Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bontrager ACX's

With the weather turning, mud starting to accumulate on the local trails and my 2.1 Panaracer XC Pro's rapidly running out of grip I turned my attention to some alternatives for the winter. As the Panaracer's had been much better than my earlier experience with WTB Motoraptors, I initially thought that a pair of the winter orientated Trailrakers would fit the bill. However, users reported a tendancy for them to be "sketchy" on asphalt which is no good on my local trails.

Whilst Chipmunk was enjoying a ride around Woburn on her new steed and I noticed that she was much more stable thru the pools of mud than I and that the Bontrager ACX's cleared the gloop from their treads muck quicker than my XC's. After taking a closer look at the tread, it's clear that there are fewer knobs which are also deeper that provide the extra traction. Better still, Chipmunk didn't report any adverse affects on hardpack or asphalt.

Looking at the specification, the ACX's were also available in a "tubeless ready" format (with a slightly heavier carcass) which'd be a good option for trying out the DT UST rim kits I'd just purchased. The 2.2 UST versions are light too and came in on a par with 2.1 XC's at 590 grams a piece. Better still they were typically cheaper than other manufacturer's non-UST tyres.

Fitting the blighters required a good wrestle around the garage and my fingers were sore for days afterwards ! However, once they were on they weren't going anywhere. It was just a shame that I'd chickened out and fitted tubes ! They're likely to be coming of again for the UST tests later, grrr.

In use, the 2.2 ACX's seem to roll well and are certainly no worse than 2.1 XC Pro's. On the loose stuff they're stable under drive, cornering or braking. I immediately noticed that they grip cross camber transverses with ease, which have always left the XC's hunting for grip and slipping to the low side. When the going gets really gloopy, they bite very well and don't clog the tyre or frame with cack either.

One area where they are "lively" is when you're coasting across muddy sections as they seem to like to wander around a little. However, as soon as you stomp on the pedals they dig in an fire you forward.


Farqui said...
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Dan Howell said...
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Farqui said...

These tyres are still going strong after 300+ miles down a mixed trail of dirt, mud, roots and asphalt.

They've shown no sign of chunking or loosing their edges either, unlike some other tyres I could mention.

Farqui said...

They worked brilliant the other wkend on the trails around Coed-y-Brenin

Farqui said...

I acquired my set thru ActiveSportsKit for around £20 an end.

However, the ever watchful Rob managed to acquire a pair from ClimbOnBikes for under £30.

They're a bargain even at £40 for a pair of UST tyres so snap 'em up folks. You'll not be disappointed.

Farqui said...

Chuckle about my "tubeless" antic's with these boots here.

Farqui said...

For an alternate supplier, try; ClimbOnBikes.

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