It took a while for Trek’s in-house component brand to hit its stride, but now Bontrager is up there with the best when it comes to parts and accessories.
While some of the claims about its recent releases have caused some controversy, there is no question the brand’s tyres, wheels, shoes and saddles are top notch.
- Bontrager claims WaveCel technology is biggest change to helmet safety in 30 years
- Best road bike tyres in 2019: everything you need to know
- A buyer’s guide to getting the best road bike saddle
And now, Bontrager has updated its tire and saddle range with the revamped R3 tire lineup and Aeolus aero saddles.
R3 Hard-Case Lite tires
Bontrager has given its most popular road tires a facelift, with the brand saying the update to the R3 Hard-Case Lite improves on the best parts of the original, while also rolling faster, lasting longer and offering better puncture protection.
The tire starts with a new rubber compound called TR-speed, which is claimed to reduce rolling resistance and wear slower too. The casing has also gone from being completely slick to now having a smooth centre with light tread on the shoulders for a claimed increase in cornering traction.
As the tires increase in width, Bontrager has altered the shoulder tread profile in an effort to optimise traction and best tailor each for its intended use. So this breaks down to the 23c tires being smooth and light, the 25c having a slightly recessed tread and the 32 having small external knobblies.
According to its own lab testing, Bontrager is claiming that the new TR-speed compound offers a 75 percent increase in tread life.
The tires also feature a woven Nylon 105 breaker belt for protection against flats, which is claimed to offer a 12 percent increase in protection against punctures all without sacrificing suppleness or road feel.
The new tires come in three varieties:
- R3 Hard-Case Lite priced at £35 / $55 / AU$50
- R3 Hard-Case Lite TLR which cost £50 / $65 /AU$70
- R3 Hard-Case Lite Reflective which are priced £TBC / $60 / AU$55
Bontrager Aeolus Road saddle
Short, wide saddles with a full-length cutout have been all the rage the past few seasons, with the perches such as the Specialized Power, Pro Stealth and Prologo Dimension becoming extremely popular among roadies.
The new Aeolus Road Saddle is Bontrager’s take on a sawn-off seat. Designed to support riders in the aero riding position, the full cutout and wide nose is meant to minimise soft tissue pressure for both men and women.
Bontrager also says, with the rails housed at the very front of the saddle it allows the entire shell to flex for increased compliance. The Aeolus is also compatible with the Blendr accessory mount for clean rear light integration.
Coming in three versions — Comp, Elite and Pro — the only real difference is in the rails and the shell. The Comp and Elite feature a plastic shell and metal rails while the Pro is full carbon.
The saddle is also available in 145mm and 155mm widths.
Available now, the Aeolus Comp is selling for £45 / $90 / AU$100, the Elite for £90 / $150 / AU$170 and the Pro for £150 / $230 / AU$250