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Bontrager RSL Tire Line Offers Four Designs With World Cup Ambitions

Bontrager RSL Tires XC pair
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Bontrager is ramping up its RSL (Race Shop Limited) line for 2024. Trek is bringing more gear under the once-limited RSL moniker. “RSL” is replacing the “XXX” line of top-end Bontrager and Trek goods. We’ve seen it recently with the newest Trek Road shoes, which makes sense. Now its the new Bontrager RSL mountain bike tires.

Gunnison-Pro-XR-tanwall-hotpatch
Image Trek Bikes

Another thing that makes perfect sense is the new naming convention of these Bontrager tires. The team traded in the “XR2… “etc. for actual names of the courses and locations that the tires succeed on. Even more remarkable, you can tell the course’s demands just by the tire’s tread. Now, in case you’re not watching every World Cup like it’s the Super Bowl (like some of us) let me catch you up on the newest cross-country and trail treads from Bontrager.

Bontrager RSL Cross Country Tires

Bontrager RSL Tires XC pair
The newest Trek RSL Cross Country offerings from Trek/Bontrager side-by-side. Photo: Villella

Vallnord RSL

Bontrager RSL Tires Vallonrd
Photo: Villella

Vallnord Andorra is an iconic World Cup location known for fast, dry racing. The new Vallnord design effectively replaces the Bontrager XR1 but maintains many features.

Bontrager RSL Tires Vallnord side top
Photo: Villella

New RSL designs boast 220TPI casing with Bontrager XR protection and fast rolling compound. The overall weight is significantly less with the new Vallnord RSL 2.40 weight in at 623g vs the XR1 2.20 at 720g. Trek states the new Vallnord has nearly 20% more wet corning grip than the XR1.

Bontrager RSL Tires Vallnord weight
Photo: Villella

The new Bontrager RSL cross-country line uses a dual compound with a fast-rolling center and medium tack.

Bontrager RSL Tires Saint Anne measured
The new Trek Vallnord RSL tire measures a slim 2.30 on our Forge and Bond XC wheels with a 25mm internal width. Photo: Villella
  • Size options: 2.40
  • Weight: 623g
  • Price: RSL: $70.00, PRO: $50.00

Mont Sainte-Anne RSL

Bontrager RSL Tires Sainte Anne
Photo: Villella

If you know World Cup XC, then this name is very familiar. Mont Sainte-Anne is a staple of the World Cup circuit. Where the sharp rocks and endless roots aren’t even the worst of it. Riders contend with super steep climbs, mossy rocks, and lots of natural water from the soil.

Bontrager RSL Tires Sainte Anne Top
Photo: Villella

The Bontrager RSL Mont Sainte-Anne replaces the XR2 as a Bontrager all-around tread. The trend, however, sees many updates from the previous iteration. It is adding more horizontal knobs for wet weather traction that are thin to conform around wet roots and rocks.

Bontrager RSL Tires Saint Anne weight
Photo: Villella

The Mont Sainte-Anne RSL is nearly 40 grams lighter than its XR2 predecessor and offers nearly double the puncture resistance. All this with a boost in dry and wet corning grip.

Bontrager RSL Tires Saint Anne full side
Photo: Villella

The Mont Sainte-Anne will be available in both RSL and Pro casings. The RSL boasts a 220TPI casing, while the Pro has 60TPI. Both have reinforcing XR puncture protective casings and Bontrager dual compound center and shoulder.

  • Size options: RSL: 2.40 (available in tan sidewall) , 2.40
  • Weight: 796g
  • Price: RSL: $70.00, PRO: $50.00

Montrose RSL

Bontrager RSL Tires Montrose
Photo: Villella

The Montrose name comes from the land of ride-it-all single-track. It is a place where you can find fast trails and ones that require skill in cornering, braking, and courage.

Bontrager RSL Tires Montrose top side
Photo: Villella

The new Montrose RSL replaces the XR3 trail tire. Bontrager describes the Montrose as a “fast-rolling trail tire,” but it’s a do-it-all tire. The casing is a supple 120TPI with a triple trail compound: medium center, soft shoulder, and supportive base.

Compaired to the XR4 the new Montrose RSL has double the tread puncture protectivity, and a slight uptick in side wall puncture protection. The wet corning grip is nearly the same at the XR4 Team Issue, but with an increase in dry cornering grip thanks to new sculpted knobs.

Montrose-RSL-XT-tanwall-hotpach
Image Trek Bikes

The Montrose should be an excellent performer like the XR3 it replaced. , bridging the gap between aggressive cross-country riding and fast technical trails. Unlike the cross-countries above t, the Montrose gets the more robust puncture protection casing. , helping and off sidewall cuts and pinch flats.

  • Size options: RSL: 29 X 2.40
  • Weight: 950g
  • Price: RSL: $70.00, PRO: $50.00

Gunnison RSL / PRO

Photo: Villella

The Gunnison takes its name from the gateway to the most iconic rides. , with rails ranging from rocky desert terrain to high alpine classics. The design echoes that, with an aggressive design and options for riders looking for absolute performance and longer wear.

Photo: Villella

The Gunnison replaces Bontrager XR4 and SE4 tires, delivering an all-around trail tread that offers grip and speed in mixed conditions. The tire looses weight over, coming in about 55 grams lighter than the SE4 Team Issue. The newly tweaked design sees a increase in tread puncture resistance and a large up tick in wet corning traction.

Photo: Villella

For those looking for performance, the Gunnison RSL is 120tpi and the more robust Pro casing is 60tpi. The Gunnison is available in both XT and XR puncture protection offerings and a triple or dual tread compound.

Photo: Villella

The trail dual compound comprises a medium center and soft shoulder and is only available in XR models. The trail triple compound consists of a medium center, soft shoulder, and supportive base and is available only in XT models.

  • Size options: RSL: 27.5 X 2.4, 29 X 2.40, PRO: 29 X 2.40, 27.5 X 2.60, and 29 X 2.60
  • Weight: 1023g
  • Price: RSL: $70.00, PRO: $50.00

Bontrager High-Flow Valve Adapter

Bontrager-High-Flow-Valve-Adapter-installed
Image Trek Bikes

If you want to get more air into your tires faster (think tubeless setup), this new universal valve adapter from Trek offers a 300% increase in airflow.

Bontrager-High-Flow-Valve-Adapter
Image Trek Bikes

The option helps for a more straightforward tubeless setup, less effort pumping (who needs arm strength anyway), and is virtually clog-free. This add-on is installed on any valve equipped with a removable valve core and has a built-in removal tool in the cap.

Bontrager-High-Flow-Valve-Adapter-core-remover top
Image Trek Bikes

A full review of the Bontrager RSL cross-country tires is coming soon.

Trekbikes.com

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8 Comments
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Nick
Nick
1 month ago

Excellent move from Trek to change an easy to understand nomenclature to difficult to understand (to the layman) naming convention. Bravo!

Janet
Janet
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick

The XR2/Chupacabra replacement also took away the popular 2.6 and 2.8 size for bikepacking. Now what will I run?

Greg
Greg
1 month ago

@Jordan, you might as well remove the word “corning” from your phone’s text dictionary now.

Patrick
Patrick
1 month ago

I have a pair of the Vallnord RSL. Pretty low profile with nice corner knobs. Like big gravel tires! Mine weighed 628 and 638. They are at 57 and 57.5 mm (low 20s PSI) after two weeks of inflation on i24 rims. I noticed that the country of origin is Thailand for these when my other 3 pairs of Bontrager tires are from Taiwan. No idea how to confirm TPI since it’s not labeled anywhere. They are soft and crinkly.

FrankTheTank
FrankTheTank
1 month ago

Dude, what happened to the high-volume, fast rolling tires? Love me so 2.6” tires for endurance racing. XR2 was very good in this size, was really hoping for an XR3 in 2.6” for the front. Now you have to go to a trail tire to get the 2.6” width??
Do they still offer plus tires?
I know Trek is trying to reduce SKU’s, but tires is one place people want options.

Janet
Janet
1 month ago
Reply to  FrankTheTank

nope not seeing an 3.0 like the XR2 or XR4 nor any 2.8s either like the XR2.

Zee
Zee
1 month ago
Reply to  FrankTheTank

I love the XR2 in the 2.6. I’ve been running those on my 2015 Krampus for a couple years after trying many different tires. The XR2 has been my favorite.

Janet
Janet
1 month ago

Shame they aren’t called the XR2 replacement the Chupacabra again. Hissssssss

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