The Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 is a wheelset that seems designed for the value-carbon road disc rider from the get-go. It is a capable performer in all the key areas I look for in an all-around road disc wheelset.

“Capable performer” may read like a backhanded compliment. I don’t intend it to be. It’s just that nearly all the wheelsets in the value-carbon category have one or more major performance weaknesses that limit what you can do with them and this Bontrager doesn’t.

While the Aeolus Pro 37 doesn’t perform at the level of $2000 and up carbon road disc wheelsets, its ride gave me equal or better performance across my evaluation criteria compared to other wheelsets I’ve tested within hailing distance of the Aeolus Pro 37’s $1300 price-point.

Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37

It accelerates well and climbs without restrictions. It was plenty stiff enough for me doing either of those efforts and when I powered up for some town-line sprints.

Shod with 25C Continental Grand Prix 5000 tubed tires at 70 psi for my roughly 145lbs/66kg weight, I found this Aeolus Pro 37 wheelset’s comfort and handling good – neither outstanding nor lacking.

The DT Swiss 350 rear hub freewheels with nary a whisper, allowing you to enjoy the peace of your ride or the calls from paceline mates. Audible preferences aside, they perform inconspicuously, neither rolling or engaging noticeably better or worse than most hubs in its price range.

DT 350 Hub on Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37

I rode these wheels with standard clincher tires and tubes and I’d recommend you do as well. Bontrager includes a cloth-like strap that simply stretches over the wheel’s sidewalls and snaps into place over the rim bed’s spoke holes.

To go tubeless, Aeolus rims require plastic strips that added over 100g to these wheels and aren’t easy to install. I snapped one and couldn’t get the other one centered correctly. You can also use rim tape to seal the beds for tubeless or tube-type tires, but that takes a bit of experience to get right.

I also found installing my recommended Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL tubeless tires was a lot of work to mount and more work to get off than you’d ever want to deal with on the road. That’s just what happens with this tire and some rims, but this is one of those bad combinations. The tubed Grand Prix 5000 version mounts easily.

While I recognize everyone has different tastes and therefore don’t usually share my opinion on the looks of a wheelset, I will say that if you prefer stealthy looking, matt finished rims with sufficient badging to let people know what you are riding, these Bontragers will be right up your alley.

Design: As with most bike wheels introduced lately, this model year 2020 Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 TLR wheelset is only made with a disc brake option and is “tubeless ready”.  As per my comments above, I’d recommend you ride it with a tubed-tire setup.

The wheelset with the easy to install cloth-like straps for tubed tires weighed 1519 grams on my scale. With the plastic tubeless strips, the weight increased to 1648 grams.

The rims I rode measured 21.2 mm wide on the inside (between the rim hooks) and 27.8 mm on the outside near where the tire and rim joins. With the 25C Continental Grand Prix 5000 tubed tires at my benchmark 100psi, the tires measure 27.6 mm wide. At a more comfortable 80psi, they run 27.4 mm.  True to its name, the rims measured 37.0 mm deep.

The carbon rim’s profile starts off on the inner spoke edge with a softened V profile and quickly adopts a U shape as it travels toward the outer tire edges. The spokes are bladed DT Swiss Aerolites attaching to the rim with external alloy nipples. The hubset is also a DT Swiss branded 350 model.

Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37

Quality: While I’ve usually found Bontrager wheels to be very well built, the easy to break, hard to center tubeless rim strips that I wrote about above was disappointing.

The rim and hub shell finish are first-rate. The decal labels also appear to be well adhered and integrated nicely into the rim design.

Bontrager’s crash replacement policy for these and all their carbon wheels is very strong. They will replace or repair your wheels for free within 2 years of when you bought it no matter how they get damaged and provide a 50% discount to repair or replace them for as long as you own them after that.

They offer the industry standard 2-year materials and workmanship warranty. You can also return them if unused within 30 days for a full refund.

Price: You can use these links to order the Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 for US$1300, £1200, €1200, direct or from Sigma Sports.

For a slightly deeper option better suited for wider tires and maintaining higher speeds onto flat and rolling terrain, I suggest you consider the Pro 37’s big brother, the Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51 that sells for the same price direct or from Sigma Sports. We are currently testing it and will post a review when done.

In The Know Cycling is ad-free, subscription-free, and reader-supported. If you want to help keep it rolling without any added cost to you, buy your gear and kit after clicking the store links on the site. When you do, we may earn an affiliate commission that will help me cover the expenses to create and publish our independent, comprehensive, and comparative reviews. Thank you, Steve. Learn more.

You can read my evaluation of other wheelsets in this category in the post The Best Wheelset for the Money – Part 2.

Follow us on | |


  • Tubes weigh 100 grams each. Why didn’t you weigh the wheels with tubes in of you weighed them with strips? Also, I just installed bontrager strips on new bontrager wheels and it was the simplest thing possible. A teammate has the pro 3’s and said the same thing. You just install valve through strip. Stretch it easily around to slap in place, and then run your tire lever along the wheel hook to lock in place (per simple picture directions). I will agree, though, those Continental 5000 TL were a bear to get on. I wrestled with those! It inflated right up with regular pump which was nice. I have a set coming tomorrow, so I hope I have better luck than you had!

    • Aaron, When you consider everything that goes into a tubed-tire vs. tubeless tire setup, I’ve concluded there’s little difference in weight. I’ve detailed that here in my review of tubeless tires. What irks me about using Bontrager tubeless strips is that you put yourself at a 50-gram disadvantage per wheel right off the start. I taped the Bontrager RSL 37 (see here) which is a climbing wheelset but I’d imagine most people looking for a $1300 rim aren’t experienced with taping and are likely not tubeless users anyway. Installing those plastic strips right probably aren’t as easy for most to do either. I’ve installed them on four or five Aeolus wheelsets I’ve tested before and never found it foolproof. It should be for a wheelset this price. Perhaps it was the cooler temps in my garage when I put them on or my inattention when I installed them on the Pro 37 but it was a real faff. Sounds like you know your way around these but you might consider tape if you are looking for a lower weight solution to tubeless. Steve

  • I have the option to customize these wheels with DT Swiss 240 hubs and aero lite spokes for about 2k, would it make sense to just go with Aeolus xxx4 for a couple bucks more?

    I have a cervelo Caledonia and my average ride is 30 miles over 2300 ft of elevation.

  • 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 ? )
    What would be your recommendation?

  • Hi there. Thanks for the consistently great content you put out. I have a question on these wheels. I see from the images you installed the Shimano Ultegra rotors. Where you able to fit the rotors with the standard lockring that comes with the rotors, using the cassette tool? I have heard mixed stories about wheels with DT Swiss internals not fitting well with Shimano rotors using the center lockring and that an alternative lockring is needed. Thanks!

    • Kyle, I’ve uses Shimano (and SRAM) rotors at multiple levels (Ultegra and Dura Ace) with lockrings that tighten on the inside with a standard cassette lockring tool and larger diameter rings that tighten on the outside of the ring with a tool like the BBT-9.

      I do know of riders who have not been able to use lockrings that tighten on the outside of the rings but it was because there wasn’t enough space between the rings and the forks on some older forks. Nothing to do with the rotors. Steve

  • Great. Thanks for confirming that Steve.

  • Hey Steve. Great content. Stumbled upon this piece and “THE BEST CARBON WHEELSET FOR THE MONEY – PART 2” while I was researching between Bontrager Pro 37 and Pro 3V.

    I have a stock Trek Domane SL5 2021 and it comes with a Affinity TLR (32C R1 tires) which I’m very keen to upgrade to unlock more performance out of my bike. I typically do century rides over the weekends and half century on weekday and I reckon comfort is my goal here. I had a bad fall once on a wet road so 32C tires gives me the confidence in grip and traction.

    My Trek LBS claims that Pro 37 can take on 32C tires but for most optimum choice, which among the 2 do you think is more suited for 32C tires? Or what other alternatives that is worth considering? My budget is around the value-carbon price point. Also planning to stick with clincher for now. Appreciate the advice. Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Lawrence, the wider the tires, the wider you want your rim to be to better support the tire sidewalls. Better support means better handling. I’d think the 3V would be the better choice. Steve

  • Hi Steve,

    How would you compare these with the aeolus pro 51 wheelset which i think are marketed as more of an all-rounder. A bit heavier but a fair compromise for the increased aero and increased allowable tyre size within the 105/108 rule. What do you think? If you had to choose one wheelset as your only do it all budget wheelset which would you pick between the two?

    • Hi Joel, I tested the Aeolus RSL 51 and Pro 37 but not the Pro 51 so can only attempt to triangulate. I do believe the Pro 51 would be a good value all-round for the reasons you mentioned especially if you do more rolling and flat terrain than hilly and climbing rides and use tubed clincher tires rather than tubeless ones. (If you want to go tubeless, tape the rims rather than use the heavy rim strips that come with the wheels). It’s also in stock (here), something that’s not the case with a lot of wheels (including the Pro 37) these days. Cheers, Steve

      Note: Site may earn a commission when you order after clicking on store links.

  • Hi Steve
    In a couple days i will have in my hands my new Emonda Slr with the new Dura Ace and Pro’s 37 as wheelset. Do you suggest to change the wheels with the RSL or keep it as it is? Or maybe can you give a tip for another wheelset? My main rides are in flat-rolling terrain with 500 -700 m elevation and at the weekends i am having 1300-1600 m elevation profile rides.

  • Hi Steve,
    I was just wondering when your review of the Aeolus Pro 51 would be released? I am currently trying to decide between the Zipp 303s and the Aeolus Pro 51. Would definitely love to read your Pro 51 review if is coming out soon or simply know your recommendations between the Zipp 303s vs Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51.

  • Sandler, thanks for your interest. It’s probably a month or so away. Note that if you prefer clincher tires, the 303 S is not an option. I expect the Pro 51 and Pro 37 to be similar with the former better suited for flat and rolling terrain and the latter for hillier and climbing routes as with the 303 S. If you haven’t seen it, I review Pro 37 and 303 S back to back in this review of value carbon wheels. Steve

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.