Bontrager Line Plus TLR 29 wheels review

Capable lightweight and strong wheelset for 29+ bikes

29er Plus Wheels
Bontrager Line Plus TLR 29 is a worthy upgrade for any 29+ bike.

Bontrager Line Plus TLR 29 is a worthy upgrade for your 29+ bike (click to enlarge).

Lowdown: Bontrager Line Plus TLR 29 Wheels

The plus-size bike segment is quickly gaining popularity thanks to its “mid-fat” tire size that balances go-anywhere traction with reasonable rolling speed. But while there are a number of 27.5+ wheel and tire options that work with plus-size frames and forks, 29+ options are more limited. The redesigned Trek Stache plus bike can accommodate both plus-size wheel options, and to enhance the performance of the Stache or any other plus-size frame and fork (Boost-compatible or not) that can accommodate 29+ wheels and tires, Bontrager has released the Line Plus TLR 29 wheelset that’s designed to work best with the Bontrager Chupacabra 29×3.0” tire. Mtbr logged four months of serious abuse on these tubeless-ready wheels, including an eight-day, 421-mile off-road adventure from Salt Lake City to Moab, Utah to see if they could hold up. Read our full review below to find out the answer.

Stat Box
Width: 44mm outer, 39mm inner Included: Rims strips, interchangeable axles
Spacing: Boost 110×15 f/148r, 135/142x12mm Weight: 2052 grams
Rotor attachment: 6 bolt Price: $1000
Spokes: DT Swiss 28-hole front/rear Rating: 4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4.5 Chilis-out-of-5
Cassette body: 54t Rapid Drive DT Swiss Shimano (SRAM XD available)

Pluses
Minuses
  • Durable
  • Expensive for alloy
  • Light weight
  • 29+ fork options limited
  • Offset spoke bed = stiffer, truer wheel
  • Bright colors not for everyone
  • Quick freehub engagement
  • SRAM XD Driver costs extra
  • Shimano and SRAM XD driver compatible
  • Good tubeless performance
  • Compatible with Boost or non-Boost

Review: Bontrager Line Plus TLR 29

Over the past four months, these Bonty wheels were put through the testing wringer on a Trek Stache; first by spending three months in the rocky, high speed conditions of Downieville that usually eats wheels alive, then later in an eight-day, 421-mile mountain bike odyssey between Salt Lake City and Moab. Through it all, the Line Plus TLR 29 wheels with 39mm inner rim width performed stellar, as did the Chupacabra 29×3.0” tires that were designed to work with these wheels.

The Line Plus TLR 29s handled 421-miles of rocky terrain between Salt Lake City and Moab without one flat. Photo by James Adamson – dropmedia.tv

The Line Plus TLR 29s handled 421 miles of rocky terrain between Salt Lake City and Moab without a single flat (click to enlarge). Photo by James Adamson – dropmedia.tv

Amidst the four months of abuse, the Line Plus TLR 29 wheels seemed unfazed, with little more than a slight ding or two on the rear rim. Even after more than 1000 miles of mixed terrain from high speed fire roads to boulder-strewn tech fests, the Line Plus TLR 29s are still dead true without ever having been serviced. This durability can be credited in part to the 28-hole DT Swiss straight pull spoke design and offset hole pattern, which reduces wheel dish.

Nail head, 28-hole spoke design provides durability and stiffness.

The 28-hole spoke design provides durability and stiffness (click to enlarge).

Equally impressive was the performance of the plus-size Bontrager Chupacabra tires, delivering a balance of big wheel rolling speed and tenacious cornering bite. At 850 grams, the Chupacabra is light for a plus-size tire. Yet, during those 1000 miles of abuse, I only suffered one flat that required an inner tube to get home. While it would be nice to see a slightly heavier Chupacabra with thicker sidewalls for rougher terrain, so long as the rider doesn’t smash into sharp rocks at terminal velocity, these treads from Bontrager will hold up great.

Continue to page 2 for more of our Bontrager Line Plus TLR 29 wheels review »

About the author: Kurt Gensheimer

Kurt Gensheimer thinks the bicycle is man’s most perfect invention. He firmly believes ‘singlespeed’ is a compound word. He sometimes wears a disco ball helmet. He is also known as Genshammer. He is a Gemini and sleeps outside in a hammock.


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  • Empire Builder says:

    32h? They appear to have 28 spokes.

  • AP says:

    Wheels are indeed 28 spoke. The hubs are Bontrager design not DT Swiss. There is no star ratchet. The freehub is a 3 pawl design. Thanks.

  • Gib says:

    Can you fit smaller size tires on these rims? Like 2.0, 2.2, or 2.3 ? Wondering because I can fit the 3.0 on the front but not the rear planning on a 2.3 on the rear.

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