Trek world: Disc Brake Wheels
This is the first in a series of stories from the recent Trek World event in Silverstone. The Wisconsin based brand had pretty much everything new in one place to get us (and hopefully you) excited about. First up was a host of wheels from Bontrager, but we will be concentrating on the new range of Affinity disc brake wheels. Split into three models, the range starts at the £340 Comp, rising through the £550 Elite and finishing with the range topping Pro variant for £850. This does leave space for a possible XXX (carbon perhaps) version in the future but we have no word on that as yet. As you can infer from this, the whole range uses aluminium rims, and while the exact profiles aren’t identical, they do all share a 23mm external width and a 17.5mm internal measurement between the bead. All the wheels feature Bontrager’s tubeless ready system, dubbed TLR, and all the relevant rim strips and valves are included with the wheels. The rims themselves are all disc specific, with the Comp and Elite sharing a curvaceous profile. The Pro model has a thinner rim wall and reinforcement around the spoke fittings. Another common feature across the range is the off centre spoke bed. Keith Bontrager was an early proponent of the design, and Bontrager as a brand continue to use the design as – theoretically – it offered more even spoke tension on drive and non drive spokes for a rear wheel and on disc wheels, the OSB system can . Talking of spokes, DT stainless are used throughout – 14-15 gauge on the two lower priced models, and thinner 14-17 gauge on the Elite. Dt also makes an appearance on the Pro’s hubs. The Star Ratchet internals are used and should prove reliable. The spoking pattern is called Stacked lacing and is essentially the vertical alignment (at the hub flange) of pairs of straight pull spokes. This pattern continues on the Elite level wheelset although the Star Ratchet drive internals are lost, replaced with a standard pawl based system. The Comp wheelset shares the internals with the Elite, but uses standard j-bend spokes and hub-flanges. One nice touch is that all three wheel sets have adapters available to use with different axle set ups, so you should be reasonably future proof, should you buy another frame with thru axles, or need to use the wheels across a number of bikes with different drop-outs.
Claimed weights for the wheels are: Pro – 705g(f) / 820g (r) – 1525g pair Elite – 740g(f) / 915g (r) – 1655g pair Comp – 765g(f) / 985g (r) – 1730g pair We will be getting a test pair or two in to feature in the digital magazine and on this very website, but in the meantime, keep checking the Bontrager website, we are assured that the new products should show up there soon.