Sometimes it is pretty easy to figure out what kind of tire you need for your bike. If you spend all your time riding on paved roads then you get a smooth road tire that will greatly reduce rolling resistance. If you spend your time on off-road trails then you buy a knobby tire so you get great traction. However, what type of tire do you get if you have to ride on a paved road just to get to the off-road trail? My favorite tire for this type of situation is the Bontrager H4 Hard-Case Plus Bicycle Tire.
The Bontrager H4 Hard-Case Plus Tire has a semi-slick center tread that offers minimal rolling resistance while you are on the road, and slightly aggressive outer stability knobs on the sides so you get great cornering, even in wet weather. The 26×2.0 tire weighs 750 grams and is listed as having 60 TPI (threads per inch).
As an added bonus, this tire has Bontrager’s Hardcase triple puncture protection. First, there is an aramid (a strong heat-resistant synthetic fiber) belt that helps prevent tread punctures caused from glass or stone. Second, there is an anti-cut casing that also resists cuts from glass and other sharp objects. And third, it has an anti-pinch sidewall to prevent snake-bite punctures (this is the type of puncture you get from hitting hard objects like railroad ties or potholes).
I have used this tire on one of my mountain bikes for a long time and would highly recommend it to anyone who rides a hybrid bike or uses their mountain bike for both road and off-road riding.
As a final note, Bontrager tires come with an unbelievable guarantee: “All aftermarket Bontrager tires are unconditionally satisfaction guaranteed for 30 days from the date of purchase. If you—for any reason—don’t like your new Bontrager tire, return it (along with your original sales receipt) back to the place of purchase within 30 days of purchase date for full refund or exchange.”
The Bontrager H4 Hard-Case Plus Tire is available in two sizes—the 26×1.5 tire retails for $40, and 26×2.0 retails for $45. This tire is available at local bike shops all over the United States and Europe, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding them in stock at a dealer near you.