remember hitting it. I was going down a slight grade with a fair amount of roots when the front tire washed out on a root, I was caught totally by surprise! I go through this area almost every time I ride, it is really not a technical area, crashing here has never come into my mind. Still surprised, I got back on the bike and continued excitedly. Within 30 seconds I was taking a hard left onto a 15" wide bridge, the fronttire washed out causing me to shoot off the bridge. Again, a first for me. Needless to say, I rode in fear the rest of the ride. These tires slid on every root and rock that I did not hit at a 90 degree angle. I was not able to carry any speed through the turns for fear of washing out. I will have different tires before I ride again.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
[Jan 11, 2014]
Tim
Racer

Strength:

Loose over hard pack, Southwest Arizona rocks, control in pebbly corners

Weakness:

When pressure is too low you'll start to feel less control in corners

This is a review of the newly designed 2013 and later XR3 for 26" (the 29er is the same tread design, just in the bigger wheel size).

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.

Similar Products Used:

Schwalbe Nobby Nic

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Oct 06, 2013]
Marc2211
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Solid grip and response on dry pack, fire trails, moderate woodland tracks.

Weakness:

Slow rolling, not huge amounts of grip on rough trails.

I'll premise this by saying that I have only used these tires on 2 rides so far, so this is very much a review on 'first impressions';

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.

Similar Products Used:

Maxxis Ardent

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
[Aug 16, 2013]
OZ QLD XC MTB

Strength:

good fast-rolling centre and very fast on fire trail

Weakness:

cornering on loose single trail makes like interesting (keep up insurance payments !), when jumping at speed on hard mud can skid,

They come standard on Fuel EX8 , great bike but TREK should consider better grip tyre.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
[Jun 02, 2013]
Chuck

Strength:

None

Weakness:

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!

Do not use this tire

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
[Apr 15, 2013]
ben
All Mountain Rider

Strength:

Great rolling speed, and wetter conition.... That's it!

Weakness:

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.

These came stock on my 2013 Fuel Ex 8 and lets just say the main purpose must be to protect the wheels for shipping. They sure weren't meant to keep the bike on the trail. I live in so-cal so primarily ride dry/sandy technical trails.
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.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
Showing 1-10 of 17  

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