Bontrager Line Pro 30 Wheels
The Best Budget Carbon Mountain Bike Wheelset
Words & Photos by Drew Rohde
If you’re having deja-vu looking at these wheels, don’t wrack your brain too hard. You’re right, you’ve seen them on our site before. In fact, they’ve made multiple appearances over the summer. Bontrager’s Line Pro 30 wheels have been our test platform for several tire reviews as we wanted to get a full season of riding in to see how they handled some extended abuse. Excuse our skepticism, but it was Mr. Bontrager himself who famously stated, “Strong, light, cheap, pick two.” Let’s see if these wheels can break their namesake’s philosophy.
Bontrager’s ever-growing line of components and accessories has long been amongst our favorites. They’re sort of that sleeper in-house brand that may get overlooked or discredited as being nothing more than Trek’s in-house spec bits. The truth is, they make some of our favorite tires on the market, quality bibs, super comfy helmets and one of our favorite floor pumps. It still really blows, five years later.
Available in 27.5 or 29-inch diameters, we chose to test the smaller of the two hoops aboard a 180mm test sled, the Polygon Xquare One. Over the course of this riding season they’ve seen three sets of tires and more almost as many corner slashing freeride flicks as an R-Dog edit.
Molded from Trek’s famous Optimum Compaction Low Void (OCLV) carbon, these smooth hoops have a 29mm inner width and 34 outer. Twenty-eight DT Swiss Aerolite spokes converge at Bontrager Rapid Drive hubs. Boost spacing front and rear increases overall build stiffness and makes the wheels compatible with most current bike models. The Rapid Drive 108 rear hub comes ready for Shimano 10/11 speed cassettes, but can be retrofitted to work with a SRAM drivetrain by purchasing the XD driver separately.
The hubs feature an offset six-pawl system and a 54-tooth drive ring. This means that three pawls are engaged at a time, which leads to an impressive 3.3 degrees of crank rotation before engagement. Snappy and precise power when you need it.
Bontrager’s wheels are tubeless ready and come with the tubeless rim strip installed and a TLR valve and valve core tool.
Over the last few months these wheels have really impressed everyone they’ve come in contact with. I’ve definitely spent the most amount of time on them, but let other testers try them this summer. I also spent a long day riding with R-Dog who had nothing but good things to say. Sure he gets paid by Trek to say good things, but after riding behind him and watching his hyperactive rear end, it’s safe to say that if he’s not had any issues with them, they’ll continue working for me!
All of our testers weighed around 170lbs and all ride at an expert and above range. I personally did my best to ride these wheels in an aggressive manor to expedite any issues that may arise. To help do this I put the wheels on the extremely capable Polygon Xquare One and rode them on brutally rough Whistler Bike Park trails the entire week of Crankworx. Even after that, I’ve never even had to touch spoke tension, despite hitting things hard enough to make some unsettling sounds.
Over the years we’ve tested and ridden all sorts of wheels, and I’ve personally grown to love a slightly softer wheel over some of the overly stiff types. Compared to an Enve M70, Bontrager’s Line Pro 30s offer a more compliant ride. These wheels do not require any suspension adjustments or an attack mentality to capture the benefits of their design. Whether you want to go out and lay down race pace runs or cruise with friends, the wheels blend comfort with performance.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Bontrager has long been one of our favorite under the radar (in-house) brands. With products like the Line Pro 30 wheels it’s easy to continue recommending them. Our only real complaint is the large Bontrager branding around the wheel. They did a good job of making the graphic colors subtle and stylish, but we would have preferred a bit less branding from an aesthetic perspective.
Performance on these wheels is very impressive. We’ve beat on them for an entire season in some of the harshest conditions around. The ride isn’t abusive, yet the wheels are stiff enough to keep us going where we want to be. At $1,200 they aren’t what some would call cheap compared to $600 alloy builds, but they’re definitely an insane value for someone wanting to enter the carbon wheel world on a budget. After months of abuse we are confident calling these the best budget mountain bike wheels on the market. A worthy upgrade to increase the ride quality and performance of your bike. The Wolf approves.
Weight: 1,551 grams