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Rubber Review

e*thirteen's New TRS/AT and LG1 Tires Reviewed

Words Cam McRae
Photos Cam McRae
Date Sep 12, 2019

I was a big fan of e13s previous tread pattern. It was unusual at first glance, with relatively widely spaced centre knobs that were somewhat smaller and shorter than those usually seen on aggressive, high-grip tires, but the side knobs were the biggest difference. They were huge and they dug in hard even on low angle corners. Grip was great and cornering traction was excellent, at least for the riding I normally do here on the North Shore. And I did some riding elsewhere, near Aptos California and Ashland and Oakridge Oregon where the tires also did extremely well. At least under me. In each instance though, conditions were perfect. We were either riding on loam or velcro it seemed so I didn't get much experience on loose over hard or extremely dry conditions.

e13-tires-2019-10.jpg

The 2018 version of e*thirteen's A/T tread pattern. Small, widely spaced centre knobs, and tall side knobs are the distinguishing elements.

As it turns out some riders began to complain the tall side knobs would sometimes abruptly lose grip in harder conditions at higher lean angles. It's possible the more square profile contributed as well. The other perception was that rolling speed wasn't comparable to some of the competition, so e13 went back to testing and tweaking some new tread patterns and released the designs in July 2019.

e13-tires-2019-11.jpg

The 2019 tire at left and the previous (2018) version on the right.

When my wife was pregnant with our daughter, her then-favourite cereal became "new and improved!" Fuming, in her hormonal state*, she wrote a strongly-worded letter (an actual paper letter) to Quaker describing what a disaster the new Oat Squares were. Why were they messing with perfection? And who needs more sugar anyway? (Quaker replied with several boxes of cereal and a note indicating they would be changing back to the original formula - so either others agreed, pregnant or not, or my wife scared them).

*entirely understandably!

e13-tires-2019-8.jpg

A studio shot of the new A/T tires.

e13-tires-2019-9.jpg

The accordion sipes with arched cutaway on the side knobs is said to provide 'predictable loading.'

That's how I felt when the new tread pattern was first described to me (annoyed but not pregnant). How dare you mess with my favourite tires! So I installed with trepidation and gave them a shot. The install went smoothly and everything seemed fine until I hit the trail... Actually everything was fine on the trail as well. It took a little time to adjust to the tweaked cornering support, and they indeed feel a little more drifty in some conditions, but overall I think the change is positive when the variety of riding conditions most riders encounter is considered. And when I think about it, the previous version often performed like a mud tire; great in the soft/loamy or wet conditions I usually find myself on (which is why I liked them so much) but not as good on harder trails or some rock surfaces. And probably not ideal riding loose over hard conditions either, but that's not a condition I've encountered much lately.

The changes were, predictably, larger centre knobs with closer spacing, shorter side knobs with tweaked accordion sipes with an arched cutaway, deeper sipes on centre knobs and a less square profile.

e13-tires-2019-4.jpg

Despite the soft (42 durometer) MOPO compound, the front tire has stood up very well to a spring and summer of steady use. These are a legit 2.4" width with plenty of volume.

At first I was running a softer Mopo compound in the front and the race compound in rear with both tires in the TRS Race A/T casing, but I blasted a sharp rock with the rear and had to replace it. I bumped up to the LG1 EN A/T Race MOPO in the rear. It's only 140g heavier but it has withstood some incredible smashes, including the one below. My tire survived without even a burp. I smashed it again today with an ugly bang on a nasty rock and again came away unscathed.

The more I ride these trails the more I am getting used to the predictable breakaway and it actually gives me confidence in sketchy corners. In fact I find myself, ever so slightly, two wheel drifting purposely. Knowing I have grip even beyond the limit allows me to hit corners a little harder.

e13-tires-2019-5.jpg

As you would expect, the rear tire shows more signs of wear. The side knobs however are not undercut and they have not degraded anywhere near the point where performance has been affected. If you are hard on tires or frugal (like me) the Race or Plus compound makes more sense in the rear.

e13-tires-2019-3.jpg

The wear is quite consistent without any huge chunks missing or torn knobs despite some very rough terrain.

Braking traction is good and the MOPO compound grips like a MOFO on rock slabs or wet roots. Being able to feather my braking deeper into something sketchy without breaking away is a revelation and it also makes the margin between gripping and letting go more gradual and predictable. I wouldn't have chosen to use MOPO front and rear necessarily but now that I have them I'm pretty chuffed.

In a straight line, or when turning at a low angle, the all out braking grip on softer surfaces is slightly lower when compared to the wider knob spacing and taller side knobs of the previous version, but it's basically going from outrageous grip to very good grip and it hasn't been a performance issue for me. Rolling speed seems fine but I wasn't complaining about the last gen. either. That's simply not one of my concerns generally.

What The Hell is MOPO?

When E13 CEO and lead tire designer, Joel Peters, was meeting with Vee Rubber* in Thailand to discuss the new tires, he noticed a poster of some "crazy looking souped up mopeds," and there was an example in the showroom as well. When he checked out the rear tire of the beastly looking scooter it was "gummy bear soft." The representatives at Vee were at first dismissive, saying they didn't think it would be possible to bond the ultra sticky compound properly. As E13s Connor Bondlow told me, one of the bonuses of working with a smaller manufacturer like Vee is that they will take the time to work something out, and they did just that, allowing the MOPO or motion potion rubber to be put into play.

*The design of the tires is all e*thirteen while Vee Rubber takes care of manufacturing. We do have some Vee rubber tires to test as well though.

These scooters are seriously fast - hitting almost 200 km/h in under 11 seconds.

So e13 changed my favourite tires... into my new favourite tires. And I prefer the MOPO version to any of the previous ones. The weight is respectable and the LG1 Enduro version has proven to be robust without sacrificing trail feel. If you are in Canada and after the previous version, MEC still has some in stock.

For more info hit up the e*thirteen web site here...

Comments

Vikb
-2 Ron Chang pedalhound David Fournier Beau Miller WasatchEnduro Saša Stojanovic
Vik Banerjee  - Sept. 12, 2019, 6:13 a.m.

I wish they made these in a bigger casing. I'm intrigued, but I'm not going back to "skinny" rubber. I'm aiming for a casing that measures 2.5" wide as my starting point for minimum tire width. Not suggesting this is "right", but it's what I prefer.

Reply

Jenkins5
+4 Beau Miller WasatchEnduro Saša Stojanovic Cam McRae
Jenkins5  - Sept. 12, 2019, 8:08 a.m.

E13 2.4 measures the same as a Maxxis 2.5...I've measured.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+1 WasatchEnduro
Cam McRae  - Sept. 12, 2019, 9:39 a.m.

While I also appreciate higher volume tires, sometimes as large as 2.6 depending on the brand, I find these in my range. I wouldn't mind a wider option though.

Reply

wasatchenduro
0
WasatchEnduro  - Sept. 12, 2019, 3:10 p.m.

I'm still waiting for the 29 x 2.6 Vittoria Martello..... still says 'coming soon' on their website. 1100g in the trail casing.  I love the 2.35 version but moved it to the rear and am wanting something bigger on the front.

I've had mixed results with e13 in the past.  I wonder how this compares to a DHR2?

Reply

Timer
0
Timer  - Sept. 13, 2019, 12:20 a.m.

How has been your luck with pinch flatting the Martello? I punched two holes through mine on the second ride. That came as a total surprise because i'm light, slow and the trail wasn't really gnarly. First flat in the last 5 years. Rolls amazing, but i expected more beefiness at ~1050g.

Reply

wasatchenduro
0
WasatchEnduro  - Sept. 13, 2019, 4:18 p.m.

I don’t recall flatting it yet but the trail version 29 x 2.35 is about 950 grams which is even a little lighter than I prefer. I’m over 200 lbs and ride a big variety of terrrain here in northern Utah. A few months as a front tire and a few on the rear. It’s getting pretty worn now. There a dh version in 2.35 but it’s well over 1200 g. Anyway that’s surprising to hear. I’d like to try the 2.6 front with an E13 semislick rear.

fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Sept. 13, 2019, 3:06 a.m.

Bonty 2.6 SE5 are 1100g and a good tyre.

Reply

Vikb
+1 Cam McRae WasatchEnduro Beau Miller
Vik Banerjee  - Sept. 12, 2019, 11:11 a.m.

A Maxxis 2.5" is not a particularly high volume tire.

Reply

LoamtoHome
0
Jerry Willows  - Sept. 12, 2019, 1:40 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

Timmigrant
+1 AJ Barlas
Tim Coleman  - Sept. 12, 2019, 7:50 a.m.

Those look like a much better option for me than the original design. If the casing is durable enough that could be a perfect all rounder rear tire. I'll have to try one of those out.

Reply

fartymarty
+3 WasatchEnduro slyfink werewolflotion
fartymarty  - Sept. 12, 2019, 8:52 a.m.

Cam, how do these compare to a DHR2 or a SE5?

Reply

slyfink
+1 WasatchEnduro
slyfink  - Sept. 12, 2019, 11:13 a.m.

I would very much like a comparison to the DHR2. And to know what the ETRTO is.

Reply

Jenkins5
+1 WasatchEnduro
Jenkins5  - Sept. 12, 2019, 5:33 p.m.

I'm a big fan of these tires. Grip better than a DHR2 (especially in the Mopo compound) and feel like they roll a bit faster too (might just be in my head though). I have the TRSr and casing feels similar to an EXO+. I won't be going back to Maxxis. Had quality issues with my last few pairs of DHF/DHR (wobbly casing and too many punctures)

Reply

Timer
+2 WasatchEnduro JVP
Timer  - Sept. 13, 2019, 12:25 a.m.

Which DHR are you comparing them to? 2.3 or 2.4? Which rubber compound? I guess one would need to compare the Mopo to 3C MaxxGrip and the Race to 3C MaxxTerra.

Reply

Jenkins5
+2 WasatchEnduro Timer
Jenkins5  - Sept. 13, 2019, 9 a.m.

2.4 (although the E13 actually measure wider than the DHR 2.4). Your compound comparisons are correct, but so far I'm finding the Mopo to be as sticky (if not stickier) as MaxxGrip but it's been wearing better/slower....

Reply

Timmigrant
+3 Andy Eunson Metacomet Jenkins5
Tim Coleman  - Sept. 13, 2019, 8:19 a.m.

Maxxis needs to sort out this wobbly casing BS. 50% of the Maxxis tires I ordered were wobbly, and that was also true of the guys putting new tires on in MSA. Assegai and DHR2 both affected.

Reply

GladePlayboy
0
Rob Gretchen  - Sept. 14, 2019, 10:24 a.m.

I have seen this at our shop caused by cush core installs.   Usually after the second installation due to gorilla force getting the bead inserted.    I call it user error, BUT in this day and age of tire inserts  its not really acceptable.   Definitely most common on the Assegai.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Sept. 17, 2019, 4:24 p.m.

I've had issues without Cush Core. And I only ever use thin plastic tire levers for installing tires. Further more the issue isn't with the bead, its the actual casing and thread having a wobble.

Reply

Bushpilot
+2 WasatchEnduro Cam McRae
Bushpilot  - Sept. 12, 2019, 9:23 a.m.

FWIW the 29x2.4 TRS A/T MOPO tire weighs 1068g on my digital kitchen scale (rather than the 1015 claimed by E13).

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Sept. 12, 2019, 9:49 a.m.

Thanks.

I neglected to weigh them unfortunately. I remember back in my bike shop days that there would be a huge difference in weights for the same tire so we would always high grade them. Back then it was up to 10% in some cases. I imagine it's narrower now. 

Shop rats - any comments?

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