Editors Note: Yeah, yeah…..another year end review! Tis the season! So, here are my favorite things that have passed through the Twenty Nine Inches review process during the past year. I want to point out a few parameters that I used for what I chose here.
1. The product had to be in the review process during the time period of December 2006 through to the end of November 2007. Reviews that are currently in process I did not include and will be eligible for my 2008 Top Ten list.
2. They had to be products or bicycles that I personally used during this period. Nothing any of the other Twnty Nine Inches staff reviewed on their own could be considered for my list. This list doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone but me, Guitar Ted.
That said, let’s get on with this……
Number Six: Bontrager Dry X Tubeless Ready 29″er Tire. Bontrager’s long rumored developement of a tubeless ready 29″er tire was finally revealed at the Trek Press camp in Santa Cruz in early 2007. Twenty Nine Inches recieved a pre-production pair to test and review then. Bontrager was the first to produce a true tubeless ready system for 29″ers that included the Bontrager Tubeless Ready Race X Lite wheels which we were also testing at the time.
Why it makes the list: Tubeless. the words 29″er freaks were salivating over for months….nay, years to hear describing a new 29″er tire. Well, the Bontrager Dry X was it, (Stan’s nearly treadless Crow tire not with standing) and I was excited to try out a tubeless ready system that was approved and tested for use in a 29″er package. The Dry X was a great first foray into the tubeless tire world for Bontrager and was immediately recognized as a great tire design in its own right, even without the tubeless factor.
My Two Cents: Bontrager’s Tubeless Ready System is a solid, bombproof system, but that aside, the Dry X is a great all-round tread design with a nice, round casing profile and a great, grippy performance on most types of terrain. It rolls fast, corners well, and is good at absorbing bumps because of its voluminous casing. Add to that the tubeless factor and you have a tire that should work well for many 29″er freaks. It comes in two versions: a weight-weenie, non-armoured sidewall version and a “AR” casing design that beefs up the sidewall strength a bit. Both are very light weight, which is a bonus when you use the Super Juice sealant and go tubeless. A great tire design and a bombproof tubeless system that goes along with it. Those two things make the Bontrager Dry X Number Five on the Top Ten List of 29″er Products for 2007.
Look for the beginning of the top five of the Top Ten Favorite 29″er Products of ’07 in another post soon!