Bontrager Aeolus 6.5 Review

Bontrager Aeolus 6.5 Wheelset 300x300 Bontrager Aeolus 6.5 Review

Bontrager Aeolus 6.5 Wheelset

With the Aeolus line of wheelsets, Bontrager has really stepped up into the world of super fast aerodynamic wheels. Don’t get me wrong, Bontrager wheels have always had a strong reputation, but when riders wanted to go really fast, maximizing aerodynamics, light weight, and stiffness, they would usually turn to the science behind Zipp or Hed. Not anymore. Bontrager has been working with none other than Steve Hed himself to improve their line of aero wheelsets, and the Aeolus is the dawning of a new era for Bontrager.

World class technology

The perks of the Aeolus start inside the wheel – new hub design increases power transfer, and allows for a super light but super strong 16 spoke lacing. Combine that with the OCLV carbon compression system for the rim walls – which removes the air pockets and tightens up the carbon weave for increased strength and stiffness – and you get one sturdy yet lightweight wheelset. At only 1585g for the tubular and 1670g for the clincher version the Aeolus 6.5 wheelset is hard to beat.

Test ride

The question was – would the Bontrager Aeolus 6.5 wheelset live up to the hype when it was really out on the road? We chose a heavier rider – at 190 pounds – to see if the wheelset really was as strong and as stiff as Bontrager claims, and chose a rolling breezy course. Right off the blocks, the Aeolus 6.5 wheelset accelerated quickly – much faster than a disc – and once up to speed rolled smoothly. On the hills, when our rider stepped up the power, there was still no perceivable flex from the rear wheel – it was beginning to look like this wheelset really did everything Bontrager promised.

There’s no doubt that on a flat course, or down hills, a disc would be faster, especially for a rider like ours who can put out a lot of power. But once the wind picked up, the Aeolus 6.5 wheelset really came into its own. Even a crosswind with a low yaw angle can drag down a disc, and if you’ve ever ridden a trispoke in front you’ll know that perceptible wobble of even gentle crosswind. The 65mm rim depth struck a perfect balance for us though – the wheels really held their line against the wind. What was the verdict from our test rider? Well, he’s got the power pull a disc in a time trail, but for a hilly course or a windy day, the Aeolus 6.5 wheelset would be a first pick. Our rider had another observation though – if you are after a road race podium spot, then take a look at the Aeolus 6.5 wheelset. The power transfer and durability makes the Aeolus 6.5 an ideal choice for serious road racers too.

Who should buy this wheelset?

At $2250 MSRP for the tubular version, frankly, everyone who is serious about riding fast should have this wheelset! The rim depth combined with the super stiff OCLV carbon weave makes this a fine choice for serious road racers, the light weight makes it a good choice for lighter triathletes and time trialists who don’t want to drag a disc, and let’s face it, anyone would find these wheels a joy to ride.

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