Stan's NoTubes Flow EX 27.5in Wheels $595.00
Flow through the trail.
Quickly becoming the enduro standard, 27.5-inch wheels like the Stan's NoTubes Flow EX Wheels provide the perfect balance of weight and traction for the conditions that those events warrant. But, being a Stan's NoTubes product, there's more to the picture then just being another mid-size option.
The new Flow EX rim is now even wider, and it features a redesign of Stan's NoTube's Bead Socket Technology for an enhanced tire-to-rim seal. Additionally, this proprietary technology enhances the rim's durability, which makes the Flow EX the strongest rim in the NoTubes' line. The sidewalls are now 14% thicker than the prior iteration, further enhancing rigidity and a resilience to dents. You'll also find that Stan's made the EX's spoke bed 33% thicker. So, spoke pull-through is basically a thing of the past.
The outside-width of the rim has been increased to 29.1mm, and the interior width has also been stretched — reaching out to 25.5mm. This change not only enhances tire volume and roundness, but it also permits a tighter rim-to-tire seal. Essentially, this attribute bolsters both traction and tire roundness. Meanwhile, the rim width has been followed by a slight tweak to the internal arch's profile, providing even more lateral stiffness. Like the old Flow, Stan's NoTubes uses 6061 aluminum, and it's been drilled for 32 spokes with no eyelets.
The Flow EX rim is laced to a Stan's 3.30 HD hubset. The hubs house smooth-spinning chromoly cartridge bearings that ride on lightweight 7075 alloy axles. The rear hub body features large, 58mm flanges. Meanwhile, the drive side houses a hardened 30-point engagement ring, while the non-drive side is machined to reduce weight. The front hub also gets a 58mm flange in order to balance strength and weight.
The freehub is aluminum and it's compatible with Shimano and SRAM cassettes, with an XX1 driver that's available separately. The Stan's Flow EX 27.5in Wheels is laced with 2.0/1.7/2.0 butted steel spokes and alloy nipples. It comes with Stan's rim tape and valve stems installed for instant use — just add tires, sealant, and air. The front hub ships with a 15mm axle and the rear is a standard QR, but end caps are available separately to convert to either 12mm and 20mm axles.
What community has to say
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I've ridden these wheels for a full season of riding ranging from casual XC rides after work to enduro racing. They're a great compromise between price, performance, and durability. They've held up great, are light enough for what they are, and stiff enough for what they are. The only reason I would justify spending more on an AM wheelset would be to go carbon, or some high end hubs for more longevity. Regardless, I definitely recommend these.
A Top Trail Wheelset
full disclosure, i have a 26in rear flow on my rig, not the 650b. this should have better rollover and contact patch, but slower acceleration and more flex. other than that, same design. this is a nice, burly rim. i've been roughing it up all season and it's still tracking true. not only that, but i have barely had any air leak running it tubeless thanks to the stan's tape and valve stem. also, the wider interal width works great with my 2.35 schwalbes. i guess if i had to make a complaint, it could looker cooler.