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I have a lot of hours on the SE5 in both 2.4 and 2.6. I really like the 29x2.6 as a rear tire - with a CushCore insert and running lower pressure - but I definitely prefer something grippier - like the G5! - up front in the wet season.
I would compare the SE5 directly to my MaxxTerra experiences both in terms of wear and traction. And I know some folks who run both up front all year and have no issues with the rubber being too hard (not me).
I love the G5 without inserts, but if Bontrager offered the 42a rubber with the SE5 casing in a 2.6” I’d run that with CushCore in a heartbeat.
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