Most riders know that the way to improve their bike is to upgrade their wheel set. All too often, bikes are spec’ed with heavy entry level wheels that can take a pounding on the trail, but also pack on the pounds weight and overall handling. There are tons of wheels to choose from - from light alloy options to the ultra expensive carbon builds.
Thats where Sta-Tru enters the scene. They’ve seem to have found a loophole and have put together a carbon rim set of wheel they call their SpeedTuned Evo Race Carbon at an attractive price that goes where few other carbon wheels go : $1049 (with their Super 6 hubs). What's more is that they're fully assembled here in Southern California. Surprised? So were we, so we spent some time getting to know these wheels.
First things first: they’re not comparative to the $2,000+ sets, and this is something that the team at Sta-Tru readily admits. Their core customer is that one that is open to spend just a bit more than a nice set of alloy wheels to make the jump to carbon. While these wheels downplay some of the features of a more expensive option, they certainly perform.
OUT OF THE BOX
They’re a simple looking wheelset. No flashy graphics or color matched details to match your fork to match your frame to match your stem cap. They’re just nice and clean, gloss black carbon goodness with a white logo, 32 double butted spokes, and red spoke nipples add a bit of color.
Our wheels came pre-installed with No Tubes rim tap, making tubeless set up all too easy with Kenda SCT tires.
Rim width is all the rage, so we took calipers to these. External width was 28mm, with an internal hookless width of 22mm. This may seem narrow by today’s fashion standards, but for those of us with an XC mindset, this width is what we’re comfortable with and accustomed to.
Rear hub gave some concern. With 24 points / 15 degrees of engagement, we wondered if this would give them a sloppy feel. However, we didn’t really notice this in our real-life riding situations. Of course, standard and XD compatible options are available.
Take note, however, that the 2016 spec has been updated to offer 48 points / 7.5 degrees of engagement with a 4 pawl system.
The wheels included a variety of end cap options, just in case. Ours were set up with thru axels front and rear, naturally.
One issue installing these wheels that we ran into was with our combination of Magura brakes, which have a large caliper and a bolt that was positioned extremely close to the spokes. In fact, no matter how much we shimmed and adjusted, we could not keep the bolt from touching the spokes. This is more of a Magura issue, but worth noting.
ON THE TRAIL
We came off of heavier alloy wheels, so as one would guess, these wheels felt lively. They provided the ride quality that one would expect from carbon - a bit of vibration dampening, quick acceleration, and descent stiffness. At approximately 1600g (depending on your freehub and endcap configuration), these aren’t flimsy wheels. They rode like solid wheels that we could put training miles on as well as take to the races.
The wheels held up through our test rides. We put them through a handful of short course XC events, and even a 12 hour solo, and in all races they came through without any problems what-so-ever.
A DT Swiss 350 hub upgrade is available for an additional $210.
Sta-Tru seems to have a well put together wheel aimed at that upper middle class rider looking to make the jump to carbon. For a little more than a nice set of alloy hoops, you can enter the world of carbon. If you’re in the market for a “do it all” wheelset, check these out.
- WEIGHT PER SET - 29" : 1645 +/- 15g
- INTERNAL WIDTH : 22mm
- EXTERNAL WIDTH : 28mm
- TUBELESS READY : yes
- SPOKES : DT Swiss Competition 2.0 / 1.8 / 2.0
- HUBS : Super 6
- HUB BEARINGS : Sealed Cartridge
- RIGHT WEIGHT LIMIT : 225lb