Bontrager Gets Fast w/ New Aero Drop Bars & Deep Carbon Clinchers, Tosses in Alloy Tubeless Wheels, Too

Bontrager Aero Road Handlebars

It’s always nice cheating the wind any way possible. To aid this, bike companies are producing aerodynamic frames, wheel manufactures are dropping deep carbon rims all over the place, and road helmet designs are even getting the wind tunnel treatment. Bontrager is hopping on the bullet train, too, with their new aero road handle bars and Aeolus carbon clinchers. And for those that just want a smooth ride, they have just introduced three tubeless ready (TLR) aluminum clinchers starting at just $500.

For the shaved leg set, shaving time is usually a priority. The new Bontrager Race XXX Lite and Race Lite aero road handlebars, using their KammTail Virtual Foil (KVM) design, are said to shave 23 seconds per hour off your efforts as compared to a traditional round bar. The Race XXX Lite bar comes to you in lovely OCLV carbon fiber and features internal cable routing to keep your cockpit clean. It’s compatible with Di2 and Campagnolo EPS wiring as well. The XXX, and its 6061 aluminum cousin the Race Lite, both feature a 125mm drop, 85mm reach, and a 31.8mm clamp section. They are compatible with clip on aero bars. And as compared to other Bontrager bars, these have 10mm longer drops for added comfort and better hand position. Want to race these in a UCI event? Go ahead, they meet the 3:1 rule. Cost for the XXX is $350 and it tips the scales at 200g (42cm). The Race Lite runs $100 and weighs in at 320g (42cm).

Slip past the jump you’ll find some fast carbon clinchers, and see just how Bontrager goes tubeless…

Bontrager Aeolus 9 Carbon Clincher

Bontrager claims their Aeolus carbon tubular wheels to be some of, if not the, fastest wheels around. Heck, they even published the white paper to prove it (it’s a nerdy, yet interesting read). To compliment the tubular lineup, they have been offering the Aeolus 5 D3 in a full carbon clincher model for a while. Now you can have your choice in rim depth and still get the clincher freedom with the expanded line up including 90mm, 70mm, and 30mm options. We rode a pair of the originals when we tested the Domane and were impressed with the stopping power (even in the wet) with their cork pads…pretty good for carbon rims.

Aeolus 9, 7, and 3 Carbon Clinchers

  • Dual Direction Design: D3 rim profile offers the fastest aerodynamic shape available with the best stability in cross-winds
  • 27 x 90mm one piece molded OCLV carbon fiber rim provides the best aero shape and lightweight construction
  • Bontrager designed hubs with DT star ratchet internals and nail head spokes deliver fast reliable engagement and
  • superior wheel stiffness
  • 18 front and 24 rear DT aero lite spokes with Alpina locking alloy nipples
  • Includes skewers, wheel bags, Carbon Stop brake pads (required), and alloy presta valve extenders
  • Compatible with both Shimano and SRAM 9/10 spd cassettes
  • Campagnolo compatible with free hub available
  • No rider weight restrictions
  • Aeolus 9 weight per pair 1910g MSRP: $2700
  • Aeolus 7 weight per pair 1700g MSRP: $2700
  • Aeolus 3 weight per pair 1450g MSRP: $2700

Bontrager Race X Lite TRL Wheels

Road Tubeless is increasing in popularity as of late. Hutchinson and Stan’s NoTubes have been pushing it for a while now, and the likes of Maxxis, Specialized, and Easton have joined in. Bontrager has joined the game too, porting over their Tubeless Ready (TLR) system from their MTB wheels. This system is a bit different, as they have chosen to avoid using a tire with a butyl liner in it, and instead make a tire that works in conduction with their new ammonia free synthetic latex TRL sealant.

The aluminum clinchers from Bontrager using this TLR system include their Race, Race Lite, and Race X Lite wheels. Barrier to entry for Road Tubeless is now very low, as the Race wheelset runs $500. At that price you can afford to let your curiosity win. Specs below.

Race Wheels

  • 23mm wide OSB alloy rims (622×17) improve tire support and handling while enhancing rear wheel stiffness
  • Forged aluminum cartridge bearing hubs features updated flange design for ultimate durability and easy service
  • 18 front and 24 rear 14/15g bladed spokes with Alpina locking alloy nipples
  • Includes Bontrager internal-cam skewers, TLR rim strips and TLR valve cores
  • Compatible with both Shimano and SRAM 9/10 spd cassettes
  • Compatible with both traditional, TLR and road tubeless clincher tires
  • No rider weight restrictions
  • Weight per pair: 1800g
  • MSPR: $500

Race Lite Wheels

  • 23mm wide OSB alloy rims (622×17) improve tire support and handling while enhancing rear wheel stiffness
  • Nail head spokes and stacked drive-side lacing increase bracing angle and enhance wheel stiffness
  • Bontrager designed, sealed cartridge bearing hubs with 3-pawl drive mechanism provide quick, dependable engagement
  • 18 front and 24 rear 14/15g bladed spokes with Alpina locking alloy nipples
  • Includes Bontrager internal-cam skewers, TLR rim strips and TLR valve cores
  • Compatible with both Shimano and SRAM 9/10 spd and Shimano 11spd cassettes
  • Campy compatible with free hub part number 420390
  • Compatible with both traditional, TLR and road tubeless clincher tires
  • No rider weight restrictions
  • Weight per pair: 1500g
  • MSPR: $700

Race X Lite Wheels

  • 23mm wide OSB alloy rims (622×17) improve tire support and handling while enhancing rear wheel stiffness
  • Locally reinforced spoke nodes reduce rim weight without sacrificing strength
  • Bontrager designed hubs with DT 240 star ratchet internals, nail head spokes and stacked drive-side lacing deliver fast reliable engagement and superior wheel stiffness
  • 18 front and 24 rear 14/15g bladed spokes with Alpina locking alloy nipples
  • Includes Bontrager internal-cam skewers, TLR rim strips and TLR valve cores
  • Compatible with both Shimano and SRAM 9/10 spd and Shimano 11spd cassettes
  • Campy compatible with free hub part number 276362
  • Compatible with both traditional, TLR and road tubeless clincher tires
  • No rider weight restrictions
  • Weight per pair: 1480g
  • MSPR: $1000

Bontrager Tubeless TLR Road Tires

Bontrager would prefer you wrap those TRL rims in their own R2 and R3 tubeless tires, new for 2013. Both tires use a high modulus Kevlar bead (rather than the carbon bead found on Hutchinson tires), and can be had in a 23mm or (true) 25mm width. The R2 weighs in at 310g, has Bontrager’s HardCase puncture protection, and uses a 60tpi casing. Cost is set at $59.99. The R3 uses the same flat protection, but has a 120tpi casing and weighs a bit less at 270g. Cost is a bit higher at $79.99

The Bontragers TRL ammonia free sealant rounds out the collection and can be had for $24.99 for a 32oz container, or $2.99 for a 2oz bottle.

Comments

wako29 - 07/23/12 - 10:09am

correction, the RXL TLR wheels use DT Swiss 240 hubs. I think that is a major selling point. I’m excited for this stuff, it looks awesome!

Tropt - 07/23/12 - 11:06am

Mmmmmm….round drops….

Nick Burklow - 07/23/12 - 12:48pm

@wako29 – good catch, the post has been updated.

david schroeder - 07/23/12 - 3:49pm

High modulus kevlar bead? Not gonna lie, that worries me a little bit. Wonder why they decided on that versus carbon. Not that I’m questioning their strength or safety but just curious. Any idea why?

Price on the R2 is VERY reasonable which I hope results in cost of tubeless tires coming down a bit. And at 270g the R3s are right there with the Hutchinson Atom… I may have to give these a try someday…. Although I’ve been riding a Fusion 3 on my front wheel for almost 7,000 miles now and it’s still in good shape. I’m on my 3rd rear tire (also Fusion 3s) in that same time period.

Joey Brown - 07/23/12 - 8:17pm

The Aeolus 3 actually has a rim height of 35mm. Clinchers feature DT Swiss 240 internals and the tubulars have DT Swiss 180 internals. I own the tubulars and my buddy has the clinchers.

Chris Deinlein - 07/25/12 - 8:49am

Any idea when the aluminum Race Lite bars will be available and where I can get some?

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