Bontrager Race X Lite 2010 Wheelset Review

Bontrager Race X Lite Wheelset 300x300 Bontrager Race X Lite 2010 Wheelset Review

Bontrager Race X Lite Wheelset

Bontrager’s ‘Race’ line of wheels is the granddaddy of the Bonty race wheels tables.  Around long enough to have a solid reputation for high quality and light weight, The Race series of wheels is good value for novice and serious riders. Bontrager has dressed up the Race wheelsets for 2010 with some new features and a new look, so if you are shopping for good wheels for riding and racing that won’t break the bank, then the Bontrager Race series is a great place to start.

Fresh and new

The Race X Light is at the top of the mid range Race series, with only the Race XXX Lite costing more (and the Race XXX Lite is really a very different wheel). So what you can expect is some of the top range features and technology, but at a lower price and rolling a little heavier, and with a fresh new look for 2010.

And that is pretty much what you get. These wheels look great and feel light right out of the box. The sleek black and white scandium alloy rims make a smart change from aluminum. Scandium is one of the most overlooked materials in cycling – but here it gives these wheels less weight and more strength than aluminum ever can. Red hubs and spoke nipples hide an improved drive mechanism that is also designed for easy maintenance and excellent durability and remarkable lateral stiffness for a mid-range wheel.

At only 1520g, these wheels are certainly light enough to race, and at around $800 are great value for a rider stepping up in class or making a push for the podium.

How do they ride?

The Bontrager race wheels have always been a personal favorite of mine. They don’t cost much, they last long and are easy to maintain, and they look good -  the only downside has been that there have been lighter and cheaper options around. Not anymore. For the money, these are a super light set of wheels, and Bonty’s engineering efforts have made a wheel that doesn’t just look good, but has a noticeable improvement in ride quality (thanks to the new hubs) and an aero feel.

The biggest difference in ride quality between these wheels and others in the same price range comes from the scandium rims. Simply put, these are just about the stiffest, strongest wheels around for the weight. I don’t know what science is behind it, but the rims feel like they just want to keep rolling – they are light and quick to accelerate, but once they are rolling you can really feel the flow.

Heavier riders should consider the Race X Lite wheelset too; the combination of clever hub and spoke lacing and the strength of scandium makes these wheels tough enough for just about any rider. Better than that, when our powerhouse riders tested this wheelset, we expected to find some flex under high power stress. No chance. Big strong riders finally have a responsive, lightweight wheel that can take whatever they dish out, and best of all, it looks great, and doesn’t cost a fortune!

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