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 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 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.