In April 2021 Bontrager released a new iteration of the popular Aeolus wheels. RIDE Media had the RSL 62 wheelset for 10 days: a chance to unbox, fit tyres, ride… then offer an appraisal. Here is part two of a series.
– Click the link below to watch the video about fitting tubeless tyres to Bontrager’s Aeolus wheels. –
To better understand the little differences between other tubeless wheel set-ups and the approach taken by Bontrager, I visited Clarence Street Cyclery and watched as mechanic Peter Kearsey added the plastic rim strip, fitted the tyres, and applied the sealant.
It’s not a complicated process but it does help to have a compressor handy. (Still, there are plenty of other pumps on the market that have been used by the MTB community for years to get the job done at home.)
We have documented tubeless tyre fittings in the past, but methods vary from one brand to the next – or one workshop to the next. Peter’s preference at Clarence Street Cyclery is to pour the sealant through the valve (obviously, once the valve core has been removed).
Watch the video to see how he manages the installation in about 20 minutes with a minimum of fuss and very little mess.
The Bontrager arrangement includes a light plastic strip that covers the large openings on the inside of the carbon-fibre rim and creates a sealed chamber. This has been used on wheels by Bontrager for years (mainly for the MTB market where the uptake is significant, but also for road wheels).
Slide it over the side of the rim and it clicks into place easily. Peter suggests going over it with your thumb to ensure a tight fit, and you can actually hear it as it slots neatly into place.
When fitting the tubeless valve, be sure to have the flat edges facing the rim walls, that way it provides a neat seal and minimises the chance of air escaping.
Using a 89ml bottle of tyre sealant is appropriate for most MTB wheels and Peter acknowledges that it could be overkill for road bikes, but given the trend of bigger bag tyres it doesn’t seem too excessive.
The Bontrager sealant is also sold in larger bottles (946ml), so you can determine the amount that suits your needs and fill your tyres accordingly.
Ideally, the job is finished off with an air compressor… but, as all mechanics have advised, be sure to seat the tyre first, then add sealant, then re-inflate. This way you minimise the risk of there being a burst of sealant all over your workshop if the tyre isn’t originally fitted precisely.
Peter has fitted many tubeless tyres over the years and he says the new wheels seemed “a little easier” but that all tubeless tyres have a tight fit.
– Click below to see part 1 of the Aeolus RSL 62 wheel review: the unboxing and weigh-in. –