The new Aeolus XXX lineup from Bontrager is meant for everything from gravel to  pavement. But if you’re looking for the work horse of the group, look no further than the Aeolus XXX 4s. Situated in the middle of the line, the 4s are deep enough to be your go-to aero wheel, yet light enough for every day use, and we’ve got all the in-person details from actual weights and widths to first ride impressions.

Quick Overview

Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4

Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4

The Aeolus XXX 4s measure in at 47mm in-depth and have 21mm internal rim widths. This slight increase – from 19.5mm – helps flatten the tire’s sidewall and reduce drag between the tire and wheel (when used with 25mm tires). They’ve also introduced Speed Stability Shaping which claims to enhance how the wheel reacts to crosswinds. The whole goal of the new profiles was to create rims that were lighter as well as aerodynamically efficient, but maybe most importantly – stable.

A closer look

Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4

18 bladed spokes in the front and 24 in the rear thread into exposed alloy spoke nipples. This makes it easier to true wheels compared to other wheels that may hide them within the rim.

Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4

Looking at the rim, we see the raw Laser Control Track that – to the touch – has a slightly rough texture. This claims to improve braking performance in various conditions from wet to dry. From this angle, you can see the laser etched decals which keep weight to a minimum.

Aeolus 4: Front wheel details

Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4

Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4

Claimed weight of the front wheel is 630g while the on-hand weight is 670g. This is the bare wheel weight without any components or accessories. Also, its front skewer weighs in at 66g which is beefy but doesn’t add to the rotational weight.

Aeolus 4: Rear wheel details

Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4

Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4

The rear wheel is listed at 750g while the one we received weighs in at 810g. Plus, its skewer weighs 70g.

Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4

The 11 speed freehub gets DT Swiss internals with 36 points of engagement. Accessing the rear wheel internals is super easy and requires little to no tools. Also, its freewheeling sound is quite subtle.

What are wheels without the accessories?

Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4 AccessoriesBontrager Black Prince Brake PadsBontrager Aeolus XXX 4

The wheels come with Bontrager TLR tubeless rim strips and standard rim strips, 60mm tubeless valves and tool, an 11 to 10 speed cassette spacer, and Bontrager’s repackaged SwissStop carbon specific Black Prince Brake Pads. Oh, and you can’t forget the humble spoke guard.

The rubber

Bontrager R4 Tires

Bontrager R4 Tires

We’ll be testing the Aeolus wheels on open tubular and tubeless tires. We’re running Bontrager’s R4 open tubulars that weigh in at 216g a piece and get a 320TPI build. Setup with Continental Race tubes and with skewers the set weighs 2,450g.

Bontrager R3 TiresBontrager R3 Tire weight

The tubeless tires we’re running are Bontrager’s R3s. They’re a 700×26 tire that hit the scale at 331g and have a 120TPI build. We used 1oz of tire sealant per wheel. Overall weight with the tubeless setup is 2,635g.

First ride impressions:

Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4 Wheels

Our first few rides were on an open tubular setup with tire pressures ranging from 100 – 110 psi. So far, the wheels have excelled on downhills and flats while holding their own on climbs. Plus, the Laser Control Track braking surface has exceeded my expectations for braking performance in the rain. I’m interested to see how well they handle winds going forward. Our first few rides were cursed with far less than ideal conditions and some high wind speeds and when in a direct crosswind you could definitely feel the tug on the front wheel. But there are plenty of riding days ahead of us to get better impressions so stay tuned for the full review.

TrekBikes.com

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24 Comments
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cool guy
cool guy
4 years ago

Goal: make the Aeolus XXX look as much like the Zipp 303 as possible

Bob
Bob
4 years ago
Reply to  cool guy

Spoke count and decals yes, but completely different rim shapes.

Don McNaughton
4 years ago
Reply to  cool guy

I’m not seeing it, nor am I seeing it’s relevance.

Ron g feigen
Ron g feigen
3 years ago
Reply to  cool guy

G-D I hope not, I have 303s and and tires of th hub issue and the lack of support form Zipp (the warranty is as good as the mood of the Zipp staff that gets the call from your shop)

Ron g feigen
Ron g feigen
3 years ago
Reply to  Ron g feigen

Agreed, I have Zipp 303s and will be getting XXX on my new bike. These were my 1st and will be my last pair if Zipps

boom
boom
4 years ago

Wasn’t it just a few years ago when a 21mm internal rim would be a solid trail option? This is awesome.

terp
terp
4 years ago

Gorgeous. I loved my 2 gen ago Aeolus’. I’d like to both whip and neigh neigh on them hoops. MONTANA

caliente
caliente
4 years ago

Bontrager on non-trek bikes seems so odd to me. Do they make a debadged version?

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
4 years ago
Reply to  caliente

This is always the issue with house brands Roval makes great wheels but I’ll agree they look weird on my cannondale

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
4 years ago

Their mountain wheels are ok. The road wheels are abysmal in terms of aerodynamics and breaking…and ability to crack at the spoke holes.
*I’m a former seller of them

Matt Johnson
4 years ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

I guess you haven’t sold any in the last 10 years then. None of these issues exist any more. Bontrager currently makes some of the nicest wheels you can buy for the money.

Bob
Bob
4 years ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

Also the new CLX 50/32? They are made by DT Swiss, so they should last?

Rustilicus
Rustilicus
4 years ago
Reply to  caliente

You can’t read the logos when your riding.

caliente
caliente
4 years ago
Reply to  Rustilicus

I just have to look at them the rest of time. XD

Patrick
Patrick
4 years ago

Those open tubulars had to have measured 28mm or so on those rims. 100-110 psi? Enjoy!

Eli
Eli
4 years ago

Why such high tire pressures?

Bob
Bob
4 years ago
Reply to  Eli

True. 75psi should be enough, even for heavier riders.

Greg
Greg
4 years ago

Weights are pretty far off

Larry Falk
Larry Falk
4 years ago

Were the tubeless tires hard to install?

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
4 years ago

Where do you mount the rotors to?

Robin
Robin
4 years ago

I’m guessing you mount them to the disc versions of these wheels, as seen in a couple of GCN videos where the disc versions of these wheels are being used.

not Eddy Merckx
not Eddy Merckx
4 years ago

100 – 110 psi on a 21mm internal rim width, with 25mm tires…..what da what??? I think ur missing the point of the wide tires and wide internal with of rim.

RobertW
RobertW
4 years ago

1480g is very respectable for that depth. Nice DT internals in the hub. Logos are utterly ridiculous and would not be on my bike, sorry.