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SOC17: Bontrager Line Pro MTB wheels bring all-new 108-point engagement hubs, carbon rims & more

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Bontrager’s mountain bike wheel lineup gets a refresh, with compelling features and price points introduced in the Line and Kovee wheel families. New for this summer are the Line wheels in Pro, Elite and Comp trim, and the Kovee Elite, plus an all-new Rapid Drive hub that switches from the DT Swiss Star Ratchet of prior models to a new, offset 6-pawl, 54-tooth engagement system. Check the video above for the run through and closeups, then roll past the break for photos, official specs and weights, and the explanation for the move away from DT’s internals…

Inside the hub shell is a 17mm axle is larger than what is used in the DT Swiss hubs and internals. That let them use larger bearings, so it’s stronger and more durable. The new ratchet and pawl design also lets them put the drive side bearing a few millimeters further out, so it’ll improve system stiffness there, too.

A final reason for the switch is that they were capped with 54 teeth in the star ratchet system, which for history buffs is a number they created and had exclusive rights to for a year or so when it launched. They tested 72 teeth, but the durability wasn’t there. This system lets them get up to 108 for nearly instant 3.333° engagement. And they say it has less drag than the DT System it’s replacing.

The last pieces of info you need to know about all of them is that they’ll come with Boost axles only, no more standard spacing for these models. They also come with Bontrager’s tubeless ready rim strip and valve stems preinstalled, but those don’t figure into the weights listed below. They also come with a valve core removal tool.

QUICK SPECS:

2018 Bontrager Line Pro 30 OCLV carbon mountain bike wheels for enduro and trail

Line Pro 30

  • Rapid Drive 108
  • 29mm internal rim width / 36mm external
  • OCLV carbon rim
  • 28 DT Aerolite spokes front/rear
  • 1,539g for 27.5″
  • 1,630g for 29er
  • $1,200

2018 Bontrager Line Elite 30 alloy mountain bike wheels for enduro and trail

Line Elite 30

  • Rapid Drive 108
  • 29mm internal rim width / 33mm external
  • Alloy rim
  • 28 DT Aerolite spokes front/rear
  • 1,708g for 27.5″
  • 1,794g for 29er
  • $600

2018 Bontrager Line Comp 30 alloy mountain bike wheels for enduro and trail

Line Comp 30

  • Rapid Drive 54
  • 29mm internal rim width
  • Alloy rim
  • 28 spokes front/rear
  • 1,978g for 27.5″
  • 2,080 for 29er
  • $300

The Line wheels get a 440g 29er carbon rim, 495g for alloy, the rest of the weight difference between the wheels come from the different spokes used. It’s worth mentioning that the Kovee XXX introduced last year had approximately the same weight as these new Kovee Pro’s, but cost twice as much. Aaaaahhh, progress.

2018 Bontrager Kovee Elite 23 carbon fiber mountain bike wheels for XC

Kovee Elite 23

  • Rapid Drive 54
  • 22.5mm internal rim width / 29mm external
  • OCLV carbon rim
  • 28 spokes front/rear
  • 1,606g for 27.5″
  • 1,690g for 29er
  • $700

These sit below the Kovee XXX and Kovee Pro OCLV carbon race wheels introduced last year and provide an mid-tier upgrade for a lot less money. They are different, though… the Kovee XXX is wider at 29mm internally with a rim weight of just 375g (claimed, 29er)…and they’re way more expensive.

Bontrager.com

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14 Comments
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myke2241
myke2241
5 years ago

Looks like Trek is going to sell a lot of these at those price points! Good feature to price ratio too!

Charlie
Charlie
5 years ago

Did the video answer the question, why they don’t use DT Swiss hub internals anymore? Because of the 108 point engagement? I hope that lasts… But seems like they wanted to cut some costs here primarily to archive that budget wheels. We will see, if the strategy pays off. Will the road wheels also be updated?

uzurpator
uzurpator
5 years ago
Reply to  Charlie

Pretty much because of 108 point engagement.

You can cut the teeth on the engangement mechanism only so deep. around 60 seems to be the practical. The more cuts are there, the shallower they get. So in order to get more then ~60 either different clutch is needed or some sort of phase offset is needed. Star ratchet can’t be offset ( to my knowledge ) so getting more then 56 requires different clutch.

captain derp
captain derp
5 years ago
Reply to  Charlie

there’s an article on pinkbike with a more in depth information about these wheels.

basically the bontrager hubs now have common internals, they only change the shell depending on the build level. economies of scale.

what’s also noteworthy is that on the line comp 30 wheels, they come standard as 54 pt engagement, but they can be upgraded to 108 pt simply by purchasing / adding a second set of pawls.

Ty
Ty
5 years ago

@Charlie…Bontrager is using Dt Swiss 240s straightpull hubs on their XXX wheels.

Roborbob
Roborbob
5 years ago

Boost only for Kovee product as well? Those look great for the gravel/adventure segment. Interested to see what’s in store for the road lineup. Same rims and pricepoint pleaae.

Andrew
Andrew
5 years ago

Wow! Impressive for the price!

nunya
nunya
5 years ago

I don’t think the Line Elite gets the AeroLites, which is a deal breaker for me. Long ago I swore I would never again own wheels with round straight pull spokes.

Dude
Dude
5 years ago
Reply to  nunya

AeroLites would make the price higher by a bit. maybe $150 or more

Reid
Reid
5 years ago

$700 for a carbon wheelset from a name brand is pretty unheard of, half of what anyone else is doing.

Chader
Chader
5 years ago
Reply to  Reid

Agreed and with very reasonable specs too.

Bert
Bert
5 years ago

Boost only will leave a lot out in the cold

Frank
Frank
5 years ago

Info I got from Trek is different. Allow rim weight is 560 grams for Line Elite 30 and Comp 30. 465 grams for Line Pro 30. 425 grams for Kovee Elite 23.

Frank
Frank
5 years ago

I was going to get Line Pro 30 wheelset for my boost 2016 Trek Fuel EX8 but Trek informed me that my frame can only run 2.3″ tires max and I wanted to take advantage of the wider rims with 2.4″ tires. So the wider rims isn’t worth it for me even though my frame already has boost spacing. What’s the point of these wide rims when you can’t even fit appropriately big tires in your Boost frame?

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