I took my first spin on my new rear tire, the Bontrager Hardcase Race Lite. The store mechanic told me in addition to being more puncture resistant than my stock tires (Bontrager R1s), this would actually have less rolling resistance and would therefore be faster. I was curious to see if this was true. When I put very heavy and very puncture resistant Armadillos on Old Ironsides, I immediately noticed that it was slower. So I was a little suspicious of my mechanic’s claims and immediately put them to the test by riding the exact same route I rode last Sunday on my old tire.
I had the exact same time.
Well, it was 15 seconds faster, but over 26 miles that’s not enough to bother over, is it? The temperature was similar in both rides. Although it wasn’t raining today, that was made up for today by a stiffer breeze, so I don’t think the weather impacted the test. My max heart rate was identical and the calories burned were within 40. Unlike my Armadillos, I couldn’t feel any difference in performance with this new tire.
So, it appears that I have a tire with hardened sidewalls, antipinch ribs, and a Kevlar belt which has almost no impact on performance. Not bad. Best of all, my brief drama over tires may be over and I can return to worry-free riding. I need 40 miles tomorrow to hit my mileage goal for February. I’ve got a bunch of chores to do, so wish me luck!