What is it
The Bontrager XR4 Team Issue TLR is a trail ready, all condition tire, ready to grip and rip everything you roll at. Mtbr tested the 27.5×2.8 plus version of the Bontrager XR4 Team Issue TLR. It also comes in 27.5×2.4, 27.5×2.6, 29×2.4, 29×2.6, and 29×3.0.
- Consistent and reliable grip
- Corners well
- Good braking traction
- 120 TPI casing
- Multi-conditional use
- Open tread allows for mud clearing
- Easy tubeless set-up
- Wears quicker than others in plus class
- Naming convention can be confusing
- Cost nearly $100 per tire
After riding the Bontrager XR4 Team Issue TLR tire in nearly every condition, I am hard pressed to find one it cannot handle. Bontrager bills the XR4 as an aggressive trail tire, but tread pattern and 120 TPI casing make it much more versatile.
Medium knobs all around offer consistent performance in corners and braking, though cornering knobs could be a bit higher for really digging in. That said, bite is still adequate. The Bontrager XR4 Team Issue TLR carries speed on flats and flowy sections of trail better than most race tires I have ridden. Grip and control, especially when braking and driving in loose terrain is the Bontrager XR4 Team Issue TLR’s sweet spot.
I paired up these Bontrager XR4 Team Issue TLR tire with Stan’s Baron wheels, which have an inner rim width of 35mm. This increased the footprint of the XR4’s voluminous casing. Mounting was a snap and a pop, as I was able to set them up tubeless with no compressor, just a standard floor pump.
The Bontrager XR4 Team Issue TLR have a secure bead, not tight, but it does require a tire lever to get on and off. The Bontrager Inner Strength casing feels well made and consistent, with smooth lines and rubber distribution throughout the casing.
Riding hours on rocks, roots, and even some city curbs have yet to cause a flat or even a leak. And while the Bontrager XR4 Team Issue TLR’s round profile may throw you off, don’t second guess. This tire can rip turns and bite in hard when you sprint out of turns. An open knob pattern carries speed well on flats and flowy sections of trail. Sharp block like knobs shed mud debris well enough and will not affect braking grip.
This tire excels in control and grip, most notably in braking traction. I took chances on descents, braking late, knowing that my tires will slow me predictably. I attribute this to solid centerline knobs and rubber compound choice. The Bontrager XR4 Team Issue TLR’s have a 61a/50a dual-compound, which is used in all of Bontrager’s top-tier tires.
Bottom line, while you can never say a tire does everything well, the Bontrager XR4 Team Issue TLR’s come pretty close. They may not be the fastest on pedal heavy sections of trail or fire roads, but when your bike is pointed downhill into gnarly roots and slick rocks, this is a great tire to have. That’s why we can enthusiastically recommend them for riders looking for a super tactile feel, and great grip over rough terrain.
Rating: 4 out of 5
More Info: www.trekbikes.com