No one knows when we’ll be out testing gear again, but we’ve got some sweet new goods waiting for that day. Get the details on these recently-acquired components ahead of our full fledged reviews.
Stan’s Flow CB7 carbon wheels
When Stans came out with their first asymmetrically-drilled CB7 rims at Eurobike last year, dialed tubeless compatibility was their top priority. The offset spoke holes allow the wheel to be built with equal length spokes, compensating for the fact that there’s a cassette talking up space on the drive side. If the spoke holes were drilled symmetrically, the drive side spokes would have to be shorter than the non-drive side in order to center the wheel in the frame. The isosceles triangle that’s formed by balanced spoke measurements offers a stronger build that’s bolstered by equal lateral rigidity.
The asymmetrical spoke holes require a different internal rim design, and this is where the engineers at Stans really dug in their heels. They are a “tubeless first” company and a lot of asymmetrical tubeless rim designs were not up to their standards. They wanted to make sure that the tire would seat equally at both beads, and that neither bead would have a better lock with the rim than the other. They achieved homeostasis by increasing the angle that the bead has to hop over along the shorter side when being inflated so that both beads reach the “locked in” position at the same time. The rim’s internal width measured in lockstep with the Stans website copy at 29mm.
The Flow CB7 carbon hoops are held together by 32 double butted Sapim spokes and Stans Neo hubs with 5° engagement. The set includes a seven year warranty and lifetime crash replacement policy, and we aim to test them as thoroughly as the most brutish customer will.
Rims and complete wheel sets are available at Tree Fort Bikes.
Onza Aquila tires
Those fancy carbon rims will grip the soil with a fresh set of Onza Aquila tires. Designed in partnership with American DH legend, Aaron Gwin, this rubber should hold fast on anything we can throw it at. We’re testing the 29×2.4″ offering in what Onza calls their FRC Freeride Casing, covered by a reasonably soft 55a/45a tread durometer.
The tires hold a solid looking profile that’s not too round, and not entirely square, and they measure almost precisely 2.4″ (61mm) wide on the CB7 rims. Weighing just over one kilo, the Aquila lean toward the lighter side of gravity grip. Tires are one of the components we test to failure, and can fully wear out, so we’ll let you know how they hold up.
Nukeproof Horizon ARD tire inserts
Having broken enough carbon rims and dented a few alloy sets last season, it’s time to go back to inserts in the rear. The Flow CB7 wheels will eventually be mounted on a new hardcore hardtail build, making rim protection all the more relevant.
Nukeproof ARD (Advanced Rim Defense) inserts combine the best elements of flat and round inserts to provide rim and tire protection, without the impossible install and removal process that the round “pool noodle” models require. The firm, closed-cell foam sits wide in the tire, pressing against the sidewalls and rim for added stability while protecting the rim and tire from abrupt rock strikes. The oval-shaped ring only fills the inner half of the tire, leaving ample space to adjust air pressure for added grip while also making it somewhat easier to install and remove the tire.
ARD inserts come with a set of tubeless valves that have slots where they contact the insert to allow proper air flow.
Currently 44% off at Chain Reaction Cycles.
Tyre Yogurt tubeless sealant
The folks at Tyre Yogurt, based in Morzine, France, claim to be doing sealant differently, and we will test that assertion. Most sealants clog punctures by creating a chemical bond between the tire, the liquid, and the solids (often latex) that are suspended therein. Tyre Yogurt instead creates a physical plug with its massive amount of fibers, said to seal up to a 6mm gash. Given its unique makeup, the company also purports that their sealant will last the life of a tire without drying out, and can be transferred between tires for folks who swap tread often.
One element of Tyre Yogurt that we’ve already tested is its washability. With no latex or ammonia, and none of the associated smells, the non-corrosive sealant washes right out of clothing. If you think back to the last time your expensive riding kit was slathered in sealant, this feature alone is worth giving Tyre Yogurt a try.
Finally, the Flow CB7 wheelset is finished off with a set of 6-bolt Hayes D-Series 180/203mm rotors and a Shimano 12-speed cassette. Hayes worked to tune the solid steel plates for smooth and silent braking. The rotors will be paired with a set of Hayes Dominion A4 four-piston brakes, and we’ll have more info on those in coming articles.
⭐️Find the Hayes Dominion A4 brakes at JensonUSA.
Thanks to the respective brands for providing product samples for testing.