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Thinking of a pair of Bontrager Race Lites:

Has anyone used these for cross, if so how did they hold up. I am 170 to 175 lbs.

I tried a pair of shimano sw-550 wheels and popped two spokes in my first race.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.


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Hey Schrap,

I have not ridden the race lites but have ridden the race lite x on a trek xo2. they've held up fine so far - maybe dozen rides, and some rough mtb stuff. but the two riders have been 150-160 pounds. the two wheels are pretty similar. I'd be interested in seeing a rim weight on these wheels - I think the hubs are very light (just a side note in case you are looking for lighter wheels for acceleration).

have you tried to have your shimano wheels repaired? how did it happen? I'd think shimano would take care of you. we've had good luck with other models of shimano wheels.
I have yet to start the quest for the spokes I need, but should be able to locate soon. I discovered in multiple message boards that the SH-500, 540, and 550's are all prone to spoke breakage. I picked the set up for $100 so I am not out that much, will turn them into pit wheels.

thanks for the feed back on the wheels. I am looking for something light but tough and the bontragers seem to fit the bill.

At my shop, we've been having some problems with Race Lites through the road season (a handful of broken spokes and one destroyed hub). I think it's mostly due to rider error (we have some real bad roads up here - Boston), but I just wanted to put that out there.
The Mavic Aksium isn't too heavy, accelerates really well and is very economical (sub-$250 for a set). Plus Mavic offers a 3-year warranty that covers crash replacement and anything else aside from lack of proper maintenance.
Looking at my girlfriend's Race Lites, I'm afraid I would explode them!

My Lemond Poprad came with Bontrager Select wheels, and I'm happy to be rid of them. I weigh 185, and the wheels could not keep true. My road bike has Shimano RH-550 wheels, and have broke three spokes in the past couple of years... Not too confident in those wheels either.

Currently trying a borrowed pair of Mavic Cosmic Pro's (the old aluminum deep dish), and I'm eyeballing the ALX-320's on my tri-bike. I'm constantly looking for sturdy wheels that can handle my abuse.
How well should I expect the Mavic Kysrium SL's to hold up to CX with my 200 lbs weight?
those are pretty strong wheels. no worries
Not much help on the Bontrager question...sorry.
Im staring at some Ultegra take -offs in the gargage and a pair of Mavic ES's.(Black w/one red spoke)Think the ES's will be the right match for my new ride.
Like any wheelset,there are a thousnad opinions.Half the people out there said ES's are no good,other half said awsome.
They have been bullet proof for me but unlike some people,I have had them serviced twice a year,tuned,trued,etc...Take care of the stuff !
The ES's are on my road bike,but im bored with them on the road and going Carbon for the road.
Anyone hear how the ES's are holding up in the dirt ?
the biggest concern in my experience is the freehub - that thing needs frequent lube since there's really just a seal/dustcap between the freehub and the wheel. without maintenance, it can get sticky in there, and your coasting speed actually gets robbed. everyone wants to go ceramic for small gains but if you've got any coasting in a race, you can do much worse with a sticky ksyrium freehub. with 'cross, maintenance is obviously more important because of the dirt and hosing off of the bike. but beyond that, they have been quite durable for many. a lot of national champions were riding them, although they were tubular versions.
Tubulars. The best single upgrade you can make for your bike. DA hubs with Reflex rims or DT hubs with Reflex rims. Griffo Challenges unless you've got the coin for Dugast.
i agree with making the switch to tubulars. I also second the motion for challenge grifos. I even prefer them way over dugasts which i flatted almost immediately. i ride Reynolds wheels and the worst damage i did to them all season was rip one of the stickers off using a high pressure hose for the 25th time on them.
If you're going to shell out for a wheelset for cross, it ought to be tubular at the very least. If you really want to go for it, a deep carbon tubular will be best. The higher the nipple from the grass and mud, the better. You just need to balance the weight with the function.

Echappe Equipment Cyclocross Wheels
I just picked up a new Trek XO1 wih Bontrager Race wheels. I'm frankly not expecting great things out of them but hopefully I will get a little use out of them for training (cross practice and off season road riding) as I only weigh 150 lbs.

I am thinking of having a pair of tubie wheels built up. Couple questions:
Mavic Reflex or Velocity Escape rims?
Double butted spokes?
Should I worry about rolling tires? I'll glue them on nice and tight but I'm no pro team mechanic.


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