As Stan's No Tubes continues to improve their BST, or bead socket technology, their rim weights continue to plummet. Do the two factors go hand in hand? Stan's says they do. As they trim the fat from the outer portion of the rim -- the sidewall and bead hook, they can add material as needed to the wall thickness to make the ZTR Crest tough enough for racing, yet 50 or so grams lighter than the ZTR 355. The ZTR Crest is made for cross-country riding and racing (and honestly, best for areas that have less rocky trails), and the overall rim weight underscores the intended usage. However, the inside rim width is 21mm which makes the Crest a great rim if you like to run a bigger tire on your XC bike. Maybe you have a hardtail, or a singlespeed and some extra tire volume is what you're after. The 21mm width allows any tire, not just bigger tires, to have straighter sidewalls, a larger volume for more comfort, and a greater footprint for more traction. BST means that the rim itself has shorter sidewalls. This makes them stronger, more ding resistant, and lighter. The inside of the rim is perfectly matched to the bead seat diameter of a 26" tire. This makes the tubeless seal a good one, though the tires will be a very tight fit on the rim. In our experience, a set of thin but flat levers works best for installing/removing the tires. To make them tubeless you'll use Stan's yellow tubeless tape and one of their tubeless valve stems or one cut from an old inner tube. Stan's BST tubeless system creates tubeless seals that burp less, leaving you with more air inside your tire and not on your mind.Stan's ZTR Crest Rim is anodized Black or powdercoated White with red decals. It's available in 28 and 32 hole spoke drillings. The rim joint is pinned, welded, and machined for a true sidewall. They will work with or without tubes. If you're the type that builds your own wheels, you'll need to know that they have a 540mm ERD. The actual weight is 340g.
a All Mountain Rider
from Sandy, OR
Date Reviewed: February 22, 2012
Strengths: Strong, Light, Nice Looks, Good Finish
Weaknesses: Mounting Tires is a Pain...like getting hit by a mack truck kind of pain, stickers
I bought a set (two) of these off Craig’s List brand new and still in shipping boxes for $80. I was actually looking for a set of Flows to better match my 280lb. girth. But these were too good to pass up. Besides that, I have read here on MTBR that ZTR rims are actually very strong.
At First Sight
When I opened pulled them out of their boxes, they felt very light but sturdy. The Black Anodized finished was flawless. Then I saw the stickers…I hate stickers. They do their job very well and stick to things and leave sticky gooey crap behind that I can’t even get off with finger nail polish remover. I am not talking about the Stan’s ZTR Crest logo stickers, but the inventory stickers with the UPC. Not sure whose idea it was to put these on my rims, but if you are reading this…DON’T DO IT AGAIN!!! Back to the Stan’s Logo…why do high-end manufacturers use stickers? I’ll pay five bucks more for the painted version. Stickers are not lighter, just faster and cheaper and look terrible in 2 days. Stan, if you read this, please use paint.
Once you get past the sticker issue, you will notice the very short side wall. This is supposed to let your tire be more supple.
Overall, these look like and feel like a very good quality rim should; less the stupid stickers.
I do not build wheels myself. I want to blame someone else when/if they fail. So, down to the LBS I go. Larry, owner and CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of Sandy Bicycle in Sandy, OR, set me up with a set of red Hope Pro 2 EVOs, silver Wheelsmith spokes, and brass nipples. Done the same day I dropped them off…WOW!!! They look awesome and spin forever. Larry said the rims were very easy to true and have a good strong feel to them. I agree.
Mounting the Tires
Larry did not have any all mountain tires in 29er size so I stopped by a nationwide chain bike store and picked up a set of signature series Navengals. I wanted to run tubeless but I could not find the Stan’s Yellow Tape or any Tubeless tires in the size I needed…hence the Navs. I had been watching all the videos on Stan’s website in preparation for this moment. FYI – they did not prepare me for what happened next. For the first time in my life, I could not mount a friggen bicycle tire. After an hour, I was able to get one side on, even using the center channel technique of Stan’s. I noticed the bike shop was open for anther ½ hour, so I went running back to Larry, who also had bad things to say about Stan and his center channel bologna. Even with all the tools available to Larry in his shop, it took about an hour to get the tires on and seated. Larry said “don’t get a flat out on the trail.” I paid the bill and left.
I have since looked other places on the internet about the tire mounting issue, turns out it is very common with Stan’s rims. Some tire fit much better than others. Some don’t really fit at all.
They are the best riding rims I have ever been on. I will keep them, but search for a tire I can actually change on the trail, just in case I do get a flat which I have avoided thus far in my life (…just jinxed myself, I am getting a flat for sure now). I don’t know what more to say about the ride other than they hold true even under me on my hard tail which I jump and descend with like I have a 6” travel bike.
Remember that short sidewall I mention earlier, It seems to work. I first thought the tire might “pop off” easier with this side wall. Not at all. The special bead hook design seems to work very well and the short side wall does seem to add some suppleness to the ride.
These rims are great; in fact I would venture to call them the best and one of the strongest rims I have ridden. These will be all the rim I ever need. They are very strong for their weight. I see no reason to go with the heavier Stan’s rims unless you are putting them on a downhill rig or just want to widen your tire more. If not for the tire issue, I would call them the perfect rim for everyone and anyone. But I am not. I do not recommend these for people who have issues with their temper. To own these rims, you must be Ghandiesk or have your own bike mechanic who rides with you. For those that can handle the tire mounting frustrations, you will be rewarded with great rims.
Similar Products Used: WTB, Mavic, most of the large names
Bike Setup: 29er hard tail, XO Drive Train, Saint triple Cranks
from St Paul, MO, USA
Date Reviewed: October 5, 2011
Strengths: light weight, super easy to set up tubeless
Weaknesses: read some other reviews questioning durability, but I haven't had any problems yet
These rims make a great wheelset. They are lighter than my previous wheels, I can really feel the difference cornering and climbing. they were really easy to seal tubeless. I have a full review with pictures written up at http://rock-racing.blogspot.com/2011/10/crest-ztr-review.html
a Cross Country Rider
from Syracuse, NY USA
Date Reviewed: January 7, 2011
Strengths: Balance between light and sturdy, "bead socket" technology
6 months of aggressive trail riding, zero problems, great performance.
Have heard talk that UST and TLR don't mate well with Crests. I ran the Rampage UST's all summer without the slightest problem. No burps, nothing. Mounted Geax Barro TNT's for next season. I use yellow tape and sealant only, no rimstrips. The bead pops into the socket with the same popping sound as a UST rim as you air up the tires.
Similar Products Used: Mavic UST, Mavic tubeless conversions.
Bike Setup: Intense Spider XVP, Panaracer Rampage UST tires, King Classic hubs, SRAM X-9 shifters + derailleurs, AVID Juicy 7 brakes, Rock Shox SID fork
a Cross Country Rider
from Sequim WA
Date Reviewed: September 16, 2010
Wide Rim Profile
Customer Service of Stans
I road these rims for Three months for cross country and trail riding. They had a fantastic feel to them. The design of the rim widens the tire patch and gives you uber traction. I got the white powder coat finish with red nipples and they looked great. Where they fell short was in the customer service with Stans. I ended up tacoing a wheel while taking a very hard corner at high speed. With other wheel companies like Spinergy there is a crash replacement policy that is very reasonable, Stans is not. Stans wanted the retail cost of the Rim plus 100 dollars to rebuild the wheel. My local shop is rebuilding it for $35 plus the cost of the Rim. I expect more from a company when I buy a high end wheel set like this. BTW I don't huck, go big, or drop...I ride endurance events and love the extra travel on the Ellsworth for comfort. It gets 3 chillies bacause I loved the ride quality. IT would get 5 if Stans had a better Crash Replacement policy.