As one of the most important and pivotal elements of any bike, tires can be difficult to select. With all of the casing, tread pattern, size, and durometer permutations to consider, there are likely more than 1,000 different choices to scratch your head over in the gravity category alone. Most of them are good for something, and likely none of them are truly great for everything. I know a lot of folks ride the same Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR (EXO+, 3C, WT, TR, etc.) combo year-round, but even that industry staple setup can be bested in certain conditions.
I’m on a lifelong long march across the collective escarpment of trail tires, destined to taste as many flavors of rubber as time allows. A couple of months back I mounted up a set of E*thirteen’s dual-ply LG1 Race All-Terrain (A/T) tires, and hopefully, my expanded ride notes will help you decide if they are the right fit for you.
I mounted the All-Terrain LG1 29×2.4 enduro tire up front and the DH casing out back, both with the softest MoPo tread compound. The beads snapped into place without a hitch on E*thirteen LG1 Race Carbon Wheels, and none of the brand’s signature sealant leaked from the sidewalls in the process. We’re ridiculously fortunate to have tires that can be mounted tubeless with a floor pump these days, and this set does just that. You can likely build up most of a bike in the time that it took to set up tubeless tires ten years ago.
E*thirteen promises lower rolling resistance, longer tread life, more grip, and more supple protective casings with this third iteration of their All-Terrain tires. That’s quite a leap forward from the V2 model, and the brand looked to the Thai moped racing scene of all places for tread compound inspiration. In their words, it’s “The new ultra-tacky, low-rebound rubber that made its way from Thailand’s underground moped drag racing circuit to your trailhead.” Hence the MoPo moniker for the All-Terrain LG1’s softest rubber offering. By a simple thumbnail test, the MoPo tread is noticeably softer than many of the other tires in my stable.
|Price||$59.95 – $71.95 (€62.90 – €74.90) Available from JensonUSA and others.|
|Weight||29″ MoPo Enduro 1140g, MoPo DH 1190g|
|Sizes||29″ or 27.5″ x 2.4″|
|Models||Trail, enduro, or DH|
|Tread compound options (Hard to soft)||Plus, Race, MoPo|
I’ll begin with the casing since that’s this tire’s strong suit. Both the enduro and downhill models offer dual-ply sidewall protection with black sidewalls, while the Trail model comes with a single-ply casing and black or tan sidewalls. Apex inserts protect the bead and reinforce sidewall stiffness, while an Aramid layer adds puncture protection and helps the tire retain air pressure. I clapped these tires against as many square edge rocks as possible, since I was also trying to push the E*thirteen LG1 Race Carbon Enduro Wheels to their limits. With no foam inserts to save them, I haven’t managed to poke a hole in this set yet. I recently took them off the rims to check for any holes that the sealant took care of, but there were none to be found.
The second most notable element of these All-Terrain gravity tires is their profile. Mounted on 30mm (internal) rims, they measure up to a characteristically square 65.8mm (2.5″). The center knobs are fairly shallow, while the towering shoulder knobs stand in nearly the same horizontal plane. This quadratic profile gives the A/T good grip in deeper, loose soils, particularly across off-camber segments of trail. It only takes a little lean to engage the supple shoulder knobs, and on soft ground, I haven’t yet found their “too far” lean limit.
I would expect the shallow central tread to roll fast while pedaling or coasting on flat trails, but the tire’s widely spaced knobs and soft tread compound certainly suck some watts from the pedal stroke. Their shape and profile are similar to that of WTB’s Verdict tire, though the two tires handle quite differently.
Handling characteristics for tires include a laundry list of factors, and the aspect atop that list is grip. As I mentioned, these tires grab well in the loose stuff, whether it’s dust, loam, duff, or sand. They also hold a line admirably on hard-packed clay and other soil types, and the sturdy sidewalls haven’t given me any squirmy guff. The A/T’s trail clenching light dims a bit when things get damp.
On moist roots and rocks the All-Terrain MoPo grip proved unpredictable and, at times, unnerving. I lost my line, and subsequently my confidence, numerous times while riding damp rock gardens or rallying too close to the base of trees. For comparison, they handled the wet stuff similarly to other less-than-favorable rain tires like the Onza Ibex and Maxxis High Roller II. There are very few tires that grip well on wet rocks and roots, and given the stone structure where I live, these are not the tire for wet riding.
Despite their occasionally slippery nature, the wide tread spacing clears mud with aplomb. I didn’t have any issues with the lugs packing on long descents, and they provide ample braking traction on steep trails. Like any “ultra-soft” tread, the A/T tires are not going to last a whole season for folks who ride often. If you’re in search of a more durable set of shoes, check out E*thirteen’s harder Plus or Race compounds.
Summing it up
For gravity riders who want a tough tire that will roll through the roughest beatings puncture-free, these are a solid option. In areas with looser soil compositions, like the Pacific Northwest of the USA, the All-Terrain profile will bite hard in whatever off-camber mess you get into, so long as it doesn’t include slick roots or stones.