They’re light, stiff and good looking, can they be too good to be true?
At less than £1k for the pair, these Bontrager Line Pro 30 TLR wheels are some of the cheapest carbon wheels you can buy that don’t come direct from China.
The chunky rims are beautifully finished with bold-yet-subtle graphics and have a 29mm internal width, compatible with most big, fat modern tyres. They come pre-installed with sturdy TLR rim strips and valves so are tubeless-ready from the get-go.
The deep section rims are ‘Stack Laced’ with straight pull spokes to Bontrager’s own hubs and are only available in Boost sizes. With 6 pawls clawing at the Rapid Drive 108 rear hub power take-up is almost instantaneous and the freehub gives a lovely busy buzz when freewheeling, more that enough to alert slower riders of your presence on the trail. The wheels come with a Shimano freehub as standard, a SRAM driver is available for an extra £79.99.
When I came to set the wheels up for testing I fitted a pair of my favourite Maxxis tyres. Eventually. To say the fit is tight is an understatement. It took an hour of sweating, heaving on tyre levers and oodles of Fairy Liquid before I finally got them mounted tubeless. Thankfully I haven’t yet had a flat on the trail because I can’t imagine having to peel the tyre off and on by the trailside in the mud and rain. Swapping winter tyres for summer tyres recently filled me with dread! Once on though I’ve had no issues with the tyres unseating or burping despite my best efforts.
At 1,752g for the pair (including rim strips and valves) the wheels are light if not superlight. They ride light though with a rather stereotypical carbon-wheel feel. By that I mean they feel stiff, snappy, accelerative and responsive but they never feel overly harsh.
Worries about carbon rims have so far proved unfounded, the wheels having survived the Ard Rock enduro, a week’s holiday smashing around Italian mountains and several trips to Wales, as well as a winter of regular Surrey Hills bombing with nothing more than some superficial scuffs to the outer carbon layer. Should the worst happen, Trek offer a discount on replacement rims, and offer a full rebuild and repair service via any Trek dealer.
Review by Ben Smith
Are they too good to be true? In a word, no. Ride quality is good, the stiffness makes sense on my 29er test bike, they’re pretty light, they look cool and have so far proved to be solid and durable, and that’s before you consider the price. The only things stopping these getting full marks are the difficulties suffered when fitting tyres, Bontrager Line Pro 30 TLR Boost 29 wheels and that the cassette and freehub assembly have fallen off the axle into the grass a few times when removing/refitting the wheel.