Tom tests and reviews the Stan’s No Tubes Sentry MK3 wheelset
If you’ve mountain biked for any length of time and even half thought about buying a new wheelset or rims for your bike, it’s more than likely that Stan’s will have been one of the names you considered. Over the years, its No Tubes rim range has been standard upgrade fodder.
It’s possibly only been in the last few years, as cheap carbon rims have become increasingly popular, that Stan’s maybe hasn’t been seen as the aftermarket rim to own. Still, it was the Crest, Arch and Flow rims that made Stan’s famous in the custom wheel world. From XC to World Cup downhill, these three rims have covered them all.
As modern mountain bikes trend towards wider tyres, the New York-based company has added broader options to suit, including the Sentry (32mm wide), Baron (35mm) and Major (38mm).
On test here is the Stan’s No Tubes Sentry MK3 wheelset, which features 6069 welded alloy rims that are designed to support new-school mountain bike tyres between 2.5-3.0in wide. You can get the rims on their own if you prefer to go the custom route, and there’s also a cheaper Sentry MK1 version that substitutes a cheaper 6061 sleeved alloy rims.
The Full Package
Now I fully accept that I must have had my head buried under the sand here, but I’ll be honest – I hadn’t realised that Stan’s did full wheel build options. The power of the internet tells me that this is definitely not a new thing, so I’ll plead sheer ignorance on my part. If you happen to have been living under the same rock as me all this time, guess what? Stan’s do full wheelset options!
This particular wheelset is built around Stan’s Neo hubs (which themselves have been updated). The rear hub now gets three freehub bearings for improved durability and stability on the axle. There’s a new Durasync freehub mechanism that sees the 6-pawls engaging simultaneously on a 36t forged steel ratchet ring, delivering 10° between each click. The hubs are laced up to the Sentry rims with Sapim Force J-bend stainless steel spokes – 32 each end.
The rim is made from high quality 6069 aluminium and uses Stan’s ‘WideRight’ technology. Some of this is simply using a rim width that is appropriate for your tyre width – avoiding bulging sidewalls or overly squared edges and flat tops to tyres. The rim profile has also evolved from earlier Stan’s rims though, and is noticeably flatter, with quite short and beefy sidewalls.
The total wheel package comes in at as near as bang on 2kg for the 29in, Boost, SRAM XD Driver option that we tested (pretty much every conceivable combination of standards is available, including 26in). Not light, but reasonable given this is a rim that’s billed as being capable of the same enduro riding that the Flow is rated for.
The wheelset costs £520, which is more expensive than say, the Hunt Enduro Wide wheels recently tested by James, but significantly cheaper than a carbon wheel upgrade.
Setting Up The Stan’s No Tubes Sentry MK3 Wheels
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|Brand:||Stan's No Tubes|
|Product:||Sentry MK3 Wheels|
|Tested:||by Tom Hill for 6 months|