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Bontrager Aeolus aero carbon wheels get lighter, wider & tubeless, plus disc brake options!

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Bontrager-Aeolus_5_TLR_Disc_D3_Clincher

Combining all of our favorite features into one, the new Bontrager Aeolus D3 wheels are looking like category killers by going wider and lighter and adding disc brake compatibility.

Across the entire line of depths ranging from 30 to 50 to 70 to 90 millimeters in depth, all of the clincher rims get lighter by up to 110g per pair. And, the clincher rims increase to a healthy 19.5mm internal width between the bead hooks (27mm external) and get their proven TLR (TubeLess Ready) design. All depths come in both clincher and tubular options, and the 3 and 5 series get disc brake options with hubs ready for Shimano’s CenterLock rotors.

All of them use the D3 shaping to improve aerodynamics on both leading and trailing edges, and they’ve got a detailed white paper (PDF) that explains their aero shaping, theory and test results. The short of it is pretty standard for modern aero wheels: it’s designed to reduce drag on both the tire-leading and rim-leading sides while also improving stability in crosswinds. In this day and age, those are simply the minimum requirements to play ball, it’s the other features that make ’em worth a look…

Bontrager-Aeolus_3_TLR_Disc_D3_Clincher

“We brought all the manufacturing in-house for these wheels and developed some new processes,” said Claude Drehfal, composite design engineer for wheel works. “A lot of the removed weight comes from the wheel well area, and there’s a lot less wrinkles now that we have tighter control. If you cross sectioned the old TLR and the new one, the hooks and the tire well walls are a lot thicker, and there’s a little out of the sidewall, too.”

The new design bumps the inside width from 17.5mm up to 19.5mm without changing the D3 shape on the outside, so that remains 27mm and keeps the same aero profile that they’ve tested and liked. Much of the attention was put on the 50mm depth since it’s such a solid all-around size, which is why they eked out the biggest weight savings on that model. A bit more weight savings comes from using the carbon wrapped hubs (which is essentially a DT Swiss 180-based hub with their own shell and standard bearings, not ceramic…but you can upgrade to those bearings if you’d like).

Directly above are the Aeolus 3 D3 TLR Disc Clinchers, which come in at a claimed 668g F/786g R. It, and all the other disc brake models, get swappable axles for QR or 15mm thru front/12×142 rear. Presumably, 12mm front thru axle caps will be available when the time is right. They also get 24/24 spoke counts with their stacked lacing to improve lateral rigidity. Non-disc brake wheels may have 18/24 lacing.

At the top of the page are the Aerolus 5 D3 TLR Disc clinchers, which come in at 722g F/836g R. Both the 3 and 5 disc clinchers retail for $1,275 front, $1,575 rear.

Bontrager-Aeolus_7_TLR_D3_Clincher

The Aeolus 7 and 9 are rim brake only, but also get the new wider, tubeless ready clincher design. So, the updated products are:

  • Aeolus 3 Disc Tubular – $2,400 – 1,150g
  • Aeolus 3 Disc Clincher – $2,850 – 1,454g
  • Aeolus 3 Clincher – $2,850 – 1,356g
  • Aeolus 5 Disc Clincher – $ 2,850 – 1,558g
  • Aeolus 5 Disc Tubular – $2,400 – 1,295g
  • Aeolus 5 Clincher – $2,850 – 1,440g
  • Aeolus 7 Clincher – $3,000 – 1,608g
  • Aeolus 9 Clincher – $3,000 – 1,812g

The non-disc tubular models remain the same as before, it’s only the clincher rims that have been updated. Other shared features are DT Swiss star ratchet internals, OCLV carbon rim construction and SRAM/Shimano 10/11 speed compatibility. A Campagnolo freehub is available separately. No rider weight limits on any model. If you’re sticking with rim brakes, the SwissStop Black Prince brake pads are approved for use with both clinchers and tubulars.

Going tubeless? They strongly recommend using their own tubeless ready kit including rim strip and sealant, and preferably their tires, too. They develop those in conjunction with each other, having wheel and tire departments just down the hall from each other.

All rim brake models are available now, disc brake versions should be shipping by early March.

We’ve got a set of the 50mm disc brake clinchers on the way for testing, stay tuned…

Bontrager.com

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21 Comments
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Rico
Rico
8 years ago

Nice wheels. They should have a Tubular Rim brake version of the 5. Weird to see a tubular disc wheel instead.

John
John
8 years ago

I wonder if this means disc brake Domanes will be available as Project One bikes.

Colin
Colin
8 years ago

Tubeless on these will be great as soon as Bontrager fixes the issue of the tires delaminating and leaking…

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

@Rico…Tubular Rim Brake 5, 7, and 9 remain unchanged from the prior years.

This update is limited to disc brake compatability for the 3 and 5, the rim/spoke configuration and manufacturing is tweaked to accept disc braking forces for the tubular 3/5 with an unchanged profile, and the wider internal profile/TLR configuration across the entire range of clinchers.

Brian
Brian
8 years ago

Are these wheels strong enough for cross?

@Brian
@Brian
8 years ago

Brian-I saw several guys racing on the rim brake tubular Aeolus wheels during the cross season, so I would say yes. I cannot imagine why they would make disc brake tubies if not for cross.

dontcoast
dontcoast
8 years ago

made in USA!

(not that I have any problem with chinacarbon, but when they’re charging top dolla for a premium product, it’s nice to see… and better value than ENVE)

LateSleeper
LateSleeper
8 years ago

Now Trek has something to compete with the Specialized Roval CLX 40 disc wheels I’ve been running for a couple of years on my road bike. The Rovals were good wheels at a fair price; the Bontragers cost a bit more, but are made in USA while still being significantly cheaper than Enve. Now the question is, will Trek back them up? When one of the radially-spoked Race Lites I had on my other bike developed a bad hop, the dealer told me there was nothing he could do — replacement rims were not available because “they don’t make them that way anymore.”

Tyler
8 years ago

Brian – yes, they’re good for cyclocross, and Trek has some of their sponsored pro ‘cross racers on them. They even offered to send cross tires with the wheelset we’re getting for review.

culprit Bicycles
8 years ago

Made in the USA? Really? AT the volume they are making them and spec ing them on their bikes. I highly doubt they are made in the USA considering how big an office Trek has in Taiwan and staff in Asia. But if they really are. That is great

wako29
wako29
8 years ago

@culprit: Um, they said that they brought all Aeolus wheel production in-house. In Waterloo. Just because you are a competitor doesn’t mean you can label them as a liar.
@LateSleeper: if memory serves right, their wheels have a 2yr warranty and I know that they have been super good about them. Plus, ~2 years ago they started an in-house wheel service center that does rebuilds and maintenance for wheels both in and out of warranty. It’s priced well enough that our shop deemed it a better idea to ship wheels there instead of doing major rebuilds ourselves.

John
John
8 years ago

re: CX wheels: Seriously, how the hell does Trek *still* not support thru-axles on the Boone?

chuck
chuck
8 years ago

@dontcoast, wako29: It just says that they “brought all the manufacturing in-house”, not that they are made in USA. Big difference there!

Remi
Remi
8 years ago

@culprit ouí. it’s not inconceivable. I’m sure it’s cheap to move everything overseas.

Check the link:
https://bikerumor.com/2013/03/13/trek-factory-tour-part-3-us-based-oclv-carbon-bike-production/

I’ve heard they do factory tours.

bikermark
bikermark
8 years ago

@culprit: The previous generation rim was made by Zipp in Indianapolis. It is possible to do high volume carbon rim fabrication in the US. Anyway, this isn’t high volume because Trek doesn’t spec this wheel on anything under $10k.

wako29
wako29
8 years ago

@chuck: Check this out: http://www.bontrager.com/features/aeolus and go to the last slide. “All Aeolus wheels are designed, manufactured, drilled, and laced under one roof, here in Waterloo, WI.”

Tom
Tom
8 years ago

@wako29…..you’re my hero.

Thesteve4761
Thesteve4761
8 years ago

But where are the spokes, hubs, and nipples made?

McClain
McClain
8 years ago

And where is the carbon made?

Redbeardonabike
Redbeardonabike
8 years ago

@McClain. Its U.S. based petroleum, U.S. made in Utah. I know this because I work in the industry and have been to Treks factory and asked many, many question.

Fred
8 years ago

Out perform my shamino ultegra 6800s. Fast with excellent handling. Very low rolling resistance.
Hub are very smooth. However, braking is an issue. Had to upgrade from brontragger direct mount brakes to Shimano ultegra. They still brake slower than aluminum wheels. Also will drift in a cross wind. Nevertheless, the performance edge is worth the trade off.

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