Since 2001, Bontrager wheels have employed spokes paired side by side at the rim, the idea being to apply the axial pull of the spokes at the same point. This means that the rim need be less stiff laterally since it does not have to run true despite being pulled alternately to either side. The downside is that the rim must be axially stiffer to resist the inwards pull of two spokes simultaneously.
For 2010, the Bontrager wheel range will feature ‘alternating’ spoke location, with the spoke holes equally spaced along the rim in the classic pattern. The reason given is that Bontrager’s rims have become progessively wider – and hence axially stiffer – in recent years in the search for improved aerodynamics, making them better able to support alternating spoke spacing and reducing the need for a radially stiff rim.
The result is said to be lower equivalent rim weight across the Bontrager range, which will comprise Race XXX Lite, Race X Lite, Race Lite, Race, Classics and SSR Road Disc models.