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Bontrager Race Lite Road Wheelset

1 rating: 1.0
Sport and Outdoor

An all around solid performer for both the pro racer and the weekend racer Styled on the Race X Lite wheelset Bladed spokes 20 and 24 front and rear Bontrager Race Lite Road cro-moly skewers included

1 review about Bontrager Race Lite Road Wheelset

Good Mid-Priced Wheel Upgrade

  • Oct 6, 2005
  • by
Rating:
+1
Pros: Good acceleration and climbing wheelset. Great for everyday use.

Cons: Not the lightest wheelset out there.

The Bottom Line: Recommended for the person needing to upgrade their everyday wheelset without it costing more than their whole bike like some high-priced wheelsets can be.

First, I have to thank Openroad for adding this product to the Epinions web site.

Backround:
I was looking for a replacement wheelset to replace my worn out Rolf Vector Comp wheelset on my 2000 Trek 5200 USPS. The rear wheel has several hairline cracks that were developing and seeing that I had put over 21,000 miles on them, I am pretty sure I got my money's worth out of them. Going to the various bike shops in my area, it was surprising to see wheelsets that can range as little as $200 to as high as $1800. I did not want to pay so much for a set of everyday wheels. I have owned or ridden various wheelsets such as Zipp 404s, Hed H3s, Jet 60s and Mavic Cosmics as well as some of the inexpensive wheelset for $200. As a side note, this is the same wheelset that can be found on Trek's current line of carbon fiber OCLV bikes ranging from $2500-$3200 in price.

On Road Experiences:
My usage experience is based on one month's use but with over 500 miles ridden on them so far. First off, they are just as stiff laterally as my Rolf Vector Comps. This is actually saying quite a bit considering the Bontragers only use a 25mm high rim vs. the Rolfs using a 30mm high rim. I believe two inherent designs into the Bontrager can account for this. First, the hubs are larger and the rim is more curved and slightly wider than the Rolfs. This wheelset can easily handle fast sweeping to tight handling turns. I have never felt the wheelset feel soft in any way like some carbon wheelsets that I have used in the past. Shock absorption is a bit better than the Rolfs and is comparable to most boxed rimmed wheelsets that I have used before. Out of the saddle going uphill, there was no perceived side-to-side squirming. Hitting potholes, the wheelset were somewhat forgiving, on par with the Rolfs but not as stiff as say a Hed H3. According to the local bike shops in my area, none of them have seen any problems with this wheelset, including from their experienced racers to their large (over 225lbs) customers so far. Crosswinds are not a problem with this wheelset. Much less so that with my Rolfs and especially with any of the tall rim wheelsets by Zipp or Hed. Even with the reduced height of the rim, I do not feel that I lost any performance in any of my time trial training rides. As a matter of fact, my times are still the same. It is when I climb a long hill, I notice a difference in my times which are in favor of the Bontragers.

Acceleration:
They accelerate much better than my Rolfs. This is due to almost a half pound weight difference. The Bontragers feel lighter than the Rolfs in every way. Climbing, accelerating all becomes easier when I switched over to the Bontragers.

Weight:
The advertised weight for this wheelset is 1690 grams. Using my Pelouze digital scale, the wheelset actually weighed as advertised. Most of the time, this does not happen. To compare, my Rolfs which were advertised as 1900 grams, actually weighed 1917 grams. There are other wheelsets which weigh much less but are much more costly than this Bontrager wheelset. I have a set of Zipp 404 tubulars in 700c size that weigh in at 1353 grams but I wouldn't use it for everyday use.

Features:
The Bontragers as I mentioned before have light oversized hubs to facilitate stiffness and strength. There is a trick, tooless release mechanism for the rear hub if you decided that you need to repack it with grease. No need to get out your cartridge bearing tools to work on this hub. Like my Rolfs, this wheelset uses bladed spokes to reduce the amount of drag from the air. There are 20 spokes for the front rim and 24 spokes for the rear rim. They also include a nice set of wheel skewers as part of the package. Higher priced wheelsets sometimes do not include this.

Durability:
So far so good. I am usually pretty easy on my wheelsets. After over 500 miles of use, the wheelset is still as true as the day I purchased them.

Hubs:
This was an area where I found manufacturers can easily reduce costs on. When I spun the wheels of the $200 wheelsets, you can easily tell that they felt a bit rough and would need lots of mileage to break in, if at all. This Bontrager set was the least expensive set that I found that spun easily and felt just like the other much more expensive wheelsets that I tried, including Bontragers own higher priced models. Right out of the box, the Bontragers spun buttery smooth and didn't feel like it would need any time to break in.

Warranty:
Two years from date of purchase. Now that is piece of mind and in-line with other manufacturers of mid to high-end wheelsets.

Summary:
Overall, I have been very happy with my experience using this wheelset as my everyday training wheelset. I have not seen any perceived aerodynamics effects going with the smaller 25mm rim size but I see and feel better climbing times and acceleration with the Bontragers. If you current bike is due for a new wheelset and you are looking to upgrade without breaking the bank, you need to demo this wheelset by Bontrager to see if they are right for you. I hope this information I provided helps you with your decision on this wheelset. Happy riding!



Recommended:
Yes

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