On Thursday Bontrager announced its popular AW2 road tire line-up would get a refresh. The American company says that the new AW3 Hard-Case Lite and Hard-Case AW3 models will significantly improve puncture protection without sacrificing ride quality.
Bontrager describes the new AW3 tires as: “The ultimate set-it-and-forget-it road tire.” The new designs are focused on defence against flats, with a long-lasting tread and all-season traction.
The new AW3 tyres are available with two levels of puncture protection: Hard-Case Lite, which features a sub-tread anti-puncture layer made of a nylon/aramid weave, and Hard-Case, which has the same sub-tread layer plus a bead-to-bead nylon ply for additional durability and protection against flats. The weight difference between the Hard-Case (370g) and the Hard-Case Lite (300g) is about 70g for the 700×28 size. Even with updated puncture protection, the Hard-Case Lite is about 30g lighter than its AW2 predecessor.
For all the new AW3 tires, Bontrager has developed a proprietary TR-Endure compound for longer lasting tread. The company says that this compound is provides great all-weather traction, is durable on any road surface and and better resistance to puncture. It features a textured shoulder tread with a smooth-rolling centre.
AW3 has long been among Bontrager’s most popular road tires. To independently validate the performance of the new tires, Bontrager went to Wheel Energy, a third-party tire testing company. With its updated design, they found that the new AW3 Hard-Case Lite massively outperforms its predecessor, offering 78 per cent better protection against punctures.
Both levels are available in a range of four widths (700×25, 700×28, 700×32 and 700×38) for speed and stability on roads or city streets. Cyclists looking for visibility wherever they can get it will be happy to hear that the AW3 Hard-Case Lite models are available with reflective sidewalls in all sizes. Cyclists looking for tubeless tires will have to look elsewhere, as these are only available as clincher models for now.
The AW3 Hard-Case Lite is available in 700×25, 700×28, 700×32 and 700×38 sizes, with a reflective sidewall option in all sizes.
The AW3 Hard-Case is available in 700×25, 700×28, 700×32 and 700×38 sizes.
All models are $80 and available at Trek retailers or online at trekbikes.com/ca/