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  1. #1
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    I9 Enduro (Alum) vs Bontrager Line Pro, Santa Cruze Reserve, etc.

    It's time for a wheel upgrade. Folks seem absolutely crazy about their I9 Enduro 305's (Alum), and I'm wondering if they'd be better for general trail riding vs a similarly price carbon wheelsets from Bontrager, Santa Cruz, We Are One Composites, etc?
    1992 Trek 800 Antelope
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  2. #2
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    I believe no one spends $1200 on wheels and isn't crazy about them. I'm not sure that that makes them tangibly better though.

    Its more of a showy wheelset than anything. I'd take standard spokes with a carbon rim. SC reserves are hard to beat too.
    WTB: Small aluminum hardtail 26 or 27.5 frame. Pm me!

  3. #3
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    I thought about Santa Cruz. I have a Bronson that I built up from a frame and that's the 4th Santa Cruz I've owned. The lifetime warranty on the rim has to be extremely appealing to anyone who has previously broken expensive wheels. Especially if they've done it more than once.

    But I haven't. Not even a broken spoke. What can I say, I pick decent lines, feel a tire going flat and stop, and I don't try to run extremely low air pressure. So I wouldn't expect to use SC's warranty.

    A good local shop has Bontrager, so I got to look at the Line 30 Pro 27.5 before purchasing them. They are the lightest option you listed by hundreds of grams. They're in the middle of the price range of the 3 choices you listed. They have 108 poe. I didn't see a reason to spend more for the Santa Cruz.

    The I9 seems ridiculously overpriced given the specs (particularly weight) and cost. I didn't consider them at all. I did consider light bicycle, carbonfan and others. They're not sufficiently cheaper than the Bonty to sway my decision, but I do like the subdued graphics some of them offer. Huge bontrager lettering is not my preference but I can live with it. I've had them about 3 months and did a lot of gnarly singletrack and a day on the lifts at keystone when they were about 6 weeks old. They've been great.

    I've gotten used to them. If I rode a similar bike with heavier, less rigid wheels I would probably notice but I don't roll out onto a trail and think specifically about the wheels. I do love my bike overall and I'm glad I got the wheels.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    I9s are popular because of the hub engagement. You can always get the hubs on any other rim.

  5. #5
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    I don't know what is in the guts of the Bontrager 108 points of engagement hub. I think it might be a new DT Swiss ratchet that Trek has paid DT to be able to sell before anyone else. Probably this knowledge (or speculative discussion) exists somewhere on MTBR.

    I also know that 120 (I9 Torch) is pretty close to 108 - 3.0 degrees versus 3.3.

    My local shop knew that BikeRadar had broken several Line 30 rear wheels and said they have not had any issues with wheels that they've sold, AND, that Trek and the shop will stand behind their product. Your mileage may vary, but I think you can follow my thought process...

    There is nothing from a major name brand at the price point Trek/Bontrager is offering at a competitive weight and technical featureset. You can buy parts - including Santa Cruz Reserve rims - and build your own. Or you can take a chance on LB/Carbonfan/etc - many people have and (IMHO) most of them have been happy.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by V8Interceptor View Post
    It's time for a wheel upgrade. Folks seem absolutely crazy about their I9 Enduro 305's (Alum), and I'm wondering if they'd be better for general trail riding vs a similarly price carbon wheelsets from Bontrager, Santa Cruz, We Are One Composites, etc?

    The answer depends on the rider (height and weight), their riding style, which bike, ridden where, with what sort of style and goals?

  7. #7
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    I'm 280lb, the wheels will be on my full squish, and ridden mostly in central NC. I know I weigh a lot, but I don't feel I ride too heavy as I gingerly pick my lines through rock gardens and shy away from big jumps. Good thing about the Bontrager Line Pro's is that they don't have a weight limit like the I9 Enduro's (250 lbs).
    1992 Trek 800 Antelope
    2009 Haro Mary SS
    2015 Trek Stache 7
    2017 Trek Fuel EX 9

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by V8Interceptor View Post
    I'm 280lb, the wheels will be on my full squish, and ridden mostly in central NC. I know I weigh a lot, but I don't feel I ride too heavy as I gingerly pick my lines through rock gardens and shy away from big jumps. Good thing about the Bontrager Line Pro's is that they don't have a weight limit like the I9 Enduro's (250 lbs).

    I'm not sure I'd put a whole lot of stock in a weight limit (or not) on any of the above wheels. Those limits are more a function of the manufacturer/vendor playing a game of CYA than a real statement of capability or limitation.

    I like Bontrager stuff but 28 spokes per wheel for a 280# rider does not inspire confidence, for me. They'll probably be fine until they aren't, but what happens when they aren't? Are you willing to gamble on the possibility of a complete wheel collapse?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I'm not sure I'd put a whole lot of stock in a weight limit (or not) on any of the above wheels. Those limits are more a function of the manufacturer/vendor playing a game of CYA than a real statement of capability or limitation.

    I like Bontrager stuff but 28 spokes per wheel for a 280# rider does not inspire confidence, for me. They'll probably be fine until they aren't, but what happens when they aren't? Are you willing to gamble on the possibility of a complete wheel collapse?
    Agree. I am 180 pounds.

    I would suggest the Santa Cruz for the warranty, or honestly just get at least 32 spoke wheels.

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