Chris King / Stan's Flow EX Wheelset - Review

Jul 9, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  
Stans Flow EX Chris King wheelset review

Chris King / Stan's Flow EX Wheelset - Review

Late last fall, Chris King announced that they would be offering complete wheelsets, allowing customers to choose their preferred aluminum rim from Stan's or carbon rim from ENVE and have them laced up to the company's own ISO hubs. Wheels using aluminum rims are laced up by machine and then tensioned and trued by hand, while carbon rimmed wheels are built completely by hand, all of which takes place in-house at Chris King's Portland, Oregon, facility. Once they meet Chris King's standards, the wheels are then delivered a customer's shop of choice within 14 days after the order is placed. The hubs come with a five year warranty, and the complete wheelset comes with a one time, two year crash replacement program, where replacement rims are offered for 50% of MSRP. We chose to have our wheelset built up with a pair of 27.5” Stan's Flow EX rims, with the goal of creating a strong, durable wheelset at a reasonable weight, one that could handle everything from trail riding to DH laps.

Details

• Weight (27.5"): front: 930g, rear: 1055g, total: 1985g
• Sapim spokes, alloy nipples
• 3 cross, 32 hole lacing
• Intended use: all-mountain, enduro, DH
• 5 year hub warranty, 2 year crash replacement
• Price: $1050 USD


Stan s Flow EX Chris King wheelset review
  (Top) Disassembling the ISO hubs to swap axles or perform routine maintenance only requires a 2.5mm allen key.(Bottom) Chris King's Ring Drive has 72 points of simultaneous engagement to ensure there's minimal lag when stepping down on the pedals.

Chris King ISO Hubs

Chris King is well respected in the industry for creating headsets, hubs, and bottom brackets that are designed to last years, not months, a reputation that comes from the company's focus on maintaining extremely tight tolerances and a high level of quality control. All of their manufacturing is done in the United States, and they have gone to great lengths to ensure that their business practices are as environmentally friendly as possible, even going so far as running their machines on soy oil.

The ISO disc hubs are CNC machined from aluminum and use Chris King's Ring Drive system for 72 points of simultaneous engagement. At the core of the system, the helical splines on the drive shell pull a spring loaded drive ring into the driven ring, which means that the harder you crank the greater the engagement force, in theory eliminating the possibility of any slipping or skipping. The buzzing noise that's the hallmark of a Chris King hub is caused by the teeth of the two rings ratcheting over each other. All of the hub bearings are made in-house to exacting tolerances at Chris King's Portland, Oregon, facility, and use a removable split ring over a rubber seal to keep contaminants out while still allowing them to be serviced. Basic service can be performed with just an allen key and a flat head screwdriver, although a full rebuild does require Chris King's own hub tool.

Different axles are available depending on the desired standard, with everything from a 135mm bolt-on option to a 12x142mm thru-axle available. XD drivers are also now available for riders using a SRAM 1x11 drivetrain.

Stan s Flow EX Chris King wheelset review
  Low and wide, the Flow EX rims are a good match for 2.3 - 2.5 inch tires. The spoke holes do not have eyelets by design - Stan's says that the benefits of eyelets are minimal, and that with proper lubrication the same tension and strength can be achieved with their non-eyeleted rim.

Stan's Flow EX Rims

Stan's was an early adopter of the 'wider is better' rim design philosophy, and fittingly the aluminum Flow EX rims have an internal width of 25.5mm, with a total height of only 17.8mm. The rims use the company's Bead Socket Technology (BST) design, which uses a lower sidewall height combined with the wider rim width in order to allow tires to spread out into a rounder profile than what would be possible with a traditional rim shape. The lower sidewall height is also claimed to help reduce the chances of a pinch flat when running tubes, since it takes a greater force for the tire and tube to be compressed all the way down against the sidewall.


Stan s Flow EX Chris King wheelset review
   The ISO hub's bearing are made in-house by Chris King, and can be accessed by removing the small small snap ring and dust seal that covers them.

Setup

Using Stan's tubeless rim tape and valve stems the Flow EXs easily accommodated any tubeless ready tire we mounted onto them, and we never had to resort to an air compressor to get a tire sealed and seated. Swapping out axles, say from a 20mm to 15mm thru axle, is an easy procedure as well, only requiring a 2.5mm allen key to accomplish.


Ride Report

Our wheelset has seen six months of hard usage, including weathering the rain, snow, and mud that come with a Pacific Northwest winter. Other than an initial tightening up of the adjustment ring after a couple of rides, and then truing the rear wheel once to get rid of a small wobble caused by a hard landing somewhere around the three month mark, we haven't had to touch them at all. Chris King does recommend servicing the hubs at least once every six months, a procedure that takes less than thirty minutes, even working at a leisurely pace. We pulled the hubs apart to see how the grit and mud had treated them, and were impressed with how little grime had made its way inside. The blue rubber seal in the drive shell had done its job, preventing debris from working its way further into the hub. A few quick blasts from the air compressor and a fresh dose of lube and the wheels were ready for another six months of use and abuse.

Out on the trails, the ISO hub's engagement is extremely quick, with a very positive feel – there's none of the popping or skipping that can arise under heavy loads with less refined designs. The buzzing sound that emits from the hub's Ring Drive mechanism when it freewheels was a little distracting for the first couple of rides, but it eventually became just another background noise. There wasn't any undue flexing during hard cornering or landings, and even when running low pressures the tires stayed securely on the rims despite the tacky trails' best efforts to rip them off. Whether it was rocketing down technical downhill runs, or being called into duty for long trail rides, this wheelset never missed a beat, a stalwart setup that proved itself on countless adventures. After being taken on every manner of ride, the rims are dent free, with only a few minor cosmetic scratches to show for the six months spent pinballing through roots and rocks.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesFor a rock solid option that's capable of withstanding multiple seasons of hard riding, the Stan's Flow EX / Chris King combo is a tough one to beat. There's no reliance on proprietary spokes or strange hub designs, just a classic, 3 cross, 32 hole lacing pattern that will have bike mechanics nodding their heads in approval. Sure, there are lighter and less expensive options, but running a set of ultra-reliable hubs laced to wide and strong rims greatly reduces the chances that you'll end up stranded in the middle of nowhere staring at a sub-par freehub body that's been reduced to a pile of shattered pawls and deformed springs. For everything from all-mountain riding to DH racing, this is a wheelset that can get the job done, mile after mile, and won't have you second guessing your wheel choice every time you launch off a drop or go barreling into a rock garden.- Mike Kazimer



www.chrisking.com


131 Comments

  • + 35
 I felt a definite pull of desire when a coworker unboxed his new I9s recently, and I wish I hadn't been tricked at Sea Otter into lifting up a set of Enve AMs (they just leave them laying in the grass!), but when I build a wheel for myself it's pretty much these. Sub Hope for King if you like. CX-ray spokes for me, though I couldn't honestly say they perform better than DT Competitions. Great wheels are not expensive. What else in the industry can that be said about?
  • + 61
 Drivetrain and brakes; SLX. Suspension; X-Fusion. Dropper post; KS (e.ten). A really well performing bike for any genre of the sport can be built without an exorbitant budget if one is willing to do a bit of research and doesn't let lust or ego get in the way.
  • - 16
flag kleinblake (Jul 9, 2014 at 0:12) (Below Threshold)
 X fusion is a bit of a gamble. You have to go higher end to get consistent performance out of them
  • + 5
 Totally disagree. Xfusion easily compete in terms of performance, even if there is a small weight penalty for the price drop!
  • - 28
flag wuzupjosh (Jul 9, 2014 at 2:27) (Below Threshold)
 i prefer fox over anything but for sure the best bang for buck is rockshox,as far as rims/hubs go if i wasnt buying carbon ones id buy these , hubs tho ... i like kings but they are deffinately not in my top few because im an evgagment snob , but they are super reliable .
  • + 14
 I have a set of X-fusions that are awesome forks for the price. Still super supple after 8-9 months of wet weather abuse and they rarely feel out of their depth, all for £400
  • + 5
 For sure it is possible to build a well performing bike for not that much.
This here cost me 999 Euro. I bought new SLX brakes, built the wheels new (MTX39 on Novatec hubs with DT Comp),cockpit(BLKMRKT + PRO FRS),new cranks, pedals.... all but frame and shock is new. Found the fork in perfect condition (lucky I guess)
www.pinkbike.com/photo/11158023
  • + 28
 What would mountain biking be without ego or lust??? Or Pinkbike?
  • + 5
 Going on 2 years of hard use through the weekly rides in the Santa Cruz mountains and seasonal Downieville, and Northstar runs.
  • + 1
 Does anybody have experience running these rims on a "Whistler bike"? I'm talking about the upper half of the mountain with the rocky chutes as opposed to wide jump trails.
  • + 3
 I agree that the quality of x fusion is there. I had a vector rc and I now have a van rc. There is very little difference in how they perform.

However, I popped two vector rc's both on small jumps after a couple of months of use. (The second one was a warranty replacement of the first, which came as standard spec on a brand new bike)

Luckily, it was all free on warranty both times but in the end there was a mutuel agreement between me and the shop I bought the bike from to change it to a van rc.

Both times it took 6 weeks from dropping it off in the shop to picking it up which was in not opinion far too long. I'm not blaming this solely on x fusion (It would have been faster for me to go straight through to them) but I was copied in to emails and updated with info from the shop all the time and x fusion were being a pain in the a*** about it.
  • + 4
 shame to see from the photos the King freehub suffer from the same "notching" that all my Hope Pro II hubs have exhibited.

Some may say its "cosmetic" but unfortunately it goes beyond that, and the advice to use "spider style cassettes" does not help because several of the smaller cogs on most modern cassettes tend be individual items held in place by the splines and the lockring

On my road bike I'm onto my 3rd Hope RS Mono freehub body in less than 2 years, because once the notching gets too deep the cassette will not stay 100% tight and shifts slightly under pedalling loads, causing a really irritating creaking / clicking.

Hope have been great with support, but it should not happen on any premium hub product, whether Hope, King or DT Swiss (see it on those too..)

From what I have read, the guy who owns and runs "American Classic" came up with the elegant solution of small slivers of steel on the leading edges of his aluminium freehubs, which has eliminated the notching but as he patented this innovation no one else will able to offer this any time soon Wink
  • + 8
 @hampsteadbandit, Chris King does offer the freewheel shell in stainless steel instead of aluminium but it's bloody expensive, almost twice the price of a replacement aluminium shell and also more than twice as heavy. King doesn't do a titanium version, but I have a Hadley hub with the ti freewheel and it's in the middle for durability, much better than aluminium but can still be notched a bit.

Hadley Racing Hubs is another top-notch choice for hubs, super quality machining work, fantastic support (once you find their phone #) and much easier to work on than the King ring drive. They spin forever too, no drag at all.
  • + 1
 @rattpoison I have been running that exact set up on the shore for about three or four seasons. Both on upper Whistler and all over the North Shore. I've replaced one rear rim due to a bad case but other than that the wheels have held up very well. The first pair of King Hubs that I bought are 7 years old and still running smooth (despite the lack of maintenance).
  • + 1
 Easton freehub bodies do the same thing. It's irritating, and it makes it a bloody nightmare to remove the cassette. There must be a better way.
  • + 1
 if you dont like XF, youre doing it wrong.
  • + 0
 @vr6ix

thanks for the info. I am aware the Hope also do their freehub body in steel, but its expensive and has a high weight penalty (often the reason many riders are choosing premium hubs with aluminium bodies!)

Hope used to do their older hubs before the Pro II series with titanium alloy body which rarely saw any issues with gouging / notching but it was dropped due to rising cots of titanium

@tinfoil

agreed, have seen this on Easton bodies too. The "official" advice from many companies is that its just "cosmetic" and may only may affect cassette removal - but it often manifests as creaking, clicking and gear noise as the cassette lockring cannot prevent the cogs rotating under load, it also starts to interfere with the gear shifting ramp pattern (worked out by Shimano, etc. to the minute degrees) as the cogs get out of alignment

Typically in my workshops (I am a workshop manager) we'd grab the cassette with a rag to hold it as a chain whip gets in the way, and then carefully tap / rotate each loose cog with a flat screwdriver and mallet to jump it off the notches / gouges.

Once removed we'd then "dress" the gouges with a HSS file to remove burrs, working both the outside edges and running the file up the leading edges. Body then smeared with Shimano Anti-Seize and cassette fitted to 40nm. However, this does not solve the problem, and it seems to get worse over time.

I've suffered this on my mountain bikes, but its on the road bike its more problematic but typically you are using smaller ratio cassettes (i.e. 11-25t) and putting much higher loads into the drivetrain because of the gearing ratios. Also, on the smooth road you really notice any "creaks" and "clicks" compared to MTB where there is lots of terrain noise on the bike

Check this out, my last body off my road bike: ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb10360053/p4pb10360053.jpg
  • + 2
 @hampsteadbandit Hope does offer a SS freehub body that may help with that issue. I also have Hadley hubs and really love them. Super low rolling resistance with 108 pt or 72 pt engagement (have 2 bikes with hadley rear hubs). The Ti freehub body is holding up pretty well after a few seasons of use.
  • + 0
 @mtrogers-trailrun

thanks for the info. the Hope SS if i remember correctly will only take 5 cassette cogs so it can't be used with modern 10 speed transmissions

would be nice to see Hope offer the titanium option as an expensive upgrade!
  • + 1
 simple steel would add the weight, but add so much longetivity for us mere mortals with limited budget..
Hope+Flow Ex almost a year for me, and it's only need 1 truing albeit rocky tracks around here..
  • - 2
 hope kings hadleykings kingstrue precision components kings profile ... profile make ti drivers aswellas hadley ture precisonprofile
  • + 1
 What I meant is a stainless steel not single-speed: www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/hope-pro-2-freehub-body/rp-prod25986. Though not cheap at $95.
  • + 3
 It's pretty normal for alu hub bodies to notch like that by nature of the material... nothing new here and not sure why people are surprised.
  • + 1
 It's "normal" for aluminium bodies to get mangled by the wrong type of cassette, but with Chris King hubs you have to realize that the ring-drive mechanism is also driven off the freewheel body so it too will get slowly deformed until the freewheel body is nothing more than a very expensive yet very pretty paper-weight: ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb8095987/p5pb8095987.jpg

If you really want to have fun with crappy freewheel bodies, look at the sintered-metal (powdered metal) parts on WTB and American Classic hubs before they figured out what was going wrong and added the steel inserts... ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb5858372/p4pb5858372.jpg
  • + 1
 well I had a great result from Hope Technology through their awesome customer service back-up

This morning at work I received a brand new freehub body from Hope, but the stainless steel multi-speed version, due to my ongoing track record of ruining their aluminium bodies.

It's not light by any means, its actually seriously heavy at 161 grammes, considering the complete Mono RS hub with aluminium body is only 268 g!

www.hopetech.com/product/mono-rs-rear-hub

But its not going to notch, and it means I can put what will now be a bombproof wheelset (Mono RS hubs with Mavic Open rims) onto my commuting bike

great work Hope, thanks for the customer support!
  • + 12
 4 years on flow and pro 2s here. They've been trued maybe twice by me. Bombproof. Taking a gamble on some arch ex next but I'm not worried. The rear pro 2 is from 2007, I'll always use hope for hubs and brakes.
  • + 1
 hope brakes are lovely! tried some on a friends bike that i borrowed for a week riding in wales and couldn't fault them, going to get some myself now along with a hope wheelset too!
  • + 11
 Isn't it funny that a 1k wheelset seems affordable these days?
  • + 11
 Well, I fail to see the point of 600$ hubs. Replace them with Pro II's and you cut the cost for the wheel set in half.
  • + 1
 indeed, & while the Pro2s are worth it, you can go with other options and save even more, especially on the front hub if you don't need the ability to swap it out for different axle standards.
  • + 0
 At Kainerm. Ride in the PNW for a year and you'll see why everyone lusts after CK hubs. Between my wife and I, we have seven sets for 2 cross bikes, 2 road bikes, and 4 mountain bikes. The oldest are 7 years old and still have not needed a bearing replacement or rebuild. Just clean up the ring drive once a year and they go forever. Every other hub we have ever owned has needed replacement bearings at least once a year to make it through the winter season. Same goes for CK headsets and bottom brackets. Live in the desert and I totally agree that CK is unnecessary. But they really cut down on maintenance if you live in a wet climate.
  • + 2
 Replacing the bearings in Hope hubs is simple, they last almost as long as CK bearings, and even 7 years worth of bearing replacements + Hope hub is cheaper than a CK hub. CK ones are nice, but if you think the price premium is only due to the better bearings, you're kidding yourself.
  • + 6
 i struggle to see how anyone could consider hope not made for a wet climate! Yorkshire isn't often how it looked on the tour de france...
  • + 1
 Point taken. But when you take care of 8 bikes for 2 people in your garage, every part that requires maintenance is an extra hassle that takes time out of your nights and weekends. Plus, it is very easy to get Chris King hubs on the buy sell here or on ebay (especially with beat 26" rims) for $400 or less. Build them up with new rims and you're paying the same as Hope hubs. I love Hope stuff and their brakes are fantastic, but their bearings do not last in the PNW.
  • + 2
 That's fair. Living in the Alps I've never really had to replace any of my hub's bearings. Sure enough, these cheap-o Novatec rims started to get a little rough after six or seven years, but nothing that would stop me. We don't have have the high humidity of the PNW, nor the dry sands of a desert. So for me a Pro II would be all I ever need - but I don't quite like the ridiculously loud freewheel. I am currently running 6-pawl "48-tooth" (it's actually 24t with two separate set of pawls) Bitex hubs, and I am happy as a camper.
  • + 1
 Hopes last an incredibly long time in wet conditions. Kings are nicer but just marginally. Ditto for hadley. LB rims on Hope hubs would cost less and blow these away
  • + 6
 Great to see a review of solid and sensible gear. Proprietary factory wheels are cool and all but don't seem to add much except for cost. I've been rocking my CK hubs through three sets of wheels and currently have them laced 3X to Flows. Three years on the Flows and still straight and true. The multiple axle compatibility is also great. Started using the hubs with quick release front and rear, now running through axles front and rear. Did not have to ditch my wheels to keep up with changes in frame design. Solid.
  • + 3
 Chris Kings are pretty much the ultimate for me. I've got DT swiss 350/240 mix, and they are as set and forget as a component can be, but the bling factor of Chris King is the best. I like the sound too. Not nearly as loud as my old hopes, but way more buzz that my slient DTs. I also have to say how much I appreciate a review of wheels with no proprietary parts. I"ll never buy wheels with special spokes etc. again. I've had them brake and it is fuc%in' annoyin to get them sorted in a pinch.
  • + 3
 IF my current Hope Pro II / Stan's Flows (non EX) ever die, then i would definitely be getting a set of Chris Kings on Flows. In the 3 years ive had my wheelset i haven't had to touch them once, no dings, have handled everything thrown at them, and i'm not a light rider (95kgs kitted up)
  • + 2
 I've been running this setup on my Enduro for the past year and a half- while the initial bearing tension can be a bit of a pain to get dialed just right (because bearing expand when they heat up after riding for a few minutes)- it is worth it, and I haven't had to touch them since. I haven't even had to tru the rims- I went with DT Swiss tripple buted spoke however, so its a little burlier.
  • + 2
 I have the King Huns in Mango laced to Stan's Flow EX rims. This is the second bike the hubs have been on. I had them on a Cove Hooker before (20mm front, QR10 rear) and are now on my Carbon Dixon (15mm front, 142mm rear). Simple swap from 20 to 15 (front) and from QR1 to 142 rear. Next, I'm going to tear the rims off the hubs, and get some 650b Stan's Flow EX laced to them. Reliable doesn't even begin to describe what they are capable of
  • + 3
 Got to be the most reliable wheelset out there. I've used stans rims for years with no issues. What would you rather have....these....or a 2k set of carbon rims that will probably break within 12 months.
  • + 1
 Agreed. Especially after reading the enve review and the rim cracked. Wonder how many people will pick the stans over enve?
  • + 2
 This is the exact wheel set I've been thinking of building. This article came out at the right time.

A couple honest questions, not troll bait... Would appreciate honest, informed answers from people who know:

I've also considering these rims with Hope hubs, but have heard their pawls are slow to engage. Is this true?

I've read that the width on the Flow EX make it harder for non-UST tires (such as Specialized's 2-Bliss or other lighter "tubeless ready" tires) to seat when running tubeless. Anyone have this experience?

Thank you.
  • + 2
 great wheels. I have hope pros laced 3x to flow ex. 1 broken spoke and 1 truing in almost two years. Specialized butcher controls go on like magic with a hand pump. no issue with slow engagement. Sometimes I switch these wheels to my hardtail with a simple 20mm to qr adapter. my last wheelset was mavic crossmax ex - no where near as reliable and freehub was a pos.
  • + 2
 Hope's 2014 pro 2 evo 40t has 40 points of engagement so it's not too slow to engage, however the older pre 2014 pro 2s only have 24 points of engagement... If you are concerned about slow pick up then go for the 2014 40t version. You won't regret it... Hope customer service is fantastic as well and the build quality is second to none for the price! I still have a Hope Bulb Ti from god knows how many years ago and with new bearings and a new freehub it work better than most and looks almost brand new! I can't help on the tire front mind, but I can imagine the rim width would cause too much of a problem as long as you take care when installing the tire. 'Hope' this helps :p
  • + 0
 Exuse any typos.
  • + 3
 I am not experienced in the new Pro2Evo (yet as it's on my spare wheel)... BUT:

I bought set of Bulbs almost 7 years ago. Number of bearings later they are still amazing. The ratchet ring failed on a few occasions but Hope replaced it every time. For free. Every time. The hubs were in their workshop about a dozen of times- bearings, freehub bodies, ratchet rings, dust caps, etc. replacement- all for free just because they're Hope. I haven't considered buying anything else for years- just because of that.

I have them laced to EX721s so I will not take it any further to stay on topic.
  • + 1
 Thanks all. I'm currently running the OEM stock wheels that came on my Enduro, so whether it's Hope or Chris King, either is sure to be better than what I've got. For the money, Hope seems like a better deal, and the guys at my shop seem to like them, too. LmacKall6 -- I really like the Butcher Controls, and had those tires in mind specifically when I asked that question. Your feedback was helpful. Thanks everyone.
  • + 2
 "The lower sidewall height is also claimed to help reduce the chances of a pinch flat when running tubes, since it takes a greater force for the tire and tube to be compressed all the way down against the sidewall"

Ermmm. What? Shallower rim-well yes. Reduced height sidewalls no.
  • + 4
 these seem like the king wheelset for an affordable price, I have wanted them for a while and this article really got the blood flowing for them again.
  • + 1
 My wheelset: Chris King ISO 20mm front + 150mm Maxle rear with the stainless steel drive shell, DT Swiss stainless spokes and nipples, Mavic EX823 UST's, 32 spoke. Never ever had a problem with them, not a single fart, and they were around $700 to have built 3 years ago. Not sure why this set is over $1k...
  • + 1
 These are next on my list. (26")
I have a pair of red non disk king hubs that have turned pink over the last 12+ years, they are still going strong and have outlasted numerous bikes, including trials bikes and dirt jumpers.
The only concern I have is with the rims not having eyelets, I've always understood they help prevent the nipples from pulling through the rim, something I seem to manage to do on every non eyeleted rim I've used. I'd like to think I've gotten smoother over the years, or maybe the suspension has just gotten better...
  • + 1
 Kainerm - The money you save buying hope hubs will eventually become time wasted for not buying King or Hadley hubs.
I would much rather spend the money on better hubs (and have on 2 sets of Hadleys) than have my axle snap in the rear hub!
And Hopes freehub just doesn't even come close!!
  • + 3
 I love stans rims. I've had flows, arches and even crests. Personally, I'm a DT Swiss fan when it comes to hubs, but you can't go wrong with kings ... I9s are badass too...
  • + 2
 I noticed so many people are riding ZTR Flow rims nowadays, even though they are quite expensive.

That made me wonder, what is the reason for so many people to choose specifically for this rim?
  • + 1
 They must cost more on your side of the atlantic, because in the US they're only a $20-$40 premium over some of the competition, & cheaper than others.

About the only rims that are (maybe) cheaper that I'd buy would be WTB.
  • + 1
 This wheel set is mainly so expensive due to the hubs. I've fitted my new bike with white ZTR Flow EX on Bitex Hubs with CN Aero Spokes and Al Nipples, it comes in at roughly 1830 grams for for a 15mm front and a 142mm rear with 26" rims. That wheel set cost me less than 350€. Flow EX rims can be had for 90€ a piece, not too bad I think for a reasonably light and strong rim. They are known to work quite well and withstand abuse, so I guess this is a plus.
  • + 1
 That does sound more expensive per rim than here, but probably only enough to account for VAT, it's about 30% correct?
  • + 3
 Expensive? You can pick up a set of Stans Flow Ex for $160. The big reason for them is the 25mm inner width, low pro-file. You can build a set with hope hubs bladed spokes for under $800, tubeless ready and they are rock solid.
  • + 0
 @groghunter: around 20% is typical European VAT. The typical conversion yo can do is 1$=1€ for products that come from the US...
  • + 2
 That would make it actually 2 bucks cheaper than they are here, then. they're $92 a piece directly from Stans, though you can find deals (like Outside outfitters, right now today, if anybody is interested. $68 & free shipping for the US.)
  • + 0
 I think €90 (€123USD) per rim is nowhere near cheap. Much more expensive than the average rims. Especially since there are already so many great rims out there in the €30-€60 price range. That's why I was wondering what makes these rims worth spending about twice as much money on them then on other great rims.

Or are these just being a hype now?
  • + 3
 Care to actually name a few? Cause I can think very few rims I'd ride that cost $30.
  • + 1
 For example Dartmoor and Octane One rims cost about €25 to €35 here in Europe, and those are light but also strong and reliable. Actually you can get them starting at about €15,-, but that's due to sale / older gen models.

For example the Dartmoor Rocket would be high on my to buy list for riding in the mountains (€25): 26bikes.com/shop/parts/rims_and_rim_tapes/all_mountain/prod/dart_rocket

Other than that pretty much every company has plenty of choice between €30 and €60. Even companies like Mavic and Nukeproof.

Just check out one of the European online shops, what they have to offer for what prices, and you'll see that the Stans Flow rims cost double (€98 = $134 USD).
Linky here: 26bikes.com/shop/parts/rims_and_rim_tapes?&filter[sort]=2&filter%5B9%5D=26%22
  • + 1
 Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be negative about these rims, I'm just really wondering what the reason is for so many people to spend twice as much on these than on Mavics / Nukeproofs for example.
  • + 2
 That dartmoor rim is pinned. It's in a completely different class of quality from a welded rim like the Stan's. Speaking from having built wheels using both, they aren't even in the same ballpark.
  • + 1
 These aren't exactly expensive. I got my white ex's for 130 shipped off amazon (cheaper than black for some reason), got a used evo2 pro rear hub off eBay and did a new front evo2. With rims,spokes and $100 to have the guy build 'em I think I was all in at about $600. Next set I get will be CK hubs and darby rims, i think.
  • + 3
 does anyone else think that 1200 after tax for a heavy wheel set is a little odd? or just moi?
  • + 2
 But they're not carbon, and all carbon breaks because the internets says it does LOL!!. The King hubs are $600.00 by themselves, the rims are $200.00, and the spokes $100.00 if you want to build your own set cheaper. Spank rims, Novatec hubs, and pillar spokes will be about $500.00 and less weight.
  • + 0
 Halo Chaos on a superdrive for super quick pick up and great strength/weight ration for rear. Halo 4XR (even lighter) on spin doctor on the front... Been running this combo for over 8 months now riding everything from XC to DH at revo bike park on my Enduro SX so the wheels have taken hard hits and are still perfectly true! (I weigh 95kg, or approx. 15stone). only cost £310 so great value too.
  • + 4
 halo has terrible rim tech, the hubs probly dont come close to kings
  • + 4
 Wait until the drive teeth on your Supadrive hubshell start wearing down, it happens to all hubs built on the Chosen 120pt design eventually, then it's slip, slip, slip on them pedals. If it gets to four or five thousand miles on it's original parts (like my 2007 King hubs) then you can start talking about value.
  • + 1
 And yet the "terrible" rim tech is taking a good beating and shrugging it off.
@Fix-the-Spade Ah really? ok, well that'll suck if it starts slipping but so far all is groovy!
  • + 2
 Chris king / ANYTHING works.. (even deemax...YIKES).. Derby looks good...that or enve.. lol
(((What about light bicycle? ??)))
  • + 2
 lght bike, derby and nextie rims probly alot more too are made in tjhe same factory , i have nextie rims in the mail ... hoping they will be good
  • + 4
 Chris king hubs with derby rims FTW!!
  • + 1
 That's my next job
  • + 2
 ZTR Flow EX rims + Hope pro2 evo hubs = less expensive wheelset and they are bullet proof use for 2 years already and still rolling fast
  • + 2
 Picked up a set of these rims on pro2's from CRC last year. Can't fault them and will buy them again. Especially when they can be had for just over $600!
  • + 2
 Flow's on a DH bike? If you're riding proper DH, these will not last, especially in the rear.
  • + 2
 I know this is off topic but... hey trek thats an indy car, not a f1 car in your fuel add at the top
  • + 1
 Just watched a youtube vid of chris king hubs spinning. Must sound like an air raid siren coming down the trail. Vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
  • + 1
 I've got over 2000 miles on my Arch EX set with 3.30 hubs and they have been awesome. The stock QRs that come with them are junk though.
  • + 2
 See...thats a nice set of wheels I would easily spend my hard earned cash on !!
  • + 2
 Oh, when I first laid my eyes on Chris King hubs it was (almost) instant engagement. Shave and a haircut, two bits.
  • - 1
 Solid set of wheels and certainly something that would likely outlast the rest of your build. However, if you factor in the tax and likely shipping costs of this wheel-set you are better off buying a pair of i9's. Why? Because they are sexier, and use a high quality, direct-pull alloy spoke. 400 grams (nearly a pound) of rotating weight will be noticeable and I'd bet that direct pull makes things stiffer (that's what she said).
  • + 1
 The best rim we have used to hold up to downhill racing, they are light and tubeless with Schwalbe tires using just a floor pump
  • + 2
 I love pretty much anything from Chris King. Been running my King/Mavic EX wheel set for years and it's still perfect.
  • - 1
 I have owned this wheel set for years king and flows, Zero maintenance, very strong, very light, fewer pinch flats. Outstanding wheels, king hubs could spin a little faster tho. But I had zero issues and they are so smooth you can tell the moment you install them!!! I have been through 100's of wheels and these by far have been the best!!!
  • + 2
 Flow EX has the width of an old Singletrack or Equalizer 31, only less deep and wider. Thumbs up
  • + 2
 Routing maintenance? Is this wheelset wireless?
  • + 1
 Haha, Mike fixed it to 'routine'. Grammar police have left the building, thank you and good night!
  • + 1
 Yeah, I have the same wheelset being built right now. I'm excited to let them rip.
  • + 1
 I just change my 2013 Crossmax into this wheels. I don't know what i want to say, but i just want to say STOKE.
  • + 1
 Bulletproof combo…. Been riding that combo for 3 years of AM/Freeriding. Haven't trued them once!
  • + 2
 Could this Chris/stan combo be the holy grail of wheels?
  • - 6
flag Try-All (Jul 9, 2014 at 6:23) (Below Threshold)
 Only if you want to ride boat anchors for wheels.
  • + 0
 swap the kings for hadleys. built mine up to 1950g's, virtually no drag, and has needed 0 maintenance two years of abuse. worth every penny
  • + 1
 They do sound kind of heavy at 2kg for the wheelset.......then add tyres +/- tubes
  • + 3
 Maybe my joke was too subtle....Chris/stan - Christian - holy grail - no?
  • + 1
 I was already looking forward to my Project 321/Flow EX wheelset... This isn't helping. Smile
  • + 2
 this is the best setup. period.
  • + 1
 ARE YOU JOKING! only £600ish daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn. looks like I know what wheels to get next
  • + 1
 I 'Hope' you come to you senses jordan :p . Puns aside, swap those kings out for some Pro 2 40ts and you're getting close to £350! Jackpot!
  • + 1
 they are priced pretty much as the parts are worth so you save on wheel building and spokes. ok not as good value as I thought. I thought everything was a bit more expensive. still pretty danm reasonable for getting your hands on some CK hubs
  • + 1
 got theses rims on hope pro2 evo's ,have had the set for now for 7 months, and just love it. highly recommend them.
  • + 1
 Well. Everyone knows ck+ 823 is magic... now we know ck +flow ex works too...
  • + 1
 Not sure what rock you've been living under that you didn't know this years ago, People have been raving (with good reason) since Stan's rims first appeared on the market.

I'd actually buy a Stans rim over a Mavic any day, though I'm considering Nextie for my next wheelset.
  • + 2
 Will take theses before an Enve set w DtSwiss hub.
  • + 1
 Dear Mr King, any chance of getting a 12x142 axle conversion option for your Single Speed hub? regards
  • + 1
 chris 32 spokes and deemax 28, how???
  • + 1
 when you say Chris king, these hubs say the rest..what a loud noise
  • + 1
 I've heard they are a pain to run with tubes though?
  • + 7
 what are tubes?
  • + 0
 What, like out of the toilet?
  • + 0
 How could they be hard to run with tubes?? I have used tubes in my crest rims after getting a flat no problem!!
  • + 7
 tubes are two nubes on a tandem bike
  • + 2
 not sealed...not ust
  • + 2
 Sweet hubs..
  • + 0
 Spank sub rosa rims with Hadley hubs for me. Rock solid equal engagement and less money
  • - 2
 Beware chris king/ 09 Deemax. ....BEWARE
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