Bontrager Aeolus 5.0 Wheelset Review

Bontrager Aeolus 5.0 Wheelset 300x300 Bontrager Aeolus 5.0 Wheelset Review

Bontrager Aeolus 5.0 Wheelset

The Aeolus line of wheelsets marks Bontrager’s new range of super aero wheelsets, headed up by the impressive deep-section Aeolus 9.0. The Aeolus 5.0 is the shallow rim member of the line-up, but its differences are purely in function and not in quality.  That said, don’t mistake the Aeolus 5.0 wheelset for the Aeoleus 5.0 ACC; the 5.0 proper is the real all-carbon model, while the 5.0 ACC is aluminum with a carbon facing. Not the same thing at all.

Science and design

So what’s all the fuss about with the Aeolus carbon wheelsets?  First of all, look for spidery 16-spoke lacing. Looks delicate, right? Well, don’t worry. Bontrager has combined the new lacing system with OCLV carbon rims – a process that compresses the carbon fiber into a super-dense weave, removing the air pockets that weaken the mesh. The result is a super light, super strong all-carbon rim. So light in fact that it tips the scales at only 1606g for the clincher and an incredible 1506g for the tubular version – making the Aeolus 5.0 wheelset Bontrager’s lightest aero wheelset, and thus the obvious choice for Team Radio Shack to choose from the Bontrager stable.

Riding the 5.0

The Bontrager Aeolus 5.0 wheelset is certainly light – we noticed the difference as soon as it was on the bike. The question with all mega-light wheels though is are they up to the rigors of racing? When the power is on, will they hold their form, or will they flex and creak and disperse valuable watts? We decided to put these wheels to a real test; we put them under a 190-pound rider on a long Sunday group ride.

Rolling along in the group, the wheels stayed smooth and stable. So far so good. As the pack headed for the first tough climb, and our rider got out of the saddle to lay the power down, we were pleasantly surprised. These wheels do everything they say they will. No flex, no sound of creaks and strain, and every ounce of effort flowed right through to the road, making these wheels stand out as real climbers.

On the descents, our rider started out a little cautiously, not putting too much faith in the spidery spoke lacings. He needn’t have worried; the OCLV carbon kept these wheels straight and stable, even on high speed corners and over bumps and lumps. These wheels definitely have a remarkable ability to hold the road! Now for the streetlight sprint – and once again the stiffness of the wheels really came out, and we watched our test rider power to the front of the pack and disappear into the distance.

Should you buy this wheel?

The verdict? Absolutely. If you are out to time trial or do triathlons, you might prefer the extra depth of the Aeolus 6.5, but if it’s the top of the podium you want, then the Bontrager Aeolus 5.0 wheelset is a perfect choice.  At around $2500, you need to be serious about your racing, but if you are, these wheels would be very hard to beat, whether on price, weight or performance. And if you are a big power rider, then look no further. Finally there is a super light wheelset that can take everything you dish out!

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