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  1. #1
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    Bontrager XR3 Rear & Maxxis Ardent Front Opinions

    Buddy of mine recently gave me an almost new XR3 Team Issue 2.0 he pulled off his Fuel EX 9 to Replace my rear tire which was worn. I have had no complaints with it so far but was wondering what you guys thought about running that tire in the rear with a 2.25 Ardent in the front. I have a Crossmark I was considering swapping it for, but it does not look like it has a lot of bite so not sure.

    I ride in South Florida, which is mostly hard pack, and some sugar sand.


    Thanks..

  2. #2
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    I was wondering the same thing about running the XR3 Team Issue 2.0 TLR in the rear. Right now I run two XR4 Experts TLR (2.35 F/2.2R) and I love them, but they are just a little too big for the type of riding I do. I was thinking an XR4 2.2 F and XR3 2.0 Rear. Anyone have experience with the XR3s?

  3. #3
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    My Trek Ex 8 (2012) came with a set of XR3 2.2, front (28 PSI) and rear (27 PSI). I've only had the bike for about two months and try to ride twice a week. I'm new to the sport and my skills are getting better everytime I go out.

    But I have noticed that my tires slide out from underneath me on loose single track curves/turns. I've had to slow down quite a bit to maintain traction. I'm sure a portion of the the loss of traction is my skill, but only a small part. I follow the line of my buddies and they have no problems. They run Kenda Nevagals.

    I was thinking of switching out to XR4 EXP 2.35. However, I have thought about the Maxxis Minion DH F 2.5, but not sure they would fit my wheel (duster) and the nevagals. And FYI, I am running my tries with tubes.

    Hope this helps out and any advice is also appreicated.

  4. #4
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    Hobbs, first of all - great bike! I purchase the same one and have been riding it since last September. Luckily I was able to get my LBS to swap out the XR3s for a pair of XR4s as part of the deal.

    I think the XR3 would make an ok rear tire but wouldn't trust it for the front. I suspect that particular tire definitely has something to do with your washouts. Now I ride about 4 times a week in central texas and have put these tires (and bike) through some pretty nasty conditions and I can tell you hands down - the XR4s grip and they are virtually indestructible! They grip incredibly well and I have been able to hang with advanced riders through the high speed turns without any problems.

    The only downside is that they are big and they are heavy (though not much more than the nevegals). I use the EXP versions and I think the sidewalls are made out steel. Over 750 miles so far (all trails, no street) and no punctures, sidewall tears, stans leaks etc (Im running tubeless). I am just now beginning to see some knob wear on my rear tire.

    Like I said my only gripe is the size/volume of these tires. the 2.35 I run up front is insanely huge (probably closer to a standard 2.5) and the 2.2 on also quite large. If Bontrager sold these in a 2.1 or 2.0 size, I would ride them forever.

    So unless the majority of your riding is serious downhill, I would look at the 2.2 XR4s vs the 2.35

  5. #5
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    Kev, thanks for the advice. I'm gonna pick up the XR4 2.2 this weekend and swap them out. I'll put the XR3 onto my 4500 hardtail (only use to take the dog out on a ride in the neighborhood). I hope the XR4 works which would also build my confidence! Thanks for the advice.

  6. #6
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    Good deal. that's a great tire. Since we have the same bike, I'll post some pics of mine with the 2.2 on the rear so you can get a better feel for the size. This way you'll be able to tell whether it is still too big or not.

  7. #7
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    here are a couple of quick shots that I just took. You can definitely see the difference in tread design from the XR3. I took a couple of shots so that you can see the volume of the tire relative to the frame.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bontrager XR3 Rear & Maxxis Ardent Front Opinions-both-tires2.jpg  

    Bontrager XR3 Rear & Maxxis Ardent Front Opinions-front-tire2.jpg  

    Bontrager XR3 Rear & Maxxis Ardent Front Opinions-rear-tire2.jpg  

    Bontrager XR3 Rear & Maxxis Ardent Front Opinions-tread2.jpg  


  8. #8
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    Thanks Kev, I think the size would fine. I'm a bigger rider (6'00" 220 lbs) and I think the extra width would help. I'll post some pictures when I get them on. And I also have the same color bike, looks great!

  9. #9
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    I've got the 2.2 XR4's on and they look great. They really look wider than the 2.2 XR3's that were on the bike when I bought it. I'll be hitting the trails this weekend and let you know how they feel. Here are a few pictures.
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  10. #10
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    So I rode this weekend with two guys I met from the MTBR. We rode an area that I had never been before but the trails are the same conditions as my other rides on the XR3's. I noticed I did not have any loss of traction with the XR4s, but my lines on the single tracks need to improve.

    I really like the XR4 tires and now need to play with the PSI's to get the most out of the tires.

    Kev321. thanks for the recommendation.

  11. #11
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    right on. glad to hear that they are gripping much better. Took a while for me to find my psi sweet spot. For me at 175 lbs with pack and running tubeless, I run my tires at 28psi front and 33psi back. I'll bump them up a few psi if I want to roll a bit faster but normally the 28/33 combo gives me the best performance & grip.

  12. #12
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    I have the xr3 tlrs on my fuel and they slip like no other, I got around 30 psi in both. They do ok on hard pack and well ridden single track, but when it gets muddy its like i have slicks espacially when I have some speed. They are also a royal pain to get on my bontrager dusters, I'm definitely going to switch to something else as soon as I can. I will say they might be a good tire for a beginner, maybe someone that isn't going to really fast on the trail.

  13. #13
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    bmxican - I cannot tell you how the XR4's handle in mud since I have not rode in mud yet, but they handled great and they seemed faster than the XR3 that I previously had. By looking at the XR4's tread, I'd say they would handle mud much better that the XR3.

    Good luck with your search in tires, I think I'm sold on the XR4 EXP for my style of riding.

  14. #14
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    Yah I've heard the xr4's handle alot better, but I think I'm going to switch to maxxis or Intense tires. I've had maxxis and its on my bmx for years and I know their high quality. I used to work at a trek dealer and the maxxis were the more popular tire and I've never heard anything bad about them. I'm feeling the ardents or the crossmarks right now.

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