Bontrager adds depth to RSL and Pro wheel ranges

Bontrager Aeolus RSL 51
(Image credit: Bontrager)

Bontrager has updated its top- and second-tier road wheel ranges with new sizes, wider rim profiles and, by using an all-new three-dimensional modelling design process to refine the rim shape, reduce rolling resistance, increase stability and improve aerodynamics. This, according to the brand, has resulted in its best road bike wheels to date, offering a clear improvement in performance over the outgoing Aeolus XXX range.

As with most current bike design, Trek has leveraged an increase in modern computing power, revising the design process and increasing the measurable variables and detail that’s possible to be modelled. Bontrager says this has allowed them to more accurately model real-world conditions and study drag across the whole wheel in every direction. As a result, the new wheels in the 51mm size are claimed to offer a 16 per cent increase in aerodynamics over the Aeolus XXX 4 wheels. The three-dimensional study has not just optimised straight-line speed either as Bontrager claims a noticeable improvement of stability as well. In ‘real-life’, these updates to rim shape add up to a claimed saving of 6.3 watts (RSL 51 TLR Vs XXX 4 Tubular). In more practical terms, Bontrager calculates that as 35.7 seconds faster over an hour of riding at 32.5kph. 

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Graham has been part of the Cyclingnews team since January 2020. He has mountain biking at his core and can mostly be found bikepacking around Scotland or exploring the steep trails around the Tweed Valley. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has gained a reputation for riding fixed gear bikes both too far and often in inappropriate places.