Bontrager is launching a new generation of its Aeolus aerodynamic race wheels, dropping weight and including tubeless ready and disc brake options in response to developments in the road bike market.
The wheels feature a wider rim profile than previously – 19.5mm rather than 17.5mm – the idea being to increase tyre support, comfort and control, according to Bontrager. Many other brands have widened their rims over the past two or three years. Bontrager say that despite the greater width, the wheels are lighter across the board by up to 110g, depending on the model.
If you run rim brakes, the Aeolus 3 (with 30mm deep rims), 5 (50mm), 7 (70mm) and 9 (90mm) are available in both tubeless ready clincher and tubular versions. Prices are £849.99-£899.99 for tubular front wheels and £1,049.99-£1,099.99 for tubular rear wheels. The tubeless ready clincher versions are £100 extra per wheel.
The Aeolus 3 and Aeolus 5 are now available in disc brake models for the first time (the Aeolus 7 and Aeolus 9 aren’t available in disc brake options). The disc brake Aeolus 5 wheels come in both tubular (£899.99 front, £1,099 rear) and tubeless-ready clincher (£999.99 front, 1,199.99 rear) models.
The disc brake Aeolus 3 wheels are also available in both configurations at the same prices.
The disc options use centerlock hubs and come with interchangeable axles so they’ll fit on all types of disc brake road bikes.
Bontrager claim weights of 510g (front) and 640g (rear) for the disc/tubular version of the Aeolus 3. None of the wheels has any rider weight restrictions.
The Aeolus wheels, first introduced in 2011, feature what Bontrager call a D3 rim profile. D3 stands for ‘Dual Direction Design’ the idea being that the shape is aerodynamically efficient at both the tyre-leading edge (the bit of the wheel that sits in front of the hub) and at the rim-leading edge (the bit that sits behind the hub). Bontrager say that this not only improves your speed, it offers more control in crosswinds, particularly at higher yaw (apparent wind) angles.
For more info on the range go to Bontrager’s website.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.