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Just In: Bontrager Affinity Elite TLR Road/CX Disc Wheels & CX0 and CX3 Tubeless Tires

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Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (4)

Bontrager’s Affinity Elite TLR wheel set is listed as Road disc, but this time of year for us that means they double as a cyclocross wheelset. Bontrager seems to think so to as the wheels were shipped with their new tubeless CX0 and CX3 cyclocross tires.

A lot has changed in the world of cyclocross technology recently which means buying a new wheel set can be a tricky proposition if you want them to have any chance of being future proof. Fortunately the Affinity wheels are a versatile design that are equally at home on your bike or in the pits…

Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (8)

Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (11) Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (10)

Carbon may still be the choice of demanding racers and gear junkies, but aluminum remains a durable rim choice that is also affordable. The Affinity uses a 6061 alloy rim with an Offset Spoke Bed that measures 23mm externally and 17.5mm internally and most importantly is Bontrager TLR compatible. Inside the box are the plastic rim strips and valve to make the wheels tubeless.

Clearly, tubulars still have a foothold in the cross scene but tubeless is catching up. In the brief time we’ve had the wheels and tires in the office they have seen a few races and more training rides without a single burp (running around 30-35psi with 150lb rider). Tubeless cyclocross tires offer all of the benefits of tubeless road and mountain tires, but with the added benefit of being able to easy change tires for conditions compared to tubulars.

Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (9) Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (12)

Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (13) Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (2)

As with most Bontrager wheels at this point the hubs use their stacked lacing concept with 24 DT 14/15G double butted spokes and locking alloy nipples. Using a fairly standard 3 pawl freehub body, the wheels are compatible with Shimano/SRAM 10/11 speed as well as having a Campagnolo freehub body available separately. In order to allow the use of Shimano’s Ice Tech rotors, the hubs are Centerlock only.

Along with the introduction of disc brakes to cyclocross (and road bikes for that matter) comes new axle standards. Just like mountain bikes when thru axles started becoming prevalent, few bikes are using the same standards currently. Bontrager avoids any headaches in the matter by equipping the Affinity Elites with a modular axle system that can run standard QR front and rear, 15TA front/QR 135 rear, or 15TA front 142x12Ta rear. The end caps are a simple swap and cover the bases for different configurations.

Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (19) Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (1)

Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (18) Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (16)

At 1648g the wheels without the tubeless kit aren’t the lightest but do come in under claimed weight.

Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (14) Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (6)

Bontrager has always been good about releasing tubeless compatible tires with their wheels, and cross is no different. Adding two new tubeless cross tires to the pile, Bontrager offers their take on a file tread with the CX0 as well as the mud/loose oriented CX3. While both tires are offered as standard clinchers, it is the TLR casings that we’re interested in since they join just a handful of other tubeless cross tires.

Both tires are based on a 120 tpi carcass that measures 33mm when inflated and use Bontrager’s Hard-Case lite protection to keep flats at bay. When mounted to the Affinity Elite wheels with all of the TLR parts and Bontrager TLR sealant, the tires easily snapped into place indicating a tight fit (with the Bontrager Flash Charger pump). Fortunately they aren’t so tight that it makes them impossible to remove.

Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (15) Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (5)

Both tires have a claimed weight of 410g which is conservative for each. In the case of the CX0 it’s quite a bit lighter at 384g.

Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (7)

Due to current climactic conditions we’ve spent much more time on the CX3 than the CX0, which we’ve found to be a great tire on the more technical courses. We have yet to ride it in real CX mud so we’ll hold out our final judgement until then.

Bontrager Affinity wheels retail for $349.99 for the front and $449.99 for the rear which includes the TLR rim strip, Valve stem, and a quality internal cam quick release skewer. Both TLR CX tires will run $89.99 each and need sealant such as Bontrager’s TLR ($2.99/$24.99) to run tubeless. In case you’re wondering – Bontrager’s sealant works down to -5 degrees f which should be good for all but the most insanely cold races.

bontrager.com

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14 Comments
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Remi
Remi
8 years ago

Dear BikeRumor (Zach O. I presume) – Mismatched rotors? Whaswrongwichu?!

Bas
Bas
8 years ago

nice, just what i’m looking for. 2 questions: are the extra endcaps included with the set? and which 30mm slick road tires are available? this would make a great set for descending with more rubber on the street

Matt
Matt
8 years ago

The Specialized All-Condition Armadillo Elite tires come in 30mm & 32mm variants and according to other online reports appear to roll very quickly for their size. But I think if you try to mount Specialized tires on Bontrager rims then the Velominati will hunt you down and confiscate your bike.

Therefore your best bet is probably some Conti Gatorskins (non-hardcase) in a 32mm. Not a lot of 30mm options out there, and even when you can find some they’re typically heavy hybrid tires.

JR
JR
8 years ago

It’s worth mentioning that these are the middle wheelset in a 3 set line-up. The Affinity Pro would upgrade the internals to a DT star ratchet, as well as saving some weight.

m
m
8 years ago

Challange makes some sweet 30mm tires
Strada Bianca and the Almanzo are both available in a 30mm

Stevie
Stevie
8 years ago

Bontrager AW3’s come in a 32. They nice.

Ben
Ben
8 years ago

Wait, you’re ‘testing’ Tubeless tires at 30-35psi w/150lb rider? That’s way too high to test a CX tubeless tire. You might as well run tubes at that pressure and rider weight. What you should test is PSI’s that are more appropriate for CX and are beyond what a tubed tire can do. In the 24-28psi realm for someone of that weight. If a 150lb rider is running 35psi in his tubeless CX tires, the only thing he’s getting is (maybe) a tiny amount more suppleness and sealant in case of a puncture.

Jack
Jack
8 years ago

I have a set of Stans hubs/wheels that use the ‘simple end-cap swap’ and it is a bit of a nightmare. The caps fall out of position at the least nudge, so you need both hands to hold them in, then one hand to hold the bike and another to align the disc rotor. It can take me 5 minutes just to attach the front wheel once removed.

I mention the Stan’s wheels because the Bonti’s sound like a similar system and I would make sure I got my hands on it before I bought any to make sure it is not as fiddly as the Stans. I’m on the lookout for a disc wheel built around a proper 100x15mm through axle with no loose caps. Chris King f’rinstance uses a ~2mm allen screw to secure the modular caps – that’s great.

John Mickael BRIGADIER
John Mickael BRIGADIER
8 years ago

is it a steel cassette freehub body for the shimano-sram version ?

Bas
Bas
8 years ago

thanks for th tire tips!

i spotted the pro version, too. i think it’s a matter of time until the DT-end caps will be available to convert to 11-s 142×12

@jack, i owned a set of Bontrager mtb wheels with convertible hubs, like these (not DT-swiss type) and the end caps sat nice and tight. otherwise, try swapping them at a shop

Tyreguy
Tyreguy
8 years ago

@Bas- Bontrager offers their AW2, AW3, R2 and R3 in 28c and 32c.

John
John
8 years ago

@JR Do we know claimed weights for the Affinity Pro wheelset?

Sabina// TLR Wheels
7 years ago

The Specialized All-Condition Armadillo Elite tires come in 30mm & 32mm variants and according to other online reports appear to roll very quickly for their size. But I think if you try to mount Specialized tires on Arbitrager rims then the Nominative will hunt you down and confiscate your bike.

Therefore your best bet is probably some Conni Gator skins (non-hardcase) in a 32mm. Not a lot of 30mm options out there, and even when you can find some they’re typically heavy hybrid tires.

TLR Wheels

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