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Bontrager’s new AW3 road tyre line-up promises fewer flats

Updated sub-tread layer offers 78% better defence against punctures, according to US brand

Bontrager has updated its AW3 road tyre line-up with new Hard-Case Lite and Hard-Case models that feature improved puncture protection, as well as an extra reflective sidewall option across all sizes in the range.

2021 Bontrager AW3 3

The Hard-Case Lite and Hard-Case are the brand’s “set-it-and-forget-it road tyre”, with excellent defence against flats, a long-lasting tread and traction suitable for any season, according to Bontrager.

The updated sub-tread layer is made with a weave of nylon and aramid that is said to provide more protection while maintaining the AW3’s ride quality.

2021 Bontrager AW3 1

The previous iteration of the Hard-Case Lite tyres, which we reviewed back in 2015, impressed with how it rolled quickly and gripped securely in all conditions even with its puncture-resisting layer.

78% better protection against punctures compared to its predecessor is promised on the new AW3 Hard-Case Lite. This claim has been independently validated by the third-party tyre-testing company Wheel Energy, says Bontrager.

The Hard-Case has the same sub-tread layer as the Lite version, but also comes with an additional bead-to-bead nylon ply which is said to deliver more durability and protection against flats.

Both levels of puncture protection are available in four widths: 25mm, 28mm, 32mm and 39mm.

The AW3 Hard-Case Lite models are also available with reflective sidewalls in all these sizes.

2021 Bontrager AW3 4

"All AW3 tyres use a proprietary TR-Endure compound that's long-lasting and durable on any road surface and feature a textured shoulder tread with a smooth-rolling centre," says Bontrager.

Bontrager tyres are backed by the brand’s Unconditional Bontrager Guarantee, which is a 30-day return scheme.

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cyclisto | 3 years ago

I remember my Hard Cases that I had found in an offer were so punctureproof (never had a puncture) that I refused to change to them before a long trip even whey were worn way too much. I had to take a 5mph fall at a turn that convinced me that they were too worn and reluctantly change them before that trip.

Of course my new Contis succumbed to Murphy's law and punctured at the trip, but that metal staple could have defeated Bontrager too

wtjs | 3 years ago

No thin layer defeats hawthorn. We all know this!

ktache replied to wtjs | 3 years ago
1 like

It was hedge cutting season when I really saw the benifit of a tubeless setup.

wtjs replied to ktache | 3 years ago

In that case we have the best outcome! We're both happy with our choice. I recently had a slow puncture which I eventually fixed, after a couple of lazy weeks just pumping up every couple of days. It was, of course, a 5 mm thorn through the casing and a single hole in the tube. Presumably these just increase in number over the months with a tubeless?

Hirsute replied to wtjs | 3 years ago
1 like

All tyres pick up increased nicks over times, so in this case, the sealant would fill the holes and you might be puttiing more sealant in each quarter or so.

maxdabrit | 3 years ago

It's hard to have faith in the very precise 78 percent better puncture protection after Bontrager's 'wave cell is the greatest advance in helmets for 30 years' fiasco. 

Captain Badger replied to maxdabrit | 3 years ago

maxdabrit wrote:

It's hard to have faith in the very precise 78 percent better puncture protection after Bontrager's 'wave cell is the greatest advance in helmets for 30 years' fiasco. 

No it's true. On average punctures were found to be 22% of the size of punctures on normal tyres.

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