ZTR ARCH EX 29er Wheelset How do you improve an already fantastic wheelset likeThe ZTR ARCH 29er wheelset for 2012? Well, you start by making it lighter, wider and stiffer for increased strength. That lighter weight will help you accelerate faster andThe internal arch design inThe rim will make sureThat your wheels are strong enoughTo keep you onTheTrail. Bead SocketTechnology will give you superiorTubeless compatibility when used withThe included yellowTape. The perfect rim for Aggressive X
Strengths: Lightweight for a strong wheel set. Strong for a lightweight wheel set. Very versatile when converting hubs to most any axle.
Weaknesses: I see no weakness so far.
I purchased the ZTR ArchEX wheels 2 years ago to replace a taco'd rear stock Alex rim on my Marin Pine Mountain. I immediately felt the weight difference, and going tubeless was amazing. Setting the wheels up was super easy with a floor pump using my conti race kings. Fast forward several months: I purchased a Transition TransAM 29. I had to order the hub conversion kit for the front (lost the ones that came with the set) and rear. This process took me around a half hour and I had no issues. I also switched to Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires (non-tubeless) and the process again was a piece of cake.
The only issue that I thought I might have was the terrain that I ride has changed from the typical up/down XC singletrack to trying to find the rootiest rockiest descents, and slowly getting more and more air time. The ArchEX set has held up great and is still as true as the day I mounted them. If an issue arises because of my usage (not the wheels themselves) I will most likely replace with Flows...
Favorite Trail: Stottlemeyer: Port Gamble, WA and Duthie Hill Issaquah, WA
Duration Product Used: 1.5 years
Purchased At: Jenson USA
Bike Setup: Transition TransAM 29, Fox 32 CTD 120, Sram X9 RD/X7 shifter, X7 Crank, Thomson seatpost/stem, MRP MiniG2SL chain guide, Niner Bar, Egg Beaters,
Date Reviewed: May 27, 2013
Strengths: Supposedly had a good reputation
Weaknesses: Read and you'll find out!
For nearly the entire first year of riding my new bike, equipped with a front and rear Arch 29 wheelset, there were no issues with the wheels. Then, in January-February 2013, I began to hear a creak emanating from the rear of the bike. The creak manifested itself when riding uphill, although intermittent in nature. At first, my LBS thought it was the carbon insert in the rear rocker of the bike, but after a trip to the bike HQ, that was determined not to be the case. While at the bike HQ all bearings and pivot points were examined and replaced. The noise briefly abated for a few rides, and then returned.
I had a thought to try someone else’s rear wheel on my bike, to rule out the bike/frame components as issues. When I tried a different rear wheel, the creaking completely disappeared. The LBS looked more closely at the problem rear wheel and when the wheel was mounted in the rear and physically pushed towards the seat stays, the creaking reappeared. The LBS disassembled the rear hub and found that there existed a small amount of space around the bearing and that space contributed to the creaking. The LBS sent pictures to Stan's describing the problem and asked for a replacement wheel. The LBS' opinion was that this was a manufacturing defect and Stan's company would probably replace the wheel gratis. Meanwhile, a black or green compound substance made by Locktite was used that took up the gap between the bearing and the hub. This worked for a couple of rides; then the creaking returned.
Shawn, warranty manager, got involved and refused to send me a new wheel, but sold me a new wheel and agreed that if your company, for some unknown reason, did not honor the manufacturing defect as a warranty issue, would refund part of the money paid for the new wheel. A new wheel was sent and since then, no creaking or other issues have arisen. In fact,
another seemingly unrelated issue seemed to have resolved itself. Irrespective of which front chain ring the chain resided on, there was a delay up shifting from the fourth cog to the next
larger cog. No amount of adjusting or replacing of cables/cable housing corrected the problem. When the new rear wheel was mounted, the shifting issue disappeared immediately.
So, since then, Stan's told me that they could have rebuilt the first wheel with a new hub, CHARGING ME FOR A REBUILD CHARGE. Are you kidding me?? They agreed that the wheel was defective. Now, Stan's wants to nickel and dime me to death on this issue.
In the end, Stan's charged me $195 for a new back wheel. I had to pay $140 for the new wheel, which was better than $355, but wtf! I don't agree with their decision and advise all bikers to NOT EXPECT MUCH FROM STAN'S WHEN IT COMES TO WARRANTY WORK!!!!
Strengths: Price to weight ratio, great wheel when used for XC riding, simple to service hubs.
Weaknesses: build is not great out of the box, do take some maintenance, soft free hub body.
I really like these wheels for the price, I have them with the SS hub, right out of the box I mount up tires with no sealant, then I pull the tires off, and re tension the wheels. I am 185 lb and I beat the hell out of my wheels, I have been happy with how they have held up. For the price! If I rode more gnarly stuff more often I would start to look else where for a little better hub.
Weaknesses: Soft rims, poor quality hubs, spokes, and nipples on the stock set.
I bought these wheels with high hopes and was quickly disappointed. The price on these seems a little too good to be true and it is. I ride xc (I'm on a hard tail 29er) and these wheels do not stand up to the test. After a summer of riding in Colorado both rims have become so out of true that they need to be replaced. The rear hub has started to catch (a friend who bought the wheels a the same time as I did also had a problem with his rear hub and had to send the wheel back). The freehub body is extremely soft on both my wheel and on my friends we had to use two chain whips to remove the cassette as it had dug into the metal of the freehub body.
A shop mechanic was riding with me when I destroyed my front wheel and he couldn't believe it. I washed out in some sand and got up to find the wheel would no longer pass through the fork. When I went to get the my rear wheel repaired the mechanic had to replace the nipples because they were too soft to put any tension on.
Bottom line: You get what you pay for and these are cheap for how much they weight.
Strengths: Strong, True, Fast, Perfect for riders who want that balance between weight and strength. Oh, and they come in white!!!
Weaknesses: Can be pricey (maybe not compared to similar sets)...I purchased mine with a 15% military discount offer.
White is slightly heavier than black. :(
I own a set of 'Arc'h AND 'Arch EX'. My main bike has the newer EX and other than a slight difference in looks, I cannot tell the difference (mainly because I peeled the stickers off). Sure the EX are slightly wider, but I never had a problem with burping a tire before, and I certainly don't now. These rims (built with Hope hubs) have been fantastic over the last year. I have ridden them on hard trails with many roots, rocks, drops and jumps and they have performed flawlessly. I will not use another wheel.
Strengths: Low Rolling Resistance, price, durability
Weaknesses: none so far
I recently put these on an old GF rig in place of the stock Bonny Mustang disk. Between the wheels, switching to tubeless, and upgrading the tires, I have had by far the most significant increase in speed from an upgrade I have ever experienced. This was supposed to be a beater bike, and now it is wicked fast. I attribute most of the improvement to the wheels. They are light and tough and roll really well. I'm thrilled to of been able to pick them up for a song, and I would strongly recommend jumping on these if you are still on factory wheels and want a faster bike!
Strengths: Stiff, strong, very easy to setup tubeless, killer price
Weaknesses: Literally none.
These wheels are truly fantastic. The weight/price/durability ratio is far superior to just about everything else out there. I shopped hard for about a month and compared what felt like every wheelset on the market. These are the best value by a large margin. I'm about 170 lbs. with gear and absolutely pound these things. They hold up to a ton of abuse. They're also incredibly stiff and stay plenty strong through hard cornering. Not to mention they were a breeze to setup tubeless with Geax Saguaros and Stan's sealant. Haven't had any issues whatsoever with squirming tires or burping. I wish I could think of something bad to say about these to make the review seem more "realistic", but there's really nothing I can think of.
Similar Products Used: American Classic Tubeless 29'er
Bike Setup: Mounted with Geax Saguaro TNT tires.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: July 5, 2012
Strengths: Roll well, light weight, high "street credit", Rims seem solid, easy to setup tubeless.
Weaknesses: Poor spoke tension from the factory. Cassette body is SOFT. Spokes are an odd size (2.0/1.7) and not stocked by most LBS (not a huge issue). Hubs are fairly loud.
These are good rims and decent wheels, but the poor build quality keeps them from being awesome. They came from the factory with VERY uneven tension and loose spokes. I had to true and tension them a number of times, but they seem to have stabilized now.
Strengths: strong light cheap easy to use tubeless
I'm on my 3rd pair, 3rd generation set of arch wheels, every time I buy a new 29er I buy another set of these bad boys. They are super strong, I run low psi on my tires at 18psi and sometimes hit hard on rocks, and have never dinged any of my arch rims. I can also use a hand pump to set up tubeless on most tires.
replaced stock wheelset on giant anthem x 29er. Rolls over everything. Hard to find, factory is on back order for 3-4 months for this wheelset. Got mine custom built for cheaper than stock price. Probikesupply.com Really helpful shop with great prices and built to whatever specs you want.
a Cross Country Rider
from Durango, CO
Date Reviewed: February 14, 2012
Strengths: best tubeless set up around
Weaknesses: absolutely none
I have three sets of these in the household and two have been converted for through-axle via the add on kit you can order from no tubes dot com. very solid wheel set and it came setup and ready for tubeless. I have run mostly maxxis tires on these, but have also run spexicalized captains. solid, never had to true.
Strengths: Stiff, strong, responsive, inflate and hold UST or in my case WTB TCS tires very well. Light.
Weaknesses: The alloy freehub body that comes on these guys can get a little chewed up by the cassette. Also these wheels should be touched up by a mechanic before they are setup and installed on the bike. I just found that these were not ideally tensioned when I pulled them from the box. This is not really a weakness, but I feel it should be mentioned. This is defiantly not a make it or break it about buying these.
These are the only tubeless wheels I have used thus far and I really like them. The wheels spin up great and hold momentum really well. They only thing I am not really crazy about is the fact that the freehub body is getting chewed up by the steel cassette. If the hub ever gets to the point where the cassette will not install properly then I will just have to get the wheel rebuilt because the wheelset is really that great. It has a very good strength to weight ratio and the spokes are of great quality.
Strengths: Price. Light. Pretty. Rims and hubs are tough so far.
Weaknesses: 2 spokes broke at the hum on the same wheel. QR's were garbage. Rear hub had to be tightened, developed a bit of side to side play.
Rims are great, tires mount up well an seal easily. Pretty light for what they are designed for. So far so good on the hubs. Popped off a couple of spokes right at the hub. Not sure what that's about... no telling what the cause was... could have impacted something... hopefully I don't get any more failures.
Strengths: Light, easy to mount tubeless, great price, stiff
Weaknesses: none, especially considering the price
Great wheels, I highly recommend them to anyone looking for lightweight wheels that can take some serious abuse.
My first ride on them was a 40+ miler up in Tahoe that included an end of season run down Toads (it was way more beat up than normal). I bottomed my tires out on the rims at least 4 times. I was concerned but was having too much fun to slow down and I was very surprised to see they were still perfectly straight and had no flat spots. 9 months of abuse later and they are still as straight as the day they arrived. Quite impressive.
They are super easy to setup tubeless, much more so than any of my DT rims or Mavic wheels. A big bonus is they are far more rigid than the Bontrager wheels that came stock (and those weighed 400g more). In quick "S" curves they flick side to side very well without that mushy feel some more flexy wheels get when pushed hard.
I've raced them several times with success and feel that at 175lbs, they are a perfect race/training wheel for more aggressive riders who live in rocky areas. Lighter riders or riders with smooth trails can probably get away with the lighter wheels from Stans.
Bike Setup: Fisher Paragon 29'er. My wheels have the Stans hubs which have gone 9 months with no issues.
a Cross Country Rider
from Orange County
Date Reviewed: August 13, 2009
Strengths: Light weight and stiff. If you have never tried tubeless you should! I've tried several rims tubeless and the Stan's stuff is by far the best for the conversion. The set I have is a ZTR hub with Arch 29s. Very basic and very reasonable in price.
No need to use a rim strip in these. Many times there is no need to even use an air compressor. The rim itself can be mated to a variety of hubs ie. I9, Kings, hopes, DT Swiss, etc... These are plenty stiff and light.
I'm coming off of Easton Haven carbons, and while I did have a few busted spokes and had the rear hub replaced under warranty, I'm tough on wheels and thought that they held up well for 2-1/2 years of abuse on a Santa Cruz TBc. Loved the light weight and the quick spin-up and acceleration. So, wil ... Read More »
I've got the above wheel set and i use The Captain 2.2 29er up front and Maxxis Ignitor 29er in the rear I've had a heap of flats from thorns and its time to try no tubes.
What I am trying to work out is do I really only need the Yellow tape, sealant and some removable presta cores and I'm away l ... Read More »
I'm thinking about replacing Stan's ZTR Arch 29er on Scalpel 29er Carbon 2 with something that has better stiffness / less flex.
Would Mavic CrossMax SLR 29er 2013 do the job? Or CrossMax ST 29, with +4 spokes?
I think both DT Swiss Super Comp spokes and ZTR Arch 29er contribute to flex prob ... Read More »
I decided I wanted to get a 29er hardtail as my every day XC/trail bike for mostly non- to moderate technical riding (and maybe an occasional race). The reality is, however, that the hardtail leaves me feeling beaten up. So, I demo'd an Epic Comp 29er (aluminum). I was very impressed with how it c ... Read More »