The Bontrager Aura 5 wheel has a light aluminium rim and a carbon fairing that’s purely aerodynamic – it’s non-structural and under no load, as the spokes continue through to the rim (making them tricky to adjust or replace).
They feel lighter and more agile than most 50mm rims – on rough roads they have the suppleness of shallow rims, which is essentially what they are. With great acceleration, surprisingly good climbing and fantastic comfort, plus stability and grip from the wide rims, they’re very impressive.
Note that the supplied Velox cotton rim tape will add a few grams (think 30g or so per wheel) to our stated weights (782g front, 945g rear). The quick-release skewers are also additional.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.