Bontrager SE4 team issue tyre
Words: Ian Jones.
Bontrager. Part of the TREK corporation, maker of a wide range of components, from clothing to lights, tyres to handlebar grips, but, strangely, most people barely give them a second thought.
One of the first things people change when buying new bike are tyres because they are under the impression that since they aren’t MAXXIS/Kenda/Michelin/WTB etc they aren’t “proper” tyres.
Well here`s a fact for you: For the last couple of years FRANK STACEY has been directing and designing off road rubber for the Wisconsin based company. Frank, who was a tester for Dunlop amongst others definitely knows his stuff. He was responsible for the G5 that took a certain Mr Gwin to his record breaking 5 WC wins in one season, just think about that.
The tyres that came as OEM on my Remedy were Bontrager XR4s, in my opinion a fine tyre, but when I was given a chance to try the SE4 TEAM ISSUE I jumped at the chance. SE 4 (thats SUPER ENDURO) is a beefed up version of the popular XR 4 that has been used to great success by Tracey Moseley on the EWS and UKGE circuits.
Tubeless-ness seems currently to be the prefered mode of inflation.This can cause a hefty increase in rolling mass but in our test example, the SE 4 was a mere 100g more than the XR 4 (27×2.35 62a-50a compound) thats about 2ounces in old money.
This extra “weight” comes from the addition of CORE STRENGTH PROTECION.
What this does is give sidewall AND tread puncture resistance, but keeps density down. It perfoms exceptionally in most conditions local to me-peat/loam/sand/stone/roots – you get the idea – maybe only showing signs of weakness in the super sloppy depths of winter.
Lastly, an important consideration for anyone who has to pay foe their tyres. The tread seems to be holding up well after a couple of months of wet/dry/grippy rock/sandy mud showing little signs of wear on the rear (or maybe I need to pedal faster and skid more?) .