Review: Bontrager's New $1300 Line Pro 30 Carbon Wheels

Jun 18, 2020
by Mike Kazimer  
Bontrager Line Pro 30


Bontrager is back with the second generation of their Line Pro 30 carbon wheels, which they say have twice the strength of the original version thanks to a new rim profile. In fact, Bontrager say that the new rims are the strongest they've ever tested in their facility.

What's the secret to that increase in strength? A different rim shape, one that has a wider hook wall. That's the spot where pinch flats can occur as the rim and tire sidewall are smashed against each other; by increasing its thickness the forces that occur during an impact are spread out over a larger area.
Line Pro 30 Details

• Intended use: trail / enduro
• OCLV carbon rims
• 28 DT Swiss Comp Race spokes
• 29mm internal rim width
• Rapid Drive 108 hubs
• Weight (29"): 1782 grams, 816 front / 966 rear
• Lifetime warranty / Carbon Care program
• Price: $1,300 USD
trekbikes.com

The price of the Line Pro 30 wheels remains unchanged at $1,300 USD with an XD driver. There's also a Line Elite version that uses a slightly heavier carbon layup along with J-bend spokes to drop the price down to $900 USD. Both wheelsets use a Rapid Drive 108 hub that has 3.3 degrees of rotation between engagement points.

The wheels are covered by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects, and for the first two years of ownership Bontrager will repair or replace any wheel that gets damaged free of charge.


Bontrager Line Pro 30
Bontrager created a new anvil to increase and concentrate the impact force on the rim in order to improve their testing process.
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Bontrager Line Pro 30
The top of each sidewall now measures 4.6mm.
Bontrager Line Pro 30
The Line Pro 30 wheels are laced up with DT Swiss Comp Race spokes.


Details

Before getting into the details of the rim profile, it's worth taking a moment to appreciate the subtle graphics. The Bontrager logo is no longer screaming for attention in multiple locations, and the overall look is much more low key – I'm a fan.

As for the carbon rim itself, it still has a 29mm internal width, but the overall height has dropped down to 27mm in order to help with impact absorption and vertical compliance. That's shorter than before, although we are starting to see more and more rims come out that have an even lower profile. For comparison, Enve's AM30 rims have a 20mm height, Crankbrothers' Synthesis E rims measure 18mm, and Zipp's 3Zero Moto rims are only 15mm tall.

The top of the hook wall measures 4.6mm, and it's that increased thickness that's supposed to help increase the rim's durability and prevent pinch flats. The rims do have a hooked sidewall, but once Bontrager's plastic rim strips are installed they fill in the space underneath the hook.

The rims are laced with 28 straight pull DT Swiss Comp Race spokes to Bontrager's Rapid Drive 108 hubs. The previous version used bladed spokes, which require a little more effort to true, so it's nice to see the switch to the Comp Race. For riders who refuse to ride on anything other than J-bend spokes, the Elite 30 wheelset is only 100 grams heavier and $400 less expensive.

The Rapid Drive 108 hub uses a 54-tooth drive ring and two sets of three pawls, which means that there's just 3.3-degrees between engagement points. An XD driver is the stock configuration, but Shimano HG and Micro Spline freehub bodies are also available.


Bontrager Line Pro 30
There's a 54-tooth drive ring...
Bontrager Line Pro 30
...that interfaces with the 6 pawls on the freehub body.

Performance

Set Up

I started my time with the Line Pro 30 wheels by mounting them up with a set of Michelins DH 22 tires. That installation didn't go as easily as I'd hoped – the tire's thick casing didn't want to pop into place evenly, and it seemed like the plastic Bontrager rim strip was to blame. I pulled out the rim strip and replaced it with tubeless rim tape, knocking off around 50 grams per wheel in the process. That setup proved to be the ticket, and the tires mounted up without any issues. I later swapped to a Maxxis Assegai / DHR II combo, and those both mounted without trouble using the same rim tape set up.

On the Trail

The original Line Pro 30 wheels were on the stiffer side of the spectrum, but that feeling's been toned down a little on the new version. The wheels now have more of a neutral feel, one that's not overly harsh or jarring in rough terrain. I'd put them in a similar stiffness category as We Are One's Union rims – comfortably solid is the term that comes to mind. Solid often comes with a weight penalty, but that's not the case here - 1782 grams is quite reasonable for a wheelset that can handle everything from trail rides to DH shuttle laps.

The hub engagement is nice and quick, and after a few months of muddy riding the bearing are all still spinning smoothly and free of any excess play.

These wheels have seen plenty of solid impacts over the last few months and they're still spinning straight and true. I'll update this review if anything changes, but so far they've held up impressively well to multiple big rock and root hits, the kind where you can hear (and feel) the rim hitting the obstacle. If they were aluminum rims I have no doubt they'd have at least a few dents by now, but there's not a hop to be seen.

Bontrager Line Pro 30



Pros

+ Comfortable + solid ride feel
+ Less expensive than comparable options
+ Relatively light weight for this category

Cons

- Plastic rim strip can make it harder to seat some tires
- Warranty terms are reasonable, but not the best




Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesBontrager's Line Pro 30 remain one of the better values out there when it comes to carbon wheels. The weight, price, and performance all add up to make them an excellent option for anyone looking for a new high end set of wheels that won't completely wipe out their bank account. Mike Kazimer








188 Comments

  • 82 1
 This should be the start of a thing. All complete bikes get the Huck to Flat test, and all bike parts face The Anvil. New helmet claiming to be the most-enduroest ever? Let's see how it does with the Anvil. New carbon bottle cage? Anvil. $700 Garmin computer? Anvil.
  • 7 1
 There was a heavy metal band called Anvil
  • 3 1
 That anvil test definitely needs to be part of more marketing campaigns. Other than Santa Cruz's little "trials without tyres" stunt, I think this has got to be one of the most convincing videos I've ever seen.
  • 17 0
 @ibishreddin: wasn’t one of the chipmunks called Anvil? The dyslexic one
  • 1 0
 @dubod22: best comment on PB in a long time!
  • 3 13
flag Leicester (Jun 19, 2020 at 2:45) (Below Threshold)
 @dubod22: He was called "Alvin". Speaking about dyslexic! Razz
  • 74 9
 Similar price to WAO without i9 hubs and lifetime warranty. These companies are trying to step up their game and it's just not working.
  • 39 85
flag LeDuke (Jun 18, 2020 at 7:15) (Below Threshold)
 Are I9 hubs supposed to be a good thing, in your mind?
  • 18 0
 The warranty passage on WAO's website is poetry. Just what i want a company to say, and just the simple way i'd like them to say it Smile
  • 33 2
 and WAO are hand laid in Kamloops whereas I'm pretty sure those are made in Asia. The choice is easy in my opinion.
  • 28 4
 World allergy organization ?
  • 11 6
 @LeDuke: I agree, I like the new Bontrager hubs. Have a buddy with I9s and it's just too loud for me.

Otherwise the WAO offering is better though.
  • 17 4
 I recently switched from WAO unions to Nobl TR37s. Cheaper, same warranty, better ride feel.
  • 8 0
 @orion86: Dumonde freehub oil quiets them down.

I do wish dt350s were still a stock (and even cheaper) option with WAO, but their current package is still pretty stellar.
  • 12 1
 @orion86: I agree. I have some WAO Revive rims on the way to my house right now. And, little known fact: they can build them up with GOOD hubs, such as DT Swiss, for you.
  • 4 0
 @sspiff: They are; you just have to ask.
  • 3 0
 @orion86: you can do custom build we wao with any hubs you want.
  • 10 1
 But how does WAO do it so cheaply, paying good wages to good Canadians? How do they compete with Bontrager, spinning out hundreds/thousands a month from Asia? Someone help me understand.
  • 13 1
 WAO are nice for sure but not the end all be all. I have a set on one bike and they are great. I bought a set of e13 LG1 EN carbon hoops (also lifetime warranty) for just over a grand for my other bike. The 2 ride very similar and have taken a lot of punishment. So far the only real difference for me has been price. I saved $400 on the e13. I agree the WAO are a bit sexier but $400 is $400....choice is good and it seems everyone is stepping up their carbon game!
  • 8 0
 @sspiff: free hub grease. The oil is what they come stock with to keep em loud. Also, IMO those Bontrager hubs are about as loud as the hydra hubs but it’s not as nice of a sound
  • 17 0
 @canuck7870: maybe ask yourself why the margins are so massive for asian made rims and who's really being ripped off.
  • 16 1
 ...or a set of DT Swiss EX 1501 Spline One. Only 100g heavier, one of the most durable alloy wheels out there, cost less and also not made by a company with a reputation of making carbon stuff that breaks frequently, like Trek.
  • 44 15
 So what's the deal with We Are One? Do they employ an army of trolls to scour the internet for any and all carbon wheel reviews to then post in the comment section? Is it some kind of weird cult that compels you to tout the virtues of We Are One on any given carbon wheel review?

"Did you know our lord and savior We Are One costs only pennies and is hand laid in the holy land of Kamloops and not some slave market in Asia where they dump by-product of carbon manufacturing in the sea?"

Man, they might make a good product -- I have nothing against that. But the adherents to this brand are just so weird. I know you have people who will swear by any given brand -- brands they've had great experiences with and who have treated them well, but there's something very hive-minded about We Are One. It comes across as really odd to me.
  • 29 1
 @TheR: WAO was at the forefront of offering the most competitive warranty in the industry so that gained them a cult following out of the gate. The product itself is better than the competition and made in Canada for a more competitive price than everyone else was offering, so that also helped. They are also a smaller brand so you get that personalized customer service that lacks in many of the larger brands.

WAO ticked all the boxes of how to be a top brand before any of their competitors caught on to what the market was asking for in terms of warranty and price. Is it really that hard to believe that they have this many loyal followers? You make a really f'n good product, for a better price than others, with a more competitive warranty and make it all domestically? They're really in a league of their own.
  • 22 0
 @TheR: you are going to wake up with a horse's head in your bed. from a very nice, Canadian horse.
  • 3 4
 Weird that there's no mention of treks 2 year no questions asked support, or their lifetime warranty against defects in the review. Or that there is pretty much the same rim available with j bend spokes for a bunch less ($1200 CAD so like $850 USD? and 1890g - weight mostly at the hub?). I've been a big pusher of WAO in the past as lackluster big brands fail time and time again to get the price/quality/warranty matrix right. I agree that this $1300 wheel looks less impressive than the WAO offering, but the Elite Carbon is punching above it's weight. I'm meh about I9 hubs - esp the 101. Hubs are hubs.
  • 5 1
 @nouseforaname: they did mention the Bontrager warranty in the article...

“ The wheels are covered by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects, and for the first two years of ownership Bontrager will repair or replace any wheel that gets damaged free of charge.”
  • 3 13
flag thenotoriousmic (Jun 18, 2020 at 11:31) (Below Threshold)
 It’s the same price as the meta HT reviewed in the next article. As if I’m going to spend £1400 on cheap Chinese plastic that’s just going to shatter as soon as it meets a rock when I could buy a full bike to thrash around in the winter.
  • 2 2
 @clapforcanadaa: Yes. So I've heard. Just leave my copy of Awake and Watchtower in the door. I'll look at them later.
  • 6 3
 @thenotoriousmic: shatter the first time you hit a rock... looks like you haven't ridden a good quality carbon set ever. On the other hand I sure know I bent many alloy wheel the first time I hit a rock. Might not be your cup of tea or out of your budget but doesn't mean good quality carbon wheels arent good, or name me a alloy wheelset woth lifetime warranty.
  • 5 1
 The Warranty for WAO is truly amazing. I had a rim with my first set of Agents that a rock absolutely smashed sideways into the rim causing a bit of damage. Rim was still true and holding air, so it wasn't catastrophically broken (a common worry with carbon rims) and I rode the rest of the day on it, but it was a bit sketchy as a few layers of carbon were gouged out and the tap test made a dull sound. Contacted WAO, explained what happened that a rock hit it while riding and it was clearly not a manufacturing defect, next day got a response saying the rim was probably fine, but just in case they'll send a new one. Paid $30 for shipping and had the rim at my door about 4 days later.

Best bike warranty experience ever. I'm now on my second set of Unions and they have been bomb proof so far!
  • 7 2
 @TheR: So basically in the bike world, if something sucks then its fair game to complain non stop online but if something is good then everyone needs to keep their mouth shut? Lol
  • 3 0
 @TheR: Admittedly I pretty much fall into this category. I think the reason a lot of people are so stoked on them is people are tired of all the BS from companies when trying to get them to warranty something. It's generally a huge pain in the ass, especially with wheels. WAO is basically the first company to provide a consistent, easy, and all inclusive warranty at a reasonable price point, and until other companies can match that, you're going to continue hearing the same line on every carbon wheel review. To my knowledge I don't believe any company, today, does anything close on warranty. Some say they do, then when you try to warranty your broken stuff, they come up with some excuse.
  • 1 1
 @clapforcanadaa: I guess I missed that (and the mention of the Line Elites) when i read the article. Strange how so many people are mentioning warranty in the comments like it wasn't mentioned in the article.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Become One and you will see.
  • 9 12
 eh, all carbon wheels aren't really worth the price anyway unless you're dick measuring or race xc. queue the downvotes
  • 1 0
 @ybsurf: no I definitely haven’t ever ridden a quality set of carbon wheels ever which is exactly my point.
  • 2 3
 @stumphumper92: HOw do you use a carbon wheel to measure your d**k? Wait, I think I figured it out--this is one of those diameter things.
  • 1 0
 @onlyDH: How do you like your Nobl TR 37s wheels? Want to purchase
  • 2 1
 @Tmackstab: Where the hell did I say anything remotely close that? You really took the ball and ran with that one...

I don't have a problem with it. I just think it's funny. And odd. Also, while I know there is a good deal of organic praise for their wheels, I also feel like there are a lot of corporate talking points in a lot of these comments. Smells off to me.
  • 2 1
 Even though these wheels are available in 27.5 there’s is no mention of it anywhere.
  • 2 0
 @BamaBiscuits: good call. TBH I have a tub of King ring drive grease kicking around from like a decade ago so that's what I use..
  • 1 0
 @TheR: haha fair point. But when you get a lifetime warranty, relatively affordable (i think fanatik has agents with 350 hubs for 1k), ride feel is great (not too stiff), and made by a family of grizzly bears? Why not praise the company?
  • 2 3
 @stumphumper92: Need to spend your money one something, if you cant afford it then dont buy it poor man.
  • 1 0
 @sspiff: Dumonde freehub oil will make them more loud. Dumonde freehub grease, will quiet them down.
  • 1 0
 This. Bring the lifetime warranty, or don’t bother! (Also, don’t bother with the I9 hubs... DT350s are cheaper and waaaay better.)
  • 4 0
 @Apfelsauce: DT350's being better than an I9 Hydra or 1/1 doesn't sound like reality to me. I've ridden both, built both (a lot of both!), and definitely don't share that sentiment. DT hubs are good quality sure, but they really lack engagement. Some will say engagement doesn't matter, but I don't agree. DT's Come stock with 18T, then they want you to pay somewhere between 150 and 200 bucks to upgrade to either 36, or, 54, and I've seen the 54 shred itself several times now.

I've been impressed with Hydra's and 1/1's. So far, they have been pretty free of issues here.

If you like DT Swiss, check out Erase hubs. Light than DT240's, similar ratchet design that comes stock with a physically larger ratchet witt 60T, angular contact bearings, titanium freehub...worth a look.
  • 2 0
 @privateer-wheels: yeah at 6’4” 200ish lbs I stripped the 54T upgrade (about $100 more dollars too) within 2 months. Have had zero issues with hydras in over a year with only 1 service
  • 2 6
flag stumphumper92 (Jun 19, 2020 at 7:41) (Below Threshold)
 @wearitwell: I guarantee you I make more than your household income. I just choose not to waste money on products that provide minimal gains
  • 1 2
 @stumphumper92: imagine thinking you don’t have carbon wheels because you can’t afford it? Someone people have never experienced a high speed front wheel blow out and it shows.
  • 2 1
 @stumphumper92: and here comes biggus dickus
  • 1 0
 @canuck7870: Canadian government carbon manufacturing subsidies. Race Face benefits as well (Next cranks)
  • 1 0
 Having ridden WAO's wheels for almost 3 years now on the Agent 29 and having broken 2 (totally my fault... cased a jump.... really bad.... twice) and gone through their warranty process it is second to none. I worked at a bike shop for a few years and dealt with many warranties, none compare to how easy WAO's are, not to mention that is lifetime no questions asked.
  • 1 0
 @onlyDH: but made in china
  • 1 0
 @canuck7870: Listen to the interview/podcast with Downtime Podcast. Its called "Reinventing the Wheel" really goes into depth of it all
  • 1 0
 @TheR: I have some and they are just REALLY GOOD. (not a troll btw)
  • 1 0
 @nouseforaname: but the lifetime warranty is a defect/crash replacement discount. WAO are replacement no questions asked for life
  • 2 0
 @TheR: the are amazing wheels , join the faction
  • 1 0
 @wetcoastrider: Yeah, they're probably great wheels. Now that they are teamed up with I9, that makes it more enticing to me, as I am an I9 fanboy, but not to the extent you all are with We Are One.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: @thenotoriousmic: yup exactly. I am extremely OCD and while carbon is strong, I always am concerned about every fall, ding, crash with my carbon frame/components. I've been on carbon everything before, but I realize it's not for me and it wasn't significant enough of an improvement for me to justify it. But to each their own!

I think people just need to ride and not worry about having the latest, greatest and most expensive bike on the trail. I know plenty of people on older gen bikes that rip waaay harder than the dude on his $12k bike. But if it makes you happy, go for it!
  • 1 0
 @stumphumper92: The rim doesn’t fold so it ether cracks or cuts the tyres so you have to run your tyres hard on an already stiff carbon rim or run an insert and loose and weight advantage. It’s totally pointless alloy rims track better, less fatiguing, way less likely to fail and kill you. More often than not you can bend back any dent and if you can’t rims are super cheap anyway so who cares?
  • 16 0
 The new Line Pro's weigh 152g more than the last model (Trek claimed 1608g for the previous 29" model and 1760g for this one), but I guess that's not so bad if they claim they're twice as strong!

One thing I dislike is they only offer them in XD as you mentioned, so you're stuck buying a $130CAD freehub body and don't forget your $27CAD Micro Spline end cap! I swapped my NX/GX parts on my Fuel EX 9.7 for a full XT 12 speed and of course I didn't realize that the end caps had to be purchased separately... Most brands when buying their wheels at this price, offer you the choice of which freehub body you want.
  • 6 0
 Over building wheels to reduce warranty claims. Good for warranties. Bad for lighter riders.
  • 2 0
 @btjenki: I don't know, I'm a lighter rider at 60kg and I've smashed my fair share of wheels. I for one welcome the improvement.
  • 14 2
 Breaking bikes and parts has always been part of the sport .. if you want to push limits you have to accept that sometimes that means pushing too far, carbon wheels is the only area in bike design I know of any companies offering to replace parts caused by riding damage so I don't think it's really a massive issue that some companies choose not to do it.. I don't see anyone screaming blue murder that SRAM won't replace an axs mech if you smash it off on a rock. It sucks that bikes break but it is not always the manufacturers fault and that is why trek offer lifetime warranty but their break it replace it lasts less, many other companies do the same but because some other companies hope.to sell more wheels by saying you "never" have to buy another wheelset, wonder what's going to happen to people when bigger wheels start becoming the norm and they have to put their hands in their pockets again...
  • 8 1
 I agree, the industry and standards change so much, yet people get super stoked on having lifetime warranties to the original owner, when they change bike every two or three years (some people yearly). So they pay premium because the warranty is premium, but a lot of them never use it.
  • 3 0
 My only guess is, few people really end up breaking wheels and end up using the warranty. So the gamble pays off. I personally have been through too many wheels, carbon and aluminum. As of right now, I like how fast I can rehoop and true and get back riding, as opposed to waiting on a warranty replacement.
  • 1 0
 Thank you for injecting some common sense ????
  • 10 0
 One of my son's friends has a set of gen 1 Pro Lines on his Remedy. In two years Trek has replaced two of his rear wheels without question, turn around time has been the hassle. The first wheel snapped after he cased a 15 foot gap, the second rim delaminated after an excursion in a rock garden. The kid is fifteen and weighs 140lbs.
  • 10 1
 Can someone help me understand why I would want to buy heavy carbon wheels, when there are aluminum wheels that weigh the same for half the price?
  • 6 0
 And can easily be replaced, three to four times, for the cost of a carbon rim AND all rims fail so how are we really benefiting?

Carbon has it's value, but I think using carbon for the sake of carbon is starting to wear thin, hence the rebirth of aluminum and steel.
  • 5 0
 @nurseben: +1. Way too many manufacturers make this "using carbon for the sake of carbon" mistake.
  • 6 0
 Which aluminum rim manufacturers are willing to offer a lifetime warranty?
  • 6 3
 Well I found I went through aluminum wheels over twice as fast as carbon wheels due to damage. Now I switched to We Are One carbon wheels with a lifetime warranty and don't imagine I'll buy another set of wheels until wheelsize standards switch, so carbon is much better value for me, as over the years I'd go through many aluminum sets at half the price each.
  • 3 1
 I don't know about your wheels, but I'm pretty sure my aluminium wheels (Stan's Flow rims, i9 hubs) would have been utterly crushed by that anvil test. I bought my alu rims to save a penny but when they go, they're getting replaced with carbon.
  • 1 0
 Stuffiness. Quit being such a weight weenie and ride your bike
  • 1 0
 @nurseben: I couldn't agree more.. I 've decided to go Alu again.. besides the benefits of Carbon being relatively marginal, it is a disaster for the environment...
  • 2 0
 @saladdodger: But lets be honest, so is aluminium production. And lets not talk about the conditions of how bauxit is mined in some places.
  • 1 0
 @benmoosmann: I’m also more than a little unconvinced that aluminum rims get recycled.
  • 1 0
 @benmoosmann: Or the energy associated with smelting it, etc. Anyone who says that aluminum is "better" is a fool.
  • 1 0
 @LeDuke: I'm a damn fool
  • 5 2
 Hey i have these wheels on my new Trek. They ride great, love em, oh yeh also I cased a jump and the rear is on its way back to trek for replacement. But seriously, it was a rough landing, just hope i can go longer than 4 weeks on the next rear!
  • 9 1
 While these wheels do have a great ride quality. Bontrager hubs are absolute garbage! Their warranty is very good. So good in fact that they've replaced 4 of their trashed hubs for me (and 3 rims to boot). I prefer durability...
  • 4 0
 @paulwootton77, for clarity, do you have this model, or the previous generation?
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer: Great point. If Paul has a 2020 (same as me) then it's the previous gen rim. However, it appears to be the same hub, which has been the real crux. Can you confirm if the internals have changed?
  • 5 0
 @kev-bike: I think this is a hit/miss scenario. I have a hub sitting on my desk right now with over 5000 miles on it (hub only as you can guess what happened to the rim... this hub has seen a few of them) and when i pull the FH body off, theres no signs dirt or water ingress and factory grease is still intact, bearings in both the hub shell and FH body are smooth as butter and crazy low friction. This is also one of the early RapidDrive hubs that was offered on the Line Pro (2017?, 18?) but I dont think design has changed. Maybe not as durable as a White Industries or DT Swiss, but also not below average, in my personal case. YMMV.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: True point Mike, I believe I have the previous gen. I'm somewhat tongue in cheek, i broke one already but it was a scenario that would have finished my alloy wheels as well. But Bontrager do cover damage in the first two years at least. Thanks for the solid write up!
  • 1 0
 @bicyclelifestyle: that's my experience - at least with the straight pull hub. Though I know that there were some that had ratchet warranty issues, mine has been solid for 2 1/2 years and multiple bikes. In that time I've gone through 4 rims. #whereiskeithbontrager Ever notice that Trek constantly shoves Gary Fisher into the limelight, but Keith has just disappeared? @trek - what's the deal with that? Let him out of the basement!
  • 3 0
 @nouseforaname: Its probably not Trek, Its likely Keith. If you know him, you would know he likes to keep a low profile. He drives a beat up old Ranger and lives in a very modest house in Midtown of SC. I had the opportunity to go over there and check out all his old stuff and he even helped me out when I was a budding wheel builder on best building techniques years ago. The guys is a heck of an engineer and also a very kind and humble dude, oh and a hell of a cook. Just wants to be left alone a bit more these days.

Gary Fisher.... Never buys the drugs - party foul. But after all those years of getting fried - he loves the limelight and the public loves his quirky demeanor. He presents himself as a sort of real-life Willy Wonka for the bike industry. I like that too.
  • 1 0
 @bicyclelifestyle: I get that, I think the bike industry needs more KB and less GF. I recall reading an interview with KB years ago where he talked about his personal bike, mostly 'covered in the mid to low end stuff' because everyone was queuing up to test the gucci gear and no one wanted to test that $30 stem or handlebar.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: for me the 2020 wheels have been an absolute shit show. 3 months of fuel ex 9.9 ownership and I’m on my 3rd rear wheel. (Currently waiting on said 3rd wheel). Same issues with all, narrow rim bead causing delamination and cracks. Good to see they addressed the exact issue albeit without actually mentioning it in there press release. They f*cked up on the last model
  • 3 0
 So here's a question I've always wondered about. The DT Swiss EX rim is considered by many to be the gold standard of alloy rims for being almost indestructible, cheap, and not heavy. Sure it might weigh maybe 100g more than the carbon ones but is that really that much at less than 25% the price of a carbon rim?
  • 3 1
 Carbon rims will always maintain shape and true, even when spoke tensions go out of wack. Their fatigue life at a higher stiffness level is just so much longer than alloy. Improved alloy rim design and increased widths have certainly helped alloy wheels stay truer longer and resist denting, but carbon also provides a ride that's hard to beat. Where it gets muddy is when inserts and really cheap (and decently quality) carbon rims from China get introduced. Many believe that with inserts, the difference in feel between carbon and alloy is harder to detect - although carbon will always be more direct in its steering and precision - a result of that increased stiffness. If you're building or having someone build your wheels, some Chinese Carbon rim retailers are down to like $125.
  • 4 2
 Twice as strong i this case still probably means not as strong as most other wheels... I've personally seen 3 separate rim failures in the last iteration... if this new one can actually hold up to some abuse, they'll still be lacking behind the other rims offering lifetime guarantees.
  • 4 1
 Don't know what you people are doing but I have had no issues with my Bonty Carbon Rims that came on my 2019 Slash. Do all manner of different riding from Down Hill runs (non shuttled) to smashing forest harvest machine tracks through the forest which are littered with rocks and tree debris.

My plastic rims and bike (al chainstays) have survived me. Even with the odd gap jump case (boy did my ribs hurt after that one).

Bloody good product and would be happy to buy again.
  • 1 0
 @gnarterrorist: I was unsure about carbon wheels on my Slash as I’m 195lbs, but I’ve only had one rim crack, I exploded a tire off the bead, in a fast rocky section of trails and didn’t realize the rim was damaged until I got a carbon splinter putting the tire back on! Warranty was super fast and no hassle. I’ve heard about the ring drive issues, but so far so good, I’ve got some big quads, but haven’t mashed the hub into submission yet!

I’m super happy with my Bontrager wheels, ended up putting a set on my wife’s Fuel EX.
  • 1 0
 @Honda750: Good to hear, I'm first season on my 2019 Slash with the carbon line pros, they are very stiff no question there, so far no problems riding on some fairly rocky gnarly stuff, I'm 210 with gear on.
  • 7 1
 Is there a reason carbon wheels are never compared to the Ibis offerings?
  • 4 0
 I questioned the exact same thing while reading this. I have really enjoyed my carbon S28 wheels.
  • 1 0
 Ibis probably just hasn't sent PinkBike a set to review, I'm sure they've asked. I had a set of Ibis aluminum wheels a few years ago and they were some of the worst wheels I've ever ridden. Lasted about 2 months and constantly required truing/rebuilds. Can't comment on their carbon wheels.
  • 6 1
 ...but are they recycled carbon and vegan? I don't want any of them GMO's with that price point.
  • 2 0
 Don't these weigh about the same as Stan's newer DH AL wheels? I get that some like the XC-like stiffness for the get up and go factor, but wasn't the big selling point of Carbon over AL wheels the weight? It seems in order to make them as durable as AL they have to weigh the same.
  • 4 1
 Can anybody tell me again why exactly I would want 1760g carbon wheels made by Trek, if I could get legendarily durable DTSwiss EX 1501 alloys, which as a set only weigh 100g more and cost 500€ less...?
  • 1 0
 I can't speak to Bontrager specifically, and EX1501 are more expensive on this side of the Atlantic, but assuming that this carbon rim is comparable in quality to other recent offerings, the answers are:

-Strength to weight, especially in 29"
-Less truing; less denting
-Ride feel

Disclaimer: I currently use XM481 27.5, Reserve 27 27.5 (rear only), and Deemax Pro 27.5 (front only). Used Nox Farlow 29" from 2017 on a stout steel 140mm hardtail. Killed Arch and Flow EX rears, still have the Farlow.
  • 2 0
 I can tell you from personal experience with Bontrager Kovee Pro wheels that Bontrager is the easiest company I've ever dealt with in terms of 2 years no questions asked replacement. I've had two rear wheels replaced, and I've seen other wheels that were clearly user error (straight into a tree impact) and again, no questions asked replaced that week.
  • 2 0
 The $900 version sounds like the one to watch, esp if you're keeping the 108 POE, giving up only 100g (that you can get back by switching out the plastic Bontrager rim strip anyway, as per the review) and putting $400 back in your pocket..

I've got a set of the previous Kovee XXX's and can't believe they're still round and true, given some of the knocks they've taken. Not cheap, but brilliant wheels.
  • 3 1
 Spoke tension seems insanely low in that anvil-drop video. Going to make a big difference to the way the wheel sees the impact if it's allowed to deflect and spread the impact energy like that..
  • 4 1
 That video is a deflection test not a real impact test. Warranty is a bit questionable with lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects yet 2 years on damage.
  • 1 0
 I have been riding these for last 2 yrs. I will say I am very impressed with these wheels. I did recently crack the rear and I had bought them before they started the Full warranty program, but I was able to replace the wheel at a steep discount. For the price I think they are very competitive. With 108 pts of engagement its better than stock rims.
  • 1 0
 Hey Mike,

Was wondering if you could comment on the sound. For me, personally, sound is the fourth most important aspect of a wheelset after weight, feel, and durability. Are these loud compared to other hub designs currently on the market?
  • 1 0
 I’m not mike, but my mate had the alloy ones on his remedy and he added in more pawls to get the 108 point of engagement. They sound like a swarm of screaming hornets. Louder than my other friend’s hope pro 4 hubs. He ended up swapping the rim to a spank one after he dented the stock one and then moved everything to a cannondale frame because he liked them so much.
  • 1 0
 I have the older set and they are a tad quieter than i9 torch hubs....to me the sound is just loud enough and just quiet enough, especially compared to my new i9 Hydra hubs
  • 1 0
 I just recieved the new Bontrager line pro 30 as a replacement wheel. Only 1 ride and I can feel the difference. I'm going to disagree with CONS section of review "WARRANTY NOT THE BEST". I recieved my replacement wheel 5 days after the claim and was upgraded to the new wheel. Trek/Bontrager in my experience has always stood by their products, even before they announced their new carbon wheel warranty policy.
  • 1 0
 Hmm, being out on the market for a second wheelset, the new Bontragers were an option. Until this article. Hooked rims plus no superboost plus = no go. I could deal with purchasing another hub from i9, but hooked rims and my DH casing tires will not get along well. I have been riding on hookless rims since 2014 roval traverse SL, no reason to go back to the hassle.
So, it will be a raceface next R31 carbon wheels or simply another set of reynolds blacklabels which has so far proven to be great. I will just need to ignore the price again.
  • 5 2
 $900 for a set of carbon wheels with a two year damage replacement sounds like an incredible deal to me...
  • 7 2
 Until you realize you can get NOBL or Roval wheels for $1.2k and they offer lifetime damage replacement. That extra $300 is personally worth knowing that I will never have to spend good money on wheels again... or for a long time (you can always change the hubs if standards change).
  • 3 0
 What are the best alloy wheels for trail / enduro in a reasonnable price range ? Carbon wheels are too expensive ...
  • 19 3
 DT Swiss all day
  • 4 1
 meanwhile the last bike I bought was $1300...so... yep, too expensive.
  • 3 0
 DT Swiss ordered from the European retail sites is really reasonable.
  • 3 0
 @PHeller: it seems that something changed with their distribution. None of the European sites will ship to the US anymore.
  • 1 0
 Nvm.
  • 1 1
 @gnarnaimo: I tend to buy the 2nd from the top model [e.g. Shimano XT], as you usually get all the premier benefits without the price. What would DT Swiss's 2nd or 3rd best 29er trail wheelset?
  • 10 7
 Can't get it with a Shimano freehub, $1300, no lifetime warranty when everyone else is offering one?

NEXT!
  • 3 1
 When a company says 15 percent improvement. I think ya whatever. Marketing. When a company claims something is twice a strong well that just screams bullshit.
  • 4 1
 Well the last carbon generation was actually made from fragilium given how often they failed. So in this case, I can believe them.
  • 6 0
 So the acceptable amount of improvement is between 16 and 99%?
  • 3 2
 It's really difficult for me to justify a burly carbon rim when it weighs only 15 grams less than a similarly strong aluminum rim. I don't see the point in spending three times the cost for such a minuscule weight savings.
  • 2 0
 Fair point. I dent my rims in about a month-6 weeks, and usually suffer with a 'written off' rim for a few months before giving in and rebuilding them. New spokes + labour + rim. I'm selling my alloy wheels (just rebuilt - hah) and picking up the Elites. About a $500 upcharge that I'll make back in the first two years, plus some peace of mind if they are as strong as Trek claim. Yeah, I know what a tire pressure gauge is.
  • 1 0
 My carbon rims came with my Remedy 9.8 so I don't think they are this new layup, but I can tell you one great reason and that's that they've never gone even slightly out of true and no flat spots. I'm not sure if I would have spent the money for them aftermarket but now that I have them, I like them.
  • 1 0
 I'll add- I even broke a spoke and you'd never know it except for the noise it was making- stayed 100% straight.
  • 1 0
 @ICKYBOD: That's right, carbon rims don't bend, I mean, they deflect but then come back to what they were exactly. That's a really great advantage of this material for this application.
  • 2 0
 @ICKYBOD: It does put stress on the spokes, I have broken plenty of spokes on mine, and the rim goes out of true a bit when that happens, until the spoke is replaced. Maybe you use less tension on your spokes, or have more than 28 per wheel.
  • 1 0
 Demo some carbon wheels if you get the chance. You may notice the difference. Or not.
  • 1 0
 I’ve always had carbon wheels for the ride quality, never once have considered weight.
  • 1 1
 STILL can't mount heavy duty tires, seriously? I had to return a set of Line XXX wheels a few years ago for the same reason, it simply wasn't possible to use the most common enduro tires on their top end enduro wheelset. How is this still an issue on a NEW wheelset?
  • 3 0
 It's all about their plastic tlr rim strip. Take it out, use some gorilla tape and then it's fine. I had the same issue
  • 6 1
 @ksilvey10: I love the rim strip - i think it's one of the best features of the bonty wheels. :shrugs: Magic Marys SG casing no prob, paper thin XC tires no prob, exo no prob.
  • 1 0
 The flip side to that is when you have tires mounted with the Bontrager strip- they simply do not burp. I'm using exo+ without issue btw. You have to stand on the tire on two sides and pull up on the rim, hard, to break the bead loose. So there definitely is an upside to their strips if you aren't using downhill casings.
  • 1 0
 @ICKYBOD: I would like to be able to use the strip, but with some tires, it is impossible without risking damaging the rim with a gnarly metal tire lever. I broke several tire levers trying to mount some tough casing tires before I finally pulled them off. For enduro, I can't imagine if I needed to put a tube in during a race with the tlr strips. If I was just doing xc, they would be fine, like you said.
  • 2 0
 well not just xc, like I said- I'm using exo+ and they're truly good at holding tires on. which is really good for rocks, berms, etc. that tend to pull tires off the bead. Just take the strips out if you don't like them though.
  • 1 0
 @ksilvey10: The shop that sold me the wheels delaminated 3 of the rims using plastic tire levers. The finish on the inside of the rim where the tape would go was rough and while gorilla tape may work most common tapes would not stick to the surface. It's not difficult to apply enough force to damage a carbon rim with a plastic lever, and it may be difficult to determine if they are damaged. Also, it was confirmed by Trek that it wasn't possible to mount certain tires so it's not just me. It blows me away that this could still be an issue, for me it's a dealbreaker... This is one reason I like my DT alloy rims, easy to mount any tire, no worries about delaminating them.
  • 1 0
 @ICKYBOD: I agree, in the past I had alloy Bonty rims with the strip and no issues with tire mounting. Carbon rims seem to be more variable and the Line XXX were literally impossible to mount heavy duty tires without damaging the rim. The strips are a good idea but for keeping the bead on and protecting the tire an insert is even better without massive weight penalty vs tlr strips. The new Cushcore XC are pretty light, great product imo.
  • 3 0
 The previous model is notorious for cracking, and cracking and cracking again. Won't be returning. The hubs are nice.
  • 2 1
 Hubs are crap. Nice light wheel but I’ve stripped the ratchet away front the cup on the inside of the hub twice now. That being said Trek probably has one of the best warranties around.
  • 1 1
 The commercial of the day! As usual claiming to be a test (as if one could test durability by mounting tires on a wheel) instead of a press release ... and as usual by magic the "test" appear simultaneously on the Web, for example bikerumor.com/2020/06/18/bontrager-line-pro-30-elite-30-wheelset-specs-weight-prices
  • 2 0
 Do you think it's possible for pink bike to publish an article about carbon wheels without someone mentioning we are one ????
  • 2 0
 The previous version of these are the best wheels ive ever used, i live in nelson nz which is rocky as fuck and they never missed a beat.
  • 4 2
 These are solid wheels , I had no problems with the last gen either. Cushcore on the rear though.
  • 2 0
 I sold my last gen Bonty rims, they were crazy stiff. I have the new ones and they feel a lot better, trouble free so far.
  • 2 0
 "repair or replace any wheel that gets damaged free of charge"

So I'm out of luck if I pay someone to damage my wheels?
  • 3 1
 Pawl hubs are no bueno, star drive or CK
  • 5 2
 Garbage hubs
  • 2 0
 Ya. Wheel with those hubs... not interested even if they're free. How much for just the rim?
  • 1 0
 That video of it passing the test is useless without seeing another known strong rim failing the test.
  • 1 0
 I'm absolutely loving that in the PRO's section is the $1,300 price tag.

That's a PRO.


Let that sink in...
  • 1 0
 Their hubs keep blowing up!! The metal ring for the pawls strips the inside of the aluminium hub body...not reassuring.
  • 1 1
 Warranty fine print...hmmm. We are one, if you break it riding your bike, its covered. That and all the other reasons make wao the obvious choice
  • 4 3
 We Are One + life time warranty = enough said. ????
  • 2 1
 No super boost option ! Get with the times ... lol
  • 4 1
 Only like three manufacturers even offer frames with Super Boost spacing and many of the others inofficially declared that they think it's bs.

enduro-mtb.com/en/super-boost-plus-standard
  • 1 1
 @benmoosmann: what manufacturers are those ?
  • 1 0
 It'll be available by the Fall, believe it.
  • 1 0
 I would rather go for Line Comps and upgrade to 108 rapid drive
  • 1 1
 Sure, they passed the Anvil test, but are they Randy certified?? I'm holding out..
  • 1 0
 There was a heavy metal band called Anvil
  • 1 0
 The important thing is that the USD 1300 wheel protects the USD 60 tires
  • 1 0
 BRING BACK THE G-ZERO WHITEWALLS
  • 1 0
 Soooooooooooooo DH22 review soon?
  • 1 0
 It would certainly wipe out my bank account!
  • 1 0
 What kind of cassette is that?
  • 1 0
 When your rims cost as much as your bike lol
  • 1 0
 Too expensive for that weight.
  • 5 1
 Last version, two years ago.
  • 6 3
 @Geochemistry: So what you are telling me is.. if that wheelset from 2 years ago that repeatedly failed every time were yours, you would buy it again. Because you believe in fourth chance.
  • 3 2
 @pakleni: Your words, not mine. You only posted an outdated web review that's non sequitur to this discussion.
  • 4 0
 @pakleni: "never forgive, never forget" amiright?
  • 2 0
 @Geochemistry: this wheel is still in use on the 2020 model bikes. I’m currently on my third wheel in 3 months
  • 1 0
 bont…. rager
  • 1 0
 Cool
  • 1 0
 What limit weight rider?
  • 3 0
 There's no rider weight limit on these wheels.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Great. But strange that for the frames they put a limit.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: I would like to see an article about weight limit on bikes. If they all follow ATSM, then why the disparity of limits, etc.?
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