The one road tyre for race day and every day Bontrager's design team and the development of the all-new R3 Road Bike Tyre
They say you can’t reinvent the wheel, but Bontrager’s design team did reinvent the tyre that goes on it. The R3 road bike tyre was a project three years in the making, one that started with a complete overhaul of the tyre development process and ended with a new standard of testing, an entirely new rubber compound called TR-Speed, and the one road bike tyre to rule them all.
Here’s what the team knew: a great road bike tyre is fast-rolling and light. But most road tyres are quick to wear out and not especially confidence-inspiring when it comes to punctures. Moreover, they’re not great for a variety of conditions. Changing your tyres for race day is a hassle, but there wasn’t one single tyre that was long-wearing, puncture-resistant, durable enough for training rides and fast enough for race day.
So Bontrager took all the best-loved parts of the existing R3 Hard-Case Lite road tyre and improved on them, creating the one tyre that’s right for race day and every day. The new R3 is 7% faster, 22% more protective against flats, and 75% longer-lasting. Plus, it’s available in a variety of widths – each with a size-specific, lightly treaded design for traction and cornering confidence.
Not every road is perfect. So rather than testing R3 on a steel drum like everyone else, Bontrager created a customisable rolling surface capable of recreating several outdoor riding conditions. This allowed the team to gather and analyse more performance data than ever, and it ultimately led to some major discoveries.
The tech behind the tyre
One such discovery was that even tyres without directional tread roll faster in one direction than in the other – by 10% on average. Put it another way: direction matters. A lot. That’s why R3 is built on a supple, 120 TPI casing that’s directionally optimised for faster forward rolling and more free speed.
The team went all the way back to the drawing board for R3, then took another step back from the design and totally reworked the material. R3 is built with a proprietary TR-Speed rubber compound that’s faster in the lab and on a variety of road surfaces.
More miles, fewer flats
Bontrager also improved the new R3’s puncture protection by adding a breaker belt made from tightly woven Nylon105. The result is a lighter tyre with better road feel, a 12% increase in protection against punctures and a 75% increase in tread life so you get that new-tyre feel for a whole lot longer.
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