Bontrager’s race lite hardcase tyre is a mid-level puncture resistant training and commuter tyre. It’s available in widths from 23mm to 32mm for 700c tyres, 25mm for 650c tyres and 1 1/8inch and 1 ¼inch in 27inch tyres. Bontrager say they offer the best in puncture protection, offering triple puncture protection to guard against the most common causes of flats - punctures, cuts through the casing and pinch flats.
This triple puncture protection consists of a Kevlar belt to keep glass and stone out, there’s a bead-to-bead woven anti-cut layer in the tire casing to protect the sidewalls and there’s also some special anti-pinch flat material around the hookbeads to prevent your tubes pinch-flatting.
I tested the 622-25 size mounted on a pair of Shimano RS30s on my mudguarded winter trainer. In 500 miles of commuting in all weathers, I got 2 punctures which is quite a lot really for a tyre that claims puncture protection as its main feature. In their defense, I had been puncture-less for over a year and as any commuter will tell you, I had it coming.
More objectively though, roughly half of those 500 miles were in some truly awful conditions with roads sometimes resembling rivers. The flints were out in force and two prime specimens made it through the hardcase triple puncture protection. In my experience, you have to go up a level in puncture protection and width to guard against that level of attack, which means compromising in the speed and handling department.
And this is where this tyre comes in. For a fast rolling tyre that handles well, the puncture protection is actually really quite good. Looking at the rubber after said 500 miles, there’s evidence of a considerable number of flint & glass attacks that didn’t make it through.
If you want some puncture protection that’s not going to hold back your speed and cornering, Bonty’s race lite hardcase is well worth considering. It’s become my favourite fast commuting tyre for sure.
An excellent training and commuting tyre: fast rolling and puncture-resistant.
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Make and model: Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase 700x25c tyre
Size tested: 700 x 25 (x2 please)
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 32 Height: 1.78m Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Cervelo Dual
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, Audax