Strengths: ~ Wide, 23mm ID rim
~ Tall hub flanges makes stronger wheel
~ Cool graphics and 28 white spokes, per wheel(subjective)
~ Bontrager TLR molded insert, more durable than NoTubes rim tape
~ Stays true
~ Beefy Scandium rim box section
~ Solid 142x12mm rear axle; 15mm Thru-axle front hubs
Weaknesses: ~ Made in China
~ Heavy @2004g for wheelset
~ Slow freehub engagement
~ Loud freehub
The wheels accelerate slowly - but once up to speed, they hold momentum quite well. Put a foot down on rocky technical climbs, and re-starting becomes a pain, due to the non-instantaneous engagement of the freehub. These hubs are made by Formula, and are quite heavy. Bontrager claims 1765g for the wheelset - but that is ONLY for the QR version(100mm/F and 135mm/R) wheelset. However, the wide rim profile and semi-aero rim bed, does offer a degree of cornering control and rotating efficiency.
Don't pay more than $350 for these heavy wheels used. The 2013-up Bontrager RXL wheels are once again featuring convertible DT Swiss hubs, and optional carbon rims. Try to get a 29er wheelset that weighs below 1700g for the most significant performance benefit. These wheels are okay for the interim - but nothing to write home about...will be upgrading soon.
Favorite Trail: Hurkey Creek Park (24Hrs of Adrenalin course)
Duration Product Used: 2 years
Purchased At: online
Similar Products Used: ~ Mavic Cr29ssmax
~ Easton Haven Carbon/Alloy
~ American Classic 29er Lite
~ Velocity Blunt SL Pro
~ Crank Brothers Iodine
~ Fulcrum Red Power SL
~ Stans NoTubes ZTR Crest/ArchEX
~ Enve Composites Carbon 29er
~ Specialized Roval Carbon 29
~ DT Swiss M1700 29er
Bike Setup: 2012 Trek Superfly 100 Pro
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 3, 2012
Strengths: Low weight
Weaknesses: Bend easily
I bought a used Trek 8000, from a cross country rider, who is terrified even by jumping from pavement. Checked the bike by myself and in a shop.
The front wheel bended when i was jumping over a rock (2 inches, NOT a drop), on a known trails where i ride for 5 years and never had any problems with Mavics on other bikes or on my friends bikes. I weigh 75 kg. Broken collar bone and 4 month without riding.
Strengths: Tubeless, improved stiffness over stock wheelset on 08 Specialized FSRxc. Didn't weigh them but think they are a little lighter. Spin smooth.
Weaknesses: Difficult to mount tire.
Only one trailride on them yet, and with tubes in. I look forward to trying them with tubeless setup. Non tubeless Captains sealed up well with Stans. No need for heavy UST. Look forward to a quality kevlar bead tire for even more weight loss. These wheels pedal and handle great. Feels more connected to my input. I got alot of extra value because I caught them on first hours of clearance at LBS. Scooped them up fast. I would have given them a higher overall if there were a more clear weight advantage over my stock rims. May not be fair. I don't know if tubeless wheels add weight for the design. I don't think I could have done better for $250.
Similar Products Used: DT Swiss 445 with Deore and stout hubs.
Bike Setup: Mostly stock FSRxc expert 2008. Used Stans sealant to convert wirebead stock Captains to tubeless.
a Cross Country Rider
from Greendale, WI, USA
Date Reviewed: November 10, 2009
Strengths: Light, fast, stays true with little maintenance
Weaknesses: Some flex (although I am over 200 lbs!)
Nice, light wheel that has served me well for 7 years. I don't abuse my bike but I'm no pu$$y either. Rim finally started to crack, and one spoke started to pull through. Not bad for that long of a service life.
Strengths: I have a set of Bonrager Race X-Lite road wheels that developed a cracked flange and hub shell. Bontrager's other aluminum rim road wheels have had problems with stress cracks on the rims near the spoke eyelets.
Since a cracked hub can lead to a crash and injury, I have initiated the product recall process with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If you have also experienced cracked flanges, hub shells, or rims, especially if they lead to crash, email The CPSC or fill out a form online at:
With strength in numbers we'll get safer wheels on our bikes.
Similar Products Used: Vuelta XRP Comp, Shimano WH-R560, HED Jet
Bike Setup: Road bike with ultegra
Carbon Fiber Time Trial
from springfield, Illinois
Date Reviewed: September 10, 2009
Strengths: Sweet Hub, Smooth ride at high speeds, Very Aero.
Weaknesses: After appx 18 months, was riding flat terrain. Real wheel came out of true. Had to quick release the brakes to get home. 6 of the spokes on the drive side of the rear wheel have developed stress cracks. This could have been potentially serious. Remains to be seen if Bontrager will replace. It is warranted. They need to recall these wheels. The bike shop knew exactly what was up the minute I went in..happened before.
I would not recommend these wheels under any circumstances, even if they cover the warranty I will never be comfortable with them under me. These wheels need to be recalled
a Cross Country Rider
from Tucson, AZ
Date Reviewed: June 25, 2008
Strengths: This review is for the Bonti RaceLite Tubeless. They're: Light, spin up quick and easy, roll forever, braking surfaces hold up good, stay true for intermediate level XC riding.
Weaknesses: Front hub flange cracked and broke
Great wheels until the front hub decided to self destruct. Scarey - Last time I rode this bike, I cranked along a fairly smooth, straight desert trail in the speed gears (11/44)thinking the weak link was the rider and if I crashed, the disaster would be my fault. Rode the bike home and parked it.
Yesterday, a week later, I rolled this bike out for a ride and the front wheel was hanging up. The front hub flange on one side had cracked and a section broken loose. Really weird failure - heating and cooling in the garage (115 degrees during the day in there)- I guess (?) finished cracking a failed area on the flange. Three spokes were "out". No reason that I can think of other than radial lacing, low spoke count, and the metal becoming brittle/fatiguing over the years on a lightweight hub. I weigh 170 lbs and don't do drops or hucks. Haven't felt the SID bottoming out. Haven't ridden Fantasy Island (some sections are rough) in the last 6 months. This front wheel has always been straight and had good spoke tension. A few years ago, it hammered through rough Blue Diamond trails quite a few times. BTW I'm a "senior" rider and split my riding between 3 or 4 bikes. Close inspection doesn't show any suspicious little dings or dents where it might have taken some kind of hit. The 3 spokes in the broken section look good. Also, although others, probably stronger riders than I am, have had trouble with the rear hubs/hoops, mine have been good using tubes other than the expected grooving from the cassette. I've never had any problems with hubs over many years and XC miles but have always used 3 cross lacing with XT/XTR level hubs and hand built by a good shop.
BE CAREFUL WITH THESE OLDER FRONT HUBS!!! I'm quiting lightweight, low count, hubs with radial lacing for intermediate level XC. Maybe worth it for the performance if racing or riding at the next level. I'm taking a spare (new) front RaceLite off the wall and down to the bikeshop to see if they recommend lacing it 2 or 3 cross with some Wheelsmith db spokes for better durability. I've never had any luck trying to get any info out of Bontrager themselves including emailing them.
Two chilis for Overall Rating because the back wheel has held up. One chili for value because I'll never ride fast on these wheels again since I don't trust them. They're going on the old, venerable hardtail and the XTR/Mavics are going on the Dakar.
Similar Products Used: XT, XTR, DT Swiss, LX, etc.
Bike Setup: Dakar XC pro, front end is SID XC with XTR rim brakes, Cane Creek S6, XTR shift brake pods. I've always run these rims with tubes rather than going with the tubless. Tires have been the larger Mutanoraptors and Fire XC Pros.
a Weekend Warrior
from New York
Date Reviewed: February 7, 2008
Strengths: Very Light, Surprisingly Strong.
Weaknesses: No fancy stickers that come off.
This is a review of the Bontrager Race X lite wheelset that came stock on my fully XTR equipped top of the line Trek Fuel 100. I'm a big guy, weigh close to 270lbs, and was very weary of riding these light weight wheels, let alone a very light bike with my heavy six foot frame. These wheels and the bike have held up for years, never needing to be trued (much to my surprise), and roll as smoothly as the first day I got em, to this day. I ride mostly street, but on the few occasions that I went off-road, even with my skinny MTB Maxxis 310 tires, these wheels have held up to some serious rock pounding and jumps. The front wheel is radialy laced, and I was sure I would taco is my first ride. NOPE! The rear is radial laced none-drive side, and an "offset" cross 2 pattern on the drive side.
This wheelset is for rim brakes, but now I'm looking to get a similar disc wheelset from Bontrager for my All-Mountain bike. Cheaper and made in the US, unlike some of the competition from foo-foo France, and cheap Asia. 5 Stars !!!
Similar Products Used: Shimanoo XT WH-M765, a few others.
Bike Setup: Trek Carbon Fuel 100, full XTR, with superlight Maxis 310 tires.
a Weekend Warrior
from South Africa
Date Reviewed: December 3, 2007
Weaknesses: Rim cracked with no after sales service
Inferior Bontrager Products
I bought a Trek Madone in Oct 2006 (a birthday present from me to me) prior to this I rode a Giant Cadex with Campag Veloce for 100 000 km then I bought a Trek 5200 OCLV with Ultegra and Rolf Vector wheels and road this for about 60 000 km then, I thought I would “upgrade” to a Trek Madone with Dura Ace and Bontrager RaceXLite (like in the Tour de France) well what rubbish the Bontager is, at 11 months (5000 km) the titanium seat rail broke, it was replaced 2.5 months later by The Just Fun Group after a battle. Then I noticed cracks on my back rim, I contacted the South African agents again only to find out that there is a 12 month warranty and they need proof of purchase, well I cant find my proof of purchase and it is over 12 months and will cost me about R1000 for the rim and rebuild. It seems as if these components are only made to last the 4000 km for the Tour de France.
I then went on to the Road Bike Review.Com Web site only to find out that the Bontrager rims cracking is a common problem (over 30 letters to the fact) well this just confirms Bontragers “Quality”. I feel that Bontrager should recall all these rims before they seriously injure or kill someone. I notice that one cannot contact Bontrager direct and have to work via the local agents, I feel Bontrager use these agents as a buffer to take the heat for their inferior products!!!
from Grandville Michigan
Date Reviewed: August 20, 2006
Strengths: I have both lites and xlites. I absolutely love my xlites. Fast, dependable and smooth and have stayed true over a combined 5,000 miles on both xlite and lites. Great warranty support from Bontrager!
Weaknesses: None. My xlites are flangeless though there is a flange on the drive side on the rear. My original rear xlite flange broke though they were not wrecked, but must have had a weakness when manufactured. Thanks to George at Breakaway Bikes in Rockford MI and to Bontrager, it was replaced with a newer wheel altogether, no hastle.
I would recomend bontrager xlites for anyone wanting a fast race rim with a great manufacturer who stands behind thier product. Lots of trouble free miles
I'm in process of rebuilding by 97 Bontrager. It's taken some abuse over the years but looks like it's going to clean up very nice. I've post a few photos over on the Bontrager thread:
It's all origi ... Read More »
Guys, I am looking into getting a new set of wheels for my SF100 SL Elite. It did come with some decent ones but my wife needed a new set so I gave them to her and began my quest for new hoops. Currently I am running some ZTR Flows on Chris King 36h hubs laced to straight 14 gauge spokes. I had the ... Read More »
I know I cant be alone thinking that 29er tires are particularly important, especially since tire weight is more dramatic on 29ers than a 26" wheel. For about a year now Ive been holding my breath for manufacturers to catch on to this more than they have for us XC/Trail guys and offer some more opti ... Read More »
180lbs+ gear on carbon hard tail riding XC running tubes. I want as light as i can get within reason but dont want to sacrifice stiffness. Are these wheels going to be too flexy? (my pet peeve).
FWIW I found Mavic wheels have been much more stiff than Race X Lites on my road bike. Do you th ... Read More »
Posted this originally in tires and wheels but I figured since Bonty is a Trek brand, I'd get more opinions in here:
"OK, I got a wheelset from ebay to go tubeless on my 2011 Trek X-Caliber. The ad did say that it had one Bonty rimstrip and one Stans rimstrip. I didn't think anything of it until ... Read More »