Sun Ringle's Charger Pro SL wheelset is an all-mountain pairing that's expensive but not outrageously so, not too heavy and stiff enough to get the job done.
The Charger Pro SL wheels comes in 26in, 27.5in (tested here) and 29er versions. The 26in model has 24 bladed, straight-pull Wheelsmith spokes per wheel, while the 650b and 29er versions up the count to 28.
Sun Ringle is one of a several companies that license Stan's NoTubes BST (Bead Socket Technology) tubeless rim profile. While the rim/tire interface technology is licensed, the rim extrusion is designed by Sun Ringle and is constructed from a blend of 6000 series alloys. The boxy rims are 24mm tall and have an external width of 27.2mm. The 22.2mm internal width gives a nice footprint to high-volume 2.25in to 2.4in tires.
Our 650b Charger Pro SL wheelset weighs 1,710g with tape and valve stems installed – reasonable for burly all-mountain hoops. It comes ready to roll with axle adapters to swap between quick-release, 15mm and 20mm front thru-axles and quick-release or 142x12 in the back. The rims come pre-tapped for tubeless use. Sun Ringle even includes valve stems and sealant to get you up and running.
The rims proved stiffer than one might expect from a 28-hole wheelset, and setting up tubeless-compatible tires was a breeze. Our rims have taken their fair share of rock strikes over the course of testing, and have remained true with just a few cosmetic marks.
The Charger Pro SL freehub provides relatively fast engagement
The Charger Pro SL freehub uses a four-pawl design with 7.5 degrees of engagement, which is twice as fast as for the Pro (non SL) and Expert models. While not lightning-quick as with some other brands, hub engagement is faster than average and will be appreciated by riders who enjoy attacking technical climbs.
The Charger Pro SL wheelset is not cheap, but in comparison to many entry level carbon wheels it's only a few grams heavier and significantly cheaper, making it an appealing option for riders looking to upgrade their wheels without breaking the bank.