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In a nod to current trends in the industry, Stan's NoTubes built the Valor Pro 29in Boost Wheelset with slightly wider rims and dramatically wider Boost hubs. This accommodates the larger tires we're seeing more and more of, and it also puts 110 and 148mm axles in the front and rear, respectively, to hold lines and kick out watts with unrivaled stiffness.
The Valor Pro wheels have a lower engagement angle and lighter spokes and hubs than the Team model, but the rims are the same across the Valor line. They're also the real stars of the show, and their success goes far beyond the secure, tubeless seating of the Bead Socket Technology (BST) that made Stan's name in the industry.
For all those features, our favorite part of the Valor is the Radial Impact Absorbing Carbon Technology (RiACT) design, which addresses one of the key issues we've had with carbon rims: they're often unforgiving. As the name suggests, RiACT lets the rims flex radially by up to 7mm without sacrificing watts to flex. By squishing a bit with big hits, the wheels stay glued to the trail, rolling through obstacles rather than bouncing over them to maintain traction. Of course, this has a much smaller effect than a bike's suspension, but in the high-speed world of XC, every little bit helps.
- Item #SNT001R
- Q & A
No Sacrifice for Valor
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
The lighter you go, the more you risk, right? Not so with the insanely light AND strong Stan's Valor carbon wheelset.
For background, I ride a Niner Jet 9RDO on mainly rocky techy Northeast XC singletrack. I was frustrated after two separate spoke snapping incidents on my Stan's Arch set during last fall/winter riding season. I've also bent and dinged up my share of various other aluminum rims. It's true, you could buy a decent bike for the cost of these carbon clouds, but Stan's the man, so I took the plunge.
Mine are the Pro edition, Ti Stan's hubs, Sapim 1.8/1.5 spokes, 15x100mm up front, 12x142mm in back. Slapped on some pimpy Ashima Flotor Rotors, and was ready to rip.
Out of the gate, the ride felt very similar to that of the Arch set. Maybe a little stiffer laterally in the corners at speed. Really noticed a difference accelerating tho, and at 1350g for the set, no wonder! Very solid feeling overall.
After the summer season, with a fast VT50 thrown in for good measure, I'm completely won over. Not a single spoke or truing issue. Amazing when considering that for half of that time I was running 2.1" race tires. Believe the hype on this one folks...