Bontrager Race Wheelset Wheelset

2.98/5 (40 Reviews)


Product Description

Race Wheelset


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Reviews 1 - 15 (40 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tom from Sioux Falls, SD USA

Date Reviewed: July 30, 2005

Strengths:    These wheels came on my '99 Klein attitude race. I've ridden these wheels for over 5 years now all being a Clydesdale, these wheels have never needed to be trued.

Weaknesses:    black on spokes has worn a bit over 5 years, not really a weakness but that's all I can think of.

Bottom Line:   
They still roll smooth as silk, no problems with the hubs. 5 great years on a hardtail ridden by a clydesdale, some years above 250lb!!! No complaints here! I would recommend these wheels to anybody riding any type of XC, and single track. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone looking for huge air.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Bike Setup:   Klien Attitude race

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by larry pitch a Weekend Warrior from Boston, MA, US of A

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2004

Strengths:    strong proven hoop design. Asym seems like a winner

Weaknesses:    rear hub, especially free hub assembly

Bottom Line:   
1. Proper wheel build, with uniform correct tension is the key to a long lasting wheel.

I know that My LBS spent a good amount of time on these wheels when setting up the bike. They haven't seen a spoke wrench in 5 years. I'm 215 lbs and not dainty, but the Mantra is plush, I doubt they would have held up as well on my H'tail. The lacing pattern surprised me by being this durable (see note 1)
I had the first rear wheel ('99) replaced after 1 month because the freehub body broke off. It was replaced with a 2000 model, which has lasted longer than I have had LX freehubs.

These wheels have lasted better than I thought they would. I credit my LBS and plush rear suspension, not so much the components. I may build up a Bontrager/XT wheel for replacement.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   the next one

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   Mavic/STX, LX & XT, Matrix Swami/LX, Weinman/Altus others I can't think of.

Bike Setup:   The wheels were stock on a 1999 Mantra Comp. Swapped in a Marzocchi Z2

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Aaron a Cross Country Rider from Stillwater, Ok

Date Reviewed: April 8, 2004

Strengths:    Light Wheelset

Weaknesses:    Dont hold up well over time

Bottom Line:   
I liked this wheelset from the time that I got them when I bought the bike. But today when coming home from riding some single track I realized that I had pulled a nipple throught the rim and upon further inspection I realized that there were 4 more spokes about ready to break as well.
I am 215 pounds and do not ride hard enough to justify what has happened with these wheels. They were perfect six months ago when I bought the bike and they have gone to trash since then. Don't buy an old wheelset like this it will give you nothing but trouble.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything singletrack

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Came on Bike

Bike Setup:   2000 Klein Mantra Comp

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ariel Calonne a Weekend Warrior from Boulder, CO

Date Reviewed: November 4, 2003

Strengths:    Light weight, cool radial lacing in front, offset spoke bed in rear.

Weaknesses:    Area near rear spoke eyelets are starting to show fatigue cracks

Bottom Line:   
I am fairly heavy (~200) so I am very impressed by the wear these wheels have taken. I hated to see the cracks developing before the sidewalls were worn, but 3 years of beating is a good deal. No problems with the hubs, though the rear does need occasional tightening. I actually bent the front pretty badly a few years back, and Wheelsmith Palo Alto was able to retrue and tension it like new. These wheels were true out of the box and have stayed that way. I've been riding 32 years, so I've learned to baby wheels. These Bontragers came from Wisconsin and were a great value.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Bike World

Similar Products Used:   Bontrager Mustangs on Shimano STC/RC hubs

Bike Setup:   Klein Mantra

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Bram a Weekend Warrior from Assen, The Netherlands

Date Reviewed: July 7, 2003

Bottom Line:   
This is follow up on a earlier review. In februari I was positive about the wheelset. It's fading away now. Since a couple of wheeks the rims are showing strong signs of corrosion around the eyelets where the spokes enter the rim. I e-mailed KB and immediately got response, so far so good. Its affirmed that it's corrosion and I should take them to my LBS. Since I'm entering a MTB tour of 4 days, I'll wait till I'm back, then I'll take 'em to the LBS and try to get it covered by the warranty.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year


Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by S S from central NY

Date Reviewed: April 15, 2003

Strengths:    black...
gives me something to complain about


Weaknesses:    extremely flexy...freehub gone to hell...hubs loosened after a week. alloy nipples siezed. won't true. trek

Bottom Line:   
i am between 150-155 pounds and a reasonably smooth rider. i bought these because some fat creep was going to put what looked like a decent set of wheels on his downhill bike...so i appealed to his avarice and offered him $50 on the spot. now, two years is much longer than the forecast week that these wheels would've lasted under gut-boy. however, it has been two years of aggravation. i'm not usually so bitter...i've been spending $$$ on bike parts and riding the crap out of them for 13 years...and this product is just pathetic. COME ON!!! did they prep the spokes? DOUBTFUL. who ever heard of using the tendency of the hub bearings sideloading to your advantage? i had to over-tighten the QR just to keep the hub from flopping around (i know how to adjust cones)...oh, and the freehub sounds like a garbage-disposal with a cat food can wedged in it.
well, thanks for letting me blow off some steam.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   downhill wannabe kid

Similar Products Used:   mavic. shi#mano

Bike Setup:   '00 jamis dragon...kelly rigid fork...xt/xtr...alivio brakes (i'm poor)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bram a Weekend Warrior from Assen, The Netherlands

Date Reviewed: February 4, 2003

Strengths:    - Light
- Look ok
- Nice spokes


Weaknesses:    - Rear hub

Bottom Line:   
Like all of the reviewers the rearhub makes a lot of noise. The fronthub seems ok though. The rims are strong. I'm a heavy guy at 210 pounds and the wheels needed not to be trued in 1 year. Ride almost once, sometimes twice a week. Always in (very) muddy conditions. When I’m hitting my bike hard because of small climbs or muddy paths, I can feel them flex however. Since my experience with other wheels is limited I find it difficult to determine the amount of chilis. My Ritcheys came with Deore LX hubs. They were heavy but ok. The rims I didn’t like at all. It was very difficult to change tires for example. The Bontrager Superstocks came on my 2000 Gary Fisher Sugar 3. I broke the frame and bought the Sugar two for a fair price and with a stronger frame (2001) With it came the Race wheels. The Superstocks were ok after a full year of use. In my opinion the rear hub held on better! A couple of times I almost bought new wheels. In Holland they sell the 2003 Crossmax Disc for only € 480 for the set! Since I’m not a racer, the wheels stay true, the combination with the HS 33 work great (not performing much lesser than discs), and when I don’t get a grip on myself I’ll stay upgrading my bikes, I’ll think I hold on to them. Perhaps I’ll change the rearhub in a couple of weeks. I’ll give them 4 chilis.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Ritchey OCR Rock Comp, Bontrager Superstock

Bike Setup:   2001 Gary Fisher Sugar 2 size L (with Time ATAC, Magura HS 33, IRC Mythos XC, XTR shifters)

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Skip Holschbach a Cross Country Rider from Cleveland

Date Reviewed: September 26, 2002

Strengths:    Good Looks

Weaknesses:    Long term durability
Customer Service


Bottom Line:   
The front wheel has been fine - after 4 years I've had little trouble, and the wheel has stayed true despite my 220# girth.

I've had many of the same problems as the other reviewers with the rear wheel. After 2 years, the nipples pulled through the rims, and the freehub body went to crap. I had a few friends riding the same wheels at the time, and they were experiencing the exact same problems. Multiple emails to Bontrager went completely unaknowledged - BAD customer service. However, I did get end up getting warrantee replacements when I went through the LBS. None the less, the CrossRides I bought while waiting for warrantee replacements have been far better wheels.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   John Muir (I know its crowded, but..)

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   Spec'd on bike

Similar Products Used:   Mavic CrossRides

Bike Setup:   99 Klein Mantra Race

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Darius Teter a Weekend Warrior from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Date Reviewed: August 21, 2002

Strengths:    Stays true, reliable

Weaknesses:    Prone to pinch flats no matter what the setup

Bottom Line:   
I guess I am damn lucky. Ran these for almost 2 years on a Sugar 2 before crunching the frame on a roof rack/tree branch clusterf*ck. Shifted the wheels to a Sugar 1 frame two months ago. Have run these on wet steep rocky technical, roots, jumps, you name it. And I weigh 240 lbs. Only had to tighten the rear hub once in all that time. Now that I ahve written this prais I fully expect them to explode on today's ride. But anyway I put a regular set of Bonty's on my Joker and have beat the crap out of those for two years as well, and they are still true. Luck or Karma?

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Yak Butter Bongload

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Stock on Sugar 2

Similar Products Used:   Mavic

Bike Setup:   Sugar 2 stock

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by D Mc a Cross Country Rider from LHC, AZ, USA

Date Reviewed: August 17, 2002

Strengths:    Spokes

Weaknesses:    Hubs, Rims, and non-existent customer service!

Bottom Line:   
Beyond the quality spokes,the entire package sucks. The hubs developed play that could not be adjusted out within months of owning the wheels. The rear freehub is both loose and loud and does not accept Shimano cassetes without considerable play. I thought the hubs were bad until the rims cracked at the eyelets. At this point I made an attempt to work it out through Bontrager. My emails were never responded to! Poor quality, poor service, and the worst possible rating. As a professional bike mechanic I will not buy or recommend Bontrager products in the future.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bunker Creek

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   stock wheelset

Similar Products Used:   Shimano, Mavic

Bike Setup:   Fisher, Sid, XT/XTR.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Pelle Stridsman a Cross Country Rider from Sweden

Date Reviewed: June 16, 2002

Strengths:    +Reasonable light.
+Stayed true.


Weaknesses:    -Crap sealing on rear hub.
-Crap freehub, (2 replacements in a year)
-Hubs need frequent tightening & cleaning.


Bottom Line:   
If they are mounted on the bike you buy,
Ok, keep them.
If you´re about to buy an upgrade wheelset,
look for something else.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   always the next.........

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   Came with the bike from my LBS

Similar Products Used:   Various Shimano/Mavic combinations.

Bike Setup:   KLEIN Attitude race

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by stu a Cross Country Rider from monterey, CA

Date Reviewed: February 24, 2002

Strengths:    Light
Reliable
Durable hubs
Stylin - black spokes, rims


Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
I know that most people have had problems with these Bontragers, so I must have really lucked out. I use these wheels on road, off road, through mud, singletrack, water, rocks, etc and they have always held up. They are light and feel fast and stiff. I have only had to true them once, and even then the maintenance was minor. My hubs have not yet acted up and both wheels still roll as smooth as the first day I've ridden them. Overall they have held up and they still perform, which is more than I could ask.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Shimano wh-M535 (these are the 16 spoke wheels. They suck bigtime - heavy and spongy feel, weighty steering, crap LX hubs)


Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Taylor a Weekend Warrior from Amherst MA

Date Reviewed: November 17, 2001

Strengths:    look cool, pretty light

Weaknesses:    read on

Bottom Line:   
please dont buy these wheels (2000 vintage at least). they may look cool but after 3 months and 500 miles, the rear hub has needed constant tightening. needless to say, im replacing them

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   competitive edge

Bike Setup:   gary fisher mt tam

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by phil a Cross Country Rider from Golden, CO, USA

Date Reviewed: November 14, 2001

Weaknesses:    The front hub needs frequent adjustment.
The rear rim, with the original half-radial half-2 cross lacing, pulled six of the seven driving spokes out of the rim--this was replaced under warranty.
Then the rear hub started making popping/creaking noises, and eventually quit free-wheeling. I disassembled it to find that the inner hollow shaft of the freehub had sheared off.


Bottom Line:   
The front hub needs recurrent adjustment.
The rear lacing pattern sucks. The rear freehub is sheared off inside, so the whole wheel is headed for the dumpster (especially after reading other reviews).
I love the Bontrager bike, but so far have replaced the Bontrager, seat, seatpost, and rear wheel. THe handlebar and stem seem stout, so I suppose the front wheel will be the next to go.
I also had an aftermarket Bontrager rim, asymm something or other, that split at a number of the spokes.
I would only recommend buying a frame with the Bontrager name on it, but they are no longer available--go figure.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Colorado Trail

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Turin

Similar Products Used:   Shimano, Mavic

Bike Setup:   Bontrager Privateer S

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Snwbdrhoon a Cross Country Rider from Bawstin, MA, USA

Date Reviewed: November 11, 2001

Strengths:    Clean design, Lighter than my last pair, Holds a tire well, Fun looking!

Weaknesses:    Would have liked to buy them for a bit cheaper. The jury's still out on durability based on other reviewers. Stickers were not placed well (hey I'm anal).

Bottom Line:   
Good wheels, good price (a bit cheaper would have been nice). Honestly, I never get a chance to properly clean my bike, and when it does get washed, it's usually with a power hose when I'm washing the car at the same time (I know it's bad). I weigh about 175 and ride my bike hard (I've got a hardtail, but I'm a downhiller at heart). After approx. 4 months of riding twice a week (weekends) on rocky, rooty, waterbar'd East Coast trails, they're still tickin' with no problems (noises, bad bearings or other formerly mentioned problems). So far, Trek CS has been nice enough (they sent me some Bontrager stickers when I inquired about the wheels).

For the price, not too bad. Check in with me after 6 months. If I got them for $200, I would have given them 5 for the value, but overall they've been killin' it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   haven't met one I didn't like

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $235.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Similarly priced Mavics, Specialized, and Shimanos wheelsets.

Bike Setup:   Specialized M2 with Deore XT/LX mix, Duke XC, and some other stuff

Reviews 1 - 15 (40 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


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