Review: Bontrager Line Pro 30 Wheelset

Updated carbon wheelset for aggressive trail riding

29er Pro Reviews

Bontrager is rolling out an updated version of its carbon wheelset designed for aggressive trail riding and enduro racing. According to Bontrager, the new Line Pro 30 is the strongest mountain bike wheelset the company has ever tested—from any brand.

Bontrager Line Pro 30 Wheelset Highlights

  • Weight: 810g front / 950g rear / 1,760g complete
  • OCLV carbon rims
  • Claimed best-in-class impact strength
  • Extra-wide beads designed to prevent pinch-flats
  • 29mm internal width
  • Rapid Drive 108-point freehub provides 3.3-degrees of engagement
  • Available in 27.5 and 29-inch versions
  • Warrantied against manufacture’s defects for life
  • Two-year no questions asked crash replacement
  • Price: $1,299.99
  • Available now
  • For more information visit: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/line-mtb-wheels/

Bontrager has big expectations for the latest generation the Line Pro 30. The company claims it has nearly double the impact strength of the new carbon rims compared to the previous version. The Bontrager developed a new test platform to subject the rims to harsh, square-edge impacts that replicate real-world riding conditions.

Related: Bontrager rolls out Carbon Care Wheel Loyalty Program

Bontrager developed the "Eriminator" to subject the rims to square-edge impacts to replicate real-world riding conditions.

Bontrager developed the “Eriminator” to subject the rims to square-edge impacts to replicate real-world riding conditions.

“These wheels set all-time records in our impact test, but we wanted to go even further to ensure every rider could buy and ride with confidence,” said Graham Wilhelm, Bontrager’s director of product for wheels and tires. “So we created an all-new impact anvil that delivers even stronger, more menacing blows that mimic real-world forces of rock strikes. These wheels performed incredibly well,” Wilhelm added.

According to Bontrager, the all-new Line Pro 30 and more affordable Line Elite 30 are the strongest carbon MTB wheels Bontrager has ever tested. Not just from Bontrager, but from any manufacturer.

Bontrager's redesigned Line 30 Pro wheelset is wider and shallower to make it more durable.

Bontrager’s redesigned Line 30 Pro wheelset is wider, shallower, and stronger than the previous version.

In order to get to this point, Bontrager redesigned this carbon trail wheelset with a shallower, 27mm rim profile to improve vertical flex. This allows the rims to deflect off impacts, rather than crack.

Even if your rims emerge unscathed from a bone-jarring impact with a square-edged rock, your tires may not fare as well. To reduce the likelihood of pinch flating, the company more than doubled the bead thickness, broadening each side of the rim to 4.6mm. Bontrager claims the wider beads offer a 300-percent larger outside radius, which means more surface area to distribute impact forces, preventing pinch flats.

The Line Pro 30 keeps the 29mm internal width of the previous generation, buts gets extra-wide beads to decrease pinch flats.

The Line Pro 30 keeps the 29mm internal width of the previous generation, buts gets extra-wide beads to decrease pinch flats.

Unlike many of Bontrager’s carbon competitors, the Line Pro 30 rims still uses bead hooks. According to Bontrager product manager Alex Applegate, Bontrager designs its rims and rim strips as a system. “The rim strip fills in the rim profile, effectively giving you a hookless type setup, but with the added benefit of the tire butting up directly against the strip. This helps with air retention and eases the initial tubeless setup. Structurally, there is no downside to the hook. It is just as strong and even offers more tire protection on sharp impacts,” Applegate said.

Related: Best mountain bike wheel size – is 29 or 27.5 right for you?

While the OCLV carbon rims received a makeover, the rest of the Line 30 wheelset is more or less the same as the previous model. Aside from cosmetic differences, this wheelset still relies on 28 DT Swiss straight-pull Aerolight spokes and Alpina locking nipples to connect the rims to the hubs. As for the hubs, Bontrager’s Line Pro 30 wheelset still employs Bontrager’s Rapid Drive system. This fast-engaging freehub uses six pawls to provide 108 points of speedy engagement.


Bontrager Line Pro 30 Review

Despite plowing through rock gardens with intentionally reckless abandoned the Line Pro 30 wheelset remains unscathed.

Despite plowing through rock gardens with intentionally reckless abandoned the Line Pro 30 wheelset remains unscathed.

So what does all this tech translate to on the trail? I’ve been testing 29-inch version of the Line Pro 30 for about six weeks and despite plowing through rock gardens with intentionally reckless abandoned the rims remain unscathed. I’ve bottomed out my tires against the rims on numerous occasions and have yet to experience a pinch flat. So it seems Bongtrager may be on to something with this revised wheelset.

As someone who frequently swaps wheelsets between bikes equipped with SRAM and Shimano drivetrains, I appreciate the ease with which the freehub can be changed between XD and Microspline standards. This is great for routine maintenance as well—just pull the endcap, followed by the driver body and you can clean and lube the pawls in a matter of minutes.

Bontrager's Rapid Drive freehub is quick on the trail and easy to service.

Bontrager’s Rapid Drive freehub is quick on the trail and easy to service.

Opinions on freehub engagement speed seem to be dependent on where you ride. If your trails are fast and flowy, engagement speed might not be a big concern. On the other hand, if your trails are rocky and technical, or just plain janky, freehub engagement may be something you pay close attention to. I fall into the latter category and have never met a fast-acting freehub I didn’t like. Bontrager’s Rapid Drive system strikes a nice balance between virtually telepathic engagement of Industry Nine’s Hydra hubs and the slower, but always reliable DT Swiss Star Ratchet system.

So what about Bontrager’s claims of increased vertical compliance? As a lightweight rider (150lbs), there are a few carbon wheelsets I find to be harsh. (Bontrager’s original Line XXX among them.) The Line Pro 30 lives up to its name—it does an excellent job of muting trail chatter and keeping you on the line you want to take. Best of all, it doesn’t have a wallet-searing price tag.


Verdict

The updated Line Pro 30 wheelset delivers on Bontrager’s claims of developing a wheelset that’s vertically-compliant with a rim profile designed to thwart pinch flats. While it’s more affordable than boutique offerings, $1,299 is still a significant investment for most mountain bikers. Thankfully, Bontrager backs the Line Pro 30 up with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer’s defects and a two-year warranty against whatever may happen to the wheels on or off the trail. Head over to Bontrager’s wheel site to learn more.


About the author: Josh Patterson

Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998, and has been writing about mountain biking and cyclocross since 2006. He was also at the forefront of the gravel cycling movement, and is a multi-time finisher of Dirty Kanza. These days, Josh spends most of this time riding the rocky trails and exploring the lonely gravel roads around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.


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