The Holy Grail, the brass ring, cycling’s Sasquatch. A wheel that rides as well as a tubular but does it without the hassle. A number of recent developments have been getting us closer: wide rims, lightweight carbon, and tubeless technology. The peloton has been collectively holding its breath, waiting for these three elements to come together and create a package that can rival the tubular in every regard. We’ve been getting closer, notably with the Easton EC90 Aero 55 Tubeless clincher.
Now Bontrager — long tooting the tubeless horn with its excellent TLR line of alloy clinchers — is bringing tubeless to its Aeolus D3 carbon-clincher line and it may be time for us all to take a deep breath. The Aeolus D3 line was initially launched on the back of its slippery aerodynamics but has become just as well respected for its light weight, durability, quality braking and ride quality. The entire line — 30mm Aeolus 3, 50mm Aeolus 5, 70mm Aeolus 7, 90mm Aeolus 9 – are going tubeless with the tubular options remaining.
But the story doesn’t end there. Bontrager is also releasing the Aeolus 3 and 5 with a disc option as well. A good call since the wheels have found a dedicated ‘cross following. The rim shapes themselves are subtly different as well. Rim widths have increased to a whopping internal width of 19.5mm to really let the tire shine and with tubeless making lower pressures ridable the handling could be the best on the road.
But wait — there’s more.
Bontrager has pulled significant weight from the wheels, as much as 110 grams on some sets. This is as important as making the rims wider and tubeless-compatible if they are to truly do battle with tubulars. The Aeolus 3 D3 TLR clincher is now a svelte 1,356 grams. Even the 50mm-deep Aeolus 5 falls well under the magic 1,500-gram threshold at 1,440 grams. As usual Bontrager relies on DT Swiss internals in its hubs, and the tubeless system is drawn straight from the tried-and-true TLR system.
peloton has a set of the Aeolus 3 D3 TLR inbound, and you can be sure we’ll bring you the results of a long-term test in the pages of peloton magazine as soon as possible. See the sample weights and pricing for the new line below:
Aeolus 3 D3 TLR weight: 1,356grams. Price: $2,850
Aeolus 3 D3 Tubular weight: 1,150grams. Price: $2,400
Aeolus 5 D3 TLR: weight: 1,440grams. Price: $2,850
Aeolus 5 D3 Disc Tubular: weight: 1,295 grams. Price: $2,400
For complete specs and more info hit bontrager.com