Gear

VN tech ticker: Bontrager rolls out new wheelsets; Zwiftpower no longer to publicly display rider height, weight

Here's what's making cycling tech headlines on April 16.

Bontrager — Trek’s house brand — rolled out new wheelsets Thursday.

The Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51 TLR ($1,300/set) is priced to be competitive with offerings from Zipp and Enve in the sub-$2,000 carbon wheelset category. The 51mm depth promises aero benefits with sure handling, without a massive weight penalty.

These wheels are tubeless-ready, have a 23mm internal width and 30mm outer width to accommodate wider tires, and spin on DT Swiss 350 internals. Both front and rear wheels have 24 DT Aerolite spokes.

Bontrager’s Aeolus Pro 51 TLR has a 30mm outer width, offering advantageous aerodynamics. Photo: Bontrager

The Bontrager Aeolus RSL 51/62/75 ($2,400/set) is a high-performance wheelset available in three different depths: 51mm, 62mm, and 75mm. This line of tubeless-ready, disc brake wheels replaces the Aeolus XXX line. Like the less-expensive Aeolus Pro 51, the Aeolus RSL has 23mm internal width and 30mm external width to accommodate wider tires that may offer lower rolling resistance and a smoother ride.

24 DT Aerolite spokes are laced front and rear with DT ProLock nipples, while the DT Swiss 240 hub internals allows for 36 points of engagement which should offer responsive acceleration.

These wheels ship with a Shimano/SRAM 11-speed carrier; a SRAM 12-speed option is available separately.

Weights for these wheels start at 1,410g/set (claimed) for the RSL 51 model and increase proportionally with depth.

Zwiftpower no longer to publicly display rider height, weight

In a coming update, Zwiftpower will no longer display riders’ heights and weights. Photo: Greg Kaplan

Beginning next week, Zwiftpower will no longer publicly display riders’ height and weight. This change will also be implemented in the Zwift Companion app, and also on the Zwift.com website.

A Zwiftpower account is required for many Zwift races; the data reporting service ensures data verification — race fairness — of Zwift competitors.

These data will remain as required inputs as they affect game dynamics. The weigh-in rules for some of Zwift’s top racing leagues have also been amended to reflect best practices in other similar sports, and approved by the IOC.

The game has also acknowledged the presence of unhealthy dieting by racers and has attempted to curtail what it calls “extreme dieting” practices.

Top-ranked Zwifter Holden Comeau commented on the pending changes, acknowledging the challenges facing Zwift and racers.

“It’s a tricky issue to solve,” the former world number-one-ranked rider said.

Zwift had been receiving reports of harassment surrounding riders’ weights, as well as other forms of derogatory speech, and took action.

Zwift made the announcement Thursday explaining that it, “does not tolerate cyber-bullying, hate speech, harassment, threats, or personal attacks—within the game or anywhere else.”

Of noted concern with Zwift’s hiding riders’ heights and weights is the end of community policing with regards to supplying erroneous metrics. Zwift had relied on the community to report suspect riders’ in-game height and weight which can directly impact event performance and outcome.

Zwiftinsider reported that Zwift’s emerging verification technology may substitute for community self-policing.

“Our CS agents have all the tools to look at egregious changes in weight and make informed decisions if someone is ‘weight doping’ or not,” Zwift stated.

Zwift is also implementing reporting features to allow subscribers to report harassment, and other actions which violate the game’s terms of service, and spirit of “having fun, [with] rewarding, and positive experiences while hitting fitness goals.”