First spied at the Ashland Super-D under WTB’s Chris Schierholtz, their new Stryker wheels are pretty solid looking.
They’ll be available in Cross Country and All Mountain versions for 26″ and XC only for 29er bikes. All sets have the “Race” moniker in their name, as in “All Mountain Race”, though Chris says they’re built to be durable, fast wheels, not necessarily the lightest wheels on the market. (That said, they’re fairly light. Weights and specs further down in the post)
The Cross Country version has an inside rim width of 19mm, and the All Mountain models get a wider 23mm inside width. I rode one of the XC 29er sets mounted to a Santa Cruz Tallboy with WTB Weirwolf tires at Park City’s lift-served trails (which are mind blowingly awesome in their fun factor and mileage!) and they performed quite well during the short test ride.
The Stryker wheels use WTB’s TCS (Tubeless Compatible System) tech, which means the rim bead meets UST design spec. They come with rim strip and valve preinstalled, so they’re pretty much ready to be run tubeless as soon as you add some sealant.Â That means the wills will work with any UST tire, too. (FYI: WTB’s TCS tires use a UST bead shape with WTB’s high-end 120tpi casing. They require sealant, but they’re 50g to 150g lighter than pure UST tires.The TCS sealant is made by Stan’s NoTubes.)
Beyond the TCS, there are a few features that make these wheels stand out. Check it out after the break…
The stark black & white graphics are eye catching without being gawdy. The design caught my eye at Ashland and tipped me off that they were new and different. Above is the 29er Cross Country Race wheelset, below is the 26″ All Mountain.
The rim profile is curved pretty much from edge to edge, having just enough of a sidewall to house the bead lip.
All versions of the new Stryker wheels use WTB’s Laser Disc Lite hubs with stainless steel bearings. Tall flanges improve lateral stiffness, and on my short test ride, the wheels never seemed to squirmed even when railing some good bermed turns and high speed curves on the way down the mountain.
Various axle options will be available depending on the wheel, but hubs are fixed designs, meaning they axles aren’t convertible.Â WTB says they consciously chose to make them either 9mm or thru-axle because it yields a lighter, optimized hub rather than one that’s compromising between two axle configurations.
Rear hubs on all are standard 135×10. The Cross Country wheels have either 9mm QR or 15mm thru axles. The All-Mountain wheels have either 15mmQR or 110×20 thru axle.
Rim width and recommended tire sizes are printed directly on the sidewall. XC on the left, AM on the right. Click to enlarge.
Rim width comparisons. Again, XC on the left, AM on the right. Yours won’t come with the dust.
Spoke counts on the 26″ XC model are 28h 3-cross. The All Mountain 26″ and XC 29er sets have 32h 3-cross lacing.
One of the key differences with the Stryker wheelset is 4D spoke drilling. WTB took the time to drill each spoke hole in the rim at a precise angle so there’s no bending of or undue forces acting on the spoke or nipple, allowing it to pull straight and put equal pressure on the eyelet. The Sandvick 2mm bladed spokes are fairly standard J-bend spokes, which means you can pop into any shop and likely find a replacement (or ten). The pic above does the best job my camera would allow at showing their different angles.
WEIGHTS AND PRICING:
|Stryker Cross Country 26″
|Stryker All Mountain 26″
|Stryker Cross Country 29er
Front wheels are $450, rear is $550. All wheels should be available September 15, 2010.