Guaranteed to make you ride faster, carbon wheels are your top-dollar ticket to maximum speed. For many years carbon was reserved for cross country racing in the name of weight savings, but as the technology advances we're now able to benefit in more ways than one when it comes to rolling on carbon.
The not-so-minor details
Stan's No Tubes ZTR Bravo
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Supple and smooth ride.
Great pinch flat resistance.
Loud rear hub not for everyone.
Stan’s No Tubes may have cut their teeth in leading the charge in the early days of tubeless tyre conversions, they reinvented themselves as manufacturers of some of the lightest and most advanced rims and hubs, and are very highly regarded by riders in the know.
Who is Stan? Check out our interview with the man named Stan here: Interview: Stan ‘No Tubes’ Koziatek.
The ZTR Bravo is their latest all-mountain/enduro wheelset, used by the likes of Martin Maes on the Enduro World Series circuit. There’s a lot going on in these wheels, aside from their low weight the rim profile and construction is designed to reduce likelihood of pinch flats and improve compliance for a faster rolling wheel.
The BST (Bead Socket Technology) refers to the low profile rim sidewalls with no bead hook, this is said to help prevent pinch flats as the tyre won’t fold inward as far when compressed to the limit, when compared to a traditional hooked bead rim. There’s also the benefit of increased air volume to let the tyre conform to the terrain with greater ease.
The rims are 26.6mm wide inside, which might not sound as wide as many of the current trend of wheels coming out, but they claim there’s a point where too wide is not ideal.
For more background on the features, check out this video from Stan’s No Tubes:
On the trail
The Bravo wheels went onto our Trek Remedy 27.5 test bike with a pair of WTB Trail Boss 2.4″ tyres, they sealed up with a cup of Stan’s Sealant and with only a track pump they went up just fine.
Whether it was the WTB tyres or the wheels, it was quite a tight fit but with a bit of elbow grease and tyre levers we got them on and lit up the trails straight away.
These wheels certainly do feel very fast there’s no doubt about it, the low rolling weight is clear as day when you get on the pedals, the bike responds to your braking and pedalling energy instantly. Get the bike up to speed and it’s easy to keep it there, quite the ideal scenario really.
They don’t have that harsh stiffness that some carbon wheels have, kick the bike out sideways and the rear wheel doesn’t skip across the surface of the trail with a chattering sound, they feel slightly softer in this instance and maintain contact with the dirt nicely.
In the name of testing we put these wheels through absolute hell, there was never a tentative moment on the rocky trails, we wanted to see if we could pinch flat the tyres, dent the rims, put them out of true or worse. But despite our trying we never had one issue, nothing.
The ZTR Bravo’s are not cheap, but we rate these wheels very highly, they have massive appeal to the rider looking to upgrade from classic narrow aluminium wheels, these will lift your ride to the next level.