If you’re thinking about some new rubber for your mountain bike — stay tuned. Bontrager just dropped a slew of new tires ranging from cross country race to the most aggressive tire they’ve created — plus the prices are lower than all previous models.

BONTRAGER XR1 tire in the sun

So what would an Olympic year be without tons of new gear for various disciplines? This seems to be a banner year for mountain bike technology and embracing wider tires all around. That’s not all though — companies are tweaking their secret recipe to get more performance and lower rolling resistance from flat-resistant casings.

Bontrager XR1 details package

Bontrager has quite a few athletes rolling in two wheels disciplines this July in Tokyo. They will undoubtedly be rolling on the newest Bontrager rubber, hopefully towards a medal.

What’s new?

The new Bontrager tire offerings cover everything, cross country, trail, enduro, and aggressive enduro bordering on the downhill. Though these tires are all meant for different riding conditions, there are quite a few similarities in the line. All tires roll on 120 TPI casing with a pinch flat chafer layer (except the XR5 Team Issue which is 60 TPI). The rubber compound is optimized with either Bontrager’s proprietary TM-Speed or TM-Grip formulas and various flat protective casings.

Bontrager XR1 tread close up

There are two levels of flat protection for the new Bontrager XR and SE lines; Inner Strength and Core Strength. Inner Strength offers lightweight sidewall protection and comes on most cross country tires where weight is a crucial factor. Core Strength offers both tread and sidewall protection, granting not only stability but a longer overall life for the tire.

Bontrager XR1 XC tire

The new Bontrager tires have either gone down in price or maintained the same price as the previous model — different from other manufacturers this year. This pricing change could be from eliminating the 2.3” and 2.6” size models in the lineup. Instead, this year Bontrager stuck with 2.20” widths for cross country and 2.50” for the more aggressive tires.

BONTRAGER_SE6-in the woods

No matter your opinions on Bontrager tires, one thing is apparent with the new lineup – the treads look performance-based, with no tiptoeing around a do-it-all design. Instead, the aggressive tires are sculpted, defined, beefy, and the cross country is unmistakable meant for all-out racing — now let’s take a closer look at the lineup.

Bontrager XR1 Team Issue

Bontrager 2022_XR1_Cutaway_A

The XR1Team Issue is Bontrager’s all-out cross-country race tire with more sidewall protection and a better (in my opinion) cornering knob setup. The design mixes the previous XR1 staggered chevron drops with a lower overall tread height and defined centerline. Those who are fans of the Bontrager GR1 will recognize the shape of the tread somewhat. The side knobs are different as well from previous models — this time opting for alternating side knobs. The XR1 is the first Bontrager mountain bike tire to use the company’s new TM-Speed compound, a fast-rolling compound used on its road and gravel line with much success.

Bontrager XR1 width measurement

The new XR1 looks like a great combination of the previous XR1 and the XR0 — fast and to the point. Though the new model is heavier than the previous one, the new XR1 boasts more flat protection and a pinch flat chafer casing. Is it faster than previous models? We have a set in for review and will have a clear answer shortly.

Bontrager XR1 weight

  • Available sizes: 29”x 2.20″
  • Intended use: Cross country riding and racing
  • Weight: 643g *actual
  • Price: $60

Bontrager XR5 Team Issue

Bontrager 2022_XR5_Cutaway_A

For those looking for an aggressive tire that is lighter, rolls faster than an all-out enduro tire, and can stand up to abuse — the new XR5 Team Issue looks like a solid contender. The sculpted dual-blocked center tread and aggressive side knobs look familiar but wider. We’re guessing the braking and cornering traction is better with the sipped knobs than the full-block previous design.

Bontrager XR5 width measurement

The new Bontrager XR5 uses a TM-Grip compound said to offer a better bite and grip in various conditions, wrapped around a durable 60 TPI casing. In addition, the XR5 uses the same tire bead chafer layer and adds additional protection against abrasion and punctures.

Bontrager XR5 weight

  • Available sizes: 29”x 2.5” 27.5”x 2.5”
  • Intended use: Aggressive trail riding
  • Weight: 1046g *actual for 29″
  • Price: $60

Bontrager SE5 Team Issue

ontrager 2022_SE5_Cutaway_A

Venturing into the more aggressive tires of the Bontrager line, the SE5 Team Issue lands right in the sweet spot of aggressive but not sluggish. The updated design SE5 is a mix of durable trail and enduro, with a tread pattern that maximizes braking and cornering traction without compromising rolling speed.

Bontrager XR5 Tread close up

The dual-block center tread is similar to the XR5 but is notably steeper and sharper on leading and trailing edges. Likewise, the side knobs get the same treatment, and the sipping looks to be the same depth.

Bontrager XR5 width measurement

The SE5 uses a 120 TPI casing, and the same TM-Grip rubber compound as the XR5 but beefs up the protection with Bontrager’s Core Strength construction. Core Strength offers additional tire support and tread and sidewall protection, but SE5 is surprisingly light considering the added stability.

Bontrager SE5 Tire weight

  • Available sizes: 29”x 2.5” 27.5”x 2.5”
  • Intended use: Aggressive trail and enduro riding
  • Weight: 1044g *actual for 29″
  • Price: $75

Bontrager SE6 Team Issue

Bontrager 2022_SE6_Cutaway_A

This year has been of many breakthroughs for the Bontrager team, creating its faster wheel ever, lightest wheel, fastest tire, etc. Well, add “most aggressive trail tire” to the list. The Bontrager SE6 is the most aggressive tire for trails (excluding downhill) that the team has crafted.

Bontrager SE6 tread close up

The Bontrager SE6 boasts an aggressive tread, durable trail casing, and overall enduro design for absolute traction in all-terrain, no matter the conditions. The SE6 employees alternate 2-2-3 center tread for a paddle-like design that rolls efficiently and offers ultimate braking and cornering traction. Each knob is tall, sharp, and sipped for maximum grip — we can’t wait to take this into the rocks.

Bontrager SE6 width measurement

Like the other aggressive trail tires in the line, the Bontrager SE6 uses a 120 TPI casing, TM-Grip compound, and Core Strength construction.

Bontrager SE6 weight

  • Available sizes: 29”x 2.5” 27.5”x 2.5”
  • Intended use: All mountain and Enduro
  • Weight: 1032* actual for 29″
  • Price: $75

Availability

For those looking to hop on these treads as soon as possible, your local Trek shop or Bontrager dealer should have them stocked and ready to go as early as today.

BONTRAGER_XR1-World Cup bike

Check back for reviews on each of the tires above and if you’re wondering what tire is the right one for you. Check out Bontrager’s tire selection tool here.

3 comments

  1. FrankTheTank on

    How is it that those tires actually get *slightly* lighter as the tread gets more aggressive and the construction gets tougher?

    Reply

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