Bontrager 29" tyre

After much research I finally opted for Bontrager Jones XR 29" tyre for my new 29" uni.

It’s excellent and just what I had hoped for. It’s 2.25" wide so it’s got good volume for the bumps and hopping. There’s actually not much difference in volume to the Big Apple, it looks about the same but it does have knobbles which tend to make the tyre look bigger.

It has a non-aggressive knobbly tread, the centre ones are low and give an efficient ride, on tarmac it rides straight and true and completely eliminates the sideways drift on a camber which was my main aim and a problem with the BA and all other knobblies I’ve tried. The side tread is knobbly enough for off-road and mud.

It’s also very light, only 600g, so that’s a 300g saving over the BA and coupled with a KH rim gives a very light and responsive 29 xc machine.

So good I reviewed it twice.:slight_smile:

Have you ever tried the Kenda Klaw? Any idea how this compares to that?

I like the sound of this tyre for my Nimbus 29er, which I like to take offroad sometimes.

Would you way it’s nicer on road than the Big Apple? How about the ride?

I’ve always found that the BA pulls down camber really quite strongly, and although I’ve got the hang of avoiding / controlling that effect now, it would be nice to eliminate it entirely.


I’m interested too. I have got the kenda klaw and I hate it to ride on the road.


Also, did you buy a rear, or a front tread pattern?

Kenda Claw

I’ve never tried a Kenda Claw, but I have seen one, and I would say just from my experience of knobblies that the Jones XR would ride better on road, the Kenda Claw tread looks pretty aggressive. For me the Jones XR doesn’t give the sideways pull at all it just goes where you point it, and my road has a severe camber.

Big Apple

I’ve not tried a BA on my uni but I do have them on my commuter bike, one day I’ll put one on my 26" uni and get a direct comparison. But I have read that they pull badly, and even on my bike I notice it when the tyres are getting soft because it squirms around over white lines and road camber.

I have also heard you can reduce the pull on a BA at >50psi, but that is quite hard if you want to ride bumpy tracks, the Jones XR I just pump to where I can easily push it in with my thumb. That’s nice and soft for bouncing around and last night I was hopping up curbs just as easlily on the 29" as on my 24" with a Holy Roller. Consequently the ride is nice and soft.

Bontrager Jones XR

I bought the front tread pattern, the 2.25 one, but it is quite a fat tyre, looks about the same as the BA. The central triangular treads aren’t knobs, they are a raised pattern, which I think gives it stability. When you ride on knobs they bend and deform under you meaning you are riding on an unpredictable surface. The extreme outer treads are knobs. One thing I did notice was that when turning sharp and fast (like a u-turn in one lane) I leant over too far and had to twist my hips to finish the turn. I don’t know whether I just need to get used to the 29" wheel (this is my first), or whether it was to do with riding on the side treads. It’s not such a big deal though, I’m sure I’ll get over it. It would even be possible to cut the side treads down because there are only two rows and it wouldn’t take long to shave a couple of mm off each one.

I hope that answers your questions. Oh yes… they are fitted to Trek bikes, so you can get them from a Trek dealership or go and have a look at one.


My Kenda Klaw pulls worse than my Big Apple.


Been out on the 29er with Kenda Klaw tyre and I think I’ve figured out what I don’t like about it.

The type of riding I was doing was along a single track, mildly uphill for 3.25 miles and then turn around and come down again. The surface was mostly kind of little stones and grit. Stuff that the Big Apple would have taken in her stride and I would have hardly noticed. The Kenda Klaw made even bumpier. I think I would say that the knobbles are too square, or they make the tyre too ‘square’ or something like that. It seems to be ok riding straight but on any kind of slope or if I lean the unicycle over, it’s like I’ve gone off the square side of the box and it’s very difficult to control. I had to fight it all the way back.

Having said that, it’s lovely to ride on the grass with.

I’ve ordered the Bontranger tyre and will see how that goes.


Thanks for the info! Could I trouble you with a couple more questions?

Do you find the Bontrager is OK to idle at the pressures you’re running? I found I needed quite high pressures in the BA for it to be practical to idle. Also, any idea how the speed / grip on the tarmac compare to the BA? Any particular reason for choosing the front tread pattern rather than the rear?

I’m thinking the Bontrager could be quite a good tyre for the 29er offroad setting I’m planning. I was previously intending to get a Rear Klaw, same as on the KH29XC. But the offroad riding I’m doing won’t all be that severe, and I may need to do stretches of tarmac to get there. Also, ultimately if I could replace the BA completely it’d save me time and hassle!

Cathy, do you think you might post a review of the Bontrager vs Klaw tyre at some point? I too have a Nimbus 29er, and am thinking of creating an XC setup similar to yours. I’m likely to be riding similar trails to those I believe you prefer - offroad, sometimes muddy / grassy / lumpy, but not highly technical.

Yes, no prob.


Easy answer, I can’t idle yet so I don’t know. In all other respects it handles as well as my 24" with a Holy Roller on (also a hybrid tread). Maybe not quite as nippy, but not far off and I ave only just got it. I think a light weight rim helps too.

Very low rolling resistance, no direct comparison, but even at low pressure it goes well.

It is the fattest available.

The point is, for me anyway, it has enough tread to handle most XC, maybe not deep mud but so what. It can also make your life mush easier on smooth track and tarmac so no need for messing around with two tyres.


This is a problem with square tyres. The row of side knobs on the Bontrager may also cause this effect, but you have to lean over a long way to feel it and it’s not just a general lack of control it’s a leaning-over-too-far feeling which I have to correct by steering into the corner sharply. Although I have experienced this before with nice round tyres so I suspect it’s me getting used to the new size.
Let us know how you get on with it (and the Coker) . BTW how much did you pay for the Bontrager, I was charged £20, but when I got the tyre home I noticed it had a £16.99 label on it, I think I’ve been done - probably because I mentioned uni!