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
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.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. 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.
Comfortable + solid ride feel+
Less expensive than comparable options+
Relatively light weight for this category
Plastic rim strip can make it harder to seat some tires-
Warranty terms are reasonable, but not the best