e*thirteen LG1+ Tires
Words by Chili Dog // Photos by Drew Rohde
With just a couple year’s experience in the tire game, e*thirteen has impressed many a rider with their grippy rubber. The new LG1 tires should bring even more fans into the hive thanks to low, ramped center knobs and aggressive side lugs. The design isn’t ground breaking by any means, but then again how many ways can you stick knobs on a rubber donut and still have it work well.
e*thirteen intends the LG1 to be used primarily as a gravity tire in 29er or 27.5 flavors. The LG1 is offered in two versions: Race All-Terrain and Plus All-Terrain. The Plus doesn’t denote Plus sizing however. Instead it indicates a different version of the tire, with a less sticky rubber compound and lighter casing.
The Race model, uses the ultra tacky, slow rebound rubber, and also adds in an additional woven aramid layer for durability. To hold up to the abuse demanded of a DH tire, e*thirteen gave both versions of the LG1 dual ply construction and Apex inserts. The inserts add 1mm of sidewall thickness for enhanced puncture resistance, and extra support during heavy load situations.
The Race 27.5×2.35 tires weigh in at 1,158 grams while the Plus tires weigh 1,257 grams in the same size. LG1+ 29er tires weigh 1,257 grams for the Race and 1,162 grams for the Plus.
The second we took our 27.5 LG1 All-Terrain tires out of the box, we knew they were going to be a good time. We opted to install them on an enduro rig instead of a DH bike so we could get more miles on them in a shorter time. Besides, most people are riding their 160-170 bikes on DH trails these days anyhow.
As we mounted the tires we studied the blocks. Two shortened center knobs run perpendicular to the direction of rotation. There is also a nice gap before the tall and aggressive side lugs jut out from the casing. The float zone (gap in transitional area) is very reminiscent of a popular Maxxis tire and makes it corner like one too. It’s worth noting that the Race tires have a slightly softer rubber compound than the familiar Minion DHF, making them less chattery when sliding on hard pack.
Ramped and siped center lugs provide ample traction during climbs without adding too much extra weight or making them roll even slower. The perpendicular orientation of the lugs compared to the direction of travel allows for ample lateral float– that is until the tall side lugs hook up and dig in. And boy do they dig in!
We’ve been on these tires for a few months in various SoCal terrain. It’s been a mix of hard pack, rocks and wet tacky dirt after some winter weather. The LG1 tires aren’t the grippiest we’ve tried, but a good tire isn’t always just about all-out grip, all the time.
Predictability, control and that delicate balance between traction and slip are what makes a tire truly great. We’ve grown to appreciate and love the float on these tires, which leaves room for slashes and slides before committing the bike over to get full bite of the side knobs. The fine line between slipping and gripping is incredibly predictable on the LG1 tires and something we love about them.
While these are no XC tire as far as rolling resistance goes, the low profile center knobs do help keep them competitive on the climbs. The tacky center knobs help lay down the power during technical climbs, even on the loose, sandy soils we faced.
The Race compound tires are notably slower on flats or climbs than the Plus, which is an expected trade off for all out traction. Not surprisingly, the perpendicular center knobs aid in braking traction. Even under heavy load and on loose terrain, these tires hooked up and brought our speed into control. The only place we noticed some braking traction concerns was on the steep chutes of Laguna Beach. Hard pack trails with a light layer of sandy dirt on top made the tires just a bit drifty when trying to brake hard.
Back to the strengths – the stiff sidewalls offer impressive puncture resistance and also helped in the most G’ed out of corners. Not once did any of our test bikes running these tires get a flat. Similarly, we never felt the tires squirm, burp or quiver, even when we slammed the back end into berms.
The Wolf’s Last Word
The 2018 LG1 tires were designed for the DH world, but will undoubtedly find their way on all mountain bikes. e*thirteen also makes the lighter TRS enduro tire with the same tread pattern, but the LG1 is the only way to get a dual ply sidewall. With large, grippy side lugs and two casing options (Race and Plus) this tire is sure to deliver downhill performance no matter how rowdy you get on the way down.
If you live in very rocky areas or want a fast rolling tire, we’d recommend staying away from the Race compound as they stick and wear. Traction is phenomenal but be warned, that stick comes at a cost. While we may be hesitant about dropping the coin in SoCal or Phoenix, our other test set have only seen softer trails in Central Oregon and they’ve been holding up notably better. And the side knob traction is even better in soft soil!
Pricing is a definite highlight, the weight is a tad heavy but the stiff and durable sidewall makes it worthwhile for hammering the downs. Rolling resistance is a touch on the slow side, especially considering the height of the center knobs, but the predictability, penetration and cornering traction still make these tires pretty bad ass in the sea of available rubber.
Weight: 1,158 grams (LG1 Race 27.5 x 2.35) 1,257 grams (LG1 Plus 27.5 x 2.35)