Bontrager SE tires

Discussion in 'Tires' started by 45acpguy, Aug 11, 2020.


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  1. 45acpguy

    45acpguy Member

    Location:
    Granada Hills, CA
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer Enduro
    When I first joined this forum just over a year ago, I was recovering from a broken collar bone, bruised ribs, etc after taking a hard spill on my longboard. About a week before my accident, I just bought a new Specialized and was looking forward to riding again after a 7 year hiatus from the sport. Unfortunately, I had to quickly sell the bike to help my pay tuition/book funds for my daughter schooling.

    Fast forward to a few weeks ago, a good friend of mine convinced me to get back on the saddle and ride a few times a week with him and group of guys he raced with back in the 90’s and early 2000’s. So, I picked up another bike and have been riding pretty frequently over that last month.

    The trail we frequent the most is pretty blown out with lots of ruts, big ole holes, super loose dirt/sand, etc. I’ve already taken a couple spills. Thankfully, noting too bad but I’ve definitely noticed that my confidence and skill levels are not what they once were nearly 8 years ago. I’ve been missing my lines a lot, having tons of wash outs, I’m getting pretty fatigued halfway down the trail/decent.

    In addition to some better diet habits, exercise, and just more time behind behind the bars, I’ve been thinking about what I can do to help boost my confidence out on the trail. My bike is spec’d out nicely, components wise. I have SRAM G2 RSC brakes with 200mm/180mm rotors, so I have confidence in my stopping power. I’m more concerned with keeping the rubber side down. Now, I’m not certain if the issue is trail condition or tires, or a combination of both.

    Currently, I’m running Bontrager SE5 (2.6) up front and SE4 (2.4) out back. I’ve noticed the SE tires are pretty finicky with pressure levels. Too low psi and I feel like the tires squirm all over the place. Too much pressure and I’m bouncing off everything the tires touch. I’ve read lots of mixed reviews on these tires. I’m thinking the majority of the less than positive reviews are coming from the crowd who ride pretty “hardcore” and really push the limits of their tires. Obviously, this is not my case as I’m riding with quite a bit more caution than I used too.

    So...with that being said, would there be any benefits to upgrading my tires? Continuing to ride at my pace and confidence levels, would I see any difference in the cornering and over all “hook-up” abilities with a pair of say, Maxxis DHF/DHR2 (or something equivalent) vs. the SE5/SE4?

    Very interested in the groups thoughts and opinions!
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, Cyclotourist and 6 others like this.
  2. dssgaffler

    dssgaffler Member

    Location:
    IE
    Name:
    Sellout
    Current Bike:
    Intense + Revel + Transition
    Welcome back to MTBing. Just a quick clarifying question. When you are having washouts, would you say you feel the washout starting with the front tire rather than the back tire?
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, herzalot and 5 others like this.
  3. 45acpguy

    45acpguy Member

    Location:
    Granada Hills, CA
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer Enduro
    Ive noticed it happens to both front/rear. The front more so. I’m pretty conscientious about doing my breaking before entering the turn so I don’t feel that’s what’s causing my washout
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, Faust29 and 2 others like this.
  4. Ebruner

    Ebruner Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Erik Bruner
    Current Bike:
    SC Hightower, Kona Hei Hei
    Tires are subjective. The DHF/DHR2 combo is my go-to as they grip well, communicate the limit well and they are good in a wide range of conditions. I am an advanced rider and I quite like the bontrager tires. They typically have a bit more rounded profile which can lead to less communication to the rider on where they are at with grip and lean angle. With the DHF/DHR2 combo, you know when you're locked into the side knobs. With the bontrager tires, it takes some experience to know exactly where you're at, and what you have left. That being said, they are still great tires. For what it's worth, I'm not generally a huge fan of running a 2.6 front with a 2.4 rear. 2.6 tires start to edge into the + tire realm and just have a different feel to a standard casing tire. I would always suggest sticking with the casing style front/rear until the rider in question is confident and advanced and can discern the two different feelings that you're going to get from the different casing supports.

    Regarding pressure... that's the deal for all performance vehicles. 1-2 psi is a huge difference and if you want to push yourself and your equipment, it's best to know exactly what tire pressure works best for you, your hardware and the conditions. That process starts by being relentless about checking it pre-ride and riding for a while with the exact same pressures you always run until you get comfortable with the equipment and can start varying tire pressure for certain situations.
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, herzalot and 6 others like this.
  5. dssgaffler

    dssgaffler Member

    Location:
    IE
    Name:
    Sellout
    Current Bike:
    Intense + Revel + Transition
    So I can only give you my personal experience with washouts. First, they hurt a lot in So Cal where we have granite disguised as dirt. Secondly, most of my washouts have come from losing grip on the front tire. I currently have a Bonty 2.4 on the rear of my Recluse and I do not have an issue with the bite of the tire on its edges as a rear tire. I am not sure I would feel as comfortable running it as my front tire however. For me, I need that outside edge knob to be a communicator. The tire needs to be able to alert me when it is losing its grip so that I can adjust my turning angle prior to washing out. Maxxis does a really good job with front tires IMO. I have yet to wash out with a Maxxis (DHF or HR) on the front but there have been some close calls. I would suggest maybe trying out some different front tires until you find that one that makes you feel connected to the dirt.
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, Cyclotourist and 6 others like this.
  6. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    I would keep the SE4 in the back and get a Minion DHF 2.5 in the front. Save the SE5 for when the SE4 wears out and put the SE5 in the back when the time is right. My opinion is that tires that belong on the front of a bike that wants to push it safely include (but are not limited to) the Maxxis Minion DHF, Kenda Nevegal (the old version), and the Schwalbe Hans Dampf.
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, Cyclotourist and 5 others like this.
  7. dssgaffler

    dssgaffler Member

    Location:
    IE
    Name:
    Sellout
    Current Bike:
    Intense + Revel + Transition
    YES to the old Nevegal. I couldn't agree more, a So Cal legend as a front tire.
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, Cyclotourist and 4 others like this.
  8. 45acpguy

    45acpguy Member

    Location:
    Granada Hills, CA
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer Enduro
    There’s definitely a lack of inventory at the LBS’s. Everywhere I go, all I see on the shelves are Maxxis WT’s. I have Line Pro 30 Carbon wheels with i29 rim. I’ve been told the WT tire on this size wheel would also create a more exaggerated “round” profile as well, not ideal
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, herzalot and 2 others like this.
  9. Ebruner

    Ebruner Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Erik Bruner
    Current Bike:
    SC Hightower, Kona Hei Hei
    Run WT tires on your wheels. WT is really made for 30-35mm ID. Maxxis marketing materials will tell you that WT are design for 35mm ID wheels, which may be true. However they work perfectly on 30iw wheels and I bet the vast majority (we're talking 90% or so) of people are running the 2.4 and 2.5 WT tires on 30iw.
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, Cyclotourist and 5 others like this.
  10. Danimal

    Danimal iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    Epic Evo
    Good info from this group.

    I ran the Bonti XR 2.4 up front and the XR 2.6 in the rear for a short time. The XR is the same tire as the SE but the XR a slightly lighter casing. I put them on during the winter for a more aggressive tire the my typical Maxxis Rekon 2.4 front/rear combo. It suited the conditions well, but the 2.6 is a lot of rubber to ride up the hills around here. Once it was spring/summer is switched back to the Maxxis Rekon rear and put the XR 2.4 up front. I found the XR 2.4 makes a good rear, and as mentioned a poor front tire. Came close to washing out a couple times. It may have been that it was slightly worn too..but I was not happy so went back the recon front rear.

    Pressure makes a big difference. I always check pressure before a ride, even if only one day has passed. Too low or too high can make a big difference. Find what works for you and stick to it. I use 18/19 front and 23/24 rear on the 2.4WT tires. And @Ebruner is right, the Maxxis WT works well on the i30 rims, which is what i have and no issues.
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, Cyclotourist and 4 others like this.
  11. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    You can run WT on a 29mm ID rim and still rail like a freight train. I am running the Minion DHF 2.5 WT/DHR 2.4 WT on Line Carbon 30s I bought from @littlewave with no problems (I still haven't smashed the rear rim, and I pegged bedrock at Bonelli of all places!). I previously ran the Minion DHF 2.5 WT on a 23mm ID rim just fine. Definitely better on a 29mm rim, but it works on narrower rims too. Don't listen to anyone but me and others who concur.
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, Cyclotourist and 5 others like this.
  12. 45acpguy

    45acpguy Member

    Location:
    Granada Hills, CA
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer Enduro
    Only tires in stock between multiple shops is

    DHF (2.6) 3c Terra max
    DHF 2 (2.4WT) 3c Terra max

    DHF (2.5) dual comp EXO
    DHR (2.3) dual comp EXO
     
    Danmtchl, mike and DangerDirtyD like this.
  13. Danimal

    Danimal iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    Epic Evo

    DHR 2.3 dual compound rear
    DHF 2.4 front.

    You should be happy with that combo, and should roll well on the ups.
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, Cyclotourist and 4 others like this.
  14. 45acpguy

    45acpguy Member

    Location:
    Granada Hills, CA
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer Enduro
    2.3 isn’t to narrow for i29 wheels?
     
    Danmtchl, herzalot, mike and 2 others like this.
  15. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    It'll work, and it'll be much less noticeable on the rear.
     
  16. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    I'm running 2.25 on i35. You'll be good.
     
    Danmtchl, herzalot, 45acpguy and 2 others like this.
  17. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    I ran the DHF and DHR(2.3) for about a year and half on the Hightower. I know why everyone likes them....they are kind of an autopilot type tire....meaning they don't require much input from the rider, they just seem to know where they are going.

    I've been running the SE4(2.4) front and rear for the last 9 months or so. I like them. I haven't found that I am searching for cornering traction. However, they do require a bit more input from the rider, not so much autopilot. I've found they like most conditions, similar to the DHF/DHR. A little less rolling resistance. Got about 1100 miles on the front, still looks good. 600 miles on the rear, starting to get close to replacement time. My happy place is 18 psi in the front, 19-20 in the rear.

    All the tires above run on 30mm IW rims.
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, Cyclotourist and 7 others like this.
  18. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower

    Nope....I ran a 2.25 Rekon Race on my RF ARC30
     
    Danmtchl, herzalot, 45acpguy and 3 others like this.
  19. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    Stimulate the economy would be the main benefit IMO. :geek: I say use up your tires and try something different if you still aren't satisfied when they're almost worn out.
     
  20. littlewave

    littlewave Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Newport Beach
    Name:
    Brett
    Current Bike:
    GG Smash (Alu)
    SE5 is a monster tire, especially at 2.6. Shouldn’t be washing out. It’s basically a minion.

    And it’s not the tires (edit: it’s not bontrager or their se casing) that are finicky about pressure, that’s the deal with wider rims, wider tires, and more volume. Can’t just pump it up to rock hard squeeze test and call it good.

    I’d say it’s probably technique that has you washing out. Newer bikes really require you to weight the front while turning, otherwise you’ll wash out. Kind of hard/scary/counterintuitive to put your weight forward but the long front center of modern bikes means you need to actively put your weight forward. Check out some cornering vids, or take the $200 you’d spend on tires and get some cornering coaching.
     
    ~JB~, HBkites, Danmtchl and 7 others like this.
  21. 45acpguy

    45acpguy Member

    Location:
    Granada Hills, CA
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer Enduro
    I really appreciate all the replies and feedback. I opted for the DHF (2.5WT) front and DHR2 (2.4WT) rear. They fit excellent. Definitely don’t mind shaving a few grams on the slightly smaller front tire, too.

    Just got back from riding Tapia Cyn. Set the tires at 22psi front & 24psi rear. Felt really good! Looking forward to my next ride Thursday and pushing myself a wee harder. Thanks again everyone.

    dave
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, mike and 4 others like this.
  22. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    I'll chime in because that's what I do.

    I ran the Minion DHR II dual compound exo 2.30 on the rear and 2.30 DHF 3c Exo on the front of my Intense Tracer almost exclusively for four years (not the same set - that would be a record). I never wanted for anything with that combo. Light, durable, dependable cornering, strong on the rocks. The suspension was dialed, so that helped.

    I spent a year on Bontrager XR4 Team Issue TLR 2.25 rear and 2.4 front on my 26" wheeled Knolly Endorphin. The Bontys were solid. Dependable. Light and relatively fast rolling. I liked the Minions slightly better, but they were very close.

    All of my bikes since October have had the Minion 2.5 WT DHF 3c on the front and 2.4 WT DHR II 3c on the rear - Pivot Firebird (29er), Santa Cruz Megatower (29er) and Revel Rail (27.5). Great combo. 30 mm inside diameter rims on all. Not sure they are better than my twin 2.30s though, and they are heavier with more rolling resistance.

    IMO, 2.6 gets into Plus tires and become very finicky with air pressure. Get it right and get rewarded, but slightly too much or slightly too little air and you are either bouncing or squirming.

    You already made your selection, and it mirrors my set up. I was going to encourage you to go narrower than your SEs. Best wishes! :thumbsup: :cool:
     
    ~JB~, HBkites, Danmtchl and 5 others like this.
  23. bvader

    bvader iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    HB
    Name:
    Mr. Brown
    OK I lost track what is the Combo of Choice for 29 HT non-Plus... 30mm rims 120MM travel...
     
    herzalot and Danmtchl like this.
  24. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    Maxxis Minion DHF EXO 3C TR 2.5 WT for the front

    Bontrager SE4 2.4 TLR for the rear.
     
    herzalot, Danmtchl, bvader and 2 others like this.
  25. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    What kind of riding/rides bears on a reco I would think. I have light-ish rubber on my HT, and I'm sure some would say it's good, and it is in some ways. But I like it better with the full DHF and something just below DHR2 in back (I'm trying a Rekon again next).

    The SE4 is a great tire as has been discussed here in detail. @Ebruner made a great post about the tire in some offhanded location that might not be easy to find (if I recall), worth looking up.

    Maxxis: DHF front, Aggressor, Dissector, Rekon rear
    Bonty: SE4 Team Issue 2.4 front, try a 2.6 if you like more float; in back SE4, XR4, XR3 (XR less durable). The SE2 2.6 looks like an interersting choice that could pair well with 2.6 front.
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, bvader and 1 other person like this.
  26. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    @bvader
    https://www.imtbtrails.com/forum/th...s-in-the-near-future.7045/page-38#post-231647
    :thumbsup:
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, mike and 1 other person like this.
  27. bvader

    bvader iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    HB
    Name:
    Mr. Brown
    @mike Yeah I should have added riding type it's lighter than on the full squish although I'm riding some of my normal singletrack but I'm not riding the big chunk in the sharps ... Or not crashing down them

    Today XR4 Team F/R.

    funny I noticed how hard it is to get tires and I can't help but think that the rest of the world horded toilet paper and mountain bikers hoarded tires I have an extra covif set myself but looking for what I want to put on next.
     
    Faust29, herzalot, Danmtchl and 4 others like this.
  28. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    And to think Jennifer said I should throw away all of the tires hanging on the garage wall if I'm not going to use them. :whistling:
     
    Faust29, bvader, mike and 2 others like this.
  29. Danmtchl

    Danmtchl iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Bakersfield
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    2020 Trek Fuel EX 9.7
    I currently have on my Fuel:

    XR4 2.6 on the front
    XR2 2.6 on the rear.

    it rolls really fast with XR2 in the rear. I run around 25 psi F/R.
     
  30. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    2.25 Goodyear Peak Ultimate front and rear. 20psi front and 24psi rear. :whistling:
     
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