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  1. #1
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    Ground Control or ?? vs. XR3 rear

    Copy/paste from a thread I googled up and replied to before realizing it was in the Trek forum.
    Quote Originally Posted by 06HokieMTB View Post
    Was surprised at how much I liked the XR4 on the back. Found the XR3 would wash at times.
    Quote Originally Posted by mdc View Post
    I really liked the XR4-3 combo. But did find that I wanted a bit more traction in the back for cornering.
    This is where I'm at right now.
    A 2.3" XR4 front has been working very well for me, and, the new tread pattern 2.4" that'll eventually replace it looks like it'll be just as good, at the least.
    The 2.2" XR3 I have on the back has also been pretty great, overall, but I'd like something with more prominent side knobs, and am looking at the 2.3" Ground Control(hey, I mix SRAM and Shimano stuff, might as well have Trek and Specialized tires to maintain the confusion).
    Looking for relatively low weight, fast rolling, and more bite than the XR3 has when leaned over, so it seems to fit the bill.
    Any comments on its volume, profile, suggestions for similar tires to check out, etc?
    i26 Arch Mk3 rear(Flow Mk3 up front) rim, if it matters...

  2. #2
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    Vittoria Morsa. The G+ compound is super fast, side knobs are 6mm. Or an XR4. The 2016 XR4 tread is my ideal tread for the back, just the compound is a bit soft for the rear imo.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, I have indeed thought about putting my 2.3" XR4 on the rear, and the new 2.4" up front. Looking at them, there's such a big difference between the XR3 and XR4 that I'm a bit hesitant. The XR3 is close enough to being ideal on the rear that I'm not sure I want the extra weight, or need that much traction. Same for that Morsa, though it looks awesome. Maybe I'm worrying too much over grams, but do ride singlespeed, and the backpacker/weight weenie side of me cringes at the idea of adding more weight than absolutely necessary.
    Since I already have the XR4s, that's worth a try, though.

  4. #4
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    Most people really like the XR3 as a back tire but I wasn't impressed. I have used the Ground Control GRID a couple time and liked it a lot. I've since switched over to the Maxxis Aggressor.
    2017 Intense Primer
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  5. #5
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    The XR3 on the rear was a decent tire, but when wet, it hurt a bit.
    The old (2016 and before) XR4 tire in the rear, I hated. Loved that tire in the front though.


    I now run the NEW XR4 front AND rear on all of my bikes.

    It is better than the old XR4 in the front, and FAR FAR superior in the rear to the old XR4.

    Try it!
    "Go soothingly in the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon"

  6. #6
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    How is the new XR4 far better? My front is the "old" style. New one is a size larger, and my rear rim 3mm narrower than the front. Be a little weird having a wider, taller tire in back!

    k2rider, what did you like better about the Ground Control?

    Y'all keep in mind that I'm replacing 680g tires that are perfectly fine, but for the lack of bigger edge knobs. Trail surfaces are forgiving here. Even where it's really rocky, the rocks are relatively smooth. I don't do jumps or any real drops, either, because of my back, so don't need burly casings. "Enduro" tires are major overkill, and really just dead weight on a singlespeed hardtail in these conditions.

  7. #7
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    I've got a 2.25" Snakeskin Pacestar Nobby Nic that would probably be good(and only 37g heavier!), but its two halves are unevenly joined and its casing a bit lopsided. Defective replacement for another defective one with a bulging sidewall. Not high on Schwalbe as a result...

  8. #8
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    In the front, the rubber I believe is much softer on the new version. This means more grip. The knobs are also larger, so again, more traction. The large paddle like knobs are solid when it comes to braking.

    Rear, the knobs are more paddle shaped, which feels to me that is likes to drive more. I found the old XR4 to be way too slippy when accelerating. Smaller-ish knobs that were ramped. That rolled well, but did not take power well. It spun pretty easy I thought. The new XR4 is still ramped, but the knobs are very paddle like, so they seems to not slip nearly as badly. Combined with the softer rubber again, and I really like it as a drive tire as well as a steering tire.

    The tire volume is also definitely increased. I was running 26-26.5 psi before on the old design. The new one, it felt harsh, so I dropped my pressures a little bit. I'm now running 24.5-25 psi.


    Bontrager still has the 30 day guarantee. Try it, ride it. Don't like it, get a refund.
    "Go soothingly in the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon"

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the breakdown. Our needs are obviously different, so some of your dislikes from the old version as a rear tire are positives for me, and traction would definitely not be an issue. I'd still rather keep it on front, save the 2.4 for when it needs replacing, and just get a different tire for the rear.

  10. #10
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    I'm currently on a GC 2.3 GRID and think it's a good fast rear tire. You might be able to get away with the Control casing (instead of GRID) so it'd be even faster. No experience with Bontrager (can't find them!).

    I haven't used an Ardent Race 2.35, but it might be what you're looking for.
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  11. #11
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    Yeah, I won't bother with the Grid. Checked out the Ardent Race on the Maxxis site, and it doesn't seem like it'd do as well as the XR3, but after looking around on there, I'm gonna read up on the Forekaster. Thanks!

  12. #12
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    How wide is your 2.3" Ground Control? Is it the most recent version?
    Was hoping for a little more volume vs. my 2.2s, but the older Spec tires were undersized according to what I've been reading.
    My 2.2" XR3s are a bit larger than my 2.25" Nobby Nic(volume, anyway-NN's bigger knobs give them the same width at the tread). That would just figure if I bought a 2.3" tire and it was the smallest of the three

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    How wide is your 2.3" Ground Control? Is it the most recent version?
    Haven't measured but looks like 2.25. Most recent version. I wanted to try the Gripton compound and was hoping for a good combo of fast/durable, and so far has been. But on a SS, with a sensitive back, I'd probably prioritize volume with a non-EXO 2.35 from Maxxis (Ikon, Forekaster, Ardent Race). If a non-EXO with 120tpi is durable enough for your needs, you'll have a fast tire with good volume, and the bump in volume will hopefully translate to a bump in grip that you're looking for.

    Have you check what's available from Bontrager? It might help narrow your decision. Online, the only thing I see in 29" is SE 2.3 Team which does look like a good rear tire, but may be more burly than you need.
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