First Look: Bontrager's New Line Elite Wheels and Lithos Helmet, Trek's Farley 8

Aug 6, 2014
by Mike Levy  
Bontrager Line wheelset

Bontrager Line Elite Wheelset

Is this the year of wide rims? It seems to be so, with a number of companies debuting wider than average rims that are designed to offer additional support for high-volume tires that many riders are using these days. You can add Bontrager to that list, with their new Line Elite wheelset featuring a 28mm wide (internal measurement) aluminum rim. No, that's not as spacious as some other massive options on the market, but it's also not so wide as to only work with a few specific tire options out there - going too wide can cause a tire to lose its intended shape and perform very strangely. Want to run them tubeless? The rims can be fitted with Bontrager's nifty TLR rim strips that are made from durable plastic and snap into place to create an airtight seal, and adding some sealant will finish off the job. The front wheel is said to weigh 810 grams, the real 950 grams, and, as of right now, they are only available in a 27.5" size.

Bontrager Line wheelset

Bontrager Lithos

Bontrager Lithos Helmet

The Lithos name may be one that's been used in Bontrager's helmet line in the past, but this lid is an entirely new animal with a bunch of clever features, the most obvious of which is the 'Blender' accessory mounting system that allows you to easily attach a light or POV camera. The mount is a breakaway unit that Bontrager actually tested using an accelerometer to measure the forces involved in both just riding around with added weight atop your head and what happens when you go down, and they said that info helped them come up with a mounting position that is stable but can still shear off in a worst case scenario.

The added weight from a light or camera also had Bontrager thinking about the inside of the helmet, and removing the crown pads reveals sections of EVA foam underneath that are said to better distribute loading and increase comfort. Those who like to get all "enduro" on the trail will be stoked to see that the visor pushes up easily in order to create a space for your goggles. The new 430 gram Lithos will retail for $139.99 USD when it becomes available this December, while the similar looking Rally helmet will go for $89.95 but lose the slick Blender accessory mounting.

Trek Farley

Trek Farley 8

2014 saw Trek add a fat bike to their lineup in the shape of the $2,629.99 Farley, a rigid machine assembled around an aluminum frame with Surly wheels and tires, and Avid hydraulic brakes. That bike sold well enough that Trek has added another big tire brawler to their range, the Farley 8 shown here. The green machine is a more capable all 'rounder thanks to the 100mm travel RockShox Bluto fork up front, and handling remains the same as the standard Farley thanks to the suspension corrected geometry - the frame is the same on both models. Trek intends the Farley 8 to be ridden anywhere that you might taken a regular mountain bike, and it even sports routing for an internally routed dropper post should you choose to add one, which you obviously should. My advice would be to bolt on a wide handlebar and short stem, add a dropper seat post and a set of platform pedals, then hit the trails to goon it up with anyone who looks too serious... they might thank you later, but you'll have fun even if they don't. It's also worth noting that the bike comes with Bontrager's new Jackalope wheelset and 3.8" Hodag tires, two things that Trek says has allowed them to save some major weight compared to if they had used the Surly wheels and rubber found on the standard Farley.


  • 31 3
 "My advice would be to bolt on a wide handlebar and short stem, add a dropper seat post and a set of platform pedals, then hit the trails to goon it up with anyone who looks too serious." Totally agree, very good advice!
  • 18 0
 "I'm not fat, I just have a big frame"
  • 11 0
 Do these tires make my butt look big?
  • 20 3
 I'm gonna hold off on a fat bike until they come with an electric assist.
  • 22 3
 I'm gonna get myself a fat chick before i get a fat bike. Probably makes for a more interesting ride. Oh and they do come with an electric assist by the way
  • 42 0
 @rejean, so nervous clicking on that link, thinking it's the electric assist for your fat chick.
  • 8 6
 Is a fat bike with electric assist like a fat chick with a....wait....
  • 11 3
  • 2 0
  • 2 0
 Pretty much what I was expecting from @rejean's link:

Oddly enough I was both relieved and a little disappointed after clicking...
  • 5 0
 "I'm gonna get myself a fat chick before i get a fat bike. Probably makes for a more interesting ride. Oh and they do come with an electric assist by the way "

@rejean Still laughing at this one 10 minutes later!

Hate aside, if you haven't ridden a fat bike you really should. As someone who typically rejects clown-looking bikes I had my doubts. A 2 hour ride aboard salsa's alloy beargrease changed my mind (custom at 27.5 pounds). They drift, climb steep rock gardens like a mountain goat and are just plain fun. That's what mountain biking is supposed to be correct?
  • 3 0
 fat women on fat bikes, super niche website
  • 1 0
 There's already a subreddit for that
  • 12 1
 Bontrager helmet looks like an A1, don't get me wrong it looks good, but like an A1.
  • 17 10
 I like steak sauce!
  • 3 8
flag fr3er1d3r (Aug 5, 2014 at 22:51) (Below Threshold)
  • 10 8
 TLD u dipshits
  • 8 3
 I'm pretty sure @Lilshredman was joking...
  • 5 1
 Yes, I was joking
  • 1 1
 Looks exactly like an A1 and even has TLD's price! Why bother, unless you get pro deals on trek????

That stupid temple guard stopped the A1 from fitting with glasses, fortunately Specialized makes a much better fitting helmet for $85
  • 7 0
 God, what's wrong with me. That fatbike actually looks OK. I feel a bit funny.
  • 3 1
 Trek's accessory mounting system is actually called "Blendr" not "Blender". What's even more silly is that realistically the only thing you would want to mount to the top of your helmet would be a camera or light, yet with Blendr you could also mount an iPhone or a cycling computer.
  • 5 1
 its built into their new designed stems as well which is where the phones and computers come into play
  • 5 1
 Yes, I'm well aware of why it's compatible with a phone or a cycling computer. I just find the mental image of mounting a phone to your helmet quite amusing.
  • 1 0
 if anyone ends up with that combo, i expect pictures!! that means you comment readers!!
  • 7 0
 A puzzle helmet??
  • 1 0
 I bought a fatbike last fall(Kona). It is a great addition to your fleet. I do wonder though if shops are selling out of them or it is just a fad like singlespeeds were several years ago? Norco is coming out with new models next year but Kona still only has the Wo.
  • 2 0
 finally someone is building a UST wheel set sealed like a UST wheel. Not a T-Bless ready or some other useless excuse. You won't find any sealant in your spokes or nipples.
Respect Trek/Bontrager
  • 2 0
 If one didn't know better you could view it that there is a dwindling 26 market and a fatbike market that is growing. Shit is all messed up yo.
  • 3 1
 Farley 8 weight, mate?
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