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Stan's ZTR Flow Tubeless Rim

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by Ridemonkey.com, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. Ridemonkey.com

    Ridemonkey.com News & Reviews

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    Fraser Britton's latest product review features the Stan's ZTR Flow, a tubeless rim that's here to conquer the supremacy of major players such as Mavic. Read on for Transcend's take on how they held up to DH racing.
    ---

    Words and Photos by Fraser Britton

    A few seasons ago, I was looking for a wheel sponsor for the Orange MTB team and was lead in the direction of Stan’s No Tubes by a few associates. I have worked with Stan’s in the past on various projects, and they have always been quite gracious to us and willing to let us try out product and give things a shot, even if it is not as intended.


    Mike Bush over at Stan’s answered the call and had a set of Stan’s Flow ZTR freeride wheels built up on a set of Hope Pro 2 hubs and fired them right over to try before the snow started to fly at the end of the season. After a couple of seasons on these rims, I can now finally give a long-term review.

    The ZTR flow is a 32h welded rim, and is designed for mountain cross and freeride. This featherweight tips the scales at 470g. It is 22.6mm from bead lock to bead lock, 28mm across the outside. As usual, they can be used either with our without tubes, and no tape or ghetto rimstrips are necessary. Stan’s DOES include a mounted plastic yellow rimstrip with valve. They also include a pair of regular Stan’s tape rims strips with valves for certain situations. You can have them in any color you want, as long as you want black.


    The first thing you notice when you pick the rims up is how light they are. They are ridiculous, they made 721s feel like a brick. (For reference, a Mavic 721 is 577g.) The second thing you notice is the sidewall; compared to a 721 (our control rim for lack of a better word) the sidewalls are about half the height. This helps reduce pinch flats and reduce weight. The beadlock itself keeps the tire from popping off, so no need for huge sidewalls. The side effect of this is that it makes sometimes tricky steel beaded DH tires easy to mount by hand, no tire levers required.

    With Flow’s mounted, you can save even more weight by running tubeless front and rear without the hassle of rim strips, gallons of sealant and the mess that accompanies it. Tire changes take no more time than with regular tubes & tires on a 721. We used Michelin Comp16s in our first tests. New tires mounted and inflated easily, with a floor pump. Used tires with a fairly soft, mangled bead took a bit more effort to get inflated, and we switched to a compressor and it went up instantly, just something to keep in mind. Since then we have used Maxxis Minions, and some prototype Specialized tires which are not even UST tires, and they have all worked perfectly with a little bit of sealant.


    The build that Stan’s put on these rims for us is exceptional. The wheels remained true over a half a season of heavy DHing over rough terrain, including the legendary Bromont downhill trails, Cypress and Seymour on the North Shore and even the notoriously gear smashing trails at Whistler.

    There are no visible dings or flatspots at all in the rim, however the finish did pick up quite a few scratches. There was no noticeable flex while riding, particularly on one track with lots of berms where I was paying attention to it to see if they would flex. They tracked quite well on the rear end of our test bikes (Team Orange 224s and 225 prototypes). The 224 is so stiff that all flex would take place at the wheel. In the parking lot you can lay the bike over and flex the wheels fairly easily however. It just isn’t noticeable or a problem at all when it counts, while riding.


    I am so confident in these rims, that the entire Transcend Orange team has been riding them for 2 seasons, mounted to hope hubs. This year we will be trying them out laced to No Tubes own ZTR DH hubs.

    These wheels held up well in testing, and during race conditions. They are lightweight, and make running tubeless a non-issue. At $85 USD retail, they are also about $10 cheaper than the Mavic equivalent UST rim, the 823.
     

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  2. Christiaan

    Christiaan Monkey

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    I like mine, although I got a big flatspot in my front wheel on the first day, they still hold air though, even without sealant
     
  3. Kntr

    Kntr Turbo Monkey

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    Mine showed up yesterday. They weighed in at 1900g with tape and valves.
     
  4. Christiaan

    Christiaan Monkey

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    Mine, without the tape or valve fitted
     
  5. Kntr

    Kntr Turbo Monkey

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    TUNE hubs?
     
  6. xy9ine

    xy9ine Turbo Monkey

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    "and no tape or ghetto rimstrips are necessary" - a bit misleading, as it implies no rimstrip is required (like a mavic ust). however, perhaps technically accurate as the supplied stans rimstrip isn't ghetto...
     
  7. Kntr

    Kntr Turbo Monkey

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    They look sweet so far... well, except for the hubs being different gold.
     
  8. miuan

    miuan Monkey

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    currently building a 819 in the back of my AM/FR ride, if I don't like it I may consider the Flow.
     
  9. daisycutter

    daisycutter Turbo Monkey

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    This reads a little too much like a press release to me. Last week I saw a bent rear ZTR Flow rim at Platty that makes me wonder what does holding up under "Heavy DHing over rough terrain" mean? Last year didn't you say your team had lots of issues with Hadley hubs? Neither my friends nor I have ever had an issue with those hubs. My 823/Hadley combo has taken a beating for two years I will stick to that combo thanks.
     
    #9 -   Jun 11, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  10. Christiaan

    Christiaan Monkey

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    Jup, Tune King MK, Kong MK
     
  11. Christiaan

    Christiaan Monkey

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    Different color gold? That sucks, send them back?
     
  12. dsb18292

    dsb18292 Chimp

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    Exactly:think:
    Another BS review with pretty pictures of new product. Where are the pictures of the scratched and dinged 2 season old wheels??

    How do you get people to pay $80-90 for a Sun rim? Put a Stan's sticker on it of course :rofl:

    For the record I have used flow rims for a season and consider them softer and a bit flexier than the EX721 or EX823 rims (I have multiple seasons on both of them as well). I also found that I spent a lot more time at the truing stand with Flow rims. I am sure glad that my personal experience is incorrect, now I will need to line up and get me some more flow :D :p
     
  13. Kntr

    Kntr Turbo Monkey

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    Nah, you can only tell when they are side by side. When they are on the bike, I dont think you will be able to tell.
     
  14. scottishmark

    scottishmark Turbo Monkey

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    hopefully Monkeyfcuker will show up. He's been running a pair since last summer and the rear is now cracked across one of the spoke (non)eyelets, and the metalwork across the nearest spokes is visibly stretching.

    TBH, it looks like just using eyelets would've stopped it but Stans haven't gone that way for whatever reason
     
  15. VSBJake

    VSBJake Chimp

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    I destroyed one of these rims in less than 3 months of riding. I'm not light..220lbs and I ride east coast brutal rocks mostly, but I was less than pleased. I ran dh tubes all along (i'm not much for tubeless) and had a horrible time mounting tires. Cracks at the spoke hole on both sides 1/4" long and 2 other cracks at other spoke holes accompanied 3 or 4 large flatspots. It may be a nice light rim and fine if you ride smooth trails and berms all the time, but i won't buy another. Leave em' for race runs and weight weenies they're made of cheese
     
  16. vikingboy

    vikingboy Monkey

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    pretty good rims but rather flexy compared to my current crossmax sx and burpred air when ridden at a low pressure, <30psi. I ride my UST rim & tyres at 22 without burping completely reliably.
     
  17. mtg

    mtg Green with Envy

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    Gallons of sealant? Seriously?
     
  18. Jeremy R

    Jeremy R <b>x</b>

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    Sometimes, you just got to be honest with yourself about a product.
    You weigh 220, and you bought a 470 gram rim to ride DH on east coast rocks.
    No need to shake a magic 8 ball to tell how that is going to turn out. ;)
    Ha, BTW, I am huge fan of this rim for a trailbike. The tubeless setup is so easy. I can seat regular single ply tires with a floor pump, and the new Michelins are sealing with less than a scoop of stans. Great rim and the perfect size for a trailbike.
    As far as DH, I only weigh 170, and the one light part I can't get away with is rear rims. I just last week destroyed another Alex supra D rim which is actually a fairly strong DH rim. I am getting my wheel relaced right now with an I9 DH rim and see how that plays out.
    I really do like the Notubes rim system though, so much so that I have two wheels with their rims. I hope they come out with a real DH rim in the future.
     
  19. LOOnatic

    LOOnatic Turbo Monkey

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  20. JeffKill

    JeffKill Monkey

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    Your common sense isn't wanted here, Jeremy. Take it somewhere else! :rofl:

    Don't they advertise the Flow's as AM/Mtn cross rims right on their site?

    Might put these on my GF's DH bike, but she's also only 5" tall and weighs 90 lbs...
     
    #20 -   Jun 11, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  21. monkeyfcuker

    monkeyfcuker Monkey

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    Ya, been riding these since last summer.

    My front is good, only reqd a 1/4 turn on each spoke to tighten 'em up.

    Rear is dying, I've cracked (on the last count) around 7 "eyelets", it all started after landing a little drop onto some rocks, ended up hooking up on this one rock that has cost me a rim before (721) and flatspotted causing a few spokes to loosen dramatically and crack an eyelet. I didn't tighten the spokes that day and done a good few more runs over the same trail, not clever but meh...

    I've ran the rim a few more times after trueing her up (ish), Innerleithen, Glencoe and Fort William. And it's slowly cracking more and more eyelets and stretching the metal around others, I basically just wanted to see how long it could hold out....

    Anyway, let's be clear these are light ass rims, anyone that honestly thinks they will hold up to proper DH punishment as well as an 823/721 over rocky ground is a tad silly.

    I think they are damn good for smooth trails tho and will probably replace my smashed in Flow with another.

    Just use your head and run suitable gear.... Says the pot to the kettle....
     
  22. PepperJester

    PepperJester Monkey

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    I've had my flows for about a year and a half now, riding on both the east and west coast, with no off season. My front wheel is pretty much mint but yes my back is on it's way out.

    No big deal. Considering all my riding buddies and the boys at the lbs took bets that I'd have them destroyed in 3 rides, I think their doing great. I'd buy them again.


    For reference in the time I've had these wheels I've broken two frames, one cranks set, folded a wheel on my AM bike and I think I just wrecked the lowers on my 888.
     
  23. -BB-

    -BB- I broke all the rules, but somehow still became mo

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    LOL... Wonder if Rob can get away with using these?

    HARDLY!!:thumb:
     
  24. Mike B.

    Mike B. Turbo Monkey

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    I certainly appreciate Transcend putting together the review and the feedback from everyone else. As mentioned, do please keep in mind that the Flow was not designed with DH in mind. That's a different project altogether.

    That said, nice to see Jonnier and Cole kicking ass on them last weekend, racing the Flows by choice this year.
     
  25. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Monkey

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    Don't forget hub choice and how well the wheel was built makes a huge difference to how they hold up. Saying you "saw" a bent wheel at a race doesn't exactly tell the whole story as to why it was busted.
     
  26. PepperJester

    PepperJester Monkey

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    By "Thats a different project altogether" are you suggesting a official No Tubes DH rim is in the works?
     
  27. frorider

    frorider Monkey

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    i have 2 sets of Flow wheelsets, both on XC/AM bikes, couple of years of use on one set.

    the pros/cons of these rims are well-known in the XC/AM world. spoke tension should be kept moderate - Stan's has published the max (don't recall the number).

    durability on my XC/AM bikes has been ok. some slight dents. Personally I would never consider them for general purpose DH.

    they are available 36 H, which might help with some of the issues.
     
  28. roel_koel

    roel_koel Monkey

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    I have run ZTR Flow rims on Hope Pro IIs (DT Swiss Comp D/B spokes and DT brass nipples) on both my bikes (6 x 6 All-Mtn, and 4 x 4 FR) for nearly 2 seasons now; I am a bike mechanic and built them myself, and give them a tweak from to time, but no more than other rims I have used like Sun Singletrack, Mavic EX721 or Sun MTX

    on my 6 x 6 at Cwm Carn DH in Wales, England



    on my 4 x 4 at Esher Pump Track in Surrey, England




    NO problems to report - they are excellent light weight / strong wheels, but will not take the same abuse as heavier rims like Mavic EX721 or EX729, obviously

    for a smoother rider its a great choice, and easily the premium choice for All-Mtn bikes that needs to go UP as well as down, especially to run a tubeless tire system that is reliable and gives great riding performance with suitable tires


    I run both my ZTR Flow / Pro II wheelsets with Specialized's "Roval" blue rim tape and Stan's UST valve units, and 3 cups of Stan's Solution

    I run Specialized "Control" tires on both - Fast Trak, Captain, Purgatory, Eskar and Clutch SX depending on what kind of riding I am doing on each bike

    inflating these tires on the Flow rims is p*ss easy, just use a track pump and no detergent, they go straight up every time...no problems to report with tire roll, burping or flex either if you run reasonable pressures and the weight savings / rolling performance and tire traction are awesome

    for DH riders, the Flow wheel setup, probably makes sense for "race day wheels" but not perhaps for "training wheels"? unless you are lighter / smoother (i.e. not a hack...)
     
  29. daisycutter

    daisycutter Turbo Monkey

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    If you have ever been to Platty you would know why it was bent:thumb:
     
  30. balfarider22

    balfarider22 Chimp

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    i have three sets of these wheels and they have all been going strong for 2 seasons. one of the sets is on its 3rd season. i have even been riding a cracked rear rim for more than half a season with no issues.
     
  31. Singletrackone

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    Always nice to hear perspective, I'm waiting on a set right now, personally I ran the 355s for 2 years on a stumpjumper beat the hell out of them(220lbs) on some nasty AM trails and they are still true so I thought I would give these a chance on my 6" bike. Hopefully I will have the same luck.
     
  32. Transcend

    Transcend My Nuts Are Flat

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    We had hadley issues years ago, and will never use them again due to it, yes. When things with Aluminum parts and titanium parts threaded together come from the factory with no anti-seize, this is a huge problem.

    That's great that you haven't had any issues and want to stick to that combo. Why post it in this thread? Seriously?

    I have destroyed more mavic rims than I would like to think about. They are rims, it happens. What's your point exactly?


    They are on my bike (and those of other team members). I tend not to shoot product photos when the products have been beat to hell, scratched, have no stickers left and look like crap?

    How does a product review say that your personal experience is "incorrect"?
     
    #32 -   Jun 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  33. dropmachine

    dropmachine Turbo Monkey

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    I think his point is that you are coming off very, VERY biased. Saying that Hadleys are problematic because they don't have anti seize on them (a 30 second fix) then saying that Hopes are better while knowing that they've been known to crack shells, seize, develop play and so forth...well thats pretty transparent I'd say.

    I also think you should have covered the fact that if you run Flow rims with a regular tire as a tubeless setup, you will almost always lose all your bloody air in the first corner. * grumbling*
     
  34. Transcend

    Transcend My Nuts Are Flat

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    It's not a 30 second fix when 15 hubs are SEIZED together. It was more like 30 mins per hub of very careful forcing...and then a few destroyed axles and endcaps even after being careful.

    Not sure I ever did a review of hope hubs? Certainly not here. In fact, all the hope hubs that we have been using lately were purchased. I did at some point, not in this review or even recently, mention that i would never use hadleys again due to that issue, that is correct.

    And as for normal tires and Flow's, you are wrong. I have been using prototype specialized tires, not 2 bliss ones, for almost 18 months now without any issues. 1 cup of stans, mount, done. If they didn't seat, I added the rubber stans strip over the yellow one the wheels shipped with.
     
    #34 -   Jun 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  35. monkeyfcuker

    monkeyfcuker Monkey

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    Never had that problem when I've run 'em tubeless, you must be doing something funky.

    What is it with the Hadley arse kissing fest in this place, on paper they are pricey, heavy and req special tools to work on them with some documented problems just like any other product yet if anyone slags them off they get immediately jumped on, is it the whole Americans backing the American product no matter what thing going on?
     
  36. daisycutter

    daisycutter Turbo Monkey

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  37. slowitdown

    slowitdown Monkey

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    I'm the most un-American/anti-American native of the USA you'll find.

    And I think Hadleys kick ass. Why? I have a Hadley rear hub that has been on 5 bikes under 3 different wheelbuilds. The only thing it's ever needed was a bit of cleaning and some new grease in the ratchet/pawl area. That's the ONLY thing it's needed. And I ride a ton.

    Conversely, I have witnessed friends' DT/Hugi, Chris King and Hope Pro 2 hubs fail, crack, blow up. Shimano hubs are heavy as hell.

    Seems to me it's a great value. And would be if it were made in Krakwhoristan.

    Also seems to me that everyone I know who has run Hadley hubs has had the same experience.

    Then on the other hand, you have Transcend's ONE bad experience. Sorry for him, but in this world there's always someone who feels the need to swim against the current. Transcend has chosen to do that with Hadley.

    As to his review of the Flow rim -- big deal. The only advantage of the Flow over the Velocity Blunt is the tubeless readiness. Being a guy who uses tubes and doesn't feel stupid or "unpopular" for doing so, I see no reason to want or lust after the Stan's gig. Transcend digs it though, I guess.
     
    #37 -   Jun 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  38. Christiaan

    Christiaan Monkey

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    Anyone know what spoke lenght to use with a Hope Pro 2 150mm rear hub and the ZTR Flow rim?
     
  39. Tamo

    Tamo Chimp

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    258.5 on the left and 258.8 on the right. 258mm :thumb:
     
  40. I.van

    I.van Monkey

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    Nice review Transcend. I don't understand why posters are being so critical of it.

    Are you saying you can only buy black at the mo? I have been waiting for white to come into stock at CRC for what seems like ages.