Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Bravo Team 650b wheelset review£1,350.00

Close to the ideal enduro wheelset

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The wide but shallow Bravo rim is designed to be (cliché alert) laterally stiff yet vertically compliant. Although these carbon wheels are light at 1,630g, we couldn’t feel any flex under hard cornering loads, and when we measured their stiffness using a strain gauge we found them to be among the sturdiest we’ve tested.

As for vertical compliance, we rode them back-to-back with a benchmark DT Swiss E 1700 alloy wheelset, using the same tyres and pressures. Despite our initial scepticism, the Bravos did transmit noticeably less feedback through the bar, reducing hand pain.

Related: BikeRadar gear of the year: Seb's 2015 picks

Stan’s say this in-built ‘give’ helps prevent punctures too, and, unusually, we didn’t have any during testing.

The rims are moderately wide (26.6mm internal) but the short bead-socket gives a nice rounded tyre profile for predictable cornering grip and secured our tyres with minimal squirm and no burping. After weeks of rocky riding (and EWS racing) they’re still straight and unscarred, and the bearings remain smooth. We did damage the XD Driver but the replacement has survived deliberately brutal abuse so far, and the wheels come with a two-year warranty anyway.

Available in all current axle/wheel combinations, the Bravos offer sublime performance for those who can afford them.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Seb Stott

Technical writer, Tech hub, UK
Seb is a geeky technical writer for BikeRadar, as well as MBUK and What Mountain Bike magazines. Seb's background in experimental physics allows him to pick apart what's really going on with mountain bike components. Years of racing downhill, cross-country and enduro have honed a fast and aggressive riding style, so he can really put gear to the test on the trails, too.
  • Age: 23
  • Height: 192cm/6'3"
  • Weight: 85Kg/187 lbs
  • Waist: 86cm / 34in
  • Chest: 107cm / 44in
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep!
  • Current Bikes: Focus Sam 3.0, Kona Process 111, Specialized Enduro 29 Elite
  • Dream Bike: Mondraker Crafty with Boost 29" wheels, a 160mm fork and offset bushings for maximum slackness.
  • Beer of Choice: Buckfast ('Bucky' for short)
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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