The aramid bead Team Issue XRO is a fast, low-proﬁle, dry-weather cross-country tyre. It’s also one of the better handling race tyres we’ve ridden.
It may not have much in the way of tread, but it lets you know about grip and relative slide levels in a timely manner. It’s in its element under those who ride light with good body language, and understand the limits of what race-bred tread can do.
But if you’re a skilled cross-country rider looking for a speed injection, the XRO can be coaxed into handling terrain that’s outside its intended remit. The carpet of chevrons in the central section of tread bites pretty well in all but the stickiest soils, and the supple 120tpi (threads per inch) casing helps the tyre conform to the trail surface in search of traction.
The 2.1in (440g) version works better than the 1.9in (400g) at this, thanks to a broader proﬁle. We ran 2.1-inchers front and rear, then swapped out the front one for a Jones XR for better front-end stability in loose turns.