Bontrager SE6 Tire NSMB Andrew Major (3)
REVIEW

Bontrager SE6 & SE4 Tires

Photos Andrew Major (Unless Noted)
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Butchered

I'm afraid my review of Trek's latest enduro tire, the 2.5" Bontrager SE6, lacks enthusiasm. I'm going to ask Bontrager to shoulder the blame because their "most aggressive tread for trail and enduro" is uninspiring, at least for 10 months of the year on the B.C. coast. It's a close cousin to a similarly-sized previous-generation Specialized Butcher, or a more common point of comparison would be a Maxxis Assegai in the MaxxTerra compound. These are tires that I wouldn't run out and replace if they came with a bike I was buying in July or August, but as soon as the temperatures drop and the rain starts falling, they'd be taking up space until I gave them away or recycled them.

If I don't need all the grip then I'm not going to ride a tire that rolls this slowly. If I'm pointing my front tire down terrain dicey enough to warrant ultra-aggressive knobs, I'll gladly accept a bit slower rolling and faster wear for the extra safety of soft rubber. There are better options for rear tires like the DHRII or Bontrager's SE5 that provide excellent braking traction while not turning every uphill into a total slog.

Bontrager SE6 Tire NSMB Andrew Major (1)

No doubt, the 2.5" SE6 is a mean-looking, slower-rolling, tire.

Bontrager SE6 Tire NSMB Andrew Major (4)

The SE sidewall balances support, protection, and weight. It's a ~ 1050-gram tire.

The SE6 has potential however. So much potential. In the right conditions on dirt, wood, or rock, it can deliver excellent braking and cornering traction. Except when it doesn't. It's a familiar experience for me and anyone who has ridden the previous Specialized Butcher and the same tire in their newer T9 compound. The softest slow-rubber T9 material transformed an okay OE tire into one comparable to the MaxxGrip Assegai and the softest Schwalbe Magic Mary. And Specialized does it at just enough of a cost saving to make even the most skeptical performance-focused value-hunting mountain biker take notice.

If you're thinking that for where you live and how you ride the MaxxTerra Assegai has plenty of traction to be your front tire all year round, I'd be curious why you prefer it over the faster rolling DHF or DHR2 in the same compound. I'd also suggest that at 115 CAD | 85 USD the SE6 may bring you the same level of traction, in all situations, for less money. I'm also bewildered by how long the SE6 has stayed looking fresh even with a pile of road miles thrown in. The longevity would be impressive if it didn't come at a huge cost of lost confidence in our greasy season.

Bontrager SE6 Tire NSMB Andrew Major (2)

Tubeless installation was quick and easy with a floor pump the first time and every time. That's been my experience with every Bontrager SE tire I've mounted except the 29x3" which required some more trickery - but still went on with a pump.

Bontrager SE6 Tire NSMB Andrew Major

I think Bontrager would have a Butcher-T9 level hit on their hands if they re-released the SE6 with a proper slow-and-soft compound worthy of the tread pattern. Keep the sidewall construction, just make the compound stickier for damp & dank conditions.

Trek's 'proprietary TM-Grip compound' glides and slides on terrain where the equivalent tread in a softer compound does not. I could see myself riding it through any more of the wet coast winter after installing CushCore Plus inserts and airing the tire below 20psi.

Most Bontrager tires I've ridden, like the SE5 & SE4, use a dual-compound 61/50 rubber that makes for a fairly long-lasting center tread and grippy-enough side knobs for aggressive all-around use in most conditions, especially as a rear tire. They're not as clear about TM-Grip but I'd wager a tall can of Kolsch that it's the same stuff. Trek says "soft dual-compound bites into corners and with added durability on the center tread" and lists the rubber spec as 50a.

Bontrager SE6 Tire NSMB Andrew Major (1)

I've been running the 2.5" SE6 front paired with an SE5 rear in the same size on i30 and i26 rims, with and without CushCore. The same 2.5" SE6/SE5 pairing was the stock spec. for the Trek Slash this year.

Bontrager SE5 NSMB Andrew Major

I don't get the SE5. At least with my limited skillset, the SE4 corners just as well, brakes nearly as well in all but the loosest terrains, and rolls faster. A rider looking for more trail-Velcro from a Bontrager tire should choose dual SE6s.

All-Around Rubber

While my SE6 front tire experience was okay in the warmer drier months, it has had me reflecting on my all-time favourite Bontrager tire, the faster-rolling all-around excellent SE4. I've ridden and appreciated the SE4 in every size from 27x2.4" to 29x3". It's a predictable rear tire that rolls fast enough and brakes hard enough for year-round trail riding here on the North Shore and the 29x2.6" is my current go-to out back on my hardtail. Cornering traction is very good in most conditions and it's durable and relatively affordable.

As a front tire, it's not as confidence-inspiring as slower rolling braking-over-everything tread patterns, even in the big-big 3" size. But for folks who need enduro-light traction for spicy sections of trails but are trying to balance that with all-day rolling, it is an excellent compromise. I find this especially true in the more voluminous sizes. I maintain that the Maxxis DHF in a 2.3" width is still the tire to beat, front and rear, in terms of ride-anywhere versatility but with my more cautious cornering technique the center-to-side transition starts to get too vague in larger sizes where the SE4 is excellent as a 2.4", 2.6" or 3.0" (RIP) tire.

Bontrager SE4 XR4 Team Issue Tires AndrewM

The SE4 remains a tech-c favourite, front & rear, and it's my go-to 2.6" rear tire for any rig I'm riding.

Bontrager SE4 2point6 NSMB Andrew Major (1)

I often run narrower tires on my full-suspension bike, but for hardtails the big 2.6" is perfect.

The SE4 is a boring tire in that it doesn't excel in any particular conditions or under particular effort. It's not silly fun like a semi-slick and won't have you charging uphills in a harder gear like Bontrager's surprisingly good SE2 or any number of fast-rolling tires that somehow still deliver sufficient climbing and braking traction. Likewise, as a front tire, it's nowhere near the level of get-out-of-jail-free card that the softest options from Maxxis, Schwalbe, or Specialized (now) deliver - but then neither is the more aggressive and slower rolling SE6.

I think this leaves Trek where Specialized previously found themselves with aggressive MTB tires. They have a good rubber compound for all-around tires like the Specialized Purgatory, which also makes an excellent faster-rolling rear tires for aggressive terrain. Bontrager has well tested tread designs worthy of softer and slower-rebounding rubber that roll too slowly for their current compounds. Now they just need to split things up. Keep the excellent Bontrager SE4 in the 51/60 compound for use as an all-around trail tire and an excellent rear when paired with a more aggressive front tire. Give us a properly soft-and-slow compound on the Bontrager SE6 so that it can compete with similarly structured enduro tires.

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Comments

rwalters
+6 Andrew Major Carlos Matutes Jerry Willows Duck Curveball Endur-Bro

The difference between last generation Butcher and new T9 is night and day. Even the T7 Eliminator is a decent rear tire. Specialized absolutely knocked it out of the park with T9 Butcher. After years of being a Maxxis holdout, I think I’ve found something better. I would give the T9 Butcher the edge over the MaxxGrip Assegai in wet conditions, and that is high praise. You give up a little bit of straight line braking ability in the Butcher when compared to DHR2, but it’s minor.

Going forward, I’m a Butcher front and back guy now. I’m very keen to give the new Cannibal a try when it comes available this side of the border.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Carlos Matutes

I enjoyed the past generation Butcher 2.6” as a rear tire so noticing the difference that the T9 rubber makes (as you say, the new tire is fantastic) really informs my opinion of the SE6. 

If Trek can do a similar rubber upgrade I think folks would be spreading similar praise, and Slash owners wouldn’t be paying to upgrade rubber before leaving the shop.

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Losifer
+1 Andrew Major

I just put a semi-worn 2.6” Butcher on the back, and I’m liking it so far! not as fast rolling (obviously…) as the Eliminator I usually use, but the grip on snow and wet rocks is worth it right now.

I ordered a few Butcher/Eliminator sets on sale from Specialized last month. I know I’ll likely prefer the Eliminator when things dry out, but I have some doubts now that I’ve been on the Butcher front and rear!

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joe
0

I´ve been using Butcher/Eliminator previous versions and I liked them in summer time, with low temperatures they lost a lot of grip. I tried the new generation ButcherT9 - Eliminator T9/T7 Grid Trail, skin wall as they were not available in black. The grip in T9 is really good, but I lost 1 lateral knob in the rear Eliminator in 1 month of use.

It didn't happen with the previous version. The missing knob left a 1x2 cm hole that allowed to see the inner kevlar but it didn't leaked air. There was another knob with a deep dent in the base that also let to see the kevlar. Maybe skin wall is related. I kept using them as I use a Tannus rear insert and it is headache to dismount the tyre. Not for so long as I cut the rear tyre and started to leak despite the sealant (Stans Notubes), the cut was in the center area. The rear tyre was not worn at all, it still had 90% use.

I replaced them by Assegai/Disector Exo+ (Protection) MaxxGrip front, MaxxTerra rear. 2 months of use, not leaking, rear is starting to be worn, but it has all the lateral knobs, some of them are starting to have dents in the base but still in place. At the end the cheaper Butcher and Eliminator were much more expensive.

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Curveball
0

I’m going to replace the stock Maxxterra Assegai on my new bike with a T9 Butcher. The Maxxterra doesn’t do it on our wet roots.

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rwalters
+4 Andrew Major 4Runner1 Pete Roggeman Curveball

An interesting side note on tire widths that has basically nothing to do with the original review - ha!

Coming from 2.5" Assegai and 2.4" DHR2, I was on the fence about which widths of Butcher to go with. I've heard great success stories from friends who've gone 2.3" front and rear, 2.6" front and rear, AND 2.6" front, 2.3" rear. I decided to split the difference and go 2.6" front and 2.3" rear. T9 Grid Gravity rear, T9 Grid Trail front.

Here's the interesting part - on the same rims (30mm bead), a 2.6" Butcher has nearly identical width as a 2.5" Assegai, whereas the 2.3" Butcher is basically the same as a 2.4" DHR2.

T9 front and rear is magical in cold, wet weather - would probably go T7 rear in the summer for longevity. I run tannus inserts, and find that the Grid Gravity is super stiff, but feels great on the trail. While I don't think I'd risk it, I bet I could get away with Grid Trail casing front and rear with inserts for Shore riding.

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AndrewMajor
0

"An interesting side note on tire widths that has basically nothing to do with the original review - ha!"

This is why the comments section is my favourite part of every article. 

.

I'd love to see a 2.6" Butcher on an i35 rim and i40 rim. 

Folks seem to forget that when Maxxis first released their wide tire (WT) sizing they were recommending i35 rims as a perfect pairing. The tires clearly work great on i30 rims and I've seen an Assegai on an i40 that looked BOSS (didn't ride it). I know Specialized sells everything i30 but I still would like to see the 2.6" rubber on wider rims.

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cheapondirt
+1 Andrew Major

I can give you half of that comparison: 2.6 on i35.

On the box Spesh printed a little width chart claiming the tire is 2.61" on an i38 rim. I think the wide point might be the sidewall.

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Jotegir
+2 Andrew Major cxfahrer

I ended up racing a set of the new Bontrager tires, SE6 and SE5, this year after a series of immediately-prior-to-race-day mishaps leaving huge holes in BOTH of my brand new DHR2s and an Assegai (in real sidewalls, no less). They were a bit spooky when it was snowing in practice and I almost hit a lady who was picking her way down a fall-line race section where as someone likely twice her weight on the bonty tires, I had a 'minimum speed' which was twice her practice "where do I go" speed - I didn't see she was on trail until after I had dropped into the section. Close!

But once it was done snowing, I was able to forget about the tires for the rest of the weekend and ride with confidence. They didn't trip me up and they held up nice. I think that's pretty reasonable praise! That said, I'm not sure I'd be running out to spend $115 CAD on these. That's within striking distance of the Maxxis options that it's hard to justify spending your hard earned cash on the Bonty option. But hey - if your local Trek dealer is anything like mine, they sold a whole bunch of Slashes this past year and many riders wouldn't even ride the Bontrager rubber out of the store, replacing it with Maxxis right away. If that happened at your store too, they'll probably have plenty of fresh Bontrager SE rubber to send out for a song - and happily too. I remember struggling to get rid of take-off XR tires for years!

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AndrewMajor
+1 Jotegir

It depends on the shop, as it seems most locally do a deal on Maxxis MaxxGrippiness and then also send the Slash rider off with their Bontrager tires as spares - which I imagine end up on a shelf for the most part - not seeing a lot of brand new take off Bontrager tires for sale. If a shop is taking them on trade then I could see some folks scoring half-priced rubber and for folks that care more about min-maxing than label-matching I think there's a good argument for the SE5 & SE6 as rear tires with something MaxxGrip in front? 

I always wonder how much I should emphasize that I'm not an elite rider when I'm reviewing products like these tires. You sum it up beautifully with the tires having a "minimum speed" and if I was reviewing myself rather than the rubber I'd say that I'm not comfortable at said min-speed when terrain is steep and greasy. 

That is as a pair. I seem to do fine with an SE out back and more aggressive compound up front in most conditions.

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Jotegir
+1 Andrew Major

I actually rode out the rest of the season with the SE5 out back and it was totally fine* because I really, really did not want to do fresh tire+new rim strip+insert+full sealant in old tire/rim setup for a fifth or sixth time in the span of a couple fall riding weeks (it was the worst year ever for broken rims and ruined tires). A repaired Assegai went back out front for the remainder of the season.

*other than the snowy weekend it was incredibly dry and nice province wide, so I can't say it got much more wet weather testing.

I'm not going to go around claiming I'm an elite rider either, I'm a quick pony on trails he knows who occasionally hangs around the thoroughbred horses. Ride the interor's steep sustained trails enough and even a quick pony can get used to them in most conditions.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Jotegir

What!???? Your tire labels didn't match?! How can we ever take you seriously again? HAHAHA.

As someone who regularly runs two different tires (the last couple of years on my Walt it's been a 2.8" Vigilante front with a 2.6" SE4 or Purgatory rear) it's crazy how much random shade I've received for it.

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Jotegir
0

Nobody looks at the tire labels on the Instinct Toothpaste Edition. The frame gets all the attention.

Plus, you know, maybe they're after the opportunity to rib THE Andrew Major!

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AndrewMajor
+1 Jotegir

I would have said the same about my Cosmic Lilac Waltworks!?!

.

HAHAHAHA. I don't know about that. I get tons more genuine "WHAT CHROMAG IS THAT?" inquiries than I get "WHAT CHROMAG IS THAT?" inquiries that are piss-takes, though I do always appreciate the latter.

Jotegir
+3 Andrew Major cheapondirt AndrewR

@Andrew Major

My bright but otherwise fairly normal Instinct gets far, far more attention than my custom, one-of-a-kind steel full suspension bike has ever gotten. Like 10:1. No joke. 

I think people's thought process probably goes something like this:

"Oh hey look at that guy on that bike over there. He's got an Instinct that's a different colour! I almost bought an instinct once, we already have so much in common! I wonder if it's the 2023 model?? He's probably friendly and approachable, I'll go talk to him."

verus

"Oh hey look at that weirdo on that steel bike over there. I'm not going to talk to him because he's probably going to tell me how I'm not a real mountain biker on my plastic bike before launching into a tyrade about french presses and craft beer. I'd better avoid eye contact."

AndrewMajor
+1 Jotegir

My Walt V2 gets a lot of comments - more than every bike I've owned put together including for whatever reason my equally rigid, equally single-speeded, V1. 

Of course... the leading comment after "What Chromag Is That?" is "I didn't know Chromag made rigid bikes" followed by ~ "ugh, rigid? I remember riding my Ritchey/Bridgestone on the Shore."

...

"Oh hey look at that weirdo on that steel bike over there. I'm not going to talk to him because he's probably going to tell me how I'm not a real mountain biker on my plastic bike before launching into a tyrade about french presses and craft beer. I'd better avoid eye contact."

HAHAHAHA.

araz
+2 Carlos Matutes Pete Roggeman

Any sense of how tough the carcasses of these Bonty tires is, compared to eco/exo+ or grid/grid trail? I haven't had great experiences with their tires, but it's been years since I tried them. I'm in dry terrain and don't need super sticky rubber.

I would love to run the Specialized tires, but I'm four for four on the new generation tires failing very prematurely. I got an eliminator pretty soon after the new gen was released. Had multiple side knobs start to tear off within a handful of rides (under 50 miles), taking the top layer of rubber and exposing the threads and inner carcass. The shop warranted it and gave me a replacement eliminator which had the same problem. I traded that in for a slaughter which lasted a bit longer, maybe 150 miles, then same problem. I saw the eliminator on sale for  50% off last month and thought I'd give it another go -- thought maybe there were some early pandemic QC issues with the others I tried. Two short rides (under 20 miles total) and the side knobs are tearing off already. These are all T7 grid trail. Bummed because I really like them otherwise. I'm a pretty big guy and ride rocky terrain, but am not super aggressive or skilled at slashing corners.

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Kenny
+2 araz Thermal

I'd say the SE series casings are tougher than an exo+ (at least the original style) but maybe a little more light duty than a double down.

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AndrewMajor
+1 araz

SE is very similar to WTB’s TCS Light + Slash Guard setup in terms of ride quality and durability and both of those are noticeably more durable than the current EXO+.

Actually, I know an increasing number of riders who find that EXO tires outlast the current EXO+ tires in our terrain.

I haven’t ridden the new EXO+, which is actually the EXO Tire + Reinforcement vs. a different animal like current one, but I expect it will be similar to those tires as well.

SE is much lighter duty and more supple riding that Double Down (or WTB TCS Tough). I think casing wise would it may be most folks perfect mix of ride quality and durability, which is what I imagine reviews if new EXO+ will say.

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araz
0

Thanks Kenny and Andrew. I'll have to give the Bontragers a try.

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Losifer
+1 araz

Interesting. I had side knobs peeling off on my Eliminator T7, but I had a lot more miles on it. I’m in a rocky area as well.

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cxfahrer
+1 Andrew Major

Maxxterra in front DHF or DHR2 Exo is great, if you never ride when it's wet. There are many people that don't want their MTB to get dirty, or live in a place where it seldom rains. Or just ride "Allmountain" - but then one doesn't need aggressive tires. Plus, in winter with temperatures below freezing, Maxxgrip becomes unrideable (but Maxxterra also..). 

I always wondered about those Bontragers, you get them really cheap as takeoffs ("once ridden" for about 20€ vs 40-50€ for a Assegai Maxxgrip takeoff).

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Vikb
+3 yardrec T0m dhr999

I've ridden through the last 3 winters here on Van Isle with a DHF Maxxterra EXO upfront and had no issues including below freezing. Since Maxxis doesn't make a Maxxgrip in 29 x 2.6" I don't have a choice in their line up, but since I am not having any issues it's not like I've been unhappy.

Perhaps I just ride "Allmountain". If that means riding all/most of the trails up and down the mountain all year round then that sounds about right.

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sandy-james-oates
+2 doodersonmcbroseph Jotegir

Looks like on the island your going to need studs for the next few days.😁

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AndrewMajor
0

I’m writing about these tires from a North Shore perspective, riding janky black+ trails year round. There are lots of places where the trails aren’t as steep and the roots aren’t as deadly where MaxxTerra is a longer lasting, faster rolling, year round choice. I’d consider the SE6 up front for those conditions, but would probably choose dual SE4s.

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AndrewMajor
0

I know a couple or few folks who work at Trek dealers selling bikes that get ridden on the Shore in the winter - steep trails, wet roots, slick ladders, greasy rocks - and bikes often leave the shop with a tire upgrade if they plan to ride year round or even on the edges of year round.

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Losifer
+1 Andrew Major

I agree with these sentiments. My go -to here in the rocky, mostly dry New Mexican mountains is the Specialized Butcher T9/ Eliminator T7/T9 combo. Plenty of grip, wear fairly well.

I was given a SE6 and an Assegai MaxxTerra to try out, and neither held well enough on the wet rocks and roots during monsoon season to stay on for more than a couple of rides.

If I lived on the Albuquerque side of our mountain where desert conditions are the norm I could see wanting a longer wearing set of tires, but would still want the knobs to dig into the kitty litter and loose rocks.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Carlos Matutes

I feel the need to keep hitting on that Butcher T9 because if Trek goes a similar way with adding an aggressive rubber compound then the SE6 is also in the conversation for great grippy tires.

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4Runner1
+1 Carlos Matutes

A handful of rides on my Butcher T9 and am very impressed. I am now running the the 2.6 front with a T7 Butcher 2.3 on the back. I haven’t really noticed too much of a rolling resistance difference from my assegai maxxterra / dhr II combo. 

I’m still scarred from my Bontrager XR4 and xr3 combo that came on my ‘14 Remedy.

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HollyBoni
0

SE5 front SE4 rear for mainly dry (sometimes super dry) weather? Currently have an SE4 at the back with a DHR2 Maxxterra at the front. The DHR is wearing out, so I thought I would go matchy-matchy with another Bontrager tire. 
Would an SE4 at the front be a noticeable step backwards in grip compared to the DHR?

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AndrewMajor
0

If you’d consider an Assegai in MaxxTerra for where you ride then the SE6 would be a great choice. SE4 is a step back in braking traction in steeper and looser terrain. SE4 excels at rolling surprisingly fast with surprisingly good all around grip (any size) but SE6 will get you out of (not super greasy) trouble better.

DHR2 up front (MaxxTerra vs. SE) is a better tire in steeper looser terrain than SE4 in the same size. But not such that I’m suddenly riding faster or mo r features. I do really enjoy a dual DHR2 setup though.

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HollyBoni
0

So no love for the SE5 at all? My "problem" is that I do everything from multi day bikepacking trips, through long day rides to park riding on my 150mm FS bike. The SE6 looks maybe a bit too aggressive?

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AndrewMajor
0

I've a lot of hours on an SE5. The previous one was before the SE6 was released when Trek was selling it as a front pairing to go with the SE4 rear. I tried it that way for a bit and then ended up burning it out as a rear tire with a WTB Vigilante high-grip 2.6" up front. 

I think, at least for me, that it's a lost tire now that SE6 exists. The SE4 rolls faster and quieter (front or rear) and doesn't give up anything on climbing traction or much on braking traction. Put another way, if I wanted more than an SE4 up front I'd be jumping past the SE5. 

SE4 2.6" also has more volume than an SE5 2.5" (as you'd expect) which I think is a win for longer adventures. 

------

I don't ride everywhere and all types of terrain so if there are folks out there that love the SE5 I'm happy to hear how they arrived there (what tires they're choosing it over). But my gut is most folks will choose dual SE4 or SE4/SE6. 

On that note, I bought two new-in-packaging 3" SE4 tires recently. A favourite of mine that Bontrager discontinued a while back - so it's not that I'm not a fan of their rubber in general.

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HollyBoni
0

Hmm. What about an Eliminator or Butcher for the front? Any ideas how the T7 and T9 compound compares to Maxxis and Bontrager stuff?

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SteveR
0

I was happy running an Eliminator Grid Trail T7 up front last summer, in place of the usual DHF MaxxTerra. Comparable to the Maxxis on the rocky dry loose, and a bit better on wet roots. But we are talking Alberta here.

a.funks
0

I haven’t tried Bontrager tyres since using Mud-X in the winter and XR4 the rest of the time, over 10 years back. Had a Continental phase, then mostly Maxxis and a mix of Schwalbe and Specialized. Of the Specialized, I really like the Hillbilly on the front - even the old one (Gripton = T7) works remarkably well despite the compound not being very sticky. Just got the new T9 one which is a different tread pattern (much thicker side knobs) and much softer so should be better in the dry and on wet rock and roots.

Haven’t tried the Butcher on the front but it’s a great rear tyre, like a halfway house between a DHF and DHR2, and the T7 compound lasts ages. Only used the Eliminator on the back - v similar to the Butcher in the turns, less braking and driving traction but rolls faster.

T9 feels quite a lot softer/slower rebound/stickier than MaxTerra or Addix Soft. T7 feels a bit harder. I think the wear rate is v good for how grippy they are.

If anyone liked the old 26x2.3 black chill Baron, the Hillbilly 29x2.4 T9 looks and feels like the second coming of that - all conditions tread and compound but with a much bigger tougher casing.

AndrewMajor
0

@a.funks have you looked at the 2.4” Cannibal yet? That’s all anyone I know can talk about in terms of tires to try.

pete@nsmb.com
+1 Ryan Walters

Eliminator up front is going to be decidedly trail tire-ish. Not as much drive or bite as any of the three Maxxis tires (DHF, DHR II, Assegai) that usually enter this convo, but as you say, for Alberta (or a smaller bike out here in dry conditions) it's fine. Ryan covered the Butcher somewhat up above. T9 isn't far off MaxxGrip for...grip, but rolls a bit faster (in the Butcher).

HollyBoni
+3 TheJankFiles Ryan Walters Grant Blankenship

Thanks everyone. I've never tried a sticky compound before, but maybe it's time because I don't really know what i'm missing.
The Butcher Grid Trail T9 sounds nice, I might give it a try as a front tire.

a.funks
+1 Andrew Major

I haven’t tried the Cannibal - I’m not fast enough to need Grid Gravity up front (especially as I like to run inserts) and I got the impression that it’s designed for riders who are really pushing the limits of g force, hence bigger knobs and no siping so they don’t distort under high cornering loads.

I was surprised how different the updated Hillbilly is - the side knobs are much fatter which gives it a more continuous edge to rail (as well as them not squirming on hard ground) and there’s less of a gap to the centre knobs. I think they’ve made it much more of an all-rounder like the Magic Mary and less like a Shorty.

I agree with Ryan about the sizes - most current Specialized 2.6 tyres are 2.5” and most 2.3 are 2.4” - which is actually the sizes I want. The new Hillbilly 2.4 is actually 2.4”!

OtherGrant
+1 Pete Roggeman

I run a T9 Butcher as a front tire. My first experience with something so gummy. The grip is pretty phenomenal. It's a lot of loose, quartzy grit over clay here where there's a month in the Spring and another in fall where the moisture makes things just right. Even so, all the little instinctive counter steer moves for popping yourself back upright in a loose corner have most of the year have become kind of useless.

fartymarty
0

Andrew - while we're on winter tyres have you tried the Verdict / Judge combo yet? The 2.5 Verdict measures more 2.6 and the 2.4 Judge is 2.3 small but both work well once it gets slippery.

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AndrewMajor
0

I have ridden the Judge as a rear tire - excellent in the same vein as a DHR2.

I have not ridden the Verdict. I'd put my hand up to review one for sure, but I suspect WTB would see me coming...

My love for the 29x2.8" Vigilante in High Grip is well documented as is my endless harassment of WTB to keep making it (Light / High Grip is still listed on their site as an option but hasn't had inventory for some time) so reviewing any WTB tire would be at least 33.33333% me talking about that.

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fartymarty
+2 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman

The Judge / Verdict definitely have the "Minion drift zone" between the inner and outer knobs but are fine for winter riding due to way slower speeds.

I like my Vigis but the J/V are another level of grip.  It's almost like cheating...

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Kenny
0

>  I'd be curious why you prefer it over the faster rolling DHF or DHR2 in the same compound. 

That's easy. 

For me, in 2.5wt the DHF has too big of a "dead zone" between the center knobs and cornering knobs. The 2.3 casing of 5 years ago was fine, but I don't think the DHF "scaled" well to wider casings. 

The assegai fixes that issue. 

I bought an SE6 a few months ago. I didn't love it but for winter I moved it out back with a maxxgrip assegai up front. 

It's a good combo for winter. Draggy, sure, but have you looked out the window recently? Draggy tires are not going to be a concern for me any time soon. :)

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AndrewMajor
0

2.3” DHF is much better than the 2.5”, agreed. 

I’m going to try the SE6 outback next time I sap tires around.

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fartymarty
0

I broke ribs drifting a 2.5 DHR (drifted and clipped a tree) and haven't used one since.

Ive run 2.3 DHR2s recently and they're fine as the drift zone isn't as large.

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Rob_Grain
0

SE4 fanboy here.  Came here to say that.  Please don't buy them, and when you get a bike spec'd with one, please sell as though it's just a sub-optimal oem tire, and priced accordingly

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just6979
0

Love the Butcher, even last-gen, and especially for the price, but the SE6, and Assegai, are definitely closer to the Eliminator with it's 3-2-1 center knob layout. Butcher is closer to Minion DHF with the 2-2 narrow center knob layout and empty "drift zone" between the center knobs and side knobs.

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Sethimus
-3 Duck Velocipedestrian lewis collins

slow rolling tire? that’s what my motor is for, lol

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