Not normally a tyre that us Kiwis have on our radar, but now it's time to re-think your tyre strategies as our bikes are getting faster and more capable and the only thing really letting us down is tyre wear and sidewall technology .
Marketing bike products must give bike companies a huge headache trying to decide where to put their money. Pro riders? Advertising? Spot prizes? WHAT? Spot prizes...who on earth would ever think that putting a product in a punters race entry pack would do any good. Normally a way to get rid of shitty end-of-line products but this time thanks to Sven and Anka Martin and their awesome NZ Enduro this year, and Bontrager stepping up to the plate and offering a swag bag of really good products to every single entrant, every single one of us got a new SE5 tyre handed to us on raceday, and I bet there are a few happy punters out there riding them right now.
And what a tyre. I'll say it right now... I'm the most impressed I have ever been with a tyre in my 30 plus years of riding. Why? Well, they just work and work well in every department. I got the 29er version and at 990 grams it's a tad more beefy than what I like to run on a trail bike (the 275 version is 935g). But with modern hard hitting bikes, riding the type of trails that once were hardcore are now considered the norm, I've been getting a few too many punctures and sidewall seepage lately and have been trying to find the best balance of weight versus performance. Not only that but I run both 35 and 40mm internal width Flite rims and have been scrambling to find a tread that is wide enough to protect my sidewalls and also give good edge bite, and these SE5's at 2.3" have a wider tread footprint than a Maxxis 2.4" DHF WT which are specifically designed for my wide rims.
The sidewall is no thicker (I measured that too) than a Maxis EXO but seems to offer way more support, and I have had no sealant seepage or sidewall wear at all, no pesky threads showing through the rubber "'cause you're running your tyres too soft on too wide rims Bardsley"! Grrrrr.
Yes now I can run 16-20psi in these puppies and feel confident that I'm going to be able to keep these tyres until I actually wear out the tread. And that doesn't seem to be happening very soon either. The rubber appears to be quite phenomenal , long lasting, fast rolling, yet very grippy. They use a 61a durometer rubber for fast rolling in the centre tread and a 50a on the side knobs for more grip. Their performance in the loose, rocky, wet and even mud is fantastic and I have no qualms using them in the dry hardback either though that's not what they are designed for. Yes I definitely think these tyres need to be on every hard hitting riders menu, especially if you're running wide rims. And yeah, they air up good and hold that air well with minimal pumping needed inbetween rides.
Only available in 2.3" for now, but I hear there is a wider version coming soon. If you are struggling to find a retailer, they are under the Trek Bikes umbrella, so any Trek dealer can get you a price (I've seen them on line in NZ for $105) and get some in for you.
Click on the link below.