Trek World Racing's gravity team have announced they will ride Bontrager tires in 2012. The switch from 2011 sponsors Maxxis serves to put the whole of the squad on Bontrager tires; the cross-country contingent have ridden them since the team's inception.
Aaron Gwin (USA), Justin Leov (NZl) and Neko Mulally (USA) will ride the all-new Bontrager G-Mud and G4, which is a tire already earning rave reviews from the gravity world. “I’m stoked on the new tires,” said Gwin. “I’ve gotten to ride them a fair bit now and they feel like everything I need to win races. Tires are a key part to my race bikes and I think we nailed it with the new line.”
Bontrager recently hired tire designer Frank Stacey, who'll work closely with the team to further develop the line. "Our current G4 downhill tire has been at retailers for a few months now and is getting amazing reviews,” said Stacey. “The TWR team feels the G4 will be a big advantage for cornering and braking traction. We've also tested the rolling resistance versus competitors and it rolls so much faster. This allows the riders to carry their momentum easier during race runs, which is crucial at the top level of World Cup racing."
The tie-up with Trek World Racing is part of a major push by Bontrager to develop the world’s best line of off-road tires. Last year, Trek’s enduro-gravity racer, Ross Schnell, spent time on prototypes of the new, Stacey designed, G4 and XR4 tires. “I’m psyched on the tires, for sure,” Schnell told BikeRadar. “I tested the XR4s and the G4 downhill tire last summer and they’re awesome. I rode the G4 at the Mega [Avalanche Alpe d’Huez] last year, on the front.”
Ross Schnell raved about the new XR4 as well
Schnell said he'll ride the XR4 in the majority of his enduros this year, but train mostly on the G4. “I like running big heavy tires [for training],” he said. “I was on that tire training in Europe before the Mega and one day I did laps on Alpe d’ Huez on the climb, and the Col d’ Glandon all on the G4… so you can [mention] they’re good for road riding too.” Top-tier models of the XR4, G4 and G-Mud DH tires sell for US$64.99 each.