e*thirteen are best known for their chainguides and wheels, but they recently decided to branch out and add a line of tires into the mix. We first spotted prototypes
of the new rubber last fall at the Finale Ligure round of the Enduro World Series, where e*thirteen were working to finalize the tread pattern before beginning production. The wait is over, and the TRS tires are now available, which means it's a good time to dive into the details and find out how they perform out on the trail.
TRS Race Tire Details
• 27.5" or 29" options
• Folding bead, reinforced sidewalls
• Triple rubber compound
• Weight: 920 grams (actual, 27.5")
• MSRP: $69.95 USD
The TRS tires are available with either a Race or Plus rubber compound. I tested the Race compound, which uses a 72a durometer for the base, 40a durometer for the side knobs, and 42a in the center. Those are some seriously low numbers, similar to what you'd expect to find on a grippy full-on DH tire. The Plus compound is designed to be longer lasting, and uses 50a durometer on the sides and 61a in the center. The tires are produced for e*thirteen by one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world, a company that knows a thing or two about rubber compounds.
The tread pattern itself isn't radically different from other options on the market, and it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to say that it resembles what would happen if you combined Schwalbe's Magic Mary with a Bontrager SE5. Both of those tires are excellent sources for inspiration - after all, there are only so many designs that actually work, and trying to get too wild can result in a tread pattern that looks like it was designed on MS Paint by a 4-year-old.
On the Trail
The TRS's tall side knobs have an angled base that's designed to provide support during hard cornering, and to lessen the likelihood that a knob will catch and tear off. The horizontal sipes on each knob are intended to allow the side knobs to deform in a more predictable manner - imagine the difference between crumpling up a piece of paper or folding it into a fan.
Reinforced sidewalls are in place to ward off punctures, and thicker rubber is used on the outer edges of the tire to help prevent pinch flats. Wider rims are becoming more and more common, and e*thirteen designed the TRS's casing specifically to work best with rims that have an internal width of between 24 and 31 millimeters. They will fit on both smaller and wider rims, but for the ideal fit and tread profile it's best to stick close to those numbers.
I'm constantly searching for a tire that can provide at least some semblance of traction on wet roots, since those slippery suckers are a regular feature on many of my local trails. After spending the last few months on the TRS Race tires, they've won me over with the outstanding level of grip they provide, even on mixed terrain, where slimy roots and rocks are interspersed between sections of wet earth. I found myself taking positively stupid lines into off-camber roots in order to find the limits of that sticky rubber compound, and more often than not managed to make it through unscathed.
Feel like riding steep rock rolls in the pouring rain? Go for it. A positive outcome still isn't 100% guaranteed, but the TRS Race tires' grippy rubber and aggressive tread pattern certainly helps to reduce the pucker factor. Compared to the Maxxis Shorty, I found the TRS Race to be more predictable on harder packed surfaces, likely due to the slightly shorter center tread pattern. This helps make the TRS Race less of a specialist, and more of a tire that you could run year round, especially if your preferred trails are steep and loose.
The generous width (the tires measured almost exactly 2.4”) and the tall side knobs provides a nice solid platform to push into during hard cornering, and even when running pressures in the low 20s there was plenty of sidewall support. When the trails do dry up the TRS tires continue to deliver, although there's so much traction on tap that I'd be inclined to put on a faster rolling rear tire, something that was easier to break loose while the front kept on gripping through the turns.
If there's any downside to the TRS Race tires it's that the softer rubber will wear out faster than a harder compound, but that's a tradeoff I'm willing to accept for the stellar performance on slippery trails. The wear that has occurred so far is evenly distributed, and all of the side knobs are intact, without any major tearing or cracking at their bases. Pinkbike's Take
|e*thirteen's TRS Race tires offer some of the best all-round wet weather performance on the market, with an ultra-sticky rubber compound and a tread design that manages to find grip in areas where other tires struggle. - Mike Kazimer |
Visit the high-res gallery for more images.