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Bontrager and Friends

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A tech report on confirms my earlier post of how Bontrager teamed up with wheel guru, Steve Hed, to produce the new Aeolus wheelset (see Bontrager Thinks Aero). This new line of wheels have a Bontrager foundation with HED aerodynamics. The tech report also reveals that new Bontrager wheels will have DT Swiss hubs with interchangeable hub bodies so that one can use either Shimano or Campagnolo cassettes. This is great for those feeling resitricted to either one or the other and definitely goes along with the theme of giving the consumer flexibility in component selection (see Keyword: Integrated).

The Bontrager "team" doesn't stop there. Apparently the new OCLV Boron carbon cranks/BB combo are a product of a collaboration between Race Face and Stronglight. Whoa! What's going on here? Bontrager seems to be getting a whole lot of outside advise on products lately, blurring the lines between manufacturers. When are you buying a Bontrager product and when are you buying a HED, DT Swiss, Race Face, Stronglight, or Truvativ product? You can't fool us, Bontrager; those XXX Bontrager carbon cranks of last year look too much like Truvativ Rouleur GXP carbon cranks.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not bashing Bontrager but merely making an observation. It's not like they hide the fact that they get outside input into product development. The new OCLV cranks have a Race Face badge on the BB and Stronglight on the rings, for example. Plus, some of these new products appear to be new designs (Aeolus wheels and OCLV crank arms), not just rebadged components like before. So long as Bontrager (and team) adds genuinely new products to the market, I think the consumer will get a better product (but at a cost, I'm sure).

Did I mention these new cranks and BB combo are claimed to weigh in at a feathery 700 grams? Compare that to Shimano Dura Ace FC-7800 cranks that weigh 779 grams, Truvativ Rouleur GXP cranks that weigh 835 grams, and FSA K-Force MegaEXO cranks that weigh 785 grams. The Race Face Cadence alloy cranks weigh a claimed 860 grams. Do you think Bontrager was forced to find a new source for their cranks after SRAM bought out Truvativ?

Related articles:
Bontrager expands Aeolus wheel line and adds carbon crankset (
Tech Talk: Bontrager and the Importance of Being Aero (
News from the Homefront: Trek's Carbon Commitment (

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