When the E*Thirteen TRS tire line first hit the market last year, every review and person riding them couldn't say anything bad about them. Coming in two different compounds and a generous 2.35 width, they immediately had the making for a great trail/enduro tire. While the first generation tire was great, especially when you consider it was their first attempt at making tires, E*Thirteen made a few tweaks to the new version for 2018. Both versions of the tires, Race and Plus, get additional sidewall protection called Apex Inserts. These help with both sidewall protection from cuts while also providing support. The Race model gets the Aramid layer in addition to the Apex inserts, which takes protection from sidewall cuts to the next level. With a slight weight penalty, the added protection is nice for cuts, pinch flats and overall ride feel. The new tire weight is more comparable to the other burly tires on the market, such as Maxxis DD casings or WTB Tough casings.
Having ridden the first version, and now the new version, I have a good feeling of both. The first place I rode on the updated tires was in Sedona. I’ve never ridden there before so I lacked some confidence, but the tires helped tremendously. While the rock slabs are sticky, the dirt was very dry, loose and fluffy. Following my bud who is a Sedona transplant local, there were no issues with traction, giving me the ability to follow him and ride the great lines. Immediately, these tires were impressive but it wasn't until I got home to some local trails where I really got into some solid riding. On my usual pre-work loop, I did notice quite quickly the rolling resistance when pedaling some flat or slightly uphill fire roads. While the rolling resistance is a bit better than the first version, it’s still a bit slower than a Maxxis combo. While this isn't a deal-breaker since I'm not racing up the fire roads, it was noticeable.
When the terrain points down and gets chunky is when these come to life. My standard ride goes down a decently chunky downhill which is usually a good test for tire casings. The new E*Thirteen casings feel amazing. The best way I could describe them is a solid feeling on the ground. When hitting rocks or pumping into corners, there is no squirm or unpredictable moves from these guys. Cornering confidence is out of this world in SoCal conditions. This is a godsend when there are dry and flat corners on every trail. Coming into corners with more confidence and being able to carry more speed through them really showcased how sticky the tread is.
The recommended setup from E*Thirteen was the Race up front and the Plus in the back. This seemed to be exactly the ticket. In addition to the new sidewalls I mentioned before, the tread compounds differ slightly in each tire as well. The Race tire uses Tacky Rubber Compound, which has a slow rebound, on the center tread while the cornering knobs use a High Tack compound, giving extreme predictability while the Plus tire uses the same Tacky Rubber with slow rebound across the entire tread.
I mentioned it before but I think the best way to describe this tire is solid support. The sidewalls provide a platform that feels grounded when riding rough terrain, hitting a rock garden hard, or coming into a hard landing. The tires keep planted on the ground no matter what you throw at them. I feel that when the bike can disappear underneath you and you can really focus on the trail, you will have the best ride. These tires were able to get that done, completely disappearing below me and giving me the ability to focus on ripping some single track.
I tested the 29 inch version. With the Race tire coming in at 1094g and the Plus coming in at 1033g, these are by no means your XC race tires, but when charging some rough terrain these are some of the first tires I would pick. As for the smaller 27.5 inch version, they come in at 995g and 990g for Race and Plus, respectively. In addition, there is also going to be a dual ply version with the same tread design but in the gravity oriented LG1 line. With such tacky rubber, wear life is expected to be short but surprisingly it was much longer than I anticipated. My tires wore evenly across the tread, so I’m going to ride these until the side knobs rip off. The E*Thirteen TRS tires gave me no issues with cuts, flats or any other annoyances. Even on my pre-production version, they still sported the logo on the sidewall that matches up with the logo on the LG1 wheelsets, which makes your bike’s looks flow better than all your buds’ bikes.
Sporting many new features in all the right spots, E*Thirteen have taken great tire and made it one of the best-in-class. These tires should definitely be on your radar of tires to try next. Zero complaints and only smiles! Keep at eye out as these tires should be available for purchase at the end of this month.