e13 Semi Slick Tire AndrewM
FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Aggressive Semi-Slick Tires From e*thirteen

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Oct 22, 2018

A Slick Tire Program

2018 was a breakout year for the e13 tire program. They'd been dabbling in rubber for a while but their bike-park worthy 29'er DH tire, the LG1-series, is one of the best options on the market and its single-ply brother the TRS is a very popular choice at NSMB HQ. 

One tread profile, two sizes (27x2.35 & 29x2.35), two casings, and two rubber options. You don't have to have a million SKUs to have a great lineup of aggressive rubber. 

This year the program changes slightly. The dual-ply LG1 tires continue forward but now feature a 'DH' moniker. The TRS tires ditch the Apex insert* to save weight and become more trail focused. The much-loved TRS models from this year are now the 'EN' series of LG1 tires.

The embargo lifts today on a brand new Semi-Slick tread pattern that pairs e13's excellent accordion-siped side knobs, that deliver massive controlled grip at greater lean angles, with a faster-rolling center tread. 

*tapered inserts in the tire, which improve grip under cornering and braking and dramatically improve puncture resistance.

e13 Semi Slick Tire AndrewM

LG1r EN has all the features of the LG1r DH with a single-ply casing that in local speak we would call '1.5-ply' thanks to an Aramid rubber layer bead-to-bead and the Apex inserts. 

The Semi-Slick comes in the same three sidewall options as the other e13 tires - LG1 DH, LG1 EN, TRS - with two rubber options in each configuration. The 'Race' or 'R' models are a few more bucks and the 'Plus' or '+' models and differentiated in two ways. The Plus versions use the same slow rebound, tacky rubber throughout the tire, whereas the Race tires have an even tackier, and faster wearing, compound for the side knobs. Also, the Plus tires only have an Aramid reinforcement under the casing where on the Race tires it runs bead-to-bead. 

In all cases, where e*thirteen moves to separate their semi-slick from other similar tires on the market is a focus on maximizing braking traction while also improving speed compared to their knobbier option. 

e13 Semi Slick Tire AndrewM

Unsagged on a 30mm ID rim I have room for three toonies, and change, under the side knobs on both sides.  

e13 Semi Slick Tire AndrewM

Even with the tire sagged, the side knobs don't come into play until the bike is leaned over. 

How Square...

is too square? It's a question that companies making aggressive semi-slick tires have answered differently. Mounted on a 30mm internal rim, the new e13 semi-slick tires take a middle group between leaning over to find the side knobs on a Schwalbe Razor Rock and the side knobs finding me, all the time, with my beloved Specialized Slaughter. 

Unsagged on a 30mm ID rim I have room for three toonies, and change, under the side knobs on both sides. The side knobs don't come into play on pavement but add traction climbing out of the saddle. The transition in traction from center to side knobs is much less abrupt than other semi-slick tires I've ridden. 

e13 Semi Slick Tire AndrewM

Don't fix what ain't broke. E13's well-supported side knobs are carried over from their other tire. With angled sipes provide great cornering traction and a predictable feel. 

My short-term experience with the 29" e13 Semi-Slick is that it rolls a bit slower than the Rock Razor on pavement or hardpack but has significantly better straight line braking and climbing traction. The Slaughter side knobs hit a lot faster and also hook up solidly, so choosing between the e13 and Specialized's aggressive semi-slick tires will come down to preference. 

I think anyone riding to the trails on pavement will give the edge to e13, assuming the same rim ID. For a fast rolling bike park tire it will probably come down to durability and sidewall support. For greasy North Shore riding, where a semi-slick isn't a brilliant choice, I'll give the edge on rubber compound to e13 as well. That said, I've ridden a Gripton rubber version of the Slaughter but I can't say for certain it is the latest compound that Specialized has been touting. 

I am going to ride the Semi-Slick through the winter so, based on my experiences with the current LG1r, TSRr, and TSR+, the Race version's softer side knobs are going to be worth the extra 10 USD. That said, with the lower profile centre bead tires I find the side knobs wear faster, and the centre rubber is the same, so if the LG1+ EN tire shared the bead-to-bead Aramid casing of this LG1r EN, it could be a tougher decision. 

e13 Semi Slick Tire AndrewM

The LG1r EN is what many locals would call a '1.5-ply' tire thanks to the bead-to-bead Aramid rubber reinforcement and Apex inserts.

e13 Semi Slick Tire AndrewM

29x2.35 and 27x2.35 remain the two sizes that e13 offers their tires in. I would love an S/S and a regular LG1r EN in 29x2.6 for the extra volume. 

I can only speak for my ~185lbs self, but the e13 EN Race casing is a really nice blend of suppleness and support. With what is now badged as the LG1r DH casing I get along great with the tires in the summer but I do find it harder to get the perfect pressure in the colder months. 

I wouldn't run the e13 Semi-Slick front and rear so from the lineup my perfect blend would be S/S out back with the knobby LG1r EN up front. I'm not someone who cares about matching tire brands so, for now, I'll be enjoying this semi-slick with a 29x2.6" Bontrager SE5 up front. 

As with the knobby tires, the Race versions of the LG1 DH, LG1 EN, and TRS Semi-Slick will sell for 70 USD and the TRS+ version of the LG1 DH, LG1 EN, and TRS Semi-Slick will sell for 60 USD. By the time you read this more information will be available at e*thirteen.com 


Comments

tehllama42
+3 Cr4w Zapp Andrew Major
Tehllama42  - Oct. 22, 2018, 7:58 a.m.

I'm just excited I can buy a heavy duty semislick in 29" that's actually available in a beefier casing than EXO.  The 29x2.3DD is an impossible unicorn, and the RockRazor doesn't really exist even out here.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 22, 2018, 8:14 a.m.

The dual-ply casings on the LG1 ‘DH’ tires are certainly beefy!

LG1r for the full Aramid coverage and tackier side knobs or the + for cheaper price and longer wearing sides?

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Oct. 22, 2018, 9:30 a.m.

I won't commit much mental effort to that decision since it tends to come down to which flavor is actually accessible through my LBS... but I have a pretty ragged looking MinionSS that I've been on the fence about installing on my shiny new wheels about - this has likely tipped the scales completely.

Reply

Zapp
+1 Andrew Major
Zapp  - Oct. 22, 2018, 8:28 a.m.

Is it true to size? Don't have much personal experience with E13, but it does look good for when the dry season comes back around.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Zapp
Andrew Major  - Oct. 22, 2018, 8:57 a.m.

Yes, they are true 2.35” tires. I will grab the actual measurements later today; had meant to post them. Thanks!

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Zapp
Andrew Major  - Oct. 22, 2018, 6:29 p.m.

I am getting ~2.34" outside knob to outside knob and just over 2.35" at the widest point casing-to-casing. Unsagged of course. Rim is a 30mm internal.

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Zapp
0
Zapp  - Oct. 22, 2018, 8:30 p.m.

Excellent! Thanks for getting the numbers.

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amrskipro
+1 Andrew Major
AndrewR  - Oct. 22, 2018, 11:42 a.m.

I ran the 29" LG1 EN TRSr and TRS+ on my Range. Mounted on WeAreOne Agent 30mm inner rims and they are a true 2.35" so more like a Maxxis 2.5". For reference I run Continental Der Baron Projekt 2.4" (as wide as a Maxxis DHF 2.5") and Continental Trail King II 2.4" (1.8mm wider actually despite being a 'less aggressive' tyre with a smaller knob pattern all round). 

I found that the race compound really gripped, I would compare it to a 3C Maxx Grip or Continental Black Chilli (not quite as grippy but only a smidge less).  It was definitely a slower roller than both and it wore a bit faster than the Conti but lasted way better than a 3C Maxxgrip.

I did not like the + compound but I don't like a difference in grip between my front and rear tyre and don't believe in saving $ by speccing a longer lasting compound that might just help me face plant the ground more easily. False savings as far as I am concerned.

Horse for courses of course but good value for money and I doubt a well informed buyer would be disappointed.

Reply

Bushpilot
+1 Andrew Major
Bushpilot  - Oct. 22, 2018, 1:01 p.m.

The article states that the "much-loved TRS models from this year are now the 'EN' series of LG1 tires."  I emailed e13 about these this morning.  They tell me the LG1EN is only semi-slick and that their knobby offerings are LG1, TRS plus and race (with the apex inserts) and "classic TRS" (without apex inserts).  Sounds like there is no LG1EN-branded knobby tire.    Can you clarify?

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 22, 2018, 1:10 p.m.

Apologies, I should have been more clear. The LG1 EN tires in S/S are essentially the TRS tires in the knobby version since both tires have Apex inserts and the TRS S/S tire does not. 

I assume the knobby tires will adopt this format in the future but I don’t know that for a fact.

As it sits now putting an e13 S/S tire on my bike I’d pair as such:

LG1 DH S/S + LG1 Knobby

LG1 EN S/S + TRS Knobby

TRS S/S + ???

I can’t think of a situation where I wouldn’t choose the LG1 EN aside from a shuttle bike.

Reply

Bushpilot
+1 Andrew Major
Bushpilot  - Oct. 22, 2018, 1:45 p.m.

Thanks for the quick reply.  Sounds like the naming convention is not changing for the knobby tires.  I'm going to run the gen 2 TRSR up front (which has been great so far) and try the LG1EN race in the back.  Glad to see a company making a burlier large volume semi slick in 29.  I liked the Rock Razor lots but found the puncture protection seriously lacking in the snakeskin casing (and they don't make a super gravity version in 29).

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 22, 2018, 3:44 p.m.

The TSRr is awesome - I keep seeing more of them on local trails so folks are definitely taking notice as they come due for rubber.

Reply

DemonMike
0
mike  - Oct. 23, 2018, 8:19 a.m.

Interesting tire , will have to try it , loved my RR on my old 167. Shouldn't this tire have been debuted like 5 mths back LOL . Non the less stock up now for peak season use.

What would be a killer front tire suggestion from E13 to compliment this design ?

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 mike
Andrew Major  - Oct. 23, 2018, 8:27 a.m.

Locally sure, but e13 is in California so their hero-dirt season is a bit different. 

The LG1 EN S/S I’m riding would be best paired with a TRS knobby - I prefer the TRSr.

The LG1 DH S/S would most likely be paired with an LG1 knobby tire (again I like the Race version) for park/shuttle riding but I could see some hardtail smashers running it out back paired with the lighter and more supple TRS knobby up front.

Reply

Losifer
+1 Jenkins5
Carlos Matutes  - Oct. 24, 2018, 8:54 p.m.

This is right up my alley! Thanks for showing the height of the side knobs unsagged, definitely gives a good differentiation from the Slaughter and Minion SS. I can’t run the Minion SS on a 30mm internal width rim without the side knobs dragging like crazy!

Excited to try this on the back of my Chromag for year-round fun here in Southwest Idaho.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 24, 2018, 10:17 p.m.

Cheers Carlos!

If you think of it post back up here once you have some hours on the tire and let me know how you like it for your conditions.

Reply

babyzhendo
0
babyzhendo  - Oct. 25, 2018, 4:52 p.m.

Interesting to hear that you guys have liked the TRS line so much - I took the plunge and bought LG1r front and rear for my DH bike and TRSr for the front of my trail bike, and really didn't get along with them. The LG1 tires were an epic disaster, and I ended up completely ruining both tires after 5 days at Whistler despite running Huck Norris. The sidewalls were way too thin/flimsy for a proper downhill tire. Even with the super sticky "R" rubber, the front tire was incredibly unpredictable on hard, wet surfaces, and I had my worst crash in years running the LG1r front tire and coming off of the old rock drop on Dirt Merchant. The second I hit the rock the tire completely let loose with no warning at all - something I've never experienced despite riding that trail in the wet probably 100 times. Smoked a brand new 100% helmet and literally every piece of clothing I was wearing except my shoes.

I'll admit that both tires are pretty good in the dry/loose, but they are way too square in my opinion, which leads to a vague and unpredictable feeling at hard lean angles on harder surfaces. Not to mention, the side knobs wear crazy fast because they're almost always in contact with the ground, also hurting rolling resistance.

These semi-slicks look much more promising given the rounder profile, and could be an excellent dry season option here in the PNW assuming they roll as quickly as I'd imagine.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Jenkins5
Andrew Major  - Oct. 25, 2018, 5:36 p.m.

Two questions that aren’t addressed in your post:

1) Were they the latest generation (2018) E13 tires? I have no experience with the previous lineup.

2) What width rims are you running?

Anything wider than 30/31 the e13 knobbys are certainly too square. I mounted them on a 40mm ID rim and it wasn’t rideable. I have a buddy who said the same for his 35mm but I didn’t try it. 

Likewise, I tried the LG1 on a 24mm ID rim and also didn’t like it. 

Otherwise, it gets pretty greasy around here and I’m seeing more and more TRSr tires on the trails and people really happy with them. I quite like them and have ridden lots of sticky tires. I know quite a few folks who swear by them. 

Haven’t ridden either tire in the park myself but would have guessed the harder sideknob Plus model (same centre) would last longer in the summer on lifts. 

Anyways, personal preference / different strokes for sure but I am surprised how negative your experience was.

Reply

Jenkins5
+1 Andrew Major
Jenkins5  - Oct. 26, 2018, 10:20 a.m.

Weird. I've had the exact opposite experience (as have my riding buddies). The TRSr hook up great in the wet and have been fantastic on all the trails I ride in Squamish and Pemby. They roll a little slow for sure but  they grip better than anything else I've tried, including Minions. I run the plus compound in the rear for better wear, and the sidewalls have been rock solid. Your rock drop story sounds like it had other elements at play maybe. Seems hard to believe that it was only the tire that cause a crazy crash like that.

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