Wheel Review: Bontrager Aura 5
Efficient, well priced and enjoyable to ride
The first thing you notice about the Aura 5’s is how flimsy the 50mm carbon sections feel, which is a little disconcerting; there’s quite a lot of flex when you press them with your fingers. Thankfully, once on the bike, there are no problems. Just in case, though, when storing ahead of race season, think twice about hanging your bike by the front wheel.
They’re carbon deep sections on an aluminium rim, which means you enjoy the best of both worlds – aero wheels with a solid, consistent braking surface. An all-carbon construction would decrease the weight, but given that Bontrager are promoting them as “the everyday wheel for the performance cyclist”, you’ll want the increased stopping power of aluminium. They also have more flex than many deep-rim wheels we’ve ridden but, once again, if you’re riding them day-to-day, you’ll be thankful for the extra comfort.
The Auras weigh in at 970g for the rear and 770g for the front, so they’re reasonably light, although when accelerating they’re not hugely responsive, and certainly won’t excel up the steepest of gradients. But on the flat, they shine. Holding your speed is easy, and you feel like you’re truly extracting something for your effort, which makes them extremely enjoyable to ride. They also handle well in crosswinds and only struggle when the gusts are really strong.
The Aura 5s are a versatile wheelset; they’re a step up from alu clinchers for training but good enough that you could use them for racing, too. If you’re looking for a genuine all-round set of wheels, or if your budget only stretches to one set for training and racing, you’ll struggle to do much better.
Enjoyable to ride. These are efficient and well-priced wheels