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Old 05-29-09, 02:02 PM   #1
AdrianL
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Bontager Tire Question

I try my best to support my LBS whenever I can. If I can get something from them that is reasonably close to the price I can get off the internet and it is the same or a comparable product, I get it from them. They do not sell Conti or Specialized tires. They sell Bontager tires along with some other brand which my feeble memory cannot recall right now. From reading several threads on tires here it looks like these are about the most often recommended tires that people are happy with for road tires.

I asked the guys at the LBS what was a comparable tire to the Gator Skins or the 4000 and they recommended the Bontager Race X Lite Hardcase. The Bontager site makes the tire look pretty good.

At $50 per tire I need to ask - does anyone here use this tire - if so - what do you think of it?

Thanks
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Old 05-29-09, 02:09 PM   #2
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I'd find a shop that sells different tyres.

Sorry but for me- anything that has a Bontrager name on it does not get anywhere near my bikes. It is a standard quality part with nothing extra going for it to say it is better than other basic parts around and they cost more.

I know that some are happy with Bontrager branded parts- but I am afraid that I am not one of them.


And the usual disclaimer when anything like this is stated- This is my opinion and others may differ.

And gatorskins on the net--

http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=Y1320
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Old 05-29-09, 02:20 PM   #3
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Totally agree with Stapfam here AdrianL,

The Bontrager name comes from Keith Bontrager (mountain bike innovator originally), and is owned by TREK and used as their name for their in-house products. That doesn't mean they're bad or good, just FYI. Kind of funny marketing, but not unheard of.

So, TREK has their Bontrager tires made by one of the major tire companies, probably in Taiwan (Cheng Shin / Kenda) or China, but it could be Indonesia (IRC). Regardless, they are not nearly the same level of quality that you will find from Continental (Gatorskins are my choice).

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Old 05-29-09, 02:50 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot guys. I was on the cusp anyway and just the 2 of you pushed me over the edge. I think I will order a couple Conti Gatorskins or 4000's this weekend.
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Old 05-29-09, 03:01 PM   #5
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I live in a small town and our only dealer is Trek so most of us in my group use Bontrager hardcase and one of my friends has nearly 13,000 miles on his so not every one thinks they are bad.
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Old 05-29-09, 05:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
The Bontrager name comes from Keith Bontrager (mountain bike innovator originally), and is owned by TREK and used as their name for their in-house products. That doesn't mean they're bad or good, just FYI. Kind of funny marketing, but not unheard of.
Not funny marketing at all, really. Captive brands are quite common and have been for years. Sears has been doing it with Kenmore, Craftsman and others for decades. GM has (or had and maybe will have again) AC/Delco. Etc.
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Old 05-29-09, 05:50 PM   #7
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I had Bontrager Race Lite's on a Trek 520 and did not have a single flat in over 2,000 miles of use. I sold the bike, but the tires looked nearly new.
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Old 05-29-09, 07:35 PM   #8
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For what it's worth, I have had very good service from the Bontrager Revolt X tires on my mountain bike.

I have Continentals on the Bianchi, and my only gripe is that they are a very tight fit on my Campagnolo Omega rims.
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Old 05-29-09, 08:10 PM   #9
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I am not to sure about the tires but like most other companies Bontrager has different levels of quality on most of thier equipment. They have at least 4 levels of wheels. I have owned a Trek mountain bike, a lemond road bike and now have a lemond cyclocross, all of which are loaded down with Bonrager parts. The only complaint I ever had with any of the parts was the seats were not comfortable, but then again most seats are to my skinny rear. YMMV.
Another thing I recently learned. My favorite LBS sells a variety of tires and I was asking them about some commuting tires. She got out a big catalog that had everything bicycle you could imagine including a huge selection of all different brand tires. She told me all LBS have the same book but some of them just like to sell the "company" brand.
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Old 05-29-09, 09:19 PM   #10
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I owned a Trek Madone that had Bontrager components including tires and they worked fine. I liked the ride and performance of the Trek. I purchased a set of Bontrager Race XXX lite carbon clinchers and they are really nice wheels. They seem to be bullet proof and I have raced on them through some very rough pavement conditions at high speed without problems.

I like the Conti 4000s tire. It is one of the smoothest riding tires. The sidewall seems very supple and the rolling resistance is "supposed" to be very low. As I remember, the Bontrager tires were a harsher ride. However, this is very subjective and qualitative impressions. IMHO, the more supple and smoother riding the tire, the less miles and potentially more flats one will get. However, this is a tradeoff that we each make.

Here is a link to an internet site I have used for tires that shows the top brands and pricing. I do not think one can go wrong with any of the tires including Bontrager. http://www.biketiresdirect.com/razz/...s/products.htm
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Old 05-30-09, 05:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianL View Post
I try my best to support my LBS whenever I can. If I can get something from them that is reasonably close to the price I can get off the internet and it is the same or a comparable product, I get it from them. They do not sell Conti or Specialized tires. They sell Bontager tires along with some other brand which my feeble memory cannot recall right now. From reading several threads on tires here it looks like these are about the most often recommended tires that people are happy with for road tires.

I asked the guys at the LBS what was a comparable tire to the Gator Skins or the 4000 and they recommended the Bontager Race X Lite Hardcase. The Bontager site makes the tire look pretty good.

At $50 per tire I need to ask - does anyone here use this tire - if so - what do you think of it?

Thanks

I have used these tires for the last two seasons and they have been excellent. After having tried Michelins and Continentals with less than stellar results, Bontrager hardcase tires are the only tire I will have on my bikes, period! No flats in over 6000 miles, and they grip well in the rain. Edit: 50 bucks is a little high, my lbs was 40

Last edited by crazyb; 05-30-09 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 05-30-09, 06:31 AM   #12
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Bontrager parts seem to work reasonably well for Team Astana as they did for Discovery and Postal.

Yes, I know, the parts they use are not likely the same quality as the parts you can buy. But then, the higher level parts that you can buy are not the same quality as the cheap crap that formed stap's opinion either.

Cheng Shin makes many very high quality tires, as do Kenda and IRC.
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Old 05-30-09, 06:47 AM   #13
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Bontrager parts seem to work reasonably well for Team Astana as they did for Discovery and Postal.

Yes, I know, the parts they use are not likely the same quality as the parts you can buy. But then, the higher level parts that you can buy are not the same quality as the cheap crap that formed stap's opinion either.

Cheng Shin makes many very high quality tires, as do Kenda and IRC.
After much anticipation, Trek Bicycle Corporation officially announced today that it has entered into a "multiple year" agreement with Johan Bruyneel's Astana team. According to the arrangement, Trek will provide the Astana riders with Madone 6.9 framesets and a healthy selection from the company's Bontrager parts bin, including wheels, TIRES, saddles, handlebars, stems, bar tape, cages, and bottles. "We have a relatively standard agreement with the team," said Trek Road Brand Manager Scott Daubert. "We provide them with bikes; they provide us with race results and bike development and access to the riders. It's very similar to what we had with Discovery and US Postal. It's a partnership that helps us both."
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Old 05-30-09, 06:58 AM   #14
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The shop near me isn't a huge shop, so doesn't carry lots of inventory or selection either, but he's been able to order whatever I've needed so far, and has gone so far as to come close to some internet sites on pricing. Have you asked if he might order the tires you want?
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Old 05-30-09, 07:57 AM   #15
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...Another thing I recently learned. My favorite LBS sells a variety of tires and I was asking them about some commuting tires. She got out a big catalog that had everything bicycle you could imagine including a huge selection of all different brand tires. She told me all LBS have the same book but some of them just like to sell the "company" brand.
I've had a similar experience. If I want something that my favorite LBS doesn't stock, they'll order it from their regional supply wholesale warehouse. There are very few things they can't get. Where they run into trouble with is the amount of stock they must have on the floor in order to carry Trek. If they carry too much of a competitor's merchandise, they run the risk of losing their Trek products. I understand Specialized does this as well. In fact my favorite LBS stopped carrying both Trek and Specialized (they carry Trek now) because each wanted "X" percent of their stuff on the showroom floor. So, you may be facing a situation where there are other reasons the LBS wants you to buy the Bontrager (most likely because they want to sell the stock that they already have). I'd ask if they would order them. If they say "no" I'd have no problems getting them elsewhere.
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Old 06-01-09, 03:37 PM   #16
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Bontrager tires...

Had to jump in..I just took off a rear Bontrager Race X Lite tire that I got used on a demo set of Bontrager Race X lite wheels. I just put on a barely used Mich. Krylion Carbon on the rear to replace the Bonti which was getting a flat profile and thin in the center.

The next time I buy tires, I will go back and get a set of the Race X lites. I NEVER had a flat in over 1500 miles, and the tires are supple, and grippy, and roll like heck. I used to have the same 'not so good' opinion of Bontager parts, and had removed a bonti crank that came on my Fisher MTB, but I must say that I LOVE the Bontrager wheels (these are the 2008 version with pewter rims/ white spokes) and am missing my Bontrager Race X lite tire on the back...can't say enough good about them!

I also have to add that they are very easy to get on and off my rims which I cannot say about the Krylion's...I like the Krylions, but they are brutal to get off the rim so I'm dreading my first flat!

Good luck.
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Old 06-01-09, 06:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by crazyb View Post
I have used these tires for the last two seasons and they have been excellent. After having tried Michelins and Continentals with less than stellar results, Bontrager hardcase tires are the only tire I will have on my bikes, period! No flats in over 6000 miles, and they grip well in the rain. Edit: 50 bucks is a little high, my lbs was 40
I have Bontrager Hard Case on my mountain bike and Townie. No flats in about three years on the mountain bike, and no flats on the Townie in about 15 months.

I have Swchalbe Marathons on my LHT. No flats yet ....
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Old 06-03-09, 08:13 AM   #18
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I haven't had good luck with Bontrager tires. The Bontragers that came with my Trek 520 were horrible. Four flats in as many weeks. Replaced, at the time, with Conti Top Touring 2000. The Continentals have had one flat in about 2000 miles of riding.

I liked the way the Bontragers that came as original equipment on my Lemond Zurich rode and handled. And not one flat in about 1000 miles of riding. Yet, then one tire developed a crack and the other bubbled under full tire pressure. While i'd rate the tires as OK, i think they should have lasted longer. I just replaced them with Gatorskins. I one ride with the new tires so the jury is still out on ride comfort. But i've had good luck with Continental. In addition to the Top touring 2000s i also have an old mountain bike booted with Conti Travlel Contacts. Those tires are going on ten years old, and should have worn out a long time ago. No dry rot, and not one flat in thousands of miles of riding. I'm a satisfied customer!
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