When listening to or reading professional riders or mechanics discuss what they think is the most important piece of equipment in there bike setup very often they say; tires. Speaking for myself over the years, if the set of tires on my bike worked and I didn’t get a flat on a ride I would have said my tire did their job and did it well.
Those days are gone.
I am now a believer in tires and most of the conversations that go along with. First, not all tires are created the same way. There huge differences in tires by way of construction, purpose and how they are applied.
The E*thirteen TRS+Plus Tires are a newer entry to the tire game. Currently E*Thirteen offers this tire in a 27.5″ and 29″. They also offer the same tread pattern in a LG1 downhill casing as well in 27.5″ and 29″ versions.
Prior to installation inspecting these tires I find the finish of the over tire is clean with no deviation of consistency at comparing the two tires. The side lugs are very prominent and the center knobs look to have good ramp geometry for rolling speed and spacious enough for reasonable mud clearing. I do wonder about braking ability and tire wear. The compound does seem a little on soft side which may give away longevity in trade for traction.
I mounted these tires up tubeless using Stan’s liquid. Mounting these modern tubeless ready tires was very easy. There are some tires that require tire levers and the Almighty to mount. I was able to do 95% of mounting onto my Havens by hand. The bead shape has a nice shape and quality finish that makes me believe it’ll have a long term seat and seal. Which was then basically proved out after an easy tire inflation process with almost zero PSI lose over night. I can’t recall that being the case on many tubeless setups I have done.
Fit and finish of these tires is very satisfying. These tires have a nice profile and a little rounder then I thought originally.
The time frame of this review began near the end of the New England Summer thru the Fall and mid Winter. Most miles were riding the typical Northeast system rocky Rooty trail systems I call home. As well as a few park days at Highland and Thunder Mountain Bike Parks. The sample being what it has been covers all but urban shenanigans.
In this time I never burped the tire or had a pinch flat. In the scenario where I believed the soft compound would wear fast I would consider rotating the tire back to front at first signs of center knob wear, but never did due to the miles I was able to put on and then decided I wanted to test the hookup on a wore version of the tire.
The performance of this tire did take a little time to sort out but not at all. Trail riding this tire did shine on the first ride and basically never changed. I play with air pressure a lot. Sitting on the bike I tip the scale north of 200 lbs easy. I tested on a few different shorter loops, one very flat rooty and fast and one that is hilly with some wet low areas that can pick up mud. On the flat and fast loop I was able to bring my PSI down to 23/21PSI (F/R) and found a ton of grip, sidewall strength and no pinch flats while pedaling flat out across a mine field of roots. Same loop brought PSI up to 28/26 with really little performance change. This was where I noticed the softer compound doing some amazing work with grip and compliance over the roots.
The second loop with hills and moisture I did the same thing with tire pressure on separate runs. In both samples I near had an issue with pinch flats or tire burps. On this trip around and up I found grip…for days. Rolling through low a boggy area which washed the tires nicely and then packed up with mud before my set of short steeps and final longer climb. As I expected the tire did clear out mostly, but regardless hooked up when needed to grip.
At the Park I did find something new with these tires. On the fast and flow trails like (Cats Paw, Highland and Gronk, Thunder Mountain) I found the side lugs being so soft and squishy gave some interesting feedback. It felt like those knobs were getting squirrelly. After some time I found what was happening was instead of being hard enough to break the dirt crust and grab deep into the earth what the tire were doing was very different. The side knobs were squishing and spreading out like a cat stretching all four legs out to avoid falling into a sink. Regardless of analogy, these tire never lost grip instead they seem to get better when going faster on them.
After a few park days I did begin to notice some tire wear on the rear tire center knobs. Zero side knob issues, barely even any wear to show. My braking power never seam to change and trail riding/hill climbing hasn’t seemed to be affected yet either.
This is the rear tire after 259 miles. As you see the side knobs aren’t torn and still look square. Center knobs are showing signs of wear but you can still which knobs are block and which are ramps.
- Perfect fit on SRAM cassette
- Resolved shifting issue.
- Loss of ….. sorry can’t think of one.
Cost – $69.95
Information from E*Thirteen’s Site below.
August 15, 2017
TRS Plus 650b x 2.35 Dual Compound
|TRS +PLUS All-Terrain|
|PLY COUNT||Single Ply|
Apex inserts, tubeless ready, slow-rebound rubber, folding bead.
27.5″ – 990 grams
UPDATE – January 2018
In the Northeast we had a serious cold spell and I didn’t ride my bike for 3-4 weeks. I went into my garage to tinker with the bikes and found this. I have seen tire sealant pass through sidewalls before but on only one tire this is what I found. Sealant passing through the side so much it began to drip out and pool on the floor. The tire still had most of it’s tire pressure but I felt this was a little odd.
I contacted E*Thirteen support and got a quick response. I sent these photos in upon request and again got a very quick response.
They sent me a replacement tire and did it quickly.
I have dealt with their customer support before and other manufacturers too. This guys are a stand out for product and service in this industry. These guys rock.