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 Stans No Tubes by a few associates. I have worked with Stans 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 Stans answered the call and had a set of Stans 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. Stans DOES include a mounted plastic yellow rimstrip with valve. They also include a pair of regular Stans 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 Flows 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 Stans 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 isnt 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.