Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 35
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    Trek Speed Concept 9.9, 2011 Calfee Tetra Tandem
    Posts
    894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Bontrager tandem wheels

    I have seen that you can still buy the Bontrager tandem wheels. Does anyone have them and what is your impression. Are they durable and fit for everyday use?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    My Bikes
    Serotta Legend Ti, Santa Cruz Heckler, Santana Visa TAndem
    Posts
    198
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    DubT, I would do a search for Bontrager tandem wheels. I definitely have seen some discussion about them in the recent past.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Williamsburg VA
    My Bikes
    2010 Calfee Tetra Tandem
    Posts
    29
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have used Bontragers as my only wheelset for almost six years, since July 2005. They replaced the stock DT Swiss/Velocity Dyad wheels that came on our 2002 Co-Motion Speedster. Used the Bontragers exclusively for 12,400 miles on the Speedster. Moved the wheels to our new Calfee almost a year ago, and have ridden an additional 2,600 miles, for a total of 15,000 miles on the Bontragers. No problems at all with the wheels - they ride great and have never been trued. I have had them serviced annually at Tandems East. Originally used Conti 25 mm UltraGatorskins, now using Conti 25mm Grand Prix 4Seasons - much better tires. We are a 325 lb. team.

  4. #4
    Live Everyday
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Tehachapi Mtns, Calif.
    My Bikes
    '10 C'Dale Tandem RT2. '07 Trek Tandem T2000, '10 Epic Marathon MTB, '12 Rocky Mountain Element 950 MTB, '95 C'dale R900, "04 Giant DS 2 '07 Kona Jake the Snake, '95 Nishiki Backroads
    Posts
    737
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We have these wheels on our Trek T2000 that we bought about a year and a half ago. It is the only set of wheels that we have for that tandem so we ride those wheels on a regular basis in all kinds of conditions. We live in a hilly area with roads that are rough to put it mildly.
    We split time between the T2000 and our trusty C'dale with 48 spoke conventional wheels. We have 4000 miles on the Bontragers with zero issues and find ourselves trusting them to the same extent that we do our conventional wheels. I don't think of the Bontrager's as ' zippy go fast" wheels as they are not very light, but they do ride pretty solid and have proven durable for our 300 pound team.
    I do like the looks compared to our other wheels and they might be marginally faster when exceeding speeds of 18-20 mph which unfortunately is well above our average pace.....at the same time, they feel like any other wheels at slow speeds, start up and on absolute top end on major descents.
    I do keep a close eye on these rims because of issues I read about on this forum and elsewhere...but so far...so good.
    If our C'dale had 145 rear spacing I wouldn't hesitate to put a set of the Bontragers on it.
    BTW there is a used set for sale on Ebay at the moment and Mel at Tandems East may still have some new ones.

    Bill J
    Last edited by specbill; 03-08-11 at 08:49 PM. Reason: Typo

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    Trek Speed Concept 9.9, 2011 Calfee Tetra Tandem
    Posts
    894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks Reed and Bill, this is the exact information that I was looking for.

    I will be getting a set of the Bontrager Tandem Wheels for our new tandem. I am gathering parts and will place our order for a new Calfee Tandem late summer/early fall.

    Wayne

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Williamsburg VA
    My Bikes
    2010 Calfee Tetra Tandem
    Posts
    29
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Wayne,

    You will love the Calfee - the best money we have ever spent on a bicycle. Since we got the Calfee we have ridden 2,600 miles and our steel Co-Motion Speedster only 50 miles - Stoker Karen loves the ride. Attached is a photo of our Calfee with the Bontragers when we picked it up from Tandems East last April.

    ReedNew Calfee.jpg

  7. #7
    Charles Ramsey
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post
    I have seen that you can still buy the Bontrager tandem wheels. Does anyone have them and what is your impression. Are they durable and fit for everyday use?
    Don't buy the I have seen 3 Bontrager rear hubs with broken flanges. It looks like these were made by joytech.

  8. #8
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post
    I will be getting a set of the Bontrager Tandem Wheels for our new tandem. I am gathering parts and will place our order for a new Calfee Tandem late summer/early fall.
    Bontragers have proven to be pretty durable from all first hand user accounts. On those occassions where original owners had problems with them, Trek/Bontrager has replaced them from their warranty stock.

    All that said, I guess I'd really be interested in knowing what you find attractive about the Bontragers vs. going with a lighter-weight, conventional wheelset or is it purely the allure of getting the racy-looking wheels for about 1/2 the cost of Rolfs and other similar go-fast wheels?

    As others have noted, the Bontragers are not a lightweight wheelset, tipping the scales at 2,245, about 3/4 of lb heavier than Rolf's or the ligher-weight 36h conventional wheels built up with White Ind hubs + Velocity Fusion rims.

    While original owners have always received good support from Trek/Bontrager when warranty issues came up, these wheels have been out of production for some time now so it might be instructional to find out how Trek/Bontrager are satisfying warranty issues, i.e., do they still have warranty stock?

    I know I sound like a broken record on this, but I'm still hard-pressed to come up with a good reason for fitting anything other than a quality set of hand-built conventional wheels as the primary wheelset for a tandem. If you have some mad-money sitting around and would like to throw on a set of go-fast wheels, go for it. But, even then, make sure you're really getting go-fast wheels that will deliver the most bang for your buck in terms of what type of performance advantage over conventional wheels you're looking to leverage from those go-fast wheels. Note that I use the term go-fast as a generic term for wheels that are marketed as being more efficient in some way as compared to conventional wheels.

    Yes, you will catch us riding on our Topolino wheels this year after riding our conventional wheels exclusively since Oct '09. However, it's only because:
    a. I bought them on a lark to satisfy some curiosities (cost wasn't a major consideration, which is why we also own a set of Rolf's that we don't use very much),
    b. I've finally got around to buying a 5.5mm nipple driver so I could true them after they went out of true back in Oct '09,
    c. I'm interested in seeing how they'll hold up for an entire season of our use (they're beyond warranty at this point), and
    d. they look good on the Calfee.
    Beyond that, and similar to the Rolf's, they don't have any magical powers that lift our performance and the Calfee does such a nice job of delivering a plush ride that the vibration dampening characteristics of the Topolino's is lost... although they do a great job of plushing up the ride qualities of our steel Erickson tandem.

    Anyway, just something to think about. Again, we know a lot of folks who ride the Bontrager wheels who have never had a lick of trouble and really enjoy the way they look and perform. Those who have had issues with them in the past seemed to be able to get taken care of by Trek / Bontrager either directly or via their tandem dealer. So, I'm confident they will work just fine and look nice... but the question remains, is that your best option for what you're trying to achieve?
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 03-15-11 at 11:02 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    58
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We had Bontragers for several years and really liked them.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    Trek Speed Concept 9.9, 2011 Calfee Tetra Tandem
    Posts
    894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Bontragers have proven to be pretty durable from all first hand user accounts. On those occassions where original owners had problems with them, Trek/Bontrager has replaced them from their warranty stock.

    All that said, I guess I'd really be interested in knowing what you find attractive about the Bontragers vs. going with a lighter-weight, conventional wheelset or is it purely the allure of getting the racy-looking wheels for about 1/2 the cost of Rolfs and other similar go-fast wheels?

    As others have noted, the Bontragers are not a lightweight wheelset, tipping the scales at 2,245, about 3/4 of lb heavier than Rolf's or the ligher-weight 36h conventional wheels built up with White Ind hubs + Velocity Fusion rims.

    While original owners have always received good support from Trek/Bontrager when warranty issues came up, these wheels have been out of production for some time now so it might be instructional to find out how Trek/Bontrager are satisfying warranty issues, i.e., do they still have warranty stock?

    I know I sound like a broken record on this, but I'm still hard-pressed to come up with a good reason for fitting anything other than a quality set of hand-built conventional wheels as the primary wheelset for a tandem. If you have some mad-money sitting around and would like to throw on a set of go-fast wheels, go for it. But, even then, make sure you're really getting go-fast wheels that will deliver the most bang for your buck in terms of what type of performance advantage over conventional wheels you're looking to leverage from those go-fast wheels. Note that I use the term go-fast as a generic term for wheels that are marketed as being more efficient in some way as compared to conventional wheels.

    Yes, you will catch us riding on our Topolino wheels this year after riding our conventional wheels exclusively since Oct '09. However, it's only because:
    a. I bought them on a lark to satisfy some curiosities (cost wasn't a major consideration, which is why we also own a set of Rolf's that we don't use very much),
    b. I've finally got around to buying a 5.5mm nipple driver so I could true them after they went out of true back in Oct '09,
    c. I'm interested in seeing how they'll hold up for an entire season of our use (they're beyond warranty at this point), and
    d. they look good on the Calfee.
    Beyond that, and similar to the Rolf's, they don't have any magical powers that lift our performance and the Calfee does such a nice job of delivering a plush ride that the vibration dampening characteristics of the Topolino's is lost... although they do a great job of plushing up the ride qualities of our steel Erickson tandem.

    Anyway, just something to think about. Again, we know a lot of folks who ride the Bontrager wheels who have never had a lick of trouble and really enjoy the way they look and perform. Those who have had issues with them in the past seemed to be able to get taken care of by Trek / Bontrager either directly or via their tandem dealer. So, I'm confident they will work just fine and look nice... but the question remains, is that your best option for what you're trying to achieve?
    At this time the Bontragers are a stop gap measure. What I really want is not available. I want a set of full composite wheels similar to the Hed 3's that I have on my Trek SC 9.9. At this time the Bontrager wheels are, in my opinion the best bang for the buck. I do not care for conventional 36 spoke wheels, have not had good success with them and i do not like what I read about the Rolfs, I find the Topolino wheels very unattractive, I will probably end up with a set of the deep dish Zipp wheels that are selling for around $2,000, however I am still doing research.

    On our current tandem (older Santana Visa) I am running a set of wheels that have proven to be bullet proof, the front is a Zipp wheel with a deep dish carbon rim, Zipp hub and 32 bladed spokes that i bought from Zipp back in the early 90's when we raced in the Tandem Nationals, they had a special deal for racers. I also have a Zipp full disc on the rear, it is an 8 speed with 130 spacing so it will not work on the new frame when we get it. The tandem we raced in the nationals was a Santana Targa that we regretfully sold a few years ago. These are actually tubular wheels.

    From what Mel and Trek (Bontrager) tell me the latest edition of the Bontragers have proven to be extremely reliable. I have read what you wrote about building your Calfee and have found it very enlightening, in fact it is the main reason we have chosen to buy the Calfee, Thank you for the detailed account.

    I will continue to look for my dream wheels and read everything that I can on the various boards about tandem wheels.

    Thanks for the input,

    BTW, the Bontragers should be here tomorrow. The ones on ebay went for something like $465 + $45 for shipping, Mel said if they were 3 years old they were probably the first generation wheel that had hub failures. He has not seen any failures on the second generation wheels.

    Wayne

  11. #11
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post
    BTW, the Bontragers should be here tomorrow. The ones on ebay went for something like $465 + $45 for shipping, Mel said if they were 3 years old they were probably the first generation wheel that had hub failures. He has not seen any failures on the second generation wheels.
    Thanks for the insight... It's always informative to hear the rationale and experience that shapes certain purchasing decisions. I tend to agree with you on the Rolf's and Topolino's, both are acquired tastes that come with some baggage and not what I'd select for my primary wheelset. From a cost standpoint, the Bontragers are also in the ballpark as the aforementioned hand-built conventional White Ind/ Velocity wheelsets with something like a ~10% upper for retail.

    Again, from all accounts most folks are very happy with the Bontragers so I'm sure they'll serve y'all well for a very long time.

  12. #12
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    My Bikes
    BMC Pro Machine SLC01, Specialized Globe, Burley Rock 'N Roll tandem, Calfee Dragonfly tandem.
    Posts
    3,214
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post

    I will be getting a set of the Bontrager Tandem Wheels for our new tandem. I am gathering parts and will place our order for a new Calfee Tandem late summer/early fall...

    I will probably end up with a set of the deep dish Zipp wheels...

    ....I also have a Zipp full disc on the rear, it is an 8 speed with 130 spacing so it will not work on the new frame when we get it.
    The Bontragers indicate 145 mm spacing.

    With 145 mm spacing deeper rims become problematic due to the spoke angle.

    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Bontragers have proven to be pretty durable from all first hand user accounts...

    As others have noted, the Bontragers are not a lightweight wheelset, tipping the scales at 2,245 grams.
    At Road Bike Review, 4 out of 4 reviewers have had rear hub failures.

    The legacy listing for this wheelset at the Trek site has it at 1915 grams. A 17% too optimistic weight listing is pretty bad.

  13. #13
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    Road Bike Review, 4 out of 4 reviewers have had rear hub failures.
    I use multiple sources before forming opinions. to include the people we ride with who have these wheels. It would be interesting to know if the failed wheels were the 1st or 2nd generation models. Again, my ONLY concern with buying a set of these is with regard to warranty parts availability in the event of a failure. I honestly don't know if there are any spare hubs or rims available.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    The legacy listing for this wheelset at the Trek site has it at 1915 grams. A 17% too optimistic weight listing is pretty bad.
    I may have used a weight from the 1st Generation Bontragers, which were pretty portly. I'd have to do some additional checking to see if they reduced the weight while addressing other issues in the 2nd Generation Trek wheels... that or one of the folks who are riding the Bontragers may be able to pass a long a more recent "as weighed" number. Again, the 2,245 gram number is what was pulled off a scale when the Bontrager Tandem Race Lite wheels were first introduced. Frankly, the Race X Lite Tandem wheel is a new one on me... I just don't recall the "X" being added to the name.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 03-16-11 at 04:02 PM.

  14. #14
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    My Bikes
    BMC Pro Machine SLC01, Specialized Globe, Burley Rock 'N Roll tandem, Calfee Dragonfly tandem.
    Posts
    3,214
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    I use multiple sources before forming opinions. to include the people we ride with who have these wheels. It would be interesting to know if the failed wheels were the 1st or 2nd generation models...

    ... the 2,245 gram number is what was pulled off a scale when the Bontrager Tandem Race Lite wheels were first introduced....Frankly, the Race X Lite Tandem wheel is a new one on me... I just don't recall the "X" being added to the name.
    Yeah, I should have put in an all-encompassing, all-excusing FWIW. The reviews date from 2008-2010, and the comments indicate recent purchases.

    As to the weight, our OP, DubT, will have these in hand tomorrow. Maybe he can weigh them. I think Trek/Bontrager uses X on its components that are lighter, more expensive and super-duper. So, the X tandem wheels might indeed be lighter.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    Trek Speed Concept 9.9, 2011 Calfee Tetra Tandem
    Posts
    894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I will weigh them tomorrow.

  16. #16
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    The reviews date from 2008-2010, and the comments indicate recent purchases.
    Hmmmm. Some may be recent purchases, but they're not necessarily new tandems... noting Trek stopped producing the T2000 back in 2008.

    The most recent review from hbrider on Oct 14, 2010 is actually of a 2003 Trek T2000. The same hbrider posted a partner review on his 2003 T2000 on Nov 23, 2010 about a month after the Bontrager wheel review. I have no idea if he bought it new in 2003, only that he's used it for more than 3 years based on the info in the review. http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/la...6_5674crx.aspx

    narticulate indicates they bought their T2000 used... "Got the bike, indistinguishable from new, from a couple who did a failed tandem experiment." and hard to know what year.

    The other two reviews also are hard to peg to being new tandems since the wheel failures would have been covered under warranty if they were the original buyer, but there's no mention about warranty coverage and one of those teams (Mike) is now riding Velocity Dyad wheels within a year of ownership. (hbrider is now riding Rolf's based on his T2000 review comments, and noted that's because Trek no longer had any replacement hubs in a comment he added to his own Bontrager wheel review.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    Trek Speed Concept 9.9, 2011 Calfee Tetra Tandem
    Posts
    894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The wheels arrived about 45 minutes ago. I have unpacked and weighed them. According to my scales the pair weigh 2222 grams. Front 976, rear 1246, wheels only. (4.9 pounds).

    I believe they will do the job, they look good. They are not the most aero, nor are they the lightest but hopefully they will stay together.

    Wayne

  18. #18
    Senior Member diabloridr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Central Coast, California, USA
    My Bikes
    Co-Motion Speedster, Calfee Dragonfly, Ancient Sun Fixie, Trek 5900, Trek 9800
    Posts
    306
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post
    They are not the most aero, nor are they the lightest but hopefully they will stay together.
    Probably not the endorsement Bontrager was lookin for.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    Trek Speed Concept 9.9, 2011 Calfee Tetra Tandem
    Posts
    894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by diabloridr View Post
    Probably not the endorsement Bontrager was lookin for.
    Time and miles will tell. LOL

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    Trek Speed Concept 9.9, 2011 Calfee Tetra Tandem
    Posts
    894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The Bontragers indicate 145 mm spacing.

    With 145 mm spacing deeper rims become problematic due to the spoke angle.

    Please help me understand what you mean by this statement.

    As the base of a triangle gets larger the lateral stiffness should improve.

  21. #21
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post
    With 145 mm spacing deeper rims become problematic due to the spoke angle.
    Let me play the camel and stick my nose in the tent here...

    That appears to be a somewhat out of context reference.

    I believe it becomes problematic for rims like the Zipps that weren't designed for use with wider hub flanges found on hubs designed for 145mm rear-spaced tandems. ~30mm deep Velocity Deep-Vs, Bontragers, Topolino, Rolf and even the older, deeper Rolf's are nearly deep enough to create the problems that the 58mm deep Zipp 404 or 81mm deep Zipp 808 and similar rims will have.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    Trek Speed Concept 9.9, 2011 Calfee Tetra Tandem
    Posts
    894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post

    I believe it becomes problematic for rims like the Zipps that weren't designed for use with wider hub flanges found on hubs designed for 145mm rear-spaced tandems. ~30mm deep Velocity Deep-Vs, Bontragers, Topolino, Rolf and even the older, deeper Rolf's are nearly deep enough to create the problems that the 58mm deep Zipp 404 or 81mm deep Zipp 808 and similar rims will have.
    So the problem is the angle of the hole drilled in the rim, is that correct. I have read that Zipp will drill the holes that you want in a blank rim, if that is the case and you tell them the hub spacing it should not be a problem.

    I am hoping that Nimble gets their fabrication shop up and running in the near future and starts producing their composite tandem wheels again.

    Wayne

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    1,143
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Let me play the camel and stick my nose in the tent here...

    .
    I have never heard that one before but I will be using it.

  24. #24
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dvs cycles View Post
    I have never heard that one before but I will be using it.
    It's an old Arabian proverb with a number of different interpretations. My use implies sticking my nose into a discussion where I really don't have any skin in the game but think I have something to add. Given the chance, I'll likely end up coming into the tent and crowding-out the principals of the original exchange... intended or not. The antithesis is sticking your nose someplace that it doesn't belong, aka, being nosy or fouineur.

    One of my other favorite idom's is throwing a dead cat on the table.... it's right up there with "that dog won't hunt".

  25. #25
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post
    So the problem is the angle of the hole drilled in the rim, is that correct.
    I'm just guessing since I've never messed around with truly deep-section, low aero drag rims, but I'd expect that it could be an issue for both the angle and bending of the spoke at the hub and nipple-end of the spoke depending on which hubs and lacing methods were used.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •