Bontrager Race Tubeless Wheelset

2.86/5 (21 Reviews)
Weight : 755/1025 grams <br>(fr/rr) MSRP : $349.00


Product Description

  • Race wheelset is designed for years of off-road abuse; features cartridge sealed bearing hubset and the Bontrager Tubeless sealing system, which can be used with either standard tires with tubes or a wide range of tubeless tires
  • Race rims are welded for superior strength and machined for smooth braking – 24/28 hole design is engineered to provide adequate stiffness for all size of riders
  • New cartridge bearing hubs are fully serviceable and rear hub features Cro-moly steel rear axle and cassette rotor for extra durability; KB's HiLo ATB rear hub design ensures excellent spoke bracing angles for improved lateral wheel stiffness; front hub has oversize cartridge bearings and aluminum axle with adjustable pre-load
  • Bontrager Race Mtn Cro-moly skewers included


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

    Reviews 1 - 15 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:2
    Value Rating:2
    Submitted by cyclezen a Cross Country Rider from Goleta

    Date Reviewed: March 11, 2009

    Strengths:    looks like it might be a good wheelset when actually being used

    Weaknesses:    Incredibly Difficult to mount tires! So I may never get to ride these!

    Bottom Line:   
    have gone thru 3 different tire combos in order to find one which would mount without having to resort to Motorcycle tire levers to get the bead over the rim. Its due to the tubeless rimstrip (black asymmetrical) which is stock on the Wheel.
    Mounting tires with any normal rimstrip is easy, but trying to stay tubeless and using their stock rimstrip, I've yet to be able to fully mount a tire without resorting to large metal tire levers.
    I can;t imagine trying to repair a flat out trailside!
    Choices for me are, either go back to tubes on these and use a normal rimstrip. Or hope and pray I never get a flat while out riding (if I can ever get a tire on without damaging the rim...). Neither is any kind of acceptable solution.
    Expensive lesson learned.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   today's

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $160.00

    Purchased At:   ebay

    Bike Setup:   Trek HT

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Jorge a Cross Country Rider from Portugal

    Date Reviewed: October 7, 2008

    Strengths:    This is a review for rims only.Look good, resistant to V-Brake pad friction, so far no dents or bents on harsh impacts, lightweight.

    Weaknesses:    For sure there are weaknesses, but I haven't seen them yet!

    Bottom Line:   
    Once again, this is a review for rims only. As always, I purchased components and I assembled the bicycle. I decided to buy these rims (24 h front, 28 h rear) in first place because of their lightweight and their shallow and wider profile. I am no structural engineer, but I think that on contrary to other manufacturers that build narrow XC rims to reduce weight, a wider rim is more resistance to impact and lateral deformation. My body weigh is 52 kg and probably this is the reason the rims never come out of true and never dented on nasty impacts and two years of XC riding.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Ordinary XC

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years

    Price Paid:    $60.00

    Similar Products Used:   WTB, Mavic, Alex Rims

    Bike Setup:   K2 Razorback frame, XTR hubs, SID, Fox Float RL, Bontrager Race Lite compact crank, SRAM X7 deraileurs, Avid SD7 brakes.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by Stefan Andersson a Weekend Warrior from Sweden

    Date Reviewed: April 28, 2006

    Strengths:    Just normal alignments done. Keeps true very well.
    No issues with tire seating once the tubeless stip was gone.


    Weaknesses:    Experienced large play in rear wheel after 1 yr. Had to replace the bearings.
    Agressivly removed the tubeless stip after some hours work trying to get a proper seating on my wire bead Conti Diesels 2.5".


    Bottom Line:   
    If you get it with a bike don't be disapointed. It can take a pounding from some agressive riding and easy drops.
    If I were to buy a new wheelset I'm not sure that this would be my choice...not that they are bad but there are so many comparable and better sets to choose from.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Local

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years

    Bike Setup:   Trek Liquid 20 MY03 (incl. Bonty wheelset)

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Rober Simons a Cross Country Rider from Sand Lake, MI, Kent

    Date Reviewed: April 24, 2005

    Strengths:    Solid, hold true,..and they look good

    Weaknesses:    wish the hubs were disc compatible

    Bottom Line:   
    Not sure why this wheelset got such complaints in this review, because they have stood strong & true for me. I'm not doing 3 foot drops, but I am using them pretty hard on cross country rides. There were a couple of comments about the difficulty of changing tubeless tires on this wheelset but I had little difficulty once I found the right technique, as stated in another review. Just get the tire in the center of the rim strap on the opposite side of the valve and start removing the tire on the valve side. I found it no more difficult than a tube wheelset. Pump the tire up to high pressure and wait for the tire to pop into place, then place soapy water around the bead/rim area to check for leaks. Also, the use of a sealant helps greatly.

    I had no problems with leaks. I used homemade tubeless sealant with Slime, Mold Maker & water, which works great. Wheelset has minor scratches and one ding, but they have been very strong, not leaked and have held true for a full year of solid riding. Rims work well with V-brakes too. They may be a bit heavier than stated by Bontrager, but the strength makes up for it. Have not had any problems with the hubs either, which are still spinning very smooth.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   NCT

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Purchased At:   Came on year old Klein Palamino

    Similar Products Used:   Mavic x3.1 UST Tubeless disc

    Bike Setup:   Klein Palamino Race full suspension, Hutchinson Spider rear & Continental Vertical front tubeless tires

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Ray Go a Weekend Warrior from Southern, CA

    Date Reviewed: April 13, 2004

    Strengths:    Tough wheelset

    Weaknesses:    Tough to install tires. NOT ANYMORE.

    Bottom Line:   
    Part 2. See my review from about 16 months ago. Just wanted to share my success with these wheels. Anyway, I followed an advice below and removed the plastic tubeless thingamajig from the wheel to shave some weight, and guess what? It made it a lot easier to seat the tire beads. It took less than 60 psi. Although I haven't had any flat while on the trail lately, knock on wood, I won't have to worry about it anymore, I am pretty sure it won't be too much of a problem after this modification. And oh by the way, I haven't had a reason to take the wheels in for maintenance, truing or any other maintenance. Except for self help tightening of two or three spokes, the wheels are holding up really well.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   too many to mension

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Price Paid:    $149.00

    Purchased At:   Supergo


    Overall Rating:1
    Value Rating:1
    Submitted by Tom a Cross Country Rider from PA

    Date Reviewed: November 13, 2003

    Strengths:    Spokes haven't snapped off yet? No airleaks so far.

    Weaknesses:    Rear hub, don't stay true, extremely difficult to mount a tubeless tire.

    Bottom Line:   
    Originally I purchased the regular Bontrager Race wheelset in 2001. In 2002 the rear hub broke and the lbs couldn't disassemble it at all so I got a Bontrager Race tubeless rear wheel back on warranty. (credits to Bontrager and my lbs there).
    Anyway, this wheel seems to have exactly the same weakness: rear hub! (same issue that Rolf Dolomite wheels have).
    I've replaced the body and bearings twice. The wheel doesn't stay true either, need to check that after every ride it seems.
    I must also mention that it is really a major pain to mount UST tires on this rim. You're lucky if you can get a tire on within 15 minutes with bloodshed, sweat and tears!
    The rim is simply too large for most UST tires because even if you got a tire on it will not inflate to a point where the wheel is properly towards the inner sidewalls. When you rotate the wheel you then notice a wobble sideways.

    This is very poor product that never should have appeared on the market. There is no way it could have passed a normal quality control, except Bontragers.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   American Standard, Jim Thorpe, PA

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years

    Purchased At:   LBS

    Similar Products Used:   Rolf Dolomits UST, Mavics

    Bike Setup:   Trek Fuel 98, SID Race, Truvative Stylo Team

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Ross a Cross Country Rider from Houston, TX

    Date Reviewed: November 12, 2003

    Strengths:    Two adventure races and lots of training miles haven't beaten these down yet.

    Weaknesses:    None yet

    Bottom Line:   
    I hated these wheels the first time I tried to change a flat (the night before a race)! It took forever to pry the tire off the rim. After the race, I took the wheels to my LBS and complained about them. The LBS mechanic took the tire off with great effort, pulled out the black plastic tubeless sealer thingy and re-assembled my wheel with little effort. I have changed a few flats since then with absolutely no effort whatsoever.

    I've put these wheels through 2 adventure races and a ton of training miles during the 8 months I've had this bike and have never had true them. They're a little heavier than my friend's Crossmax wheels, but not by much.

    Bottom line is -- take out that stupid plastic thingy and ride with tubes. These rims are almost perfect once you do that!

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Ant Hills

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Bike Setup:   Gary Fisher Paragon 2002 (wheels came with bike)

    Overall Rating:2
    Value Rating:2
    Submitted by Eric a Cross Country Rider from Golden

    Date Reviewed: September 14, 2003

    Strengths:    Don't really know.... they spin....? They look cool because they say TUBELESS on the rim...

    Weaknesses:    Front wheel makes annoying click sound every rotation. Can't figure it out... must be in the hub. Heavier than claimed by far... not that it really matters a whole lot if you are not a psssy, but they are definitely much heavier than you think they are going to be and not worth the money if you are thinking about buying them after market.

    Bottom Line:   
    Tubeless is a crock. Keep you're tubes and live happier. Can't deal with the amount of effort it takes to get tires on and off these rims... why not stick with an ordinary wheel setup. I never got the rear wheel to hold air in a tubeless tire... so I gave up. Went back to my XTR's and 517's what was I ever thinking.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Elk Meadows - Evergreen, CO

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Purchased At:   Came on my 2002 Sugar 2+


    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by Atlas a Cross Country Rider from Moscow, Idaho, USA

    Date Reviewed: July 17, 2003

    Strengths:    Wheels take a beating and stay true. Very stiff. Great wheels if you plan to beat the hell out of your bike with drops, jumps, or a lot of sidehill riding.

    Weaknesses:    Heavy. Out of curiosity, I actually weighed each of my wheels on a laboratory scale (with skewers, cassette, tubes, and tires off) and found that both wheels were more than 30% heavier than advertised! That's just under 1.5 pounds more than advertised. And yes, the mud was cleaned off before weighing. Very difficult to install tire/tube when out on the trail with a hand pump.

    Bottom Line:   
    Good product that will wear and tear very well. They are a major pain in the a$s if you get a flat on the trail. It's not fun to replace a tube and tire on the trail when it's 90 degrees and you're sweating like a mating boar hog. These wheels are NOT light, so they may not be the ideal for XC racers looking to minimize weight. And remember, triming the greatest amount of weight from the wheelset will yield significant improvements in power effiiency. This wheelset is now my spare...and a good one at that (they get a three to four flaming turds rating in my book).

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Purchased At:   Standard Issue with Bike

    Similar Products Used:   Mavic CrossMax SL

    Bike Setup:   Trek Fuel 98 with factory setup with the following changeouts: Easton EC90 XC composite handlebar, Easton EA50 stem, LP Ergo barends, Mavic CrossMax SL wheelset, Shimano XT crank, Shimano XTR 11-32 cassette, Stratos XC Pro rear shock.

    Overall Rating:3
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by Yuri from Allen, Texas, USA

    Date Reviewed: April 27, 2003

    Bottom Line:   
    I'd just like to comment on the issue of tire fit with these rims.

    As noted below, these rims can be VERY difficult to mount tires on, especially wire bead tires (e.g. road slicks). The trick is to set the first half of the bead down in the center channel (NOT in the hook of the rim edge) while you work the bead around the rest of the rim. If you do this, you can mount the bead with your bare hands.

    The problem is this: once you've got the tire mounted, part of the bead will sit down in the center channel instead of in the hook of the rim edge. As noted by several posters below, when you subsequently inflate the tire, it will be oblong instead of round, since the bead is not evenly set in the rim. I just discovered this yesterday at a road rally, where I was trying to mount some Geax StreetRunners onto these rims before the ride. I struggled with these rims for a full hour before I finally gave up and just used another set of slicks on some old Bontrager Select rims that I had with me.

    After reading the posts below, I tried to remount the tires today. I took Duncan Mackenzie’s advice below (“inflate until the beads seat properly then deflate to the required pressure”). Duncan is right – if you inflate the tire to a high enough pressure, the bead will seat properly.

    How high? 130 PSI. I’m not kidding -- the gauge read 130 PSI when the bead finally snapped from the center channel up into the rim hook. Recommended max PSI for the StreetRunners is 75 PSI. I had to work pretty hard with a Blackburn track pump to get to 130 PSI. I sure would not want to have to do that with a mini-pump out on the middle of nowhere.

    I would recommend doing several practice tire mountings before heading out on the trail, especially if you are using wire-beaded tires. Make sure that you can mount your tires easily with these rims and that your mini-pump/CO2 is capable of setting the bead properly.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   6 months


    Overall Rating:1
    Value Rating:2
    Submitted by jonathon Farrell a Racer from ringwood

    Date Reviewed: April 9, 2003

    Strengths:    Just light, nothig else.

    Weaknesses:    Weak wheels. Rims ding easy. And they don't stay straight.

    Bottom Line:   
    These wheels are definately not on my list again. They didn't even stay straight for two months. I have rode on them for 7 months, and constantly had them in the shop to be trued. Don't ever buy these wheels. They are the weakest wheels I've ever tried. The tubeless rims work great, but the wheel just can't hold it's own.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Manhole

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Purchased At:   Town Cycle

    Similar Products Used:   mavics, spinergy's, rynoslites, wtbs.

    Bike Setup:   the best you can buy.

    Overall Rating:2
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by Herb from MA

    Date Reviewed: March 27, 2003

    Strengths:    Took a beating for a while.

    Weaknesses:    Rear hub failed on me. Had to have it fixed at my LBS. Also, the rim on the rear wheel actually broke apart from where the rim brakes had contact. This was after 1 year of riding. I saved the front wheel as a spare and bought some Mavic CrossRoc wheels.

    Bottom Line:   
    Had problems with tubeless tires. Ended up using tubes. The wheelset came with the bike but would not recommend them.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Similar Products Used:   Mavic CrossMax XL @ Mavic CrossRoc.

    Bike Setup:   Trek Fuel 98

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Duncan Mackenzie a Cross Country Rider from Blenheim New Zealand

    Date Reviewed: March 16, 2003

    Strengths:    Weight, lateral strength, smooth bearings, durability

    Weaknesses:    tough changing tyres until you get the knack, then it's easy. As for all the complaints about not seating properly, when all else fails, read the instructions, inflate until the beads seat properly then deflate to the required pressure, sure works for me

    Bottom Line:   
    I'm around 190lb, ride hard and have always had to build wheels to stay in one piece. Have trued the rear once in 12 months with this set, run tubes and kevlar beaded tyres so can't comment on wire bead probs. Slightly susceptible to pinch flats if running low pressures and banging rocks. Will update this when I slip on some tubeless to address the pinch flat issue.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Jentree (nat champs track)

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Purchased At:   LBS

    Similar Products Used:   Various Shimano hubs with hand built wheels focussing on durability

    Bike Setup:   stock Gary Fisher Paragon, wheels came as standard

    Overall Rating:1
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by Ken a Cross Country Rider from Pinckney MI

    Date Reviewed: February 26, 2003

    Strengths:    Light, look cool, tubeless...

    Weaknesses:    Impossible to install a tire on... Lightness adds some flexy is seems.

    Bottom Line:   
    Don't buy these if you expect to be able to repair a flat or switch a tire with ease... I spent hours putting on a new set of Suvival Pros. It is damn near impossible.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   all of them.

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Purchased At:   LBS

    Bike Setup:   Trek 8500

    Overall Rating:1
    Value Rating:1
    Submitted by Sean Brennan a Cross Country Rider from Denver, CO, USA

    Date Reviewed: February 23, 2003

    Strengths:    Nice Looking

    Weaknesses:    Absolutely impossible to mount tire!!!!

    Bottom Line:   
    Don't buy these. It took me over an hour to mount tires on these! Then they wouldn't seal. I've been riding and working on bikes for many years now but the bontrager rep.(I emailed them about my problems) talked to me like I was some kind of idiot. I even talked to a very good bike mechanic at my local BS and he too has had a hell of alot of trouble with these wheels. His advice was to get rid of them and buy some Crossmax! I never rode them, sold them to some poor fool on Ebay, and bought some Crossmax. End of story.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   White Ranch

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $300.00

    Purchased At:   Campus Cycles

    Similar Products Used:   Mavic Crossmax

    Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz SL, XTR, bla bla bla.

    Reviews 1 - 15 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


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