Back in April, Bontrager released a newly updated set of Line Comp 30 wheels, which is their highest value complete wheelset for mid to heavy duty mountain biking. Shortly after the release I received a set for testing and I’ve been putting them through the paces on my Trek Rail e-bike ever since. The Line Comp 30s aren’t aimed at e-bikes in particular, but I just figured a bit of extra weight can’t hurt the cause of pushing a set of wheels to see how well they hold up. Read on for the full review…
Details Bontrager Line Comp 30
- 29mm internal, 33mm external width
- 27.5″ and 29″ (tested)
- 28 hole front/rear
- 14 guage J-bend spokes with brass locking nipples
- 6 bolt disc mount
- 108-tooth hub
- 1,963 grams (29″, with strips and valves – our scale)
- SRAM XD driver (Shimano 10/11 speed available separately)
- Includes TLR rim strip installed and TLR valve
- $349 USD launch price *Recently upped to $399
The hubs are in house offerings from Bontrager, which feature tool free disassembly. Simply yank on the end caps and/or the cassette to expose the inner workings. The Line Comp 30s are available in Boost hub spacing only.
While the wheelset features just 28 spokes front and rear, the hub flanges are quite tall, which shortens the spokes and thus increases the wheels’ stiffness.
The rim profile is a fairly tried and true V shape. The spoke holes do not feature eyelets and the rims are joined and bonded, not welded. These techniques, when executed properly, can still result in a very strong rim, while helping to get costs down.
For a high value wheelset, the Line Comp 30s have impressively fast engagement – 108 points to be precise – resulting in a bite every 3.3º.
As mentioned prior, a quick yank of the cassette reveals the hub’s drive ring and makes for a quick and easy clean up and repack.
The 6 pawls and the main freehub seal are also easy to clean and repack during routine maintenance…
Bontrager Line Comp 30 on the trail
I mounted up a 2.6″ front tire and a 2.4″ rear, which meshed ideally with the 29mm inner diameter rims – they also inflated effortlessly with a floor pump. However, that brings me to my first and perhaps only point of contention with the Line Comp 30s. While I appreciated that the heavy duty rim strips made for a tight seal against the tire beads, it unfortunately meant that they had slightly more difficult installations and removals, plus a little bit of extra weight. I swapped the Bontrager rim strips out for thinner generic rim tape and saved just over 100 grams, which put the Line Comp 30s closer to the 1,850 gram mark – something that is quite impressive for a ~$400 wheelset.
As far as on trail handling is concerned, there wasn’t any particularly surprising attribute that stuck out with the Line Comp 30s – and that’s fine! They proved to be a solid, no frills wheelset that was almost boring, but in a good way. Sure it’s great to be wowed by something cool new and exciting now and again, but I like when I test a high value product and it’s simply an afterthought on the bike. If a bicycle part isn’t on my mind while I’m riding, then it’s probably doing its job and doing it well. Anyhow, after a handful of rides I re-tensioned the spokes and added about a half turn to each one, which should come as no surprise. Since then I haven’t managed to knock them substantially out of true. No dents, no flat spots and no flats either for that matter. On trail, they felt stiff enough that even under hard cornering with the added weight of an e-bike I never found them to be flexy. This came at a slight surprise because, to be honest, I was a little skeptical that 28 spokes would cut it out back on my 50+ pound Rail.
As far as strength and durability goes, the only slight bit of damage I have managed to eek out of these wheels was a couple small scratches and a completely inconsequential dent (pictured above) from a rock flying up. Lastly, I really appreciated the fast engagement and ease of maintenance on offer from the rear hub. Being able to conduct tool free rebuilds is always a relief.
Bontrager Line Comp 30 overall
In the grand scheme of things, the Line Comp 30s are tough to beat regarding value, at least as far as complete wheelsets go. While they originally launched at a shockingly good price of just $349 USD, that price as been bumped to a still very impressive $399. All in all they manage to strike an excellent balance of strength to weight to price and do so with a subtle and clean aesthetic and quick engagement. The Line Comp 30s are an excellent choice for budget conscious riders who are trying save a few bucks without sacrificing performance where it counts most.