The Bontrager Aeolus 3 D3 wheel did what almost every component claims to do and which few achieve: it made us faster. Much of this pleasing state of affairs is owed to the wheels’ superb performance, and some of it to the desire it breeds in the rider to push harder. Wheels that accelerate so willingly, and which hold their speed with such apparent ease, that corner with such accuracy, almost demand to be pushed harder, creating a virtuous circle.
We’ve touched elsewhere on the ability of high-quality wheels to extract the maximum from a frameset, and the Aeolus 3 inspired our already feisty Kinesis Racelight TK3 test rig to new levels of performance, removing any doubt from our mind that dividing your resources between an affordable but well-made aluminium chassis and a sophisticated wheelset is infinitely preferable to a package of middling carbon chassis and stock wheels, if you’re on a budget (if you’re not, of course, go the whole hog and buy a highly sophisticated carbon frameset to match the hoops).
Many riders will find the price of these wheels prohibitive, but we’d have no hesitation in recommending the Aeolous 3 D3 to those sufficiently well-resourced to purchase them. If travelling faster for the same effort strikes you as a good thing (and the only thing we found that topped it was to push harder and go faster still), then congratulations – you’ve discovered a wheel that will allow you to do so.