With a weight coming in at 1575grams and setting you back $1300 for the wheelset, the Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3V is a bomb-proof, yet most importantly, more affordable carbon wheels option, perfect for road, all-road, or straight up gravel riding and racing. To be honest, with a price point like that, it’s hard to deny the appeal of these wheels but let’s dive into the details of Bontrager’s assembled in the US carbon disc wheels. I’ve been using these wheels for over eight months now and have some thoughts on what to expect…
-OCLV Pro Carbon layup
-D3 Dual Directional Design profile
-25mm inner rim width (32mm outer)
-Rapid Drive 108 road hubs
-Tubeless Ready (TLR) rims
-Centerlock disc with 12mm thru-axle and end caps available for 15mm conversion
-No rider weight limit
V is for Volume
With an interior rim width of 25mm, the Aeolus Pro 3V wheels are meant for tires between 35mm through the biggest gravel tires you’d want to run. Currently, I am running the Bontrager GR2 Team Issue tires, which are a 40mm tire that measures 42mm on these wheels. This ability to run higher volume tires greatly improves ride quality when taking on rough gravel or 4×4 roads.
Hubs and Spokes
These wheels utilize Bontrager’s Rapid Drive 108 Road hub, named after its 108 points of engagement, resulting in instant connectivity when your feet hit the pedals. These hubs are jet black, have a pleasant hum, of which I’d compare to a similar-spec DT Swiss hub, center lock disc brakes, and easily-swapped end caps and driver body. Currently, these wheels are on my Firefly, which has become my go-to road bike. The alloy locking nipples and bladed spokes add to the high-end feel of these mid-end wheels.
Carbon a Go-Go
Bontrager describes their OCLV Pro Carbon layup much like any carbon wheel manufacturer would, claiming they’re a perfect blend of weight, stiffness, and durability, yet my biggest concern when riding carbon wheels is how easily they set up tubeless, will they require maintenance, and what do you do when you snap a spoke? Luckily, the only one of those three concerns I had to address was the tubeless setup, which I actually did quite easily thanks to the Bontrager rim strip, which is perfectly profiled to nest into these rims, making tubeless setup a cinch.
As for maintenance, pending any sort of curb or rock-impact, I can’t imagine these wheels ever needing even a spoke wrench taken to them. I have put in about 1000 miles on them since receiving them and upon final inspection, there isn’t even a slight wobble in the rims. In fact, they still look practically new. This durability, matched with Bontrager’s new lifetime warranty and sleek, minimal graphics land the Aeolus Pro 3V at the top of my sub-$2,000 gravel wheel category. With their price point of $1300, it’s hard to argue with that!