Bontrager Aeolus 3 D3 carbon clincher wheelset – review

Wonderfully fast, supremely stable, decent on hills


We were impressed by the DT-sourced Bontrager hubs, which revolved on cartridge bearings that proved to be eminently reliable. The freehub body, based on DT’s star ratchet drive system, offered rapid pick-up and, like the bearings, gave no cause for concern. Quite aside from the performance, we applaud Bontrager’s selection of  DT components for their sheer availability: spares are likely to be easily sourced, should the need arise.

While the Aeolus 3s were plenty stiff, the rear was no stiffer than wheels we’ve ridden without Bontrager’s “stack” lacing on the driveside hub flange. It looks pretty, though.

We noted the aluminium freehub body in our ‘first look’ and wondered aloud how this would fare beneath a steel cassette. The answer is that it emerged slightly scuffed after our eight-week test period, but this is an inevitable consequence of any similar set-up (soft aluminium beneath hard steel), and it would perhaps be unfair to criticise Bontrager in this regard.

The last of our early observations on the hub concerned the ‘stack’ lacing on the driveside flange. While the Aeolus 3 was plenty stiff, it was no stiffer than wheels with more conventional hub flange designs. It looks pretty, though.

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