Friday, January 9, 2009 4.00pm
By Guy Kesteven
Bontrager's Mud X TRs offer the best balance of grip and speed of any winter tyres we've tested. The square, slightly melted-looking knobs and rounded proﬁle give consistently good grip in every direction and let you lean the bike right over in corners.
While they’re not the grippiest in any single given condition, the ‘GumBi’ 50/60 durometer dual compound rubber, with little diamond centre detail, makes the Mud X TRs great all-rounders. The tread looks like a scaled-down front motocross tyre, but its simple looks belie its performance. The square knobs dig into soft surfaces and their low, chamfered proﬁle ﬂings sticky mud off with glee.
The dual compound gives a hard-wearing and fast-rolling centre section, while the uber-soft 55a side compound sticks to all but the wettest of roots. The Mud X TRs stick consistently over roots, rocks and wet wood, and there’s no need to change your level of aggression over the changing surfaces.
While racers will go for the 1.8in version, even the 2.0in is relatively thin for cutting through the mire without losing too much speed. The fact the tread stays pretty clean all the time is a big advantage on bikes with tighter tyre clearances. The Mud X TR is light in the slightly fatter version too, it cleans quickly once you’re out of the slop and it feels more responsive and rapid than you’d expect for the consistent grip, so it's a fabulous filthy race tyre.
The supple carcass gives good ground moulding at lower pressures and it's tubeless ready, so a quick fill of sealant will make it even more connected. The beads aren’t so stiff you’ll struggle to ﬁt or remove them on wet, dark nights if you do puncture.
We’ve never had issues with torn sidewalls or splitting in rocky sections while the tread lasts pretty well too, boosting their already good value for money. Considering the autumn-to-spring performance and other features, pricing is excellent. The tyre's only serious downside is that it’s a little low on carcass size for big-hitting riders.
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