a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 16, 2010
Strengths: ZERO, NONE, NODDA, ZIP, NO STRENGTH AT ALL! THAT'S WHY IT PROBABLY BROKE AFTER TEN MINUTES OF RIDING! HELLO!!!!
Weaknesses: ALL! Extremely weak. Look people, Bontrager is not big in the US. You'll note all the bad reviews are U.S. people. The only people rating good all rate it 5 peppers and all are out of the country. Too obvious Bontrager has got a few people coming on here writing good reviews and gave it a FULL FIVE PEPPERS. C'mon, who they fooling? They're playing DAMAGE CONTROL because they've seen all these bad reviews. The word on the street about these Bontrager wheels are the worst and everyone says, the rear hub is extremely flimsy and weak inside. The internals BREAK! HELLO!!!? Did you get that? I'm putting a second review on here to forewarn all you buyers from getting stuck with a pair of these wheels. They truly are junk and they charge WAY too much for them. My story is TRUE! These wheels broke in ten minutes. And after warranty the broke AGAIN in another ten minutes or so of riding. They are terrible quality. If you can't see the DAMAGE CONTROL on here where since my first post, noting the first several were all bad, but after you see FIVE PEPPER RATINGS and can't see that this is people that either sell or work for Bontrager and are trying to counter the truth as to what people are reporting, then you're just blinded by lies. This Bontrager wheelset is GARBAGE! They are lousy quality and the word on the street after I bought my bike with them was that the rear hub breaks easy. This is something that BONTRAGER is aware of and knows. I've talked to people in the woods that say this, and one guy had the exact set on his bike and told me he had to send his back for three times in three years and finally bontrager gave him a whole new wheelset under warranty. Meanwhile he had another set of rims to use while he sent his wheels back. There is NOone that I have come across that has said these wheels are great. I can't get this point across more, NO ONE! The main message you need to get here is this! THEY BREAK! THEY BREAK! And they break easily under light riding conditions and I am not lying about this. I am forewarning you and bike companies very much dislike sites like this because it allows the end user to hold companies responsible when they make a lousy product and sell it for high dollar. They dislike it because it's bad for their business, however this is good for their own good, as it will force them to recon with fixing a bad product or end production of it. We all know about the old Manitou Intrinsic dampening cartridge as a flop and everyone voiced their opinion with all the troubles, and Manitou went back to producing their fork with TPC+ dampending. THAT is an example of how sites like this work! Do NOT believe the people posting all five stars and saying these rims have no flaws. They are obviously Bontrager related and are playing damage control like Exxon when the Valdez spilled oil in Alaska. Rather than fix the problem they were more concerned with damage control. Bontrager should have taken full responsibility for producing an inferior and issued a nationwide recall and replace all hubs with a new hub that would not break. They are NOT built with strong internal parts in the rear hub and EVERYONE that rides all say the same thing, they break easily. Bottom line, they're junk! Do not be fooled by the people giving five peppers because you can see the difference in the posts, 1 or two peppers panning the product and the "obvious" manufacturer's damage control people giving it five peppers. Strange how they are all out of the country and there are none middle ground. By the time you see this post, you will see the proof by the date posted and can tell. Next, you will see a post further down the list and low and behold, it will be someone being middle of the road in it's review telling you that the product broke and Bontrager was a great company for fixing it under warranty. Meanwhile you better have a back up set of wheels to ride on while it's being fixed. And plan on having them fixed several times over the 5 year warranty. Trust me, sell them on Ebay like I did and unload the problem, these wheels can not handle light riding conditions, and they WILL break on you if you buy a set. Plain and simple. They break easily because the rear hub is inferior. The internal engagement mechanism is weak and the replacement will break. I've spoke with other King Earl wheelset owners online AND in person. DO NOT BUY THEM!
I have Bontrager King Earl Handlebars and Bontrager Select stem and I would Highly recommend them to you as great quality but the King Earl Wheelset is a known to be extremely weak and will break under normal use and in my case, first day out on it light use. And in my case, to break after the second time ten minutes on the warrantied hub? That's INEXCUSABLE! Sorry Bontrager but you guys know and you guys never sent out a recall. You deserve the bad reviews for this product.
Look, bottom line here is this, I am trying to do you a favor by warning you of a Bontrager lemon. I have their tires on one bike, I have there handle bars and stem and they are very good quality, I won't lie to you, they're great, but the King Earl wheelset is junk, it is known as junk, it's reputation in the woods among most bikers that know of the wheelset as the rear hub being junk and it is said that Bontrager through what I've been told, know that it's junk and it breaks easily. They just keep replacing the broken hubs but is that enough when they just replace it with the same exact inferior hub? No, it's not. Bontrager deserves the bad review on this one particular product.
As to another bad product by Bontrager? They are also known for producing lousy seats. They have VERY little if any cushioning. If you like rock hard seats that are not comfortable, and enjoy paying top dollar for them, go with a bontrager seat. I personally have a TREK seat that has a ton of cushion and I love it. Trek bought Bontrager so Trek ought to get Bontrager off their ass and into gear to step it up, or they're going to go the way of the do do bird.
They get ONE pepper, only because I can't list them with ZERO peppers. And don't believe the five pepper comments. It's obviously Bontrager covering for Bontrager. Now you'll see some comments after this one, check the time they post, and they'll have three or four peppers and say they're from the U.S. just so they can make it look like they're not doing what you can pretty much say their doing, making it look like it's a great wheelset. It's too obvious. When a company get's really bad revues on a really bad product, they do damage control by coming on the site and countering the other people's comments so it looks like it ain't all that bad. Trust the users that have used it and say it broke easily. That's why I'm posting this to insure you know, and do not buy a set and find out for yourself and get stuck with them and have to sell them on Ebay for a loss.
Similar Products Used: Rolfe Dolamite wheelset, GREAT product, Shimano XT hubs with Sun Rhino Lite rims, GREAT product, currently on Azonic Outlaws, so far GREAT SET, and the BEST wheelset you can buy, HADLEYS! When you pay for the best, you'll get the best! HADLEY HUBS ARE INDESTRUCTIBLE! On a set of Sun Ringle MTX 33's with 15ga spokes, you got MAJOR bomb proof wheels that are so far superior to the Bontragers and I only paid $135 more for them than what Bontrager lists the King Earl set for.
Bike Setup: Two Gary Fisher King Fisher 1's, Azonic Outlaws/Maxxis Minions Travis Triple fork, the other Hadley/Sun wheels, Bontrager Big Earl Tires.
Weaknesses: a carbon fiber hub is BS on a DH wheel, mudfka exploded and all of the aluminum shreaded apart leaving only the carbon fiber core. Rode it on just the carbon fiber core for the rest of the 10 mile DH run.. haven't heard back from trek/bontrager
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 16, 2009
To all that maters can not take any kind of T=rXF that have to do with a rider over 220 lb. PIRIOD...... Pawls & inner component looks like grind up metal fused cr@%$#pola..... Do not even try to fix it will be the same bull different trail very upset with bontrager......love there products fond a flaw.
a Weekend Warrior
from Ellicott City
Date Reviewed: December 1, 2008
Strengths: ABSOLUTELY NONE! Cool looking but so are all black wheels with white letter logos.
Weaknesses: Spend three months preparing to get in shape on my old bike to handle the uphill with my new 46lbs bike, yes I said I pedal uphill on a 46lbs bike. Finally in shape, August. Took new $3,200 DH/FR bike out with brand new King Earl wheels on it for it's first ever ride. TEN MINUTES into the ride, I hear a clicking from the rear engagement. I figure it's my derailer, IT'S NOT! ONE HALF HOUR into the ride, rear hub internal breaks completely. Single track, low elevation, no steep hill climbs, a PARK in maryland, and it breaks on me under no severe load! I'm freaking shocked! Confused? $650 King Earls BREAK after a half hour? I'm 4 miles in, 92 degrees and humidity. Walking ALL THE WAY BACK TO MY CAR! THANKS for the great quality Bontrager! Contact my bike shop in Linthicum... Bike shop warrants part. Orders new part. Takes TWO weeks to come in. Bike shop repairs, take bike out for second voyage. 10 minutes in, clicking! 30 minutes into woods, BREAKS AGAIN! Pedalling and NO moving. Hubs broke. WALK OUT OF WOODS A SECOND TIME! Come back to bike shop. Bike shop warrants hub. WHOLE new hub ordered, rim taken off, hub relaced with spokes and re-trued by bike shop. TAKES THREE WEEKS! Not bike shop's fault. Bontrager took almost three weeks to get part to bike shop. Get bike back together, Summer now over, take both Bontragers off bike, order new Hadley hubs at a cost of $100 over the bontragers with Sun Ringle MTX 33 rims, hold Bontragers till Christmas to put on Ebay and unload for a serious $$$ loss to me. GEE THANKS BONTRAGER for making a lousy inferior product, that broke TWICE! Makes you wonder why they no longer have King Earl's on their website. THANK GOD FOR HADLEYS! I Highly Recommend Hadleys with 72 engagement! Well worth the extra hundred bucks over TREK BOUGHT BONTRAGER! See what happens to quality when a large company buys a small one!? I'm keeping the Big Earl Tires but probably going to get a serious dry rot crack this next season and turn buy a HIGH quality set of MAXXIS Minions which I have on my other bike.
Bottom Line, Bontrager SERIOUSLY let me down with inferior workmanship. Bike shop tells me that a part inside must have not been tightened from factory and it seemed to be the cause of the first part breaking and the second one, god knows what happened. Two in a row? No longer a bontrager customer. Sorry Bontrager, but your seats lack padding like other brands. Keep charging high prices and offering lesser quality, that's what GM and FORD have been doing for years and we all see now where that's going!
I'd never suggest these rims to anyone. That's why I'm selling them on Ebay for a loss. Let someone else get stuck with the low quality workmanship.
Strengths: Hubs, Rims, Spokes, Looks so ye... Everything
Used to have deemax but the rims bent, buckled and got flat spots. King Earl hubs have worked perfectly for over a year, obviously I won't cover as many miles as a xc rider but I really can't fault these. I've given them a real thrashing and the rims are still as straight as a die. They look the dogs to....
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: November 14, 2007
Strengths: Front Hub is good
Weaknesses: REAR HUB REAR HUB
This is the worst rear hub i've ever had.. i'm a big guy, but its crazy to have 2 rear hubs go only after riding each 2 times... i'm now on wheel #3 in 3 weeks... i have no confidence in this rear hub.. I would never buy a bontrager rear hub.. On the plus side since this wheel came with my bike gary fisher has been great with replacing the broken wheels through bike shop where i purchased my bike.
Similar Products Used: mavic 321, s-type, rino light, deemax, mavic 721, single track, Double track.
Bike Setup: 05 gary fisher king fisher 1 w/ marzocchi 07 66 rc2x, 2008 avid code 5, dhx 4, bantrager king earl wheels, protaper os bars, sram x9, bontrager king earl cranks w/ 5050xx pedals and an e.13 srs.
from Blacksburg, VA, USA
Date Reviewed: April 30, 2007
Strengths: they roll, cartridge bearings, bling bling carbon hubs, front wheel.
Weaknesses: REAR HUB... the thing was doodoo, it just stopped engaging after a few months of use. the rear rim was so wavy with flat spots and dents that i was contemplating lacing the hub upto a new rim, then the hub crapped out.
These things are so expensive and so crappy. I have been fairly happy with the rest of my bontrager components but these wheels were horrid. Correction... the rear wheel was horrid. I took these off the bike and the front wheel was perfectly straight and didn't have a single dent in it. I sold it to a buddy of mine. I would not by these again even if I could get them on sale. It would be money wasted. 2 chilis only because of the cartridge bearings and the front wheels awesomeness.
Bike Setup: trek session 77, azonic outlaws, other goodies.
a Weekend Warrior
from Madison, CT
Date Reviewed: September 24, 2006
Strengths: Rims still true, front hub stiff.
Weaknesses: Rear Hub, 6 rides and the internals are smoked. Climbing a short steep hill and hub went bang. Would not engage and had to walk back to the car. I was going through 2 XT hubs a year, I did not expect these things to be worse.
Very pissed about the rear hub, Bontrager claims that these things are bomb proof, what a joke. I weigh 230, I guess the hub can't take the torque produced by my fat a$$. Not sure I want to take the time to rebuild it if it is only going to fail me again.
Similar Products Used: XT(Suck but cheap) Chris King (never has failed me, the best)
Bike Setup: 2006 Trek Session 77, Travis 180mm single crown, King Earl, Sram, Hayes.
Date Reviewed: August 3, 2006
I actually have the Big Earl wheels but their is no listing for them. The big Earl wheel set has been flawless so far. I am a heavier rider 215lbs and have ridden these wheels pretty hard downhilling and hucking and they still keep spinning true.