The name Bontrager has been around for a long time and to many it goes hand in hand with Hand Built Bikes and high end components. While Bontrager no longer produces his great hand built hard tails for the general public, the component line lives on. Bontrager components are found on all Trek, Klein and Gary Fisher bikes. Over the past few years the sub catagory "Big Earl" has really come into its own as a freeirde brand to look at for quality, reliable after market parts. I've been riding my 2006 Rocky Switch 2.0 for months now, but leaving anything stock for too long makes Tyler a dull boy........As with any rider and his/her bike there comes a point when you need to mix it up a little and swap out parts. Some do this to keep it interesting, others out of necessity and then there are those of us that do it because we can and don't know any different. I am one of those that have to change bikes every few months and parts as often as financially possible.
The Red and White logo set up really goes well with the 2006 Bomber decals too.
The King Earl
wheel set and Big Earl tires would be taking the place of my stock offerings. The King Earl wheel set weighs in at just under 2200 grams, making them a really good option for those of us that need strong wheels, but are not interested in the usual weight penalty that comes with them. Attention to detail has always been a big thing at Bontrager and the little things are what stick out on these wheels.
Look at how the stickers on the tires and wheels match.
The mix of Carbon and machined Aluminum make the hub bodies real lookers.
The Big Earl
tires that I'm running are 2.6" wide and feature the new Gum-Bi Dual (50A /42A) Compound Rubber. The folks at Bontrager have been working on the tread pattern for a while and have come up with a very versatile set of knobs that seems to get the job done in a variety of conditions. Every ride so far has been wet and I have to say the roots and these tires work together, but the wet clay is a little sketchy. Really though, very few tires would perform much better in the wet, unless they were specifically designed for wet, muddy trails. Good all around tire, that won't break the bank.
Bontrager spent some time working on this new tread pattern and the result is a nice all around performer.
Well the bike is now a little lighter, and looks great too. The King Earl's wheels use sealed bearings in all the hubs, so if you wear em out, you can go to your local bike shop and pick up some new ones as easy as pie. I also really like the fact that the wheels are 32 hole, so you can easily find a replacement rim, should you have an encounter with oh say the back side of a gap or the curb on the way to Dairy Queen. Either way wheel sets that are compatible with other parts(hubs, rims and spokes) that your local shop carries are great.
Looking hot with the new Bontrager King Earl Wheels and Big Earl tires.
The swap has been a nice change and I am looking forward to seeing how long these tires last in dry (as if that'll happen) riding areas this spring. The wheels are still holding true and waiting for a little chair lift action in a few months as well.
Find out more on Bontrager parts here
. And while you're there take a look at their team blogs