a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 27, 2009
Strengths: Light, good looking , fast
Weaknesses: After a year of riding, I noticed my tires began to rub against my frame. Brought my bike into my shop to get fixed and found out my hub was warped. (Thru- Axel became loose). The mechanic reconmend I get new wheels, since a rebuild is expensive.
I absolutley love my bike, however the wheels have been a real pain. I'm sure if I checked thru- axel tightness, this problem would have been delayed. Wished the hubs were higher end to go with the other parts on the bike
Strengths: These are great rims. Great hubs too. Came on my Trek 8000 and I have carried them over to my KHS XC team. About a year ago I accidentally backed ALL THE WAY OVER THE REAR RIM WITH A DODGE NEON. They are still TRUE!!!!!!!! Enough said!
from kendal, Cumbria
Date Reviewed: November 21, 2005
Strengths: great looks, strength
Weaknesses: the cones wear out very quick, when i got a new freehub, it needed bigger bearings, but i only realised this when two of the bearings shattered allowing the wheel to move +/- i inch in either direction and wrecked the races, bye, bye rearwheel. Make sure you check the size of the bearings you need in a new freehub, they may not be the same size as original freehub
very strong, reliable, good looking, stayed perfectly true, took numerous heavy rock hits, and very good value (until the bearnig problem) the disc rotor bolt holes are open backed so it doesn't matter if you use rotor bolts taht are slightly too long (many hope hubs have a closed back whish means if you use a bolt slightly too long, when you tighten it up you can crack the side of the bolt hole off!!) they are light enough for light competition xc races, and strong enough for most freeride.
Similar Products Used: shimano m575, zac 2000, mavic crossland
Bike Setup: trek 6500, shimano xt four pot front and rear, lx ahifters, xt front and rear deraileurs, bontrager race x lite seatpost and riser
from Waterloo, Wisconsin
Date Reviewed: September 20, 2004
Strengths: Strong Reliable Still True after lots of harsh riding
These wheels are still true even though I took my bike to agressive singletrack. Throughout the 9 months I have owned them, I haven't had to true them. The hubs are very reliable, and they were in fine form everytime I checked its innards.
a Cross Country Rider
from Dillsburg, PA
Date Reviewed: February 6, 2004
Strengths: This wheelset it fairly lightweight and very durable.
Weaknesses: Not disc-ready.
I have had no problems whatsoever with this wheelset. I ride in some really gnarly, technical terrain and they have held up fine. They are light too so you can race with these wheels! Good job Keith! This is an excellent wheelset!
a Cross Country Rider
from East Islip NY USA
Date Reviewed: March 31, 2003
Strengths: lightweight design is great in theory
Weaknesses: the whole radial laced low spoke count thing gives me the chills, In addition to the spokes after a summer of riding The rear hub broke and now wobbles slightly causing the chain to skip when high tension is on it
These wheels are alright for about 2 months of serious riding. my reccomendation to you is get a new wheelset as soon as you can afford to if you plan on riding seriously because these bontrager wheels will lead you to a world of problems.
Bike Setup: XTR rear deraileur, chris king headset king wheelset with mavic 517 rims
a Cross Country Rider
from Narashino, Chiba, Japan (native of New York)
Date Reviewed: January 19, 2003
Strengths: Very light, and considering that, they are exceptionally strong, rigid wheels. I haven't had to true them yet after riding about 1200 miles on them in 8 months.
From the very first ride on my new bike on which these came stock I've been having cascading Bontrager component failures--even the saddle if you can believe that--but the rims on these things and the overall wheel design are totally sweet. I'm glad these came stock because I wouldn't have selected them myself if I were building the bike. Awesome wheels for the money.
Also, they clean up like new with a hose and a frame brush even if you moderately neglect and abuse them (somehow I keep forgetting to clean up my wheels when I clean the rest of the bike after a ride).
Weaknesses: The hubs don't spin well at all--many riders recommend keeping the rims, dumping the hubs, and replacing them with Phil Woods (reasonable) or Chris King (expensive) hubs, and I agree completely, though only for people who ride a great amount. Most people probably don't need to think about this.
Mine came with Bontrager something-something tires, which are good on gravel and sand, but horrible in any kind of mud (but this isn't a tire review).
These are the best rims I've ever used and the spokes are fine--both hold up to a considerable amount of abuse cross-country. However, the hubs are a tide-you-over-til-you-get-decent-replacement parts. Wheel sets are expensive, so I don't go rebuilding them all the time, but this time I'm going to have to change the hubs because they just don't preform well.
I'm speedy, so I need the hubs to be speedy too. Right now, the hubs are the weak link between leg power--or even gravity--and forward motion. When I buy a bike that's billed as a 'racing bike' or 'competition bike' I expect to get race or competition level parts at least in the most essential areas, and these hubs are not it. Get cheap on the bars, stem, post, and saddle, but give me a good drivechain and good hubs for my money.
As far as lateral stiffness goes though, I have to say I haven't experienced any problems at all on hard turns even at high speed. The stiffness of this setup makes up for the slide through I have to do on muddy turns with those Bontrager tires--soon to be replaced with Panacer Fire XC. In this repect these wheels are completely reliable and outperform other wheelsets I've used or demoed in this price range.
I'll give them four flaming chilis because essentially they're a good buy and most people riding for fun wont fret about the hubs. This is a good wheelset if your anything short of an endurance, long distance, and or very fast rider.
Bike Setup: 2002 Trek 8000 bought as a stock bike but now with Shimano 959 pedals, Shimano XT bottom bracket and XT crank (172.5 mm arms to replace the stock 175mm Bondy crank), Bontrager Race Lite titanium rail with gel insert saddle (actually manufactured by Selle San Marco--Viva Italia!), titanium skewers, and do-dads like a handlebar compass (indespensible) and Titec ski bends.
a Weekend Warrior
from Knoxville, IA
Date Reviewed: December 16, 2002
Strengths: Good looking, light weight
Weaknesses: some free hub problems
I have only had these things trued one time in 6 months and I have given them a pretty good beating. I took them off my wife's Sugar 3+ because she had a lighter hand-built set. I had some freehub concerns while in Moab. The slickrock will tear things up though. I weigh about 220 in riding gear so I have been pleased so far. I would buy them again.
Weaknesses: Freehub issues if not taken apart and loved with grease regularly
Sent to me by Trek as replacements for my Superstocks, am truly happy with them. Have raced almost every weekend since August '01, and am astounded they stay true. I weigh 150 lbs though, and do mostly XC racing. They are most desirable and deliver technical happiness. For the money (you can find them at a bargain, look around) they are lightweight and quality wheels. Remember when reading other reviews that most truing/hub issues are traceable to the original shop setting the wheels up incorrectly. If needed though, Trek will replace parts easily.
a Cross Country Rider
from Central Jersey
Date Reviewed: June 8, 2002
Strengths: Nice hubs and rims for the money
Weaknesses: Both wheels are out of dish and all of the spokes were loose. It's like someone forgot to finish them!
These wheels came on my new Yeti FRO. As soon as I got home from the bike shop, I noticed both wheels were not right. I thought they weren't in the dropouts all the way or something, because they were crooked. A quick check with a dishing tool and truing stand showed they were not dished correctly. All of the spokes were kinda loose too. Bontrager products have always been great, but I am VERY dissappointed this time. They will be replaced very soon!
Favorite Trail: Anywhere there's no hikers or horses
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Similar Products Used: 14 years worth of handbuilt and machine built wheels
Bike Setup: Yeti FRO
Date Reviewed: April 15, 2002
Strengths: Very strong. I've had them for 6 mo. now. Haven't had to true them in yet.
Weaknesses: Not cheap enough for me to buy another wheelset on my budget.
I weigh 210 and I ride a little too rough and every other trip to the bike shop was to true in my wheels until I got this wheelset. I want to get some more to put on my hardtail. They are kinda pricey for me but I won't put my money on anything else but these, so I'm saving.
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