PressCamp 2015: Stan’s No Tubes

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Stan’s Neo and Neo Ultimate Hubs

The Stan’s NoTubes company has been busy redesigning its hubs from the ground up over the last two and a half years. While its 3.0 hubs are perfectly serviceable, there were a few bits that could be improved, so Stan’s started from scratch to improve them.

Neo Ultimate hub on the left, Neo, then a raw machined up and finally the starting point

There will be two levels of hubs that will come on Stan’s wheels (the hubs won’t be available separately). Both the Neo and the Neo Ultimate start off life as bar stock that is CNCd into shape and then, in the case of the Ultimate, further ‘hogged out’ to save weight and remove material wherever possible.

The freehub starts as a forging that is machined out. The Neo hub will feature four pawls, that engage simultaneously and give 10° of engagement. The Neo Ultimate, meanwhile, has six pawls (top left) that engage three at a time, giving 5° of engagement

This pic nicely shows the canted-in flanges to match the spoke angle

The bearings are massively bigger now and a new barbed seal replaces the rather baggy O-ring of old. The hubs can still be broken down by hand, without tools. And the end caps no longer fall off!

xD drivers and Shimano alike

The hubs feature interchangeable end caps and will come with QR and thru-axle caps in the box. They will come in Shimano and SRAM xD drivers, and yes, there’ll be Boost 148/110 hubs too.

Expect to see these hubs start coming through on Stan’s wheels by late summer/ early autumn.

Stan’s Bravo Wheels

The world of rims is getting wider, but Stan’s found (as did ENVE, as we’ll find out in another story) that there’s a point at which wider is no longer better. Stan’s reckons that it’s new Bravo wheelset sits at the sweet point of rim width, being 32mm external and 26.6mm internal.

The Bravo rim is shallower than many carbon rims – and this is because Stan’s reckons that deep carbon rims are too vertically stiff. As it puts it ‘it’s built to take a punch’ – and if you’d like to see quite how much of a punch – check out this video of the more XC Valor rim being smacked in the face:

 

Designed for tyres from 2.35 up to 2.5in, the Bravo has been extensively tested – most recently by Gee Atherton (who was racing it with a Flow sticker on it…). There will be two tiers of wheels available when they come out in July/August – a Neo hub level called ‘Team’ and a Neo Ultimate called the Pro. The base model will be $1575 and the Ultimate will be $1900. No UK pricing just yet. The Ultimate level ‘Pro’ wheel has triple butted spokes and the Ultimate hub. Weights will be around 1640g for the 27.5in Pro level.

And the good news? The wheel will come in 29, 27.5 AND 26in. It’s great to see Stan’s supporting the 50% of riders still on 26in wheels. And when we asked if there’ll be an aluminium, more affordable level rim of this type coming out, there was a lot of eye-darting and coughing. So we reckon you should tune back in to see what’s announced at Eurobike…

The rim has a very pleasing, rounded, but shallow profile.

 

 

 

Chipps

Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (1)

    I don’t know how hard the impact in the video is but building and using a rim that deflects to a point where the spokes get unloaded on a fairly regular basis will lead to spoke failure rather quickly.

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