Stan’s NoTubes S1 wheels
In recent years we’ve seen not only an increased choice in wheel diameters (26″, 27.5″ and 29″) but also rim widths too. Price tags have risen, with carbon rims costing around a £1000 each in some cases and premium aluminium wheelsets getting expensive. It’s easy to feel that a serious pair of wheels is out of your reach.
We’ve reviewed some mid range options in the last few years and wheels such as the Hope Hoops, Stan’s NoTubes MK3 and Crankbrothers Iodine 2 have hit the spot for us. All have their strong points and are a worthwhile upgrade over most stock wheelsets but how about an even cheaper option? The latest S1 wheels from Stan’s NoTubes are our pick and are priced at £350 a pair, complete with tubeless valves and rim tapes fitted.
The S1 wheels sit below the well regarded MK3 models in Stan’s range and follow a similar format. Built around the Neo hub (with most axle/hub standards covered), Stan’s use 32 J-bend spokes keeping things simple for maintenance and spares availability. The rims are a touch heavier duty than those on the MK3 wheels, using 6061 aluminium with spoke eyelets and keeping the ‘Bead Socket Technology’ for a reliable tubeless seal. Here in the UK the S1 wheels are available in the usual rim widths that Stan’s offer – Crest, Arch and Flow for the 29″ and Arch, Flow and the Plus-sized Baron for 27.5″. The Flow size works well for tyres of 2.35-2.8″ widths, the Arch suits 2.25″-2.50″. They are only sold in matching pairs, so you’ll be using the same rim width front and rear though. When it comes to a rebuild, the S1 rims are not available as a spare but you can always go with a MK3 rim at £80 each.
The weight is a touch more than on the pricier MK3 wheels – a pair of S1 Flow 27.5″ wheels weigh in at 2034g and the same size/spec on the MK3 are 1807g. That’s a 227g penalty but a saving of £170 on the price of the wheels. The 27.5″ S1 wheels with Arch rims are lighter at 1882g/pr.
There’s a reassuringly solid ride to these cheaper wheels from Stan’s. They are built well, roll smoothly and have a quick pick-up from the freehub. The S1’s have a look and feel of a more expensive wheelset but at a keener price and our test pair has not missed a beat. Throw in Stan’s reliable tubeless sealing and great spares back up and we feel these are a bargain replacement to many stock wheels. A bargain…
See our first look on these wheels HERE for more details.