Bontrager’s wheel program is strong — very strong. Over the years, we’ve tested numerous versions of their wheels and we always come away with heads shaking wondering just how they build such great wheels at affordable prices. That head-shaking continues with the all-new Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 TLR and their siblings (Aeolus RSL 37 and Aeolus Elite 35/50). We’ve had a set on-hand for several months ahead of the launch and have come away impressed.

2021 Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 TLR Wheelset Features:

  • OCLV Pro Carbon
  • Same depth and profile as RSL model
  • Tubeless Ready (TLR) rims with tape or strip
  • 37mm depth with 28mm outer, 21mm inner width
  • DT Aerolite spokes 24/24, DT Pro Lock nipples
  • Shimano 10/11 speed and XDR compatible
  • Includes TLR rim strip, TLR valve, and traditional rim strip
  • DT Swiss 350 hub internals
  • Warrantied for life for original owner
  • No rider weight limit
  • Weight: 713 grams (front) and 836 grams (rear) – 1549 grams complete – actual
  • MSRP: $1300 /pair
Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 Front Wheel

Nice depth and shape for everyday riding on all terrain.

Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 Rear Wheel

With reliable DT Swiss 350 internals, the Aeolus Pro 37’s roll fast.

Aeolus Pro 37’s are affordable, modern and fast

2021 is going to be the year of the affordable carbon wheelset. And, with that affordability, we’re also seeing some great advancements as well. I’ll be honest with you right out the gate by saying that I’ve always been impressed with Bontrager’s wheelset program. From the D3 shape to now, their carbon clinchers have set the bar for making tubeless performance a breeze. And, for 2021, their all-new Aeolus Pro 37 delivers the same shape and profile as their $2400 Aeolus RSL 37’s at $1100 less.

With the 1549 gram complete weight (on my scale), the Aeolus Pro 37’s are very competitive and on par with Zipp’s latest 303 S tubeless wheels. And, they are close to 100 grams lighter than the outgoing Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3’s while also being slightly deeper and wider. The added with (now 21mm internal) allows for a fuller tire with straighter sidewalls. With that, you can confidently mount larger tires — even 40mm+ gravel tires. Yes, Bontrager has their Aeolus Pro 3V wheels for dedicated gravel use, but the Aeolus Pro 37’s can comfortably fill the space between modern race bikes and gravel adventure bikes.

Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 Wheelset Review

The Aeolus PRO 37’s can get up and go.

As part of the launch materials, Bontrager states that these are “Lighter than shallower wheels, faster than deeper wheels.” I already covered the weight reduction, so that box is checked. To get even lighter, you can opt for the Aeolus RSL 37 that tips the scales at 1325 grams per wheelset. Now, what about the “faster than deeper wheels” part? In their wind tunnel testing, the Aeolus RSL 37 (same shape as the Aeolus Pro 37) does slightly outperform the previous-generation Zipp 303 NSW. So… check, check. Again, wind tunnels are good for data, but how about in the real world?

Over the past few months, I’ve been busy doing head-to-head testing of the new Aeolus Pro 37 and the Vision SC55 Disc — a deeper, but heavier wheelset. I outfitted them with the identical Bontrager R3 28 tires and tubes, then proceeded to do comparison rides between the two. I set the pressure to 73 psi front and 75 psi rear on both wheels as well. The real-world results were neck-and-neck with each wheelset besting the other on subsequent attempts. As you can see below, my top 5 times are all within 15 seconds of each other. While the Bontrager wheels didn’t always win the battle, there’s no question that they can stay with deeper wheels in real world rolling conditions.

Strava Segment Testing - Alpine to Lambert

It was a back-and-forth kind of battle on this and other similar segments.

Speaking of rolling, the DT Swiss 350 internals do a fantastic job of rolling along. In my standard roll-to-stop testing, these roll out among the best wheels I’ve tested. Rolling efficiency is there in spades and once again makes me wonder why you would insist on spending more money than the $1300 these wheels cost — they are that good.

Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 Review

The first (and subsequent) tubeless rides went off without a hitch.

With that 37mm depth, Bontrager states that the stability of these wheels are significantly more than the Zipp 303 and I can witness to that. The 303’s are stable overall, but the Aeolus Pro 37’s do outperform them, in my testing. The tug of strong crosswinds was minimal overall — you’ll notice it, but it doesn’t adversely affect handling at all. That benefit alone is something worth noting — especially with the strong canyon winds we get here in Utah. I can roll everywhere in confidence and not worry about getting blown into a death wobble on a high-speed descent. With that stability, I can confidently recommend these wheels to nearly any rider and any weather.

Something that I’ve also appreciated with the Aeolus Pro 37’s is the quiet free hub. When coasting, these are very quiet. Not only does that make for a less obnoxious group ride, but it makes centering disc rotors so much easier. I can clearly hear every “ting” of rotor rub and easily fix it.

Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 Wheelset Review - Climbing in Utah

Can the Aeolus Pro 37’s climb? Yup!

On long climbs, these wheels are also outstanding. Again there are lighter wheels, but for the vast majority of riders, you’ll appreciate how well these wheels climb and maintain momentum on rolling terrain and extended climbs. The lateral stiffness is also great when cornering hard at speed. I can maintain the utmost confidence on these wheels no matter how hard I push. I will say that under standing efforts or really hard sprints (+550 watts), I can get the rear rotor to “ting” every once in awhile. That’s not an uncommon thing, but larger riders pushing hard may get it to happen more often.

One of my favorite local climbs is a 2 mile, 500 ft. affair up Fort Canyon. It’s a rolling climb that can be crushed in the big ring (with some effort). I was able to set a new PR with these wheels. So, they are aerodynamic and light/fast for climbing to boot.

Fort Canyon Full Climb - Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37

Nabbed my best time wit the Aeolus Pro 37’s.

As mentioned, I set these up with tubes and Bontrager R3 Hard Case Lite tires, then I switched to the Zipp Tangente RT28 tubeless tires on both the Factor O2 Disc and Open UPPER. Both tires roll extremely fast and were easily-mounted. Tubeless is a breeze with Bontrager’s TLR insert. I’m a huge fan — even though it adds about 60 grams per wheel. They snap into place and allow for wicked-simple inflation and seating. I’ve never had a single problem with the TLR rim strips on any Bontrager wheelsets that I’ve tested and I’ll take them over fragile rim tape any day. For my 170 lb weight, I’ve been comfortably running the Zipp tires at 63/65 psi. without any worries.

The Good

  • Tons of value for the money
  • Excellent rolling efficiency
  • DT Swiss 350 internals
  • Are largely unaffected by crosswinds
  • Can go head-to-head with deeper wheels
  • Bontrager has tubeless dialed

The Bad

  • TLR strips, though rock-solid, do add weight
  • Can get teeny bit of rotor rub when pushing 550+ watts

The Bottom Line: Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 TLR Wheels

Once again, the wheelset battle is getting more and more crowded with each calendar flip. This time, Bontrager has nailed the perfect intersection of speed, responsiveness, aerodynamics and affordability and the all-new Aeolus Pro 37’s are hard to beat.

Buy Now: Visit TrekBikes.com

In Summary

9.1 Wheel Good

It's hard to imagine that just a few short years ago, carbon wheelsets were reserved for the select few. You can credit the folks at Bontrager for pushing the envelope on both price and performance because these new Aeolus Pro 37 wheelsets leave little to be desired and allow you to keep your hard-earned cash on-hand for other worthy upgrades, or, for something even more important (food, mortgage, dance classes, a new kit, etc.). If you choose to ride with tubes or tubeless, the 21mm internal width does allow for a fuller, more stable tire.

  • Lateral Stiffness 8
  • Responsiveness 9
  • Durability 9
  • Aerodynamics 9
  • Ride Quality 9
  • Rolling Efficiency 9
  • Tubeless Setup 10
  • Stability 10

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

24 Comments

  1. I got a set today, 6/18 on my trek Domane sl6. These wheels are smooth and the power meter in my head says these wheels are at least 1 mph faster then the stock wheels. Stiff, yet noticeable improvement in absorbing the bumps on my first ride. Quiet hubs, hard to believe I was free wheeling. Cornering stability was unexpectedly strong, feel, predictable and confidence inspiring.

    Best money bar none spent, worth every penny. They look incredible on my bike. Did I say they were fast? I cannot say how nice these wheels are for the money. Ordered sight unseen, no specs. Love my LBS.

    • Alas, they are definitely different wheels and without having them side-by-side any longer, I’d have a hard time pinpointing the exact differences. But, I will say that the new Aeolus Pro 37’s will be more stable in crosswinds, but outside of that, it would be pretty much a wash. Due to their depth, the CL50’s will likely have a little more aerodynamic advantage on the flats.

      At the end of the day, for me at least, the sweet spot of stability, weight and aerodynamics lands squarely with the Aeolus Pro 37’s.

  2. I am looking to upgrade my original alloy wheels that come with my Trek Domane to a bontrager carbon wheelset. I can’t decide between Bontrager pro 37 and pro 5. I like the fact that the pro 5 come with a 50 mm rim depth but they are over 200 grams heavier than the Pro 37. I ride 90% of the time on the flat in a moderate/high wind city. What would be your recommendation for me, knowing I am more inclined for gaining speed more than anything else?.

  3. Man… that’s a tough call. The added weight won’t be a huge deal since you’re riding mostly on flat or rolling terrain. You will notice the added aerodynamics — particularly at speed. But, these 37’s are no slouches. I just finished up a ride on them (with some long climbs) and they impress me every time.

    If you plan on running 30-35mm rubber, I’d go with the 37’s. But, if you’re planning to run 25-38mm rubber, the Pro 5’s would be my choice. In the end, you can’t go wrong with either one.

  4. Thanks man! Excellent response. I think I will go with the Pro 5 as I plan to transition to 28mm tubeless tires (from original 32 mm tires)

  5. I’ve had great success mounting these up with both Zipp Tangente RT 28c and Goodyear Eagle F1 30c tires. Both tires mounted without tools and seated up using soapy water and a tubeless floor pump.

    • I’ve not ridden the Rovals. I do have a set of Terra CLX wheels right now and they are amazing on an all-road bike like the Open UPPER. To be honest, the Aeolus Pro 37 is a really fine wheelset — regardless of price.

  6. Going with the RSL’s will drop almost 200 grams and get you a higher-quality hub and engagement. The aerodynamics and tubeless performance should be identical. In the end, the PRO 37’s are a killer value and have proven to be a great wheelset. If you want the best and fastest, certainly go with the RSL 37.

  7. How would rate these Bontrager aeolus pro 37 wheels compared to the new zipp 303 firecrest? I’m am thinking of upgrading my alloy wheelset that came with my Trek Domane (2018). Is it worth buying the most expensive wheelset?

  8. I have yet to ride the new 303 Firecrest or the 303s. I’d compare the 303s to these for sure. It would be a bit of a tossup in my mind, but the 25mm internal width of the 303’s is going to be really nice. At 21mm, these are great wheels, but that extra width is nice if you’re running wider tires. That said, I don’t think it will make that much of a difference with the tire widths you’re able to run on that Domane (34mm?).

    The Aeolus Pro 37’s are a really, really nice wheelset for the money. It’s hard to find much fault here really. I wouldn’t hesitate recommending the Pro 37’s at all. They would be a great addition to your Domane.

  9. Morten lind Balslev on

    Hi. That was a nice read. ? I would love to see a show down between the pro 37, the 303s, the vision sc40, the new shamal carbon and the roval 38. All great wheels that are at competitive prices and some what marketed at the same spot – the one wheel to do it all. What would be your pick?

  10. All of those are amazing wheels. If you can get the 303s, that would be a hard one to beat, but it is a tubeless-only proposition. However, that 25mm internal width is nice. Vision SC40’s are nice wheels, but narrow.

    Again, it’s hard to argue against the Pro 37’s here… they are a good width, tubeless setup is a breeze and they roll along adeptly in crosswinds. Plus, they are available at retail pretty easily (a tall order these days).

  11. Hi Jason, I’m thinking about upgrading my domane sl7 etap with these aeolus pro 37s but I have doubts they could be similar to my aeolus pro 3v. Would you recommend this switch or would it be a useless choice?

  12. While the new Pro 37’s are great wheels, your 3V’s are also great wheels and I don’t see it providing much of a difference. The 37’s are narrower internally, so your inflated tires won’t be as rounded as well. I’d stick with the 3V’s if it were up to me. Those are great wheels!

  13. Thank you! Well, honestly I am very curious to see how they roll with a different type of tyres (I am using 32” Pirelli cinturato velo but I am going to switch to a pair of vittoria corsa 28”) but even with a wider tyres the feeling seems good.

  14. Hi Jason,
    I currently have the Aeolus Comp 5 on my Trek Madone. Would you recommend the pro 37s so should I just stick to the comps. My major beef is the acceleration with the comp 5s since they are definitely weighty.
    I fear giving up some aero advantages with the 37s. The course I usually ride is rolling gaining ~ 2000ft over the course of 50 miles ( which is essentially flat if you ask pro πŸ™‚ )
    What would be your recommendation?

    • For starters, you’ll notice a significant change in the responsiveness to the bike due to the lighter wheelset. 2000 vertical over 50 miles is pretty flat if you were riding here in Utah for sure. πŸ™‚ It’s hard to say if you’ll notice much in the way of aero efficiency between the Comp 5’s and the Pro 37’s. I’m sure they will be about the same, but you will notice more stability in crosswinds and a more responsive feel. I’m sold on the latest crop of 35-45mm deep wheels and don’t even think anymore about them being more or less aero because they perform so well. It really is hard to beat the Pro 37’s in my opinion!

  15. Thanks Jason, this helps. This fits exactly in my budget as I am some allowance from my company to spend on fitness and selling the comp 5 which are in good condition will allow me to not shell out a lot of $$$ from my pocket

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