Saddles, wheels, tools, dropper posts and more – we pick 11 hot MTB upgrades from the Bontrager stable you should check out.
Bontrager BITS Integrated MTB Tool
On-board, easy-access tool storage
It’s a good idea to have a reliable set of Allen keys at home but you’ll also need to carry one on your ride for trail-side tweaks and repairs. These days riders tend to store more essentials on the bike, as opposed to jamming pockets and packs full. Enter the Bontrager BITS system; it stores pretty much all of the essential tools inside the steerer tube of your fork. The kit contains a multi-tool with 7 hex keys, a flat-head screwdriver, and a Torx T25. It’s an easy (and smart) upgrade because installation requires no threading of the steerer tube and the kit actually includes a chain breaker and quick link too.
Bontrager Verse Pro Saddle
Performance and comfort!
An uncomfortable saddle will dampen the joy of riding, negatively impact on your power delivery and may even cause injury through malignment. The new Verse Pro is a versatile performance saddle, designed for all genders on all terrain. Using insights from biomechanical research, Bontrager worked with female and male riders to develop a unique cut out design that maximizes comfort for all. The saddle is offered in four sizes; 135mm, 145mm, 155mm and 165mm to suit your sit bones and the ultra-light oversized carbon rails allow more fore/aft adjustment. Starting weight is 184 grams and the saddle is compatible with Bontrager’s Blendr light mount. Your local Trek dealer will help you find the correct fit.
Bontrager Flat Pack
Flat repair kit
The Flat Pack is a complete flat repair kit, including a compact saddle bag to stow everything. Included in the pack is a Bontrager multi-tool and a voucher for a free tube. The pack is a good place to store your keys and a little stash of cash for that mid-ride sugar stop. This is the kind of upgrade you don’t think you need, until you are stuck with a flat. What’s real neat about it? — the fastening straps are adjustable so it fits most bikes plus it has a strap to secure your pump.
Bontrager Line Dropper Seatpost
You will wonder how you ever rode without it
Fitting a Dropper Seatpost will up the fun-factor to your singletrack adventures. The recently updated Bontrager Line Dropper is available in a 100mm, 125mm, 150mm and 170mm length in a 31.6mm sizing. What’s the big deal? — the air-sprung system and hydraulic locking cartridge have fewer moving parts and a new high-quality seal gives it a smooth and consistent feel. It also has an infinite adjustment, so you can hit that perfect drop for the trail you’re on. If you ride steeper trails go for the longer option, it helps you move your center of gravity back and down so you will be safer out there. We guarantee you’ll wonder how you ever rode without one!
Bontrager XR2 Team Issue Tyre
Fast and grippy
As the only connection point to the ground, tyres are a key upgrade to make when seeking more performance from your bike. The XR2 is a front or rear-specific tyre designed to carry speed well and offer good grip on loose over hardpack trail – which is pretty much everywhere in SA. It’s available in four different sizes — 2.2″, 2.35″, 2.6″ and 3.0″ — starting at a featherweight 630grams. The two smaller sizes are ideal for cross-country riding and the three bigger sizes will suit riders seeking a fast-rolling, versatile option, for light trail riding. Bontrager used a lightweight casing (120 threads per inch) which lowers the rotational mass to make you faster.
Bontrager Rally Wavecel Helmet
The confidence boost
A quality helmet is one of the most important upgrades worth considering. That’s just a no-brainer really. The new-ish Wavecel technology by Bontrager is a collapsible cellular material, that lines the inside of this lid and only adds 30grams to the total weight. The benefit? — upon a hard impact, Wavecel is designed to reduce the severity of a head injury by changing its structure to cushion the blow. It’s impressive stuff. With this Bontrager Rally helmet you are getting an adjustable visor, BOA fit system, extended rear protection, and soft, moisture-wicking inner padding. The added safety of the total system will give your confidence a boost.
Bontrager Kovee XXX Carbon 35 MTB Handlebar
For aggressive XC
Upgrading your handlebars will have a significant impact on your bike’s handling. For XC racers, upgrading to a carbon bar will make the bike more responsive and, depending on the bar, a little smoother due to the damping characteristics of the material. The Kovee XXX bars are 720mm wide, use the 35mm clamp standard, with a 9-degree backsweep. There is no upsweep or rise, which is ideal for XC racing as it puts your body into a low and aggressive position to optimize power transfer when climbing. The XXX bars are light — try 133grams! — with a very solid and precise feel on the trails. Bling rating: 10.
Bontrager Front Mudguard
Fits all bikes
The most obvious reason for fitting a mudguard is to keep the dirt off your bike and body. A less obvious reason for fitting the mudguard is to improve your vision. On a wet day, it’s likely that your glasses will get so mucky that you are actually better off without them — that’s when the performance benefit of a front mudguard is blatantly obvious. It keeps the muck out of your eyes so you can see where you are going. The Bontrager mudguard is 1mm thick, has multiple attachment points and installs in seconds. It will fit just about any fork and tyre size.
Bontrager Rapid Pack
The comfortable storage solution
Upgrading to a hip pack has many advantages. If you are moving from a backpack to a hip pack, you will immediately notice how your shoulders and chest are unrestricted and your ‘range of motion’ on the bike is a little better. Your center of gravity will also be lower which has many benefits on the trail, most notably, you will be a lot safer. Hip packs are also a little easier to access than a traditional backpack. The Bontrager Rapid Pack has a zipper compartment on each side with sleeve inserts, mesh separators and a compression phone sleeve to protect and organize all your stuff. The stretchy material forms to your body shape and makes this pack incredibly comfortable.
Bontrager Line Elite Carbon Wheels
A wheelset upgrade is the best upgrade. That’s because wheels have such a profound impact on the performance of the bike. These all-new, base-level Line Elite 30’s have all the special sauce you’ll need to find more speed, durability and better grip. The main ingredient inside that sauce is a reshaping of the hook bead to be both wider and with a larger outside radius. These wheels are the strongest Bontrager have made, with nearly twice the impact strength of the previous iteration. At under R20k, they are a great buy.
Bontrager Kovee XXX Wheelset
Best of the best
If you are in a situation where you absolutely need the best of the best – for racing or just to spoil yourself – then look no further than the Kovee XXX wheels. They have absolutely all the bells and whistles that a World Cup racer needs to perform. Straight pull bladed spokes, quick engagement DT Swiss 240s hubs and Trek’s OCLV carbon finish. The real big deal is they are under 1 300grams – which is of the lightest of any brand – and have a wide inner diameter which improves grip. The performance is incredible. Spoil yourself.