Bontrager Big Earl Wet 2.35in review£29.99

Fast clearing tyre, but lacking in bite for the sloppier trail

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Bontrager's freeride tyres are bred more for groomed 'park' work than off-piste action, but they're well worth a look if you ride a lot of trail centres.

It works OK on damp UK trails and it certainly clears quickly. The relatively low, flat topped, wide spaced tread doesn't really key into muddy surfaces for significant bite and it tends to slip early in earthy conditions.
Show it a rain-lashed, kitty litter surfaced, manmade trail and the siped tread is in its element. Loads of fat carcass means it sucks up the hits well and the rounded profile rolls in and out of berms without a hitch. The 50 duro edges of the Gum Bi-dual compound tread handles wet rock well, while the 60 centre rolls OK on the straights.

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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