Bontrager Valiant Rim

4.15/5 (53 Reviews)
MSRP : $300.00


  • Store Price

Product Description

  • Super light XC racing rim for front wheel use
  • Double wall, pent-roof cross section
  • Patented welded and reinforced seam with machined sidewalls
  • 539 ERD


  • Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

    Reviews 1 - 15 (53 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by michael9218 a Cross Country Rider from Atlanta, GA

    Date Reviewed: April 8, 2010

    Strengths:    Super light and durable

    Weaknesses:    None

    Bottom Line:   
    Dave (Speed Dream Wheels) built these wheels for me in 2003 and they weigh in at 600g front and 800g rear. The acceleration is just insane. I've loved these wheels for the last 9 years. I finally wore out the rear braking surface and the rim is cracking. No I go on a quest to find a suitable replacement.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Chicopee

    Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

    Price Paid:    $564.00

    Purchased At:   Dave's Wheels

    Similar Products Used:   Bontrager Mustang

    Bike Setup:   Ellsworth Truth 8 spd XTR SID Chris King hubs...24lb bike.

    Overall Rating:1
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by Dan a Cross Country Rider from Kalamazoo, MI

    Date Reviewed: April 4, 2004

    Strengths:    Weight, however much heavier then advertised. Price.

    Weaknesses:    Rear rim failed after less then 1000 miles of riding.

    Bottom Line:   
    The only good thing about this wheel is the price. It frees up money for a good set of hubs. Beyond that, this wheelset is pathetic. I only weight 150lbs, and by no means am I an agressive rider, the rear rim has failed after less them a seasons worth of use. Driveside spoke holes have large cracks around them, to the point where the spoke is almost moving in and out of the rim freely. One would expect when buying a rim of this weight, there would be some inherent durability, but thats clearly not the case. This same issue has been cited several times in reviews below.

    Rather then complain about it anymore, I've learned my lesson and will never purchased, use, recommend, or even speak of Bontrager in a positive way ever again. Going from my Mavic rims to these was the worst choice I've ever made for my bike. Never again will Bontrager be used on anything I own.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Purchased At:   LBS

    Similar Products Used:   Mavic x517's

    Bike Setup:   santa cruz superlight, xtr, thomson, race face, sid, fox.

    Overall Rating:1
    Value Rating:2
    Submitted by Dave a Cross Country Rider from Maine

    Date Reviewed: March 4, 2004

    Strengths:    Light.

    Weaknesses:    The width of the splay in the sidewalls of this rim near the valve stem is scary! I've effectivly double the width of my rim at that spot.

    Bottom Line:   
    Not good. I don't EVER jump, huck, or downhill. Just xc. The rear rim is spreading out so wide at the valve stem area that I'm worried about the tire bead popping off. Not impressed with these rims.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Any one besides the one to work

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Purchased At:   LBS


    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Mossy a Cross Country Rider from Santa Cruz

    Date Reviewed: March 18, 2003

    Strengths:    Weight, price, quality, less abusive riders can even use for front disc wheels

    Weaknesses:    XC only!

    Bottom Line:   
    These came stock on a pal's SC Superlight, laced to a Real front disc hub. The rear hub sucked, so I was able to snag this wheel when by pal got a new wheelset.

    For me, an aggressive 165-lb XC rider, its held up very well, even on a disc wheel. Heavier riders probably shouldnt use this on a rear wheel (Mustangs rule) but up front it should be fine.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Similar Products Used:   Mustangs, Mavic,

    Bike Setup:   Klein Adept Race w/ Avid mechanicals front, V-brake rear

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by DrHog a Cross Country Rider from Phoenix, AZ

    Date Reviewed: January 7, 2003

    Strengths:    Excellent strength to weight
    Great braking surface
    Maintain their trueness


    Weaknesses:    None discovered

    Bottom Line:   
    I've had about 8 different bikes over the years, with the last 4 built from scratch. I've always believed in investing a large share of my budget in the wheelset. I love the feel of a lightweight set of hoops, but at 200#, I can't afford to go "stupid light." I tried my first set of Valiants about 4 years ago, and I haven't used anything else since then. These things accelerate beautifully, provide a great surface for the V-brakes, and stay true (even under daily jackhammer use). Highly recommended for racing, daily riding, technical riding, and epic journeys. If "hucking" is your thing, however, go with something beefier.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   National

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years

    Price Paid:    $50.00

    Purchased At:   LBS

    Similar Products Used:   Mavic 517s, WTB Powerbeams

    Bike Setup:   Valiants front and rear with Chris King hubs, DT spokes

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Eric Larson a Cross Country Rider from Dahlonega,GA

    Date Reviewed: April 10, 2002

    Strengths:    Lightweight. Strong. Glossy black color holds up well to elements and cleaning.

    Weaknesses:    None thus far.

    Bottom Line:   
    I have found these rims to be awsome for XC and general riding use. I rairly have to true them, and when I do the tolerance is minimal (normal routine maintinace). I have smacked them on curbs and stairs, and no hop has resulted (full suspension helps this though).

    I smacked into a heavy chain that was locked across a trail head after dusk while hauling as. the sight wasn't pretty, and I was left with a cracked fork and a busted helmet. The rim had a nice bend and small dent in the area while came in contact with the rim. With the help of a good wheelsmith my rim is like new with a negligable hop (small enough that the only way to really notice it is on a trueing stand). The dent is still there, but I run disk, so I wasn't overly concerned. I have yet to see any stress fractures. Goes to tell you how far a good bike mechanic/wheelsmith can be beneficial to a rider. In my opinion, these are the best rims I have ever ridden. One must remember that it doesn't matter how good the quality is, if it is placed/built by the wrong hands, it will most likely end up performing like crap, and will be suseptable to failure...Such as stress fractures around the eyes and frequent needing of trueing).

    I find humor in those who complain when an XC prodeuct fails due to downhill racing, hucking, and taking on massive drop-offs. I would think that I would look like an idiot if I stated that my downhill wheeset with 2.5" treads slowed me down during my XC race and called the wheels "crap."

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Similar Products Used:   Bontrager Maverick rims, Rolf Dolomite and Propels, CODA crap and other low end "stuff."

    Bike Setup:   Cannondale Jekyll

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by shaun from moss beach cali

    Date Reviewed: March 12, 2002

    Strengths:    light, strong, reasonably priced, no special tools required. look good enough

    Weaknesses:    none

    Bottom Line:   
    i ride cross country and try to miss grarly hucks, 18' drops, boulder fields, and children. they have held up really well, and have required a minimum of trueing. i have them on a single speed too and they have worked equally as well. i weigh 210 and have nailed a few things when it was the best option, racked up quite a few miles, run them in mud... no problems, a stellar product.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years

    Price Paid:    $60.00

    Similar Products Used:   wiemmann junk, mavic, bontrager red & blue, sun rhino light.

    Bike Setup:   santa cruz race light, blah blah blah.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by eduardo a Cross Country Rider from marin, california

    Date Reviewed: November 9, 2001

    Strengths:    IT's TWUE, IT's TWUE. These rims are very light and stay completely true.

    Weaknesses:    zippo

    Bottom Line:   
    I am a 185 lb. XC rider 60% fire roads, 35% single track, 5% street. I do some moderate rock gardens, jumps and bunny hops every other ride or so. These rims just keep staying true. Is this because of they were handbuilt by Santa Cruz or the rims? .. I don't know but the combo makes for a fast bike. If you can get these for $50 a pair, that is amazing.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Pine Mountain

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Similar Products Used:   mavic 221s. I always had to adjust the brakes as they always went slightly out of true.

    Bike Setup:   Superlight R

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by jim from utah

    Date Reviewed: November 6, 2001

    Bottom Line:   
    I have a front, symmetrical valiant on the reaar of my bike. I weigh 185. The rim has stayed true, even bombing down the washboard at Slickrock, which I ride two to three times per year. I've popped a couple of nips, which caused me to have to re-true the wheel, but other than that, it has stayed very true

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years

    Bike Setup:   ac hub 14/15 spokes, alloy nips 3x lacing both sides, ti hardtail. 1.9 bontrager slick or 2.1 Enduroraptor

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Sindron a Cross Country Rider from Canada

    Date Reviewed: September 2, 2001

    Strengths:    I never had a problem yet. I don't take jumps or go dh with them.

    Weaknesses:    None if you use what their made for XC not DH

    Bottom Line:   
    HELLO!! I just read some of the reviews and the only people who have problems are the ones who use them for Downhill!!?? And jump? XC does not mean Downhill...
    It mean Cross Country. If you want Dh rims go buy heavy Mavic 321.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $150.00

    Purchased At:   Outside Store (hub included)

    Bike Setup:   XT, XTR, Marzocchi atome 80.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Eric a Cross Country Rider from Oregon

    Date Reviewed: August 21, 2001

    Strengths:    Lightweight
    Has stayed true.


    Weaknesses:    I did bend the sidewall going over a narrow drainage ditch. I pinch-flatted in the process. I was able to bend the sidewall back in place.

    Bottom Line:   
    A good light rim. It won't last forever and it not for freeriding. Sidewall does wear down after a lot a v-brake use. It might be better suited for a disc front hub. I have never had to true it--even after I bent the sidewall.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Price Paid:    $40.00

    Purchased At:   Don't remember

    Similar Products Used:   WTB Laserbeam
    Mavic 217


    Bike Setup:   Marz x-fly
    32 hole mated to TNT titanium hub. 14/15 double butted spokes with alloy nips

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by Rico a Cross Country Rider from Angwin, CA 94508

    Date Reviewed: August 19, 2001

    Strengths:    Strong rim has stayed true through some nasty hits including a couple pinch flats. Ceramic surface has been really great for braking power.

    Weaknesses:    Ceramic coating gets gunked up with brake rubber and loses its phenomenal stopping power. Also ASYM Ceramic rear weighed SIGNIFICANTLY more than claimed. Mine weighed 431 grams when it was advertised as 385 grams. I emailed Bontrager and they said I must have gotten a rim that was at the end of the extrusion and had thicker walls. 50 grams more!! Give me a break! Then I heard that someone else had a similar experience to me. I guess all the ASYMs are at the end of the extrustion.

    Bottom Line:   
    After 2100 miles in 14 months of riding, I have to say that I like this rim and would get it again. Despite the fact that it was heavier than advertised, I have enjoyed how durable it has been. The ceramic has withstood even a pinch flat that dinged in the rim a bit. At the beginning the ceramic coating just stripped through my brake pads in about a month or two. But after some rubber gunk built up, the pads stopped wearing out so fast. It's stayed quite true. Lately, too much rubber gunk was building up and braking power was fading but I just took some 150 grit sandpaper and water and scrubbed that stuff off. Seems to work great again.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Palisades

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Price Paid:    $90.00

    Purchased At:   LBS

    Similar Products Used:   Mavic 217 Ceramic (braking surface doesn't work as good), other Mavics (which I've always enjoyed)

    Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Superlight

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by xcracer a Racer from minnesota

    Date Reviewed: August 14, 2001

    Strengths:    they stay true forever
    they are incredibly light!


    Weaknesses:    nothing

    Bottom Line:   
    they rule

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Price Paid:    $110.00

    Purchased At:   qbp

    Similar Products Used:   mavic x517

    Bike Setup:   cannondale, xt, avid

    Overall Rating:1
    Value Rating:1
    Submitted by Aaron Hunter from Santa Cruz, CA

    Date Reviewed: August 6, 2001

    Weaknesses:    Poor materials engineering

    Bottom Line:   
    The rear rim failed after one year of medium-light use. The material around each drive side spoke started to tear in a rectangular pattern indicating a fatigue failure of the rim material. The front rim is okay after two years. I have Mustangs on my other bike which have held up longer. The bottom line is that a bicycle component should fail through use much earlier than fatigue by design. This rim either poorly designed, or the material quality is poor. A friend had the Bontrager Race rims and had exactly the same issue in about the same amount of time. In neither case did Bontrager warranty the rim.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Similar Products Used:   Mustang, Mavic 517

    Bike Setup:   Superlight/XTR

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Marcus Van Kommer a Weekend Warrior from Yakima Washington, USA

    Date Reviewed: May 28, 2001

    Strengths:    Haven't had problems with the eyelets pulling out like 517's. Only trued them once. Fairly flexible ceramic side wall.

    Weaknesses:    Not a thraser rim, but not ment to be.

    Bottom Line:   
    Bontrager makes the nicest most reliable XC rims there are.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   It's all about who you ride with

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years

    Price Paid:    $120.00

    Purchased At:   local bike shop

    Similar Products Used:   Mavic 220, 517, sun chinook, Bonti mustang

    Bike Setup:   Bonti racelight, DT hugi, King, suntour, syncros, and stuff

    Reviews 1 - 15 (53 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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