Bontrager G1 EXP Tire Review. First Thoughts

The Bontrager G1 is marketed by Bontrager as a fast-rolling, high volume tire for “both the ride to the trail, and control on ramps, jumps and indoor bike parks.”  So of course, I threw a set on my trials bike.

The Big Dummy.

No, really.  My Dummy came stock with 26×2.0 Schwalbe Big Apples.  Big Apples are highly regarded, but in all honesty, I don’t get the hype.  Sure, they roll fast…because they have no tread.  They’re predictable in handling, but have relatively low limits on anything other than glass-smooth pavement.  They’re terrible in the dirt, on gravel, or on wet pavement.  And on dry pavement, on a loaded Dummy, they squeal in corners like an 87 Mustang taking a corner on 2 wheels.  (Don’t ask me how I know).  That said, they’re pretty durable.  I got over 1,500 miles out of mine, before putting a pretty serious slice into the edge of the tread on my front tire…still not sure how it happened.  They had some tread left on them, but I wasn’t comfortable with the slice, and wanted to try something new.

I wanted larger volume, more aggressive tread, but still fast rolling.  I wanted a durable casing to handle big loads on the Dummy, and reliable, consistent handling on all surfaces.  The Bontrager G1EXP fit the bill.

Here they are, right after mounting.

These are 26×2.25, and that’s a real measurement.  They’re true to size (see below), but fit with lots of clearance on the Dummy.

A true 2.25″ wide, at 40psi.

Since mounting, I’ve only put about 100 miles on them.  I have not experienced any loss of traction on asphalt (compared to the semi-slick Big Apples), but have noticed a huge improvement on other surfaces.  More confidence on the wet, much more traction on gravel, mud, grass, etc.  A Dummy, with the long wheelbase, isn’t exactly the best for steep climbing (too little weight on the rear end)…but the G1s do an admirable job of putting down the power.

They’re quiet and roll easy on pavement…without the squeal of the Big Apples.  If you pump them up, they handle loads very well…I’ve loaded up the Dummy just to check out how they roll, and they are easily up to handling anything that the Dummy can haul.

Even better…they look much nicer than the Big Apples…they’re meatier and burlier…in keeping with the Dummy.  I’m a bit concerned that they may wear rapidly, given their soft rubber construction (or so I’ve read), but we’ll see how that goes.

Anyhow…initial impression is very positive.


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