Bontrager preview new 29-1 tire at US Nationals

Fast rolling but grippy 29er tread

Subaru-Trek team riders – including newly crowned short track cross-country US national champion Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski – have been testing several new Bontrager tires that will be introduced later this year. We were given a sneak preview of the new 29-1 Team Issue, which promises a fast roll but better traction than Bontrager's current race-specific 29er treads.

The 29-1 Team Issue features a staggered, low-knob center tread that's slightly taller than Specialized's Renegade. Knob height increases progressively from there, though, with medium-sized hollow transition knobs and comparatively tall shoulder blocks.

While we weren't able to ride the new tires, the tread pattern – and in particular, the unusually squared-off shoulder for a Bontrager – suggests more secure cornering capabilities in loose terrain but without overly sacrificing rolling resistance as a result. Casing volume is also relatively generous, at a true 2.0in across for better float in the rough.

As usual, Bontrager will offer the new 29-1 at several different levels and in both tube-type and tubeless-ready casings. Final weights, model specifics, availability and prices are still to be announced but team officials quoted the new tire at 450g for the top-end Team Issue tube-type variant. A tubeless-compatible casing will supposedly add another 50g.

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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