With carbon wheels getting more affordable they are becoming a popular performance upgrade on trail bikes through to DH machines. The latest Stan’s Bravo Team wheels have just rolled into Dirt HQ for long-term test – plenty of tech, but are they worth the asking price?
Stan’s pioneered their lightweight tubeless system many years ago, with a focus on reliable sealing, puncture prevention and an increase in grip and feel. It’s safe to say they got it right from the start, and their Flow EX rim quickly became one of our favourites here at Dirt. Their ‘No tubes’ range of products has since developed over time, with a choice of rim widths and prebuilt wheels catering for most riding types. With the arrival of recent new hub spacing standards and and a demand for wider rims, Stan’s have not stood still – and the result is the bang up to date Bravo wheels. Are these the new standard for trail wheels? How do they compare to the Easton and Roval wheelsets? – both picks in the 2016 Dirt 100. Let’s have a look at the details.
The Bravo wheels are ‘built for all-day trail rides and enduro racing’ say Stan’s, and they’re developed with plenty of input from the World Championship-winning Atherton DH Team – a very good indication that they are serious with their design. A rethinking of carbon ﬁbre wheels from the ground up were Stan’s intentions with the Bravo, where not only a wide carbon rim is launched but also an all-new Neo and Neo Ultimate hub designed to team up perfectly with these composite rims.
‘Wide, supportive, yet stiff rims with smooth and long lasting hubs all rolled out into a lightweight wheelset’
These are the usual words spoken when it comes to premium priced rolling stock and so it is here with the Bravos. They promise a lot, and with weights of 1640g (for the 27.5” Pro level) and 1701g (Team level) they are competitive, sitting in just above the 1530g for a pair of the equivalent sized Roval Traverse carbon wheels.