Bontrager Big Earl Gum-bi Wet 2.5In review£32.50

A surprisingly efficient and responsive fat-carcass roller

BikeRadar score4/5

For a tyre this fat, Bontrager’s Big Earl is surprisingly light on weight, if not your wallet. You get properly fat rim protection without it being at all slow and whil it doesn’t mind wet, but it’s best kept on the hard stuff.

The shallow, relatively broad tread pattern combines with low weight to make Earl a surprisingly efficient and responsive roller. The rounded profile keeps it fast through corners too, and its sheer size adds impressive rollover and rock/drop-absorbing capability. 

Even on this siped ‘Wet’ version, the low, open tread is best suited to harder trails than mud, but the dual compound ‘Gum-bi’ mix makes it a great man-made trail/park tyre. Durability is decent too, and the tubeless-ready design is a real bonus, making it well worth a look.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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