Bontrager R3 Road Tires - Clincher

3.56/5 (9 Reviews)
MSRP : $60.00


Product Description

  • Light and supple 120 tpi casing
  • Bontrager-exclusive aero wings
  • Integrated sub-tread puncture protection


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Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 5

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by l. michael wheeler

Date Reviewed: September 13, 2014

Strengths:    a light tire with low rolling resistance. at 110 psi it still soaks up small road imperfections.

Weaknesses:    I have had two flats in the first 250 miles. Bad luck , maybe but the tire outer rubber is soft for good grip

Bottom Line:   
A good tire for the money.


Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by H.

Date Reviewed: June 14, 2014

Strengths:    weight

Weaknesses:    not very puncture resistant

Bottom Line:   
I got these with new Madone.
I am 160lb. In under 600 miles I got two punctures already. I can't comment on performance, comfort etc as it's a new bike but their puncture protection is rather virtual. If I get another flat I gotta look for better protected albeit heavier tires.


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by vince

Date Reviewed: April 28, 2014

Strengths:    Puncture resistant. Fast. Wears well.

Weaknesses:    None that I've experienced

Bottom Line:   
Got these with a new Madone 5.2. Have logged 2,400 miles on them on rough country roads and chip and seal and not a single flat. I like these tires.


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kristatos a Road Racer

Date Reviewed: April 22, 2013

Strengths:    Larger volume and more supple casing than other tubeless road tires
Excellent grip and durability compared to other tubeless road tires
Easy to set the bead and air up


Weaknesses:    700 x 25C size isn't stocked on shelves, so it must be ordered online or by phone, which means you won't have a tire for your race on Saturday if something happens Friday on your training ride (I don't/can't keep $80 tires lying around the garage).


Bottom Line:   
Sizes reviewd: 700 x 23C TLR, 700 x 25C TLR

Having had mixed experiences with another brand of tubeless road tires I was excited to try Bontrager's offering when they hit the shelves of my local Trek superstore. I don't really have much experience with Bontrager tires on either road or mountain bikes, but I welcomed some more options in the road tubeless category, and I also saw that the R3 TLRs would be available in 25C width. One of my gripes with previous road tubeless tires was the low volume which I felt increased rolling resistance, hampered performance and ultimately contributed to an expensive dented rim on a set of 10-day old high-end hoops.

The TLR indicates these are tubeless ready as opposed to "UST" or whatever the road equivalent is - so Bontrager specifies that they are used with sealant (more on this below). The bead was easier to set than some other tubeless tires I've used, and I was able to pop them in place with several quick strokes from my floor pump - no need to break out the compressor. After adding some Stan's sealant I noticed that these tires look to measure larger than similarly marked tubeless tires from other brands. The 23C looked a little larger than the 23C Hutchinson Fusion 3 I had mounted on another wheelset, and much larger than the 23C Atom tubeless which looks to be puny in comparison. The 25C R3s were noticeably bigger yet, and barely fit into my Ridley Damocles, later depositing some mud and debris on the rear brake bridge during a couple rides after some rains. I also noticed when handling the tires that the casing felt more supple on the Bontrager TLR tires than on Hutchinson tubeless offerings - a good sign in my book.

Running the 23C at 90 PSI and the 25s at 80 PSI seemed about right for my 165 lbs in most circumstances. The R3 TLRs had excellent grip and rolled nicely. Training on them all winter the 25C felt like the faster of the two on the poor road surfaces in the San Diego area, although it's hard to say with any certainty. As the local racing season began the first weekend in February I decided to race on the 25s and have stuck with them every race since. The ability to run 80 to 85 PSI with no fear of a pinch flat is nice. In criteriums there is no need to steer around dots or seams in the road - the large and supple tire traverses these hazards without breaking grip, unlike a smaller volume tire aired up to a rock-hard 115 PSI which will skip hard. Giving some steering input it is easy to take a more aggressive line through a corner and I consistently have been able to carry momentum through corners in road races and crits while seeing other riders over-cook it and get gapped.

Wear and durability seem good so far. At just under 2,000 miles the rear tire on the 25C set is showing noticeable wear and I will replace them this week. They probably would be fine for another 500 to 1,000 miles for training purposes. At the Trek store a big guy working there (260 lbs.) said he gets about 1,200 miles on the rear tire - so bigger riders should expect them to wear faster. The 700x23C pair have about 1,500 miles on them and still look great. So far no tears in the casings. The sealant has saved me from a couple punctures on the road. Puncture resistance seems equal to or better than the Hutchinson tubeless tires I had used previously, and durability when crossing little rocks or gravel seems superior as so far no blowouts on the Bontrager R3 TLRs. As I wrote above, previous tubeless tires had left me disappointed with a total of 3 blowouts - all caused by small rocks in the road - and one dented rim picked up in a minor pothole hit while canted over on a downhill.

A note about TLR & sealant: I always have run tubeless tires on my road and mountain bikes with sealant. Stan's is affordable and works great in these tires. The sealant does seem necessary on the R3 TLRs as recently on my 25Cs which are about to be replaced (and in which the sealant is probably mostly dried up) I heard air escaping the tire while climbing up a steep driveway. The low speed and very high gradient combined to deform the tire and I could hear air leaking - in the end not much air escaped but it was a clear indication to me that the sealant is necessary and if the wheels sit for long periods of time or the sealant otherwise dries up it should be topped off.

Ratings: Hard to rate tubeless tires since the offerings are still new and evolving. These are by far the best riding and value tubeless tires I've been on to date, and I will stick with them for now. Hopefully more manufacturers will release "tubeless ready" road tires with supple casings similar to the R3 TLR. Compared to Hutchinson tires at $100+ apiece these are a no-brainer.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $78.00

Purchased At:   Trek Superstore, Tre

Similar Products Used:   Hutchinson Fusion 3 Tubeless 700 x 23C
Hutchinson Atom Tubeless 700 x 23C


Bike Setup:   Campagnolo Zonda 2-way fit
Campagnolo Shamal Ultra 2-way fit


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by k stahr

Date Reviewed: November 18, 2012

Strengths:    1973 miles to date, through the summer

Weaknesses:    None so far,but one flat that would happen with any tire

Bottom Line:   
replaced them when the weather conditions and road maintence went downhill



Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 5

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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Bontrager R3 Road tires

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