BONTRAGER AW3 Hard-Case Lite Road Tyre
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The one tyre to choose if you could buy only one. Super low rolling resistance, outstanding grip in wet or dry, Hard-Case Lite puncture protection and slick aero wing technology make this the fastest all-weather tyre anywhere. If you hate flats as much as we do, the AW3 is your new best friend.
- AW design offers consistent braking and cornering traction in all weather conditions with low rolling resistance
- Hard-Case Lite: lightweight sub-tread material protects against punctures
- Aero Wings: unique bead profile closes the gap between rim and tyre for improved aerodynamics
- Clincher tyre
- Aramid bead (foldable)
- 120 tpi
- Weight: 240g (23c), 255g (25c), 295g (28c), 350 (32c)
- Unconditional Bontrager Guarantee
Bontrager AW3 Hard Case Lite tyre review, Cycling Weekly magazine, November 2015:
"These supple, easy-to-fit tyres actually measure 26.9mm when inflated to 90psi [size tested 25c], so while this gives a bit more rubber-to-road contact than the claimed 25mm, they may be a tight squeeze for some bikes. Bontrager says the AW3's distinctive tread pattern makes these ideal for wet-weather rides, and while I can't vouch for a total immersion, I did feel firmly planted when riding between wet and dry tarmac. Bontrager has managed to deliver a good balancing act between providing a chunky puncture protection belt, and preserving the feel of the road; giving me confidence on corners, while post-ride inspections show the tyres are still intact. The Aero Wings, an additional section of tyre that fills the void between wheel rim and tyre wall, will always be seen by some as a marketing gimmick. But after expecting a tyre with such robust puncture protection to feel rather laboured, in practice the AW3 felt like the fastest tyre on test."
Not the cheapest, not the lightest, but
for all-round performance, these are hard to beat.
Score: 9 (out of 10)
Bontrager AW3 Hard-Case Lite tyre review, Road Cycling UK, April 2017 (see here for full review):
"Confidence is golden in road cycling ??" never more so when the weather is inclement and grip levels are, at best, reduced. Being able to rely upon the rolling stock to keep you stuck to the road whatever it decides to throw your way is therefore critical; not just for ride enjoyment, but safety too.
Taking square aim at the all-weather tyre market here, then, is the Bontrager AW3 Hard-Case Lite road tyre (AW3s for short). As with many tyres of this type, it claims to give optimal grip in sub-optimal conditions, throwing in decent levels of puncture protection and low rolling resistance too, naturally.
...the AW3s are capable companions if you fancy getting a bit of a spurt on to avoid the worst of the incoming weather.
This leads me to my lasting impression of the AW3s: how simply easy to ride they are, in any weather. There's no sense of being unduly held back in the dry (aside from the natural downside of the 295g weight), with a responsive ride quality, while the compound is grippy under aggressive cornering in damp weather.
Taken out on short gravel byway sections in my local area, feedback is as consistent as you could expect from an uneven surface, with a good level of comfort and predictable behaviour underneath the bike. With pressures reduced towards the comfortable end of the spectrum, these tyres are able to absorb a fair amount of the extra punishment served up without feeling too vague. It's a really solid combination of feel and isolation in this respect.
Confidence, the concept upon which this review began, is easy to come by with the AW3s. Throw in the fact that they come with Bonty's Hard-Case Lite (a pared down yet nonetheless effective) puncture protection layer, and you're ostensibly as happy to roll over grit and gravel as you would be on the beefier AW2 tyres (which are tubeless, unlike the AW3s) we tested back in February. It's genuinely a ride-anytime tyre, as ready for the punishment of pavÃ© as it is for smoothly tarmacked century.
The Bontrager AW3s have impressed us with their grip in all conditions, and with a seemingly effective puncture protection level along with good comfort levels. Impressively, they also retain a responsive edge ??" I'd happily don them again for next autumn, right through to spring."
As with any product, specification is subject to change without prior notification. You are advised to confirm current specification before buying.