The XR4 is the first tyre we’ve tried from Bontrager’s new range, and it’s an impressive all-rounder. It’s a single-compound tyre with a relatively low but well spaced staggered centreline tread that steers well on the front and drives okay on the back. It clears pretty quickly in mud and you can rely on it biting during hard cornering or off-camber situations thanks to the big side lugs.
For a tyre that's listed as being 2.2in it's massive, too, with a rounded, rock-shrugging tubeless-ready carcass that bounces off boulders and sharp step edges with contempt. It's shrugged off several potentially rim-dinging hits so far. Despite running it through a dry, dusty September and October, then a vile winter, we’ve not found any ground conditions it doesn’t work well in.
Its reasonable rolling speed offsets its relatively heavy weight (718g) and it's lasting well too. The tread is shaped, siped with small cuts to improve grip in mud and ice, slightly directional and well spaced, so the tyre holds a line well under braking, drive in wet or loose dirt, and corner predictably at high loads. Rim permitting, it’s all ready to go tubeless with just a squirt of sealant inside, which broadens its pressure range. It's a fair price too. It takes patience to fit it evenly though.