New Stems, Dropper Posts, Lights, & More From Bontrager - Across the Pond Beaver

Sep 10, 2020
by Mike Kazimer  


Bontrager Line Pro 0-Degree Blendr Stem

As long as my stem doesn't move or malfunction I'm happy, but Bontrager have added a few bonus features to the new Line Pro Blendr stem. The 'Blendr' in the name refers to its ability to easily mount accessories. A Garmin mount and an Ion light mount are included, along with the Blendr mono base that those two mounts attach to. The 3D forged 7075 alloy stem is compatible with both Trek Knock Block and standard headsets and spacers.

Lengths: 35mm, 45mm, 55mm. Price: $115



Bontrager Line Elite 34.9 Dropper Seatpost

More and more mountain bikes are moving to 34.9mm seatpost diameters, including the new Trek Slash. To meet the growing demand, Bontrager released the Line Elite 34.9 dropper, which is available with 100, 150, 170, or 200mm of drop. That travel amount can be reduced by 10 or 30mm in a matter of minutes by installing a plastic shim.

The air-sprung post is cable actuated, and Bontrager says 20% less compression force is required to lower the seat compared to previous models. The post comes with an under the bar lever remote that's compatible with SRAM MatchMaker and Shimano EV mounts. MSRP: $330 USD.




Bontrager Ion Comp R Light

Like it or not, the days are getting shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, which means night riding season is just around the corner. Bontrager's Ion Comp R light puts out 700 lumens of illumination, and can be mounted on a helmet or handlebar. Most riders will likely want to supplement the $80 Comp R with something even brighter for more serious after-dark adventures – pairing the Comp R with the 1300 lumen Ion Pro ($125) would make for a powerful and compact night riding set up.

The USB-rechargeable Comp R has a 1.5 hour run time at full power, 3 hour run time at 500 lumens, and 6 hours at 300 lumens, plus even longer run times in the two flashing modes.



Bontrager XR Trail Lock-On Grips

Bontrager's new lock-on grips have an inner core that's made from recycled plastic, the result of a partnership with Plastix, who “sources fibres and rigid plastics primarily from the maritime industry, including end-of-life fishing nets and ropes that would have ended up in the sea or landfills. The company sorts, shreds, washes, separates and dries the material before extruding it into Green Plastic pellets that can be used to manufacture consumer goods.”

There are three versions of the XR Trail grips – the Pro ($35), which is a dual-lock on with a 32mm diameter, the Elite ($35), a single lock-on and a 31mm diameter, and the Comp ($15), which has the same dimensions as the Elite but with a nylon lockring instead of aluminum.


Bontrager Verse Saddle

Bontager says the new Verse is their “most versatile performance saddle ever,” with a shape that's designed to work for all genders and all terrain, from road to trail. There are four different widths (135 – 165mm in 10mm increments), and three different price points.

The $220 Verse Pro sits at the top of the line, with a carbon reinforced shell, carbon rails, and minimal padding to save weight. Next comes the $150 Verse Elite, which has Austenite rails, and a little more padding than the Pro for extra comfort. The $90 Verse Comp uses stainless rails, and, like all of the other models, has extended rails for more positioning options, and a full length pressure-relieving cut out.

All of the models are also compatible with Bontrager's Blendr mount that makes it easy to mount a Flare tail light.




Across the Pond Beaver 2020






57 Comments

  • 25 0
 Bontrager isn't the most hip brand for sure, but I do like some of their stuff. The ion lights are great, and I wouldn't part with my flash charger pump, ever. Their early droppers were cheap and non-serviceable, basically have to throw my 2yo dropper away because the air cartridge has lost pressure and can't be recharged. Anyone have experience with their latest droppers?
  • 2 1
 Just got a new Line Elite this past spring on my bike and not impressed. Lots of play and sooooo slow. Ended up selling my bike and now have a Fox Transfer. So much less play. Didn't ride the Bontrager long but the short time I had it I wasn't happy.
  • 2 0
 I've been through 5 of their droppers, first 4 s don't last longer than a few months. The latest has been going strong for 2 years
  • 2 0
 The Bontrager that came on my 2020 Fuel has been running great all summer, there is a little bit of play side to side when dropped, but the same could be said about my Fox Transfer that's on my other bike.
  • 2 0
 I hate my flash charger as a normal pump. works great to seat beads but the gauge is useless as shit.
  • 1 0
 Ive been on the same bontrager dropper for the last 3 years. after 180+ days on it still super happy with it. only minus: after wet and cold days i need to grease it. otherwise it gets super slow or even stuck. but chain lube does the job, too. so that really is a minor issue.
  • 2 0
 @senorbanana: Ditto. That thing really needs two gauges.
  • 1 0
 I’ve had two ion lights and I think they are great. Had the original drop line post and it was a piece of garbage. Had it warrantied 3 times in one year due to multiple issues. After the third time the bike shop returned it for a store credit so I got a KS post that had zero problems.
  • 1 0
 I got a 2020 Fuel EX and the dropper has some friction issues, if I'm on the saddle at max height and want to drop it, I have to like shift my weight slightly forward because the post is binding a bit, so it won't drop unless you do that. A bit annoying on a 5k CAD bike.
  • 2 0
 @senorbanana: Agreed. I only use it to set the bead on tubeless tires. But the pump, is absolute shit. Can't check your pressure to see where you're at, oddly loses like 20psi right away when you attach it, and is horribly inaccurate. Dangerous to use on road bikes. Exploded a few tires. I tried to return it to a Bontrager dealer and they wouldn't take it back because Trek says that's how Bontrager designed it...
  • 1 0
 @gbeaks33: yep same here, I use a digital lezyne floor pump after I use the bontrager to seat the tire.
  • 1 0
 I like a lot of their products but not their drop line. I went from a KS on my other bike to a drop line on my Project one Procaliber and I'm not impressed. The lever action is very hard and the dropper needs constant service or elo it hesitates or does not come up at all. Just ordered a Fox transfer w Kashima coating.
  • 1 1
 +1 for the praise on the lights. Unbeatable value.
  • 2 0
 @Ryan2949: I occasionally get that issue on my OneUp as well. I think it’s because of their lightweight builds: the stanchion flexes quite a bit and therefore won’t slide down straight.
  • 2 0
 @Ryan2949: Brother has that same issue.
  • 2 0
 Don't forget the Rapid Pack! Simple, affordable, super comfortable.
  • 1 0
 @senorbanana: Haha, totally get it. What I do now is I charge the reservoir to the desired pressure, and release once connected to the valve. Couple strokes to fine tune the pressure, then close the reservoir, before disconnecting from valve. Pretty fiddly but I'm used to it now. I found my gauge to match my Topeak digital pressure gauge pretty accurately but have heard from other people that it's a hit or miss with bonti pumps.
  • 1 0
 @Ryan2949: A big part of that issue might be how far forward or back your saddle is in the clamp. If the rails are almost all the way back, you would have to shift to align your force (body weight) in line with the dropper’s travel.
  • 1 0
 @DRomy: I never thought of that. My saddle use to be forward and it binded, and now my saddle is maxed all the way back and it still does it, but funny enough, I feel it works better with it back, which makes zero sense.
  • 1 0
 @Ryan2949: So strange. Go figure! You cam also unscrew the seal head by hand and put some Slick Honey near the seals in case it has gotten dry. Good luck!
  • 1 0
 @DRomy: That's a good idea. That seal head kept getting loose on me too though. Wasn't a fan of that.
  • 7 0
 Ok. I bought the original Bontrager dropper post as a take off part cheap. I ran it for three seasons without much issue. I did take it apart and clean it regularly. It still works but I replaced it because the wear on the inner post looked pretty bad and it was really not smooth. I replaced it with the updated version bought the same way, and it works well and the remote is downright good. Also that blendr stuff holds a light nicely. And their lights are pretty solid too.
  • 8 0
 Just picked up an Ion Pro. It is amazing. Bontrager read my mind...gonna throw one of these comp R on my helmet.
  • 2 3
 How is it different/better than a $20 chinese flashlight with a replaceable 18650 battery?
  • 27 1
 @ungod: Less likely to catch fire while charging
  • 2 3
 @blair-j79: Very true, but I always buy Samsung or Panasonic cells, so never had an issue.

I just don't see the appeal of these types of lights. No matter what brand you buy, you are limited by current battery technology. You either end up with a small light that has low output and a short battery life (e.g., one ride like this one), or you end up with a 10lb weight on your head. At least if you buy a cheap flashlight to put up there you can carry a spare battery in your pack and you haven't spent much money.

I'd rather just put a regular light up there and put a decent battery pack in my backpack. Then I can run my light on medium or high for an entire ride and not have to charge it for 3-4 rides.
  • 3 0
 love my Ion Pro, small and fairly lightweight. good for the helmet or road bike for flashy flashy setting
  • 2 0
 @ungod: fair enough. This one fits my needs. Cheers.
  • 12 0
 @ungod: Mount system, warranty, proper beam dispersion pattern... there's a few things worth it there IMO.
  • 2 0
 @blair-j79: He said replaceable battery. Other than what was mentioned above already, one of the advantages of a replaceable battery is that you can buy quality cells and you can charge them with good chargers (better chargers than what's built into this thing).
  • 1 1
 @ratedgg13: I'd normally agree, but the beam pattern on this thing is pretty meh, nothing special at all. There are much better options out there for the same or less money.
Most people will be amazed tho when they first turn it on if they haven't had any kind of a decent light before.
  • 1 0
 @HollyBoni: Fill me in on the better options
  • 1 0
 @HollyBoni: so you bought one and don’t like it? Or just forming your opinion based on some photos? I’m reality it does a great job.
  • 2 0
 @CircusMaximus: I'm not saying it's a bad light, it's just not a particularly good light for the money.

It's great that you're happy with it and i'm sure it does a great job, but there are lights out there that will give you a better beam pattern, better output, some better features etc. for the same amount of money. Simple as that, i'm not trying to hurt your feelings. Smile

@b3n: From the price of the Ion Pro i'd probably buy a Fenix BC30 V2, 4 18650 batteries, and a 4 bay smart charger. Nice beam, 2 XM-L2 leds, included wireless remote, 1500lm output on high with a decent run time, which you can extend if you bring extra batteries since it uses replaceable 18650s. For a helmet light i'm a fan of flashlights, but that's just me.
I'm not super up to date tho, i'm sure there are other sweet lights I don't know about.
  • 2 0
 @HollyBoni: hey no offence taken.
I’m actually learning something here.
  • 2 0
 @CircusMaximus: I'm not up-to-date on the latest stuff either (mainly because the stuff I have from 3 years ago is still really freakin' good enough!), but for contrast you could look at something like the Magicshine w/ battery pack. They are under $100 and have a separate light and battery pack. Just mount the light up top and run a cable extender down to your pack where you store the battery. I use a zip-tie loosely on my helmet to keep the cable from flopping around. I use a similar setup on both my helmet and my bars, that way I have total coverage (my trails are very technical). The nice thing is that these kinds of setups all use the same connector, so you can upgrade your light and keep your battery pack, or vice versa. The light is a lot lighter on the helmet than the light+battery, too. I usually get a couple 3hr rides out of one charge on the battery pack, always run on low/medium.
  • 7 0
 When will Bontrager/trek make the Gzero whitewalls again????
  • 2 0
 Digging that seatpost clamp design. Way easier to adjust and remove saddle. I'd like to see something like that on dropper posts. Dropper post clamps are still awkward and not the easiest to adjust and remove seat.
  • 1 0
 I’ve heard there can be slippage issues. The 2 bolt design is probably good for now.
  • 1 0
 Neat looking stuff though I honestly wonder who runs a camera on their stem for mtb. Maybe I haven’t used a modern enough camera with image stability programming but I have never achieved any watchable results from that mounting point. On the helmet is best IMO for watchability though everything looks faster if mounted closer to the ground.
  • 1 0
 GoPro 8 works great on the stem on my local trails. Haven't felt the need to use boost mode either.
  • 2 0
 Tried the grips on a 90km Marathon Race. My Fox defender gloves were full of holes after that. They do dampen vibrations nicely though.
  • 6 0
 All my Fox gloves wear out super fast and get holes. Bontrager gloves have been terrific and durable, just like the hip pack. I think their product exceeds their reputation and wouldn't hesitate to buy anything with Bontrager name on it.
  • 2 0
 @islander: agreed. My Bontrager gloves just won’t die.
  • 3 0
 well something is better than nothing...
  • 1 1
 The only product I'm interested in from Bontrager are the GZero whitewalls. I will not buy another Trek product or Bontrager product until those come back......You're on notice Bontrager.
  • 2 1
 I bought a 2020 fuel Ex 9.9, I’ve had a lot of issues with Bontrager bits for a $10000 cdn bike
  • 2 0
 Bontrager loves: tires, lights, seats

Bontrager dislikes: seatposts
  • 2 0
 First Genderfluid saddle ! What a time to be alive !
  • 3 0
 So good to know that someone is finally making a saddle for the gender non-conforming among us. Welcome to the 21st century Pinkbike. Not everyone has male or female parts.
  • 1 1
 I cringe to to think of riding for 2+ hours on that saddle. I don't care what they claim, by now, I can tell at a glance what a given bike saddle will do to me.
  • 1 0
 Kudos for the recycled material in the grips.
  • 1 0
 Excited to add a knock-block stem to my non-Trek frames.
  • 1 2
 Will trek run these upgrades on the latest police bikes or not????
  • 1 4
 Bontrager saddles and grips suck! Some of the worst I have used. Though I absolutely loved the Trek Farley!
  • 4 6
 A big meh
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