Bontrager Rhythm Pro TLR Wheelset - Review

Jan 14, 2014
by Richard Cunningham  

Bontrager’s thrust into all things related to enduro is in step with its parent company's wholesale push into the popular genre with its bicycle development and racing program. The Rhythm Pro wheelset is the top model in the Super Enduro Series and its construction is based around a tubeless-ready carbon rim that is laid up with materials that are specially formulated for durability and impact resistance. The rim is plausibly wide, at 29 millimeters, with a 22.5-millimeter inside dimension and the low-profile rim flanges are molded with wide caps to ward off pinch flats.

Bontrager Rhythm Pro 29er Wheelset Review

Bontrager goes after the all-mountain/enduro market with wide, carbon rims, built into a lightweight and durable wheelset that is assembled in the US.



The rear hub features a quick-engagement freehub mech’ that provides a minimal 6.9-degree interval. The tool-less hubs use DT-Swiss straight-pull spokes and support quick release and through-axle applications as well as SRAM’s new XD 11-speed driver. Bontrager builds the Rhythm Pro TLR wheels in the US from components sourced in Asia. All three wheel diameters are available, with pairs ranging between 1610 to 1530 grams (claimed). Our 29-inch test wheels weighed 1600 grams. MSRP is set at $1075 for the front and $1125 USD for the rear in any diameter, and Bontrager offers a 30 day unconditional return and a two year limited warranty on its wheels.



Rhythm Pro freehub ratchets have three pawls with triple teeth.

Details:
• Purpose: All-mountain/enduro
• Wide-profile carbon rim - 29mm outer/22.5mm inner widths
• TLR: tubeless ready rim design - molded plastic rim strip.
• 28 spokes, two-cross lacing, DT 14/15 gauge, aluminum nipples
• Rapid Drive - Fast engagement hub, 6.9-degree ratchet intervals
• Stacked Lacing hub design provides a better spoke bracing angle
• Offset spoke bed "OSB" rim profile further reduces wheel dish.
• Interchangeable axles and tool-free hub design fits quick-release and through-axle applications
• Compatibility: Six-bolt discs, Shimano/SRAM 10-spd or SRAM XD 11-spd
• Includes: Bontrager TLR rim strip, TLR valve, interchangeable axle parts
• Available in 26, 27.5 and 29-inch wheel diameters
• Actual weight, 29-inch size: Rear - 880g (12mm axle w/10speed freehub) front - 720g (15mm axle)
• Claimed weights (pairs): 26-inch - 1530g, 27.5-inch - 1585g, 29-inch - 1610g.
• MSRP: $1075 F, $1125 R
• Contact: Bontrager



Construction

Bontrager's designers went wild on the Rhythm Pro wheels, they are packed with features - some obvious and others hidden in the bowels of the hubs. Bontrager puts no weight limits on the wheels, so we assume that they are bomb-proof in all respects.

OSB: Offset Spoke Bed is Bontrager's term for the contemporary practice of shifting the centerline of the spoke holes to one side of the rim. Rhythm Pro rims are dramatically offset at the spoke beds to eliminate much of the 'dish' normally required to make room for the front brake rotor and in the rear, the cassette cogs.

Stacked hub flanges: The angle of the spokes is further balanced with the Bontrager hub's stacked spoke flanges. The rear drive-side, and front braking-side hub flanges are machined with radial segments - each drilled for two straight-pull spokes. The holes are stacked one above the other, so both spokes radiate to the rim from the widest possible angle.

Bontrager Rhythm Pro 29er Wheelset Review Front hub rear hub stacked lacing

The Rhythm Pro front hub (left) shows the unique straight-pull spoke lacing arrangement. The inset view of the rear hub's drive-side flange reveals the double-drilled 'Stacked' spoke lacing, used to optimize the angle that the spokes enter the rim.



Rapid Drive: The freehub ratchet employs three pawls, each with three teeth. There are 52 clicks on the engagement ring, which result in a minimal 6.9-degree lag interval. The average is around 12 degrees. Beefy pawls and the triple tooth feature suggest that the ratchet mechanism will hold up well.

Tool-less construction: The freehub mechanism, axles and endcaps can be pulled apart by hand for inspection or service. We switched out our rear hub to a SRAM XD driver and axle assembly (available from Bontrager) in less than ten minutes. An endcap kit is included with purchase that supports 15QR and 12mm through axles as well as standard quick-release types.

Bontrager Rhythm Pro 29er Wheelset Review Offset rim profile TLR tubeless diagram

Bontrager's TLR tubeless system (left) employs a rigid plastic rim strip to capture and seal the tire. Offset spoke holes provide more equalized spoke angles and tension. The red line is the center of the wheel. the gray line to the right is where a conventional drive-side spoke would be positioned.



Tubeless ready: Bontrager's TLR tubeless system uses a stiff, molded plastic rim strip that snaps tightly into the rim well. The fit is so close that it is hard to discern where the edges of the strip end and the beads of the rim flanges begin. A raised section elevates the valve stem above the tire beads to facilitate mounting. The rim strip can be used with a tube, but the valve stem must be long enough to compensate for the extra six millimeters of plastic there. The sum of the rim strips and brass valves adds 100 grams to the wheels.

Wide rim profile: Wider rims are possible in carbon without the weight penalty associated with aluminum. Rhythm Pro rims nearly reach the emerging 30 millimeter standard for XC/trail, with a 29-millimeter outer and 22.5 inner measurement. That, and the rim's low-as possible flange height add stability to the tire for cornering and heavy braking, and provide an improvement in rolling resistance.

Bontrager Rhythm Pro 29er Wheelset Review Tubeless rim strip valve stem detail

A look at the raised area near the valve stem of the TLR rim strip and the wide caps of the Rhythm Pro's rim flanges. A molded boss ensures that the valve stem will be well supported and compensates for the dramatic offset of the rim's spoke bed.



Ride Review

We mounted the Bontrager Rhythm Pro wheels to their 2.3-inch SE4 tires for testing and for a control, we also mounted up a Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.35-inch tubeless ready tire. Both were a tight fit to get over the rim, presumably because of the additional thickness of the rim strip. Unlike the fussy tubeless ready rim strips that DT Swiss are infamous for, the Bontrager versions do not fold under or distort when using tire levers to get the rubber mounted to the rim. Once the wrestling match was won, the tires were inflated with a floor pump and snapped into place at 45 psi (3 BAR). Removable valve cores allow the sealant to be injected after the tires are successfully mounted. We switched the freehub from ten speed Shimano to 11-speed SRAM. Bontrager sent us the optional kit, which included a drive-side endcap, a new axle and the HD freehub driver. We simply pulled apart the hub (the non-driveside cap required help from a pair of pliers), slid the new parts into place and pushed the endcaps back on. Like DT Swiss hubs, the endcaps secure the assembly with internal O-rings that grip the axles.

On the trail, the wheels feel quite rigid in the lateral plane, with a sharp feel under hard acceleration out of the saddle. The stiffness translates to more secure steering in the boulders which are abundant in our test trails. The freehub ratchet engages almost instantly, and thankfully, it does not announce the fact that it has 52 engagement points to the world with an obnoxious hiss or growl. The Rapid Engagement feature emits a subdued noise while coasting, which is helpful when passing or approaching non-cyclists.

With plenty of rocks to bottom out the tires, we had ample opportunity to crack the rim flanges. Happily, the Rhythm Pro rims are intact and running true. The maker installed enough decals on the raw carbon surface to form an anti-scratch barrier, but we did manage to inflict a few gouges into the carbon that have not amounted to anything more than cosmetic flaws in otherwise fresh looking wheels. Carbon rims hold their shape and do not bend when stressed, unlike aluminum types. so they tend to remain true and tensioned far longer. The Bontragers supported this theory and have not required a spoke wrench for over two months of winter testing on all-mountain style trails. So far, the Rhythm Pro wheelset has put in an excellent performance.

Issues: We found few downside issues to report. Owners should beta test the length of the valve stems in their spare tubes, because the addition of the raised section of the rim strip and the extra thickness of a carbon rim eat up abut ten millimeters of stem length. The only other question that arose was purely cosmetic - the machined finish of the Rhythm Pro hubs seemed a bit cheap for such an otherwise polished looking wheelset.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesSnobbery might be the only reason for top bike-handlers to pass up Bontrager's Super Enduro Carbon wheelset. Rhythm Pro TLR wheels are well designed and supported by a solid warranty - and at just over two thousand bucks, represent a good value for an elite level carbon all-mountain wheelset. The performance is there too - with demonstrated stiffness, a sweet engagement feel and excellent durability. Can they be broken? Every wheel can be broken, but the fact that Rhythm Pro carbon wheels come without rider-weight restrictions should be a hint that Bontrager erred on the strong side when they chose their carbon layup schedules. We are sure that some riders will pass on Rhythm Pro wheels simply because they are a Trek product. Those who can look past the label, though, will see a pro-level wheel in every respect, sold at an attainable MSRP. Put Rhythm Pro TLR wheels on your shopping list. - RC



112 Comments

  • + 63
 But the real question is how loud is the hub! I need more steez
  • + 40
 Obviously the only way to determine if a wheelset is expensive or not
  • + 1
 they are loud but not crazy loud
  • + 38
 Just wash all the grease out. It's what the BMX kids do. 2x louder, and 10x more swag.
  • + 15
 The real question is why do people persist with this stupid straight pull spoke thing... out of all the wheels I've ever repaired (literally in the hundreds), 2/3 or more of the broken spokes I've replaced have been straight pull, yet straight pull spokes definitely don't make up 2/3 of the spokes out there. On top of that, they're always retardedly expensive and usually proprietary, which in turn means NOBODY HAS THEM. Worst. Fad. Ever.
  • + 3
 i cut elastic bands up and stuff it behind my springs..
  • + 4
 is it just me, or do the phrases "two thousand bucks" and "represent a good value" not belong in the same sentence...

I know it's an "elite" carbon, AM wheelset but COME ON!!! I'm trying to save up $2k to buy my first car for god's sake!!!
  • + 3
 Straight pull is good. Generally on a well built j-spoke wheel, the spoke "elbows" can be considered the weak point. Obviously straight pull spokes eliminate this weak point. They don't eliminate the stress, they just move it elsewhere. However you generally only really find them on very lightweight wheels. Hence the large number of broken spokes.
  • + 7
 As a mechanical engineer I am familiar with the theory. As a bike mechanic, I am also familiar with the reality, and that's that despite them being theoretically superior, in practice they are almost universally garbage, and very few J-bend spokes actually break at the bend (or anywhere for that matter). Even ignoring the fact that that literally ALL bike shops stock spare J-bend spokes in whatever length you need, and virtually nobody ever has the right straight pull spoke, there are three things that proponents of straight pull spokes forget:
1. Where a J-bend spoke leaves the hub flange, it can pivot in its hole. This means that when the wheel flexes under high loads, the spoke can move around a bit before it starts actually bending. Some straight pull systems (such as Mavic) allow for this, but the ones that thread into the hub (such as I9) or have particularly thick flanges for the spoke to pass through do not.
2. Straight pull spokes either need to be formed (not circular profile) at one end (or the whole length) so that you can turn the nipple against them, or threaded at one end (either directly into the rim or directly into the hub, not with an externally threaded nipple a la Mavic). This invariably creates a weak point or, in the case of bladed spokes, torsional weakness that makes them easy to break just by turning the nipple. The alternative to this is to have a spoke that simply spins in its hole when you try to tighten it.
3. Because a large percentage of straight pull spokes are aluminium instead of steel, they have a finite fatigue life and are highly sensitive to stress risers (again, unlike stainless J-bend spokes) caused by forming the material or having threaded spokes/rim inserts.

Combine all 3 of those and you have a recipe for failure that every mechanic in Whistler will attest to.
  • + 3
 i agree with some of your points, especially the bit about a fully round profile straight pull spoke being a total ba***rd to true without the spoke rotating in the flange. Also I agree Mavic are awesome, and any company who threads the spokes into the hub with absolutely no allowance for movement is indeed asking for trouble. However;

Almost all j-bend spokes snap at the elbow. If they snap anywhere else, then there is probably some other problem, eg very uneven spoke tension, damaged spokes or the fabled "stick through the wheel" type incident.

If a wheel is built so loose that the spokes pivot in the holes, then your wheel is too loose. Yes a well tensioned wheel will see a tiny amount of movement between spoke and hub (straight pull or j-bend), but if there is so much movement it is leading to spoke failures, then do your spokes up tighter. All stainless spokes will happily deal with a small amount of flex for many thousands of rotations.

When building a wheel with bladed straight pull spokes, i find a small piece of plastic (old chopping board?) with a slot cut in it, used to support the spoke as close to the nipple as possible will eliminate all the rotation and torsional strength issues you encounter.

Your final point argues against ali spokes, not straight pull. An ali j-bend spoke would fail almost instantaneously due to the inherant weakness of the j-bend design. Ali straight pull spokes are a viable option because of the lack of j-bend.

I must admit if I was building a wheel for a touring bike, I would choose j-bend spokes every time, as they are less highly stressed, and easy to replace, but i think for high performance race wheels, straight pull can not be ignored.
  • + 10
 That's...as cheap as some aluminum offerings. However, 2 year warranty where some companies offer lifetime is a little worrying when shelling out a grand for new wheels. They certainly look nice though!
  • + 10
 Oops. Let me reword that. "That's...twice the price of amazing aluminum wheels like the crossmaxes" makes more sense now.
  • + 2
 Hay parkourfan, ever look up the msrp on a set of very similar sram roam 60s or worse yet enve's am wheel sets? These are a bargain! Light, strong, cheeper than mid level aluminum rims.... Seriously? No, but half the price of direct competition. If my lbs sold trek I would take a serious look at these..... Wait the price is wrong!? I knew this was too good to be true. Damn you RC!
  • + 4
 ^^^^Price is $1125 front, 1075 rear At $1125 a pair - as the story originally said - they would have been an awesome deal.
RC
  • + 3
 dangit- went from my wife would never let me buy these at $1100 to my wife will never let me buy these at $2000
  • - 3
 ^You could just buy for sets of similar quality wheels factory direct for the same price. Plus the advantage that you won't have to spend 3 months trying to source straight pull spokes.
  • + 0
 RC, it sure would have, but that's a major fail. The whole article alludes to them being a bargain compared to other carbon wheels. It is fixed now, but are we to believe that the front is less than the rear, the opposite of every other wheel set in the world?
You expect that kind of thing from the comments, not the reviews...
  • + 1
 Bontrager's warranty goes like this: Your LBS takes a photo of the damage, sends in a warranty request via dexter, then ships them a new rim. Just a rim is all you will get
  • + 2
 @wallheater straight pull spokes are actually very common nowadays. DT Swiss, Sapim, and Wheelsmith all make them in almost every length. Not to mention Trek carries the correct replacement spokes for all their wheelsets so if you need some spokes, just go to a Trek dealer.

@ReformedRoadie the front wheel always costs less than the rear does. There's less hub. No freehub body and a shorter axle. There's less material.

@Spthomas a new rim is all you need if you damaged the old rim. Straight pull is super easy to lace up, so it shouldn't take more than a few minutes to reassemble the wheel and get you riding again.
  • - 1
 I would never reuse spokes and nipples, and especially not if I have carbon wheels
  • + 1
 yes, seraph, got that...which is why I was questioning RC's statement above: ^^^^Price is $1125 front, 1075 rear

If I, a nobody posting on the interweb, catch the fact that a front wheel should cost more than a rear, shouldn't someone in RC's position pick up on it? That is the point. After blowing the price, and thus the thrust of the review, a little proof-reading might be in order...
  • + 1
 Trek's front wheels always cost less than their rears, just look on their website.
  • + 9
 2.2k for a wheelset is steep. 400 for a handtrued wheelset is right. A set of four fat 17`custom wheels with a set of 4 offroad Mickey Thompsons for my truck is 1900, balanced and mounted.
  • + 2
 apples and bananas...
  • + 6
 Mickey Thompson's? Is this 1986 haha
  • + 2
 Baja Claws are SICK Big Grin
  • + 2
 You can get a wheelset for $400, but it won't be carbon. Nice carbon rims cost more than $400 each generally. It's all relative.
  • + 4
 Baja claws are sick ;-). In 1986 I could only have drooled over a set of MT. 1 tire was worth more than my whole car. A full gastank would double the value of it.

Dont buy carbon. Its detrimental to the kind of fun I want to have. "Heavy" metal only.
  • + 9
 From the Bontrager website:

$1074.99 27.5" Front Tubeless/Clincher Carbon 28 14/15/14 710g
$1124.99 27.5" Rear Tubeless/Clincher Carbon 28 14/15/14 830g 9/10
  • + 12
 Well, that's taken a turn for the worse then.
  • + 2
 £850inc VAT seemed a bit too good to be true, oh well, seems like Superstar and their £1100 King/Carbon/Xray wheels remain the king of carbon wheels in Europe for now.
  • + 1
 Definitely a mistake by Richard when writing the article, should be fixed as it drastically changes the overall impression/value of the wheelset. $1125 vs $2200 is a huge difference haha
  • + 2
 in canadian $ :
front : 1479,99
rear : 1544,99

more than 3000$ / pair...

bontrager.com/model/11434
  • + 2
 See above^^^
  • + 1
 $3000k... no sale.
  • + 2
 "Oh, you're Canadian! Well we better up the price by, oh, make it $400. No, no reason, just because we want to encourage cross-border shopping pretty much."
  • + 4
 I wouldn't buy them for 3 million dollars either.
  • + 2
 Yeah but when your Canadian used stuff is so much cheaper cause it is there. Check the buy sell listings in Australia. I bought my frame from BC and had it shipped cause they don't even sell the frame set here. You have to buy a $5000 bike that cost $3700 in BC and ditch all the parts you don't want. I've bought new old stock freeride forks from BC too when in FLA cause shops there don't stock freeride parts.
  • + 5
 @RC...get that edit on the price taken care of...

I've ridden this wheelset and its a nice piece of kit.

There's always gonna be hate for trek...especially on this site, however, I wouldn't knock it til you see em in person or actually ride em.
  • + 6
 Oh, the price is wrong? That changes everything. I was about to try and convince myself that buying Bontrager stuff was maybe actually a good idea.
  • + 8
 Yeah, try $2K+ for these wheels and suddenly they don't seem so great.
  • + 6
 I am pretty sure the prices they are referencing are per wheel, not per set. The wheelset is actually $2.2k, which is right up there with any other nice carbon wheelset.
  • + 1
 naw B, it says $1125/pair in the review
  • + 6
 yeah, the review is wrong. It is not actually $1125/pair but just the rear wheel.
  • + 5
 Yeah go buy yourself 4 sets of En521's on Hope's.
  • + 8
 That price is incorrect.
  • + 2
 wow... they changed the price and STILL got it wrong. The front wheel is supposed to be the lower price. Did PB actually use these wheels or is this all just bullshit? You think they would have known more about the basic details like price...
  • + 2
 Bother, it's PB, not the Economist. Besides, you never buy v 1.0.
  • + 4
 Oh well, glad I put together a set of the new 33mm lightbicycle rims with a pair of Hope's. All in weight, 1550, all in cost £511.00
  • + 6
 Yay! To expensive wheels.
  • + 2
 You can go to universal cycles online right now and buy Easton Haven Carbons ( 26 ) for $769 and still have enough for Airfare AND Hotel ( Hilton) FOR A WEEK in Sedona for the same price ( portland ->Sedona) hmmmm oh and youd get Eastons 2 yr no question guarantee on the wheels
  • + 5
 A person can build up some really really nice Light-Bicycle wheels for A Lot less and they have lots great reviews.
  • + 1
 Never had any issues with the bontrager wheels on my session 88, in fact I never even took a spoke key to them. Same goes for the ceramic rims on my 2001 Adroit pro, never touched them in three years. But you're right, its not the same brand is once was, just like Klein, they screwed the pooch.
  • + 1
 What's up with the 100 gram tubeless rim strip? Doesn't that almost negate the weight advantage of going tubeless? is it really much better than a strip of Gorilla tape? I love the UST system on Mavic and Eastern Wheels, why has this fallen out of favor with manufacturers?
  • + 2
 I've got a set of 2014 Rhythm wheels that I went tubeless on. The 100 grams referred to here is likely the weight of both rim strips and valves; saving 300+ grams per set and allowing lower psi without the scare of pinch flats compared to a tubed set up.
  • + 7
 tubeless is never, was never, and should never, be about weight saving. Decent tubless tires weigh more and the addition of a purpose built rim strip and the sealant adds to the gains. Those who run tubeless will tell you its all about the feel and having a ready made excuse for being slow. "Yo man, my tires aren't seated right... keep burping air."
  • + 4
 Real tubeless tyres (UST cert) weigh 200+grams more than a non tubeless tyre, if you use any other tyre you have to use quarter of a litre of sealant to make sure the side walls are sealed... +200g appx. Sealant also dries out after a while, especially in hot weather, not to mention its a total mess to deal with and clean off once its dried. Not sure if the weight of these wheels includes the rim strip, if not, then they aren't really a very competitive weight. That said, if you're going to go tubeless, do it properly and get a rim with a sealed surface like mavics or eastons, this rim-strip Stan's nonsense is just pure bodgery and disgusts my inner engineer!
  • + 6
 damn. sorry for the accidental neg porps. pinkbike needs to move the props buttons further apart.
  • + 1
 My 2c worth.... I use xt ust and bontrager with rim strips wheels on my 2 bikes. Love running ust with no sealant - no problems in 2 yrs cause it just works. No punctures or air leaks at all. Ust tyres are heavy but overall it's a win. If I ever do get a flat I will throw a super light spare tube in. Bontrager rims strip system works pretty good but needs sealant which means mess and tlr tyres are not as robust as ust so more changes. I'm still looking for a good sealant cause the few I've tried did not seal up when I punctured every tlr tyre I've used.
  • + 1
 @ Snozz I have a set of XT ust rims too. But they don't work with tubes other than a really light one. And even a light one is a hassle to put in. It's better just to keep the XT's tubeless. Because I can't manage to get any heavy tube into wheel. And just changing a tube on a XT leaves your hands feeling tired and numb. Have you had any of these problems with your XT's? I just had to go tubeless on the XT's because they would get way to many pinch flats with tubes, so far so good. But the sealant has left me with a tire bobble I am not familiar with.
  • + 1
 Hey Sith
I've never had a tube in the xt's cause I've never had a puncture. I run them with no sealant because of this reliability. I carry a super light tube just in case. Not sure about the bobble you are experiencing as I don't feel the sealant in the bontrager wheels I use. Has your sealant dried so weight is concentrated in one place? Are you using too much so it is sloshing around?
  • + 1
 @Snozz, dude. I don't know if it's dried out or concentrated. It's the first time I have went tubeless, and it's set up from my LBS. So I don't know if the tire bobble is normal or not. All I know is I used to love using tubes and would be good at changing them, but the XT's bead is just to hard to get the rubber over if you are using a tube. And forget about getting a free ride tube into them, it's like impossible. But I had to go tubeless because I would get to many pinch flats and kill my hands on the trails. Could not even use my hands to brake after changing a tube. So I can live with the tire bobble, but only if it is normal. Keep in mind that when I bought this bike it was tubeless ready and the LBS still sent me home with tubes, leaving me with nothing but a head ache for a summer. So I can't say for sure my LBS is doing things right. But I do know that a tire bobble seems very unfamiliar.
  • + 2
 Hey Sith, you def shouldn't have a bobble from the sealant. Something is wrong with your setup. Crack it open a bit and check it out. Should be only a handful of sealant with no major dried up bits. I'm only guessing but the bobble will be a ball of dried sealant (I don't use sealant with my ust but most do). You need to do this every now and then to check anyways. If it's not good, take the tyre off, clean and reinstall with new sealant. The tight bead is a bit of a pain so if you don't have removable valve cores, get them. Saves a lot of hassle cause you can fully mount the tyre then insert the sealant with a syringe. This is the best way with ust tyres cause no need to seal the bead like tlr systems. Also, there is no way I can get tyres on or off by hands alone with these rims. Get some strong tyre levers. 3 of them. Hope this helps.
  • + 1
 Ok you'd have to be a complete dumbass to spend $2200 for a pair of bicycle wheels. I got a set of 4 brand new beautiful German made 19" wheels with Yokohama tires for my car for $1500. Sorry but these are bicycle wheels! If you do buy these wheels, best not to tell anyone how much you paid for them otherwise people will look at you like there's something wrong with you.
  • + 1
 Are your wheels carbon?
  • + 1
 Production volume increases and price decreases. If enough people buy these the will be $5. Carbon is common. Carbon fibre is rare mostly cause of this bloody war. We need a light weight strong material that has no military use. Hemp composites anyone?
  • + 1
 Price is wrong - duh - too good to be true. Whats the big deal though - DT et al have been making ali wheel sets in this weight class for far less for years... Are carbon wheels just a niner thing. An expensive way of solving that bendy big wheel syndrome?
  • + 1
 Cheap 29er wheels'll flex, but put some good spokes, an oversized hub and through axle rear end and that thing's more solid than you'd believe.
  • + 1
 And heavier perhaps? Mmm always wondered about thru axles too - feeding the niner need in no small measure.
  • + 1
 Just as a side rant: why do big companies feel the need to lable all the various products that they make as if they were different brands. Of its made by trek call it a trek wheel set. Sram is the worst. And Disney, I wouldn't be surprised if Pinkbike was owned by Mickey Mouse.
  • + 14
 Sram bought the other companies, they didn't start them from scratch
  • + 6
 Same story with Bontrager; Keith Bontrager started his own company in the early 1980's making mountain bikes, some of the first 26'' 36-hole wheels, components (some designs were/still are used by Rock Shox, Shimano, Trek, etc.), etc. In the mid-90's the man who was his partner left to go to Santa Cruz bikes & Trek bought up the controlling stock of the company, made Keith the president of Bontrager & let the brand do their thing.
  • - 1
 So does sram own General Electric or.does Trek?
  • + 7
 You think Trek/Sram are bad, did you know Cannondale, GT, Mongoose, Iron Horse, Schwinn, Sugoi, RoadMaster & Dyno (among several other foreign road brands) are all actually sold by the same "parent company" Dorel Industries? Wink
  • + 1
 these wheels are amazing! the trek rep for the shop i work at came with a pair and a pair of RXXXl aluminum wheels and a the rythm pro wheels and the rythm wheels are almost just as light only a matter of a few grams.
  • + 2
 Strange, no comments on the offset spoke bed?

That's what's really cooking my noodle. Is this a good idea or not?
  • + 0
 I'm thinking 'Strange... No comment on the stylized vejayjay.'
  • + 1
 It works great. Basically it allows for a less crazy dishing of the wheel since you put the offset on the cassette side.
  • + 2
 I'm gonna get a set of these and use my Enve's as training wheels or maybe just throw them on my commuter...
  • + 1
 and I'll throw my 7 inch deep aero Zipp's on the commuter. Hell, why not!
  • + 2
 If I am going to throw down big bucks for a wheelset, it's gonna have a Mavic label on it. The MP3 plan is unbeatable.
  • + 5
 Factory Mavic wheels look spectacular, no doubt about it, but their hubs are made of cheese.
  • + 1
 What happened? I've chipped a few pawls but nothing more than that.
  • + 2
 im digging the hubs, love the polished look and the straight pull spokes looks good personally.
  • + 2
 I am not a huge Bontrager fan, but they make some nice wheels and I am sure these are pretty solid.
  • + 2
 Fail on the pricing there PB... these aren't that much cheaper than options that come with real hubs.
  • + 0
 Bontrager use to be a great company. Trek bought the name and ruined it. I have seen more treks with shitty wheels lately than any other big brand out. Major thumbs down for these guys.
  • + 1
 I owned the Rhythm Pro wheels before they were carbon and they were a ridiculously nice set of wheels for the price. Scandium rims, DT Swiss spokes, and a nice easy to clean and maintain hub design. The highest-end Bontrager wheels have hubs made by DT Swiss and rims made by Zipp.
  • + 1
 Truth. The older wheels are great. All I was getting at is I have seen a lot of 13/14 wheels come into our shop that have issues from materials to build quality. I personally feel there quality is seriously lacking from what it use to be. I'm not hoping on the anti large company bandwagon but speaking from a place of experience with the company.
  • + 1
 I can't believe that more than 50% of the comments on this article were about the price error. We get it!
  • + 2
 1000 bucks a wheel. Wow. Who can afford this stuff.!
  • + 0
 "Those who can look past the label, though, will see a pro-level wheel in every respect, sold at an attainable MSRP"

I can do that, Ill just remove em - they look great
  • - 1
 $2000 for a not so light set with not so great hubs?

Yes, snobbery.

Heavy plastic strip is stupid. Rims like WTB Frequency and KOM work perfectly well with a 4g layer of tape. UST compatible shape.
  • + 1
 Actually the Bontrager UST rim strip works amazingly well. I have never had it fail or lose more than the regular amount of air. Stan's/WTB on the other hand is a semi-flawed system.
  • - 1
 Stan's is not even close to WTB. WTB is a proper UST spec shape and works better, and is lighter than Bontrager solution.
  • + 1
 Stan's and WTB use the same tape. The only thing different about WTB's rims is their "TCS" system that is designed to work in tandem with their tires. Bontrager's rim strip makes a fully sealed system with no room for air to escape. Stan's/WTB's does not.
  • - 2
 You do not know what you are talking about. Like at all. Tape is the same but the bead shape is completely, entirely different. WTB rim is UST certified and works much better than Bonty's plastic.
  • + 1
 The bonty system is the most reliable system hands down.
  • + 1
 Really? I don't know what I'm talking about? I have a pretty intimate relationship with WTB products (I like to support companies that are in my home town). I am running their rims currently and I have run their rims in the past on a few different bikes. "UST Certified" means nothing. Either it's UST or it isn't. It has to be a fully sealed system to be UST. WTB's rims are not sealed. They are tubeless compatible with a tubeless tape rim strip. Bontrager's system is a molded plastic strip that is exactly the shape of the inside of the rim and extends up to the bead on the inside, creating a perfect seal between the tire and the rim. WTB's system is a roll of plastic tape that sometimes holds air and sometimes doesn't. I've seen it happen time and time again.

That being said their TCS system works great with their own tires when it comes to seating a tubeless system initially. They've got that going for them.
  • - 2
 Yes. Really. You do not. You do not even know or understand the difference between Stan's and WTB rim profiles and you are totally clueless about their performance differences.
  • + 2
 All I said about Stan's and WTB was that they used the same tape, and that it doesn't work all the time. I never said they were exactly the same.
  • + 2
 They look good. Nice hubs
  • + 0
 Roval wheels have a lifetime warranty and cost the same. Bead hooks are so 2 years ago.
  • + 1
 But i like bead hooks, their good at preventing pinch flats
  • + 1
 I haven't had one yet on my Roval Control Carbon 29s.
  • - 3
 Not sure what ya'll are smoking. The correct prices are obviously stated twice in the above article. The following are direct quotes: "MSRP is set at $1075 for the front and $1125 USD for the rear" "MSRP: $1125 F, 1075 R." Yes there is a missing $ sign in the second quote but that is the only missleading price info in the article.

Maybe it was edited between your posts and mine? Or you never learned simple addition?
  • + 1
 it was edited.
  • - 1
 Phuk I had a boner at $1000 for the set!! Cock tease!!!
  • - 3
 So a pair for 1125 dollars??? Or not? Wrong information or they are trying to make it look cheaper?
  • - 2
 Mistakes like that are strange. PB is not specialized in mountain biking? So they know that a pair of carbon wheels from bontrager can't cost 1000 bucks. So it was a mistake that will not have a guilty? If I go to a bike shop searching for a thousand bucks carbon wheelset and not find it nobody os blame for? That amatour
  • - 2
 Even Jesus made mistakes thanks for editing

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