Stan's NoTubes ZTR Alpha and Iron Cross wheels 2014 - first look

New disc-compatible wheels, plus possible Industry Nine MTB collaboration

Stan's NoTubes was once best known only for its highly effective tire sealant. These days, the company is on a roll with an army of tubeless rims and wheels, which grows for 2014 with the addition of new disc-compatible road and cyclocross wheels, more options for OEM builders, and new axle fitments for existing models.

Iron Cross expansion

The popular disc-compatible Iron Cross cyclocross wheelset will expand to include three models for the coming season. All will be built around the same 20mm-wide (internal width), ultra-lightweight aluminum extrusion.

The top-end Iron Cross Pro uses the company's 3.30RDTi hubset and DT Revolution butted stainless steel spokes in a 24/28-hole two-cross pattern. Claimed weight is 1,400g for the pair (without rim tape, skewers, or valve stems) and suggested retail price is US$875 per set, which includes lightweight, red anodized aluminum valve stems, carbon fiber quick-release skewers, and a padded double wheel bag.

The Iron Cross Pro will use the company's 3.30Ti hubset 

The mid-range Iron Cross Team is essentially the same as the original Iron Cross but with upgraded stainless steel cartridge bearings in the 3.30RD hubset and new 11-speed compatibility. Spokes have been switched to the sturdier DT Swiss SuperComp model, but drilling remains 24/28-hole front/rear. Claimed weight is 1,510g per set and the suggested retail price is US$675.

While the least expensive option, at US$595, the new Iron Cross Comp wheelset is also the stiffest and most durable of the three thanks to DT Swiss SuperComp spokes and a more generous 32-hole drilling front and rear, which increases weight slightly, to 1,590g.

All of the new Iron Cross wheelsets will be available around mid-August – just in time for cyclocross season – and the 375g bare rims will also be offered to DIYers for US$88 apiece.

New ZTR Alpha road options

Last year's ZTR Alpha 340 Disc road wheelset is mostly unchanged for the 2014 model year, with the exception of stainless steel bearings in the 3.30RD hubset, plus compatibility with Campagnolo and SRAM/Shimano 11-speed drivetrains. As before, claimed weight is 1,630g per pair and retail price is US$695.

Riders who were drawn to the ZTR Alpha 340 Disc but wanted something a little sturdier will now be able to look to the ZTR Alpha 400. Its aluminum extrusion looks the same from the outside but adds a stiffening rib on the inside, similar to the systems used on Stan's off-road Arch EX and Flow EX rims. The spoke bed has also been thickened by 33 percent, to allow for higher spoke tensions and reduced chance of pull-through.

The 400 extrusion (left) uses the same basic external shape as the lighter 340 (right)

Claimed weight for the ZTR Alpha 400s is 1,720g with 32 DT SuperComp butted stainless steel spokes front and rear and 11-speed compatible Stan's 3.30RD hubs. Suggested retail price is US$645. Claimed weight on the bare rims is 440g, and they'll be available for US$120.

Projected availability for the new Alpha 340 and 400 models is mid-August.

Industry Nine hubs 

Stan's NoTubes already uses a wide range of hubs, including ones from DT Swiss, Hope, Cannondale, and its own 3.30 collection. The company is now exploring adding Industry Nine to the mix, too, since the two brands already have a good relationship and there's been a reasonable level of requests from customers.

If it goes through – and if you want it to happen, you'd best shoot the folks at Stan's NoTubes a note – the company will use the latest Industry Nine Torch Classic hubs and conventional J-bend stainless steel spokes. 

Industry Nine's Torch hubset might be available with complete Stan's wheelsets soon

Among the potential features are easily interchangeable axle end caps, a fast six-degree engagement speed via three simultaneously engaging pawls (or three-degree if you add another trio of pawls), and made-in-USA billing.

Exact pricing is still to be determined, but NoTubes sales and engineering director Mike Bush estimates it will be around US$900 – roughly the same as current wheels built with DT Swiss hubs. Projected availability would be around early winter.

For more information on Stan's NoTubes products see www.notubes.com.

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