New Bontrager R3 tires - Any experiences?

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jencvo
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:01 pm

by jencvo

Does anybody have any experience with the new Bontrager R3 tires? https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/equi ... Code=black

It's the new version, looks to be very light, claimed grippier, etc etc. However, I can't find any rolling resistance data or any review of the new ones.. Does anybody have any experience they wouldn't mind sharing?

by Weenie


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nickf
Posts: 955
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:34 pm

by nickf

I have a few hundred miles on a pair of 25c R3s. They weighted in at 211g and 219g. Mounted on my checkpoint on some farsports 35x28 wide wheels. So far so good. I don't ride clinchers often, but these tires with standard tubes actually ride pretty nice. Decent weight and great cornering grip. Wish I had a more scientific report for you. They seem to roll better then the gp4000s they replaced. The ride is also much smoother with the R3s, that was noticable. The casing on the r3 is a little more supple. Not supple like a veloflex clincher but also not as fragile.

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posaunemeister
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Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: Tulsa, OK

by posaunemeister

Have not tried these yet, but if they're an improvement upon the 2017 R3's (which I have on my bikes -- 25mm @ 205g/each on one and 28mm at 244g/each on another), then they're nothing short of amazing. Lightweight, great grip on cornering, excellent puncture protection (I don't remember the last time I changed a flat), and a smooth yet efficient ride. The 28mm tires are cushy and are noticeably faster than the 25mm tires on mixed terrain. I will upgrade to the 2019 version once one of these sets are ready for replacement.
"When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

RedRacer
Posts: 381
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:13 pm

by RedRacer

The Bontrager site says NEW Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite Road Tire Model 27590 and lists the 25C @ 200g.

The tan sidewwall Bontrager R4 320 Handmade Clincher (25C @ 230g) also caught my eye.

I wonder who makes these for Bontrager?

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nickf
Posts: 955
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:34 pm

by nickf

Vittoria makes the tubulars and R4 320. The R4 320 clinchers are puncture prone. Similar to a veloflex Corsa/master in ride quality. The tubulars are great, been running them exclusively for 4 years or so. Only flats I get are if they are major punctures that would even kill a clincher.

RedRacer
Posts: 381
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:13 pm

by RedRacer

nickf wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:18 pm
Vittoria makes the tubulars and R4 320. The R4 320 clinchers are puncture prone. Similar to a veloflex Corsa/master in ride quality.
In that case I will stay away from the R4 320 clinchers but the new R3 Hard-Case Lite 25C @ 200g is presumably a different construction and likely from another factory.

iheartbianchi
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:17 am

by iheartbianchi

I recently swapped from Corsa Gs to the R4 tubular (25) and have put about 1,000km on them so far. Very grippy, better in the wet than my Veloflex Arenbergs and haven't had any issues with punctures yet. They feel a more plush than the Corsa Gs, maybe a tad slower though, but definitely faster than the Arenbergs. Overall very happy with them so far and prefer them to both the Corsa Gs and the Arenbergs in terms of ride quality and comfort.

My next set of tires will probably be the Veloflex Service Corsa.
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jasonh
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 6:55 pm

by jasonh

I’m riding R3-28’s on Bont Aeolus Pro 3V wheels. the R3 tires are awesome The roads in my area are far too harsh to ride 25’s (on another bike). I went with a pair of 30mm R2’s for the unavoidable 5 miles of gravel on my rides. They were boat anchors which made my slow climbing even slower. R3’s in 28mm have been awesome. They feel way better climbing, provide very predictable feel during hard corners on shitty pavement and can handle the rough gravel.
They’re not on the level of super plush 320tpi tires, but are definitely every bit the tire of GP4000’s.
Years ago, I had a pair of Vittoria corsas. They got destroyed within a month. I followed them up with Vredestein Fortezzas, which I absolutely loved every bit as much as Vittorias.
Nobody, anywhere ever rated Vredesteins, Seldom any reviews and Hard to find, etc. I always thought they were a poor mans Open Corsa.
To me R3’s are in the category of Gp4k. Continental will always have the market of “everyday” racing tires, that get the majority of kudos, but aren’t really on the level of super plush tires like Open tubulars, or anything with 320tpi casings. OTOH, they’re not as robust as something like a Conti GP4seaaon.

vjswing
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Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:52 pm

by vjswing

Just to kick this thread, I wanted to share my experience, as I did my first ride on these tires yesterday. For some background, I bought a road bike in 2017 (Giant Contend SL1), after riding a mountain bike on various surfaces over many years previous. I began running this bike with Gatorskins in 28mm width, for maximum convenience and resistance to punctures, before figuring out that an improved ride quality would enhance the riding experience.

I went to Conti GP4-Seasons, and eventually settled on running a labeled 25mm on the front (actual 28.8mm), and a labeled 28mm at the rear (actual 31.4mm). These are mounted on Light Bicycle rims; model R45 on the front, and R55 rear (i.w. 19mm, e.w. 25mm). Purchased the Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite, with the expectation that the tire would prove superior to the GP 4-Seasons, in terms of suppleness, grip, and rolling speed. I settled on the labeled 28mm size, and was a little surprised at how narrow the actual width was (27.8mm). In my first ride on these yesterday, it didn't take long to notice the improved suppleness and grip, as I covered plenty of sections of not-so-nice asphalt, with a number of tight and twisty turns on this pathway. Rolling speed is still a bit of a question. I'm not convinced that they roll faster than the 4-Seasons. I was running them at 104 psi, which is not far below suggested max of 112. I may try running them a bit higher.

The Trek/Bontrager 30-day "buy and try" guarantee was a great selling point. I'll certainly give the tires a thorough evaluation over the next few weeks, and get a better sense of how they compare with the Contis. If they ultimately seem slower, I may return, and take a shot with the GP5000 clinchers.

tleo
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:08 pm

by tleo

RedRacer wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:49 pm
In that case I will stay away from the R4 320 clinchers but the new R3 Hard-Case Lite 25C @ 200g is presumably a different construction and likely from another factory.
I believe the R3's are made by Hutchinson to Bontrager specs.

emondatx
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:21 pm

by emondatx

Mine were great for a few hundred miles. Fast rolling and had great grip even in the wet. After 200-300 miles the rear wheel sidewall started bulging out in several spots.

vjswing
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:52 pm

by vjswing

emondatx wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:25 pm
Mine were great for a few hundred miles. Fast rolling and had great grip even in the wet. After 200-300 miles the rear wheel sidewall started bulging out in several spots.
Thanks for the warning! I will definitely keep an eye out for that over the next several rides.

vjswing
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:52 pm

by vjswing

As a follow-up to the initial installation of the tires just over a week ago, it actually appeared that the tires stretched out ever so slightly. Measured with calipers, and sure enough, the front tire is now around 28.35mm and the rear is roughly 28.10mm (original width of 27.8mm). I'd always been skeptical of the claims of "tires will stretch a little bit" until I saw the proof myself! Much of this has to be dependent on the suppleness of the casing, I'm quite certain.

Did a ride of one of my semi-regular routes yesterday, which included a 2-mile segment of some very broken-up asphalt, which is brutally rough in places. The speed and comfort that these R3s provided was vastly better than the previous Conti GP 4-Seasons. I was a little on the fence after the first couple of rides on the new tires, but yesterday's experience was an eye-opener. Will continue to look for cuts or any evidence of quick wear or damage, but overall, I'm feeling pretty good about this purchase.

by Weenie


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