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  1. #1
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    Bontrager XR3 29er Team Issue on the front, yea or nay?

    Looking for input on the 29er Bontrager XR3 Team Issue as a front tire for a mid-travel FS with 24-27 inner width during fall & winter riding in the western US.

    Had good luck with the XR2 as a rear in terms of durability, sealing, etc. True to size always.

    Prefer rounded profiles. Weight and rolling resistance always a priority being the weight weenie I am. Probably why I never run Maxxis up front.

    One bike has a front Barzo 2.35 TNT, but the Bontragers are on sale and it's nice to try something different, plus I'm looking for a little more trail and less XC/trail that the Barzo offers, if that makes sense.


    Ran XR4 29x2.4 TI as front but it never excelled anywhere. After figuring out the pressure it did okay in loose over hardpack and had good braking whether straight or leaned over. I know it's more of a deep loam tire. But being frugal I didn't want to toss a new tire if it wasn't horrific for my riding style and trails (think Bend, Reno, Boise).

    Mud isn't an issue. Our loose over dry hardpack (this time of year it's sand) is smooth. I weigh 160 if that matters, and aggressive XC/light trail is the usage.

    Available in 2.4 and 2.3. Is a 29x2.3 XR3 Team Issue a great choice for my application on the front of this bike on my trails? Any other suggestions welcomed (had Forekaster 2.35 = too narrow, maybe Ardent Race 2.35?). Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    I like the XR3s in general, though currently on XR4s. I feel the 4s have slight but noticeably more rolling resistance for not significantly improved grip in the wet woods riding I do and would likely go back to XR3s when getting new tires, if not something else. Obviously wet woods is not Reno, etc. My previous experience in dry hardpack has been that fewer bigger knobs cut though the loose surfaces better than more smaller knobs, so I think that would favor the XR4 over the 3.
    Do the math.

  3. #3
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    Where are they on sale?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    I like the XR3s in general, though currently on XR4s. I feel the 4s have slight but noticeably more rolling resistance for not significantly improved grip in the wet woods riding I do and would likely go back to XR3s when getting new tires, if not something else. Obviously wet woods is not Reno, etc. My previous experience in dry hardpack has been that fewer bigger knobs cut though the loose surfaces better than more smaller knobs, so I think that would favor the XR4 over the 3.
    Actually on dusty hardpack I find small knob tires work pretty well (I ran a Rock Razor last summer and it has very good climbing traction on roots/rocks/dust), but obviously loose and/or soft conditions, big knobs have more grip. I'm looking at an XR3 for the back tire, but not the front, want something with more edge grip than the current Nobby Nic.

  5. #5
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    xr4 front for maximum traction in corners, XR3 in rear...that's what I had on my previous bike worked great

  6. #6
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    Nay to XR3 upfront. As other have mentioned the XR4 is a much more confidence inspiring front tire. I have run both. I now run a DHF up front and won't be going back. If I wanted to cut weight for an endurance ride/race, I would go with a 2.3 DHF or DHR2 upfront and a better rolling rear tire that still has decent side knobs (maybe a Ardent Race or Minion SS) Xr3 would be okay for the rear, but mine in the past have suffered sidewall cuts and the side knobs deteriorated too fast (as did the XR4s for that matter).

    My current rear is the Spec Eliminator, and it really like it so far as an aggressive set up with a DHF 2.5 up front that rolls acceptably well.

  7. #7
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    Reading the OP's post, probably XR3 is sufficient for what he's riding, and in particular compared to other tires he has used. I would do XR3 front and rear, or XR3 front and XR2 rear. They work great on hardpack and loose-over-hard.

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