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Tire Help Needed: Bontrager Affinity + R3 TLR Tire Problems

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Tire Help Needed: Bontrager Affinity + R3 TLR Tire Problems

Old 01-19-23, 03:30 PM
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Metallifan33
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Tire Help Needed: Bontrager Affinity + R3 TLR Tire Problems

Hello All,

Was wondering if I could get your thoughts on my situation. A few months ago, I converted my "tubeless ready" wheels to tubeless. I have a Trek Domane SL 5 with Bontrager Affinity TLR wheels.

I decided to go with the R3 Hard Case Light tires (if for no reason other than I thought Bontrager tires would be more compatible with Bontrager wheels).

I only ride for health reasons (don't race and don't care about weight/performance).

The Trek dealer that did my tubeless conversion really struggled getting the R3s to seat properly on the wheels. I had to leave the wheels overnight with them. Eventually they got them on and I rode them for a few months without any issues.

Yesterday, I had a pretty nasty flat requiring a new tire. I had an extra R3 TLR tire that I purchased online, but did not feel confident enough to change the tire out myself. I don't have a compressor either. I went into a different bike shop today and the same thing happened. Couple of guys struggled getting the tire on. I asked for them to just seat the tire and I'd add the sealant when I got home. They said they needed to add sealant just to get the tire to seat.

When I got home and set the tire down in my kitchen, it popped (loud bang like a balloon burst). The tire had come off and sealant was pouring on to my kitchen floor. I have no idea what happened. The tire looks ok...

My question is: should I try a different tire? The guy at the bike shop today said that Continentals are better tires and that I wouldn't have as much trouble installing them. Is this true? All I care about is durability and ease of installation (I worry what will happen if the tire fails out on the road). I was reading on a ****** thread that Continental GP5k tires are actually harder to get on Trek wheels...

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!!



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Old 01-19-23, 07:13 PM
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bampilot06
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I donít ride tubeless but I will tell you the R3 tires are ****. When I bought my madone I slashed both tires the first ride bad. Shop gave me new pair and I slashed both of those riding the same roads I ride everyday. Put GP5000 on it, and I donít think I have had a flat on the Madone.

However, nothing will stand up against that IED you ran over. Just saying.
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Old 01-19-23, 07:15 PM
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I had another spare set of R3 the shop gave me, that I told myself I would never use. I typically donít throw anything bike related away so they hung on my wall for a year and a half . I recently built an old trek 5500, and the only 25 mm spare tires I had that would fit that bike were the R3. I wonít take that bike out of my neighborhood, thatís how much I donít trust those tires.

Rant over.
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Old 01-19-23, 08:04 PM
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I’ve had R3s (non-TLR) on my bike for over a year. No flats or problems.

Will be switching to Pirelli tubeless soon just try something different.
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Old 01-19-23, 10:03 PM
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Boy oh boy, I wish (and hope) that I can offer some sort of advice... It's been quite a few years since I've used the R3 TLR's and frankly I used to love them when I ran them on both Bontrager alloy wheels and some of my carbon tubeless compatible wheels.

The fact that they blew off is obviously incredibly disconcerting; any idea what pressure they were at?

The first thing I would look at is the tubeless tape on the wheels. Did the shop install it or was it stock, is there a chance that the tubeless tape is too wide on the rims and maybe flowing up the sidewall of the rim preventing the tire from seating properly? Take a look, if that may be the challenge then you would have problems regardless of tire choice.

I'd start trouble shooting there and then move forward...
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Old 01-20-23, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bampilot06 View Post
I donít ride tubeless but I will tell you the R3 tires are ****. When I bought my madone I slashed both tires the first ride bad. Shop gave me new pair and I slashed both of those riding the same roads I ride everyday. Put GP5000 on it, and I donít think I have had a flat on the Madone.

However, nothing will stand up against that IED you ran over. Just saying.
lol yeah. Just too many construction sites around my place.
It's not the tire damage I'm concerned with. It's the difficulty in getting it mounted properly.
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Old 01-20-23, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by robbyville View Post
Boy oh boy, I wish (and hope) that I can offer some sort of advice... It's been quite a few years since I've used the R3 TLR's and frankly I used to love them when I ran them on both Bontrager alloy wheels and some of my carbon tubeless compatible wheels.

The fact that they blew off is obviously incredibly disconcerting; any idea what pressure they were at?

The first thing I would look at is the tubeless tape on the wheels. Did the shop install it or was it stock, is there a chance that the tubeless tape is too wide on the rims and maybe flowing up the sidewall of the rim preventing the tire from seating properly? Take a look, if that may be the challenge then you would have problems regardless of tire choice.

I'd start trouble shooting there and then move forward...
Yeah... good point. I hope the rim isn't damaged or anything.
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Old 01-20-23, 05:29 AM
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I've used their tubeless R3's before and without issues, while not the lightest or smoothest riding tires, I did not have any problems with them, and found them to hold up pretty well. I also have never had an issue mounting them to any of the Bontrager rims I have owned. Generally speaking the Bontrager tires easily mount on their wheels. If you've had 2 shops struggling with mounting the tires, I would start looking at the rims. I had a set of those wheels that came on one of my wife's bikes and If I recall, and it's been a while since I dealt with them, they come with a pre-installed rim strip versus tape, it's possible the strip might not be installed properly and not allowing the tire to seat properly. I would look into that.
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Old 01-20-23, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Metallifan33 View Post
lol yeah. Just too many construction sites around my place.
It's not the tire damage I'm concerned with. It's the difficulty in getting it mounted properly.
I have those rims on my Emoda ALR... I've had problems with 2 sets of tires seating properly. Specialized Turbo Pro's and Armadillo Elites - always have the slightest hop in the rear wheel.

May be a rim issue.
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Old 01-20-23, 11:20 AM
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I have been very happy with Pirelli Tires. they have been very easy to setup tubeless on both mine and my wife's bike. I have had good luck with the Race tires, but in your case I would consider running the more robust cinturato tires for even more flat protection.
Like the other poster said, I would double check the rim tape. My fear would be that the shop just put rim tape over the top of the rim strips that came with the wheel reducing the volume available. If it seems like that is what happened I would remove it all and put in a fresh double layer of tubeless rim tape.

Good luck!
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