The Black Flag is a bomber wheel at an amazing price! These wheels canTake serious abuse while still being light enough for XC use. Premium, Cartridge Bearing, Straight-Pull HubsQuick Release, QR15, 20mmThru-Axle Front Axle Options (All end caps included)Quick Release, 135×12, 142×12 Rear Axle Options (12mm axle end caps sold separately)Wheelsmith Straight-Pull, Double-Butted SpokesWheelsmith Alloy Nipples24/24 Hole CountCro-moly SkewersWeight: 1585g
Strengths: Light, quick, easy to interchange between bikes
Weaknesses: None so far
I recently purchased these wheels to put on my Niner EMD 9. I love them! they are fast rolling and very stiff. I have never had so much confidence in a wheel. I definitely would recommend these to anyone looking for a light good priced wheels!
Strengths: Weight, rim profile, price. These are really light, XC race light and you will have trouble beating the price. They also come with a bunch of nice freebies, stans stripped, valves and 3 skewer options.
Weaknesses: QR SKEWERS ARE DEADLY! I've been racing/riding/mechanic since 1995 and the QR skewers that come with these wheels are terrible. They don't have a 'cam', they're just straight clamps. Please DO NOT USE the QR skewers. The back one fell out and wrecked my drivetrain but I didn't figure out that was what happened until I decided to use the front wheel (it's been new in the package for almost a year). The front skewer opened (!!!) twice on me. The first time I thought it was my mistake so I cranked it down, the second time I just tossed it and put my old XT skewers in. Then, I started thinking about my massive unexplained drivetrain failure from about a year ago and it all clicked into place...
Also, these are race wheels, not general riding wheels and they have an aluminum freehub body. This thing will get chewed up by your cassette so know that. Also know that removing your cassette for cleaning/inspection will be a chore and a half.
Non-tubeless tires are SUPER hard to get on/off. I run nevegals on these and it takes me about 20 min to mount a tire.
Great value for race wheels. Aluminum freehub sucks, as do the QR skewers. Stans rim is nice but a bit hard to get some tires on/off. Nevegals are terrible, maxxis ikons/ignitors etc. are much better.
Strengths: Light, look good on the Santa Cruz, like the loud hub
Weaknesses: frequently break spokes on rear wheel, really hard to get a tire on and off rim if you don't use tubeless tires
I go about 200 lbs ride ready and have about 1000 miles on these rims, mostly cross country trail riding, a Moab trip and occassionally some staircases and drop offs in the city. The rear has required spoke replacement 4 different times.
These are good rims, but likely close to design point for a 190+ lb rider. Previous Sun - Zero Degree Lite rims were used twice as long on a Intense Uzzi SL and never broke a spoke.
Strengths: Value, weight, ease of setup (Stan's technology), front hub adapters included.
Weaknesses: None yet in about 100 miles of hard XC & trail riding
I weigh 210lbs geared up. I am not a big jumper but do hit small drops; and bomb thru rock gardens. I was slightly worrie about the spoke count/strength at my weight but the wheels have been great. I've mistimed bunny hope over logs at speed and nailed the back wheel, and crashed a few times with no deflection. Truly feel the wheels are underrated.
Love the loud hub, my wheels came with black hubs not gold colored. Aired up Nobby Nics with a floor pump, didn't even remove the valve core to do it!
$299 on sale at Performance Bicycle, and if you go on Tuesdays between 12-2pm you get 10% off on top of that. Hard to beat this for most weights/riding style.
a Weekend Warrior
from daly city, ca
Date Reviewed: January 31, 2012
Strengths: Rolls Smoothly/ front hub options 9/15/20mm/ tubeless ready. Still true after loosing 4 spokes on the rear.
Will suggest to use for XC only. LIGHTWEIGHT/BLINGY gold hubs
Weaknesses: alum nipple
Love this wheelset, I want to make it stronger by changing the nipples to brass.
160lbs all geared -up, I've used it 3x for DH/FR w/drops/jumps rocky terrains etc.. which is not made for this type of riding/abuse(100%my fault, cause I cant wait for my stronger set & decided to try if it can take punishment), I broke 1 spoke on the rear after my 3rd..
Still decided to use for 20mi xc ride w/ 1 spoke missing, eventually spoke came off one by one on the downhill sections, but was still able to finish the ride w/ total of 4 spokes missing on the rear (nondrive side) & its still true! that make's it easier for me to replace the spokes.
a Weekend Warrior
from NJ nCentral
Date Reviewed: November 6, 2011
Strengths: price, rock solid build for a 24 spoke , 1550g tubeless compatible wheelset
Weaknesses: cheesy yellow hub, Literrally cheese colored!! Not a big deal though, easily stands out and I Kinda like it that way...
Looks are quite better than I anticipated, and weighing in at just over 1550g with tape and 2oz sealant...
THIS WHEELSET CANT BE BEAT!!!
this hub actually looks quite nice with my pg990 cassette with the red body, and the strength and stretch of the 24 spoke dbl butted wheelsmith spokes has been great as of yet for screaming down the local singletrack,... NO negatives really too pick on...
I've only had a handful of rides so far because of rain, but I'm a big fan of these wheels. They're light and so far display enough strength to be used on my jump bike when I want to get off the 24's and ride a little faster.
I seated the beads of my tires with a hand pump easily. Even though they use Stan's notubes (c) tech, the rims have eyelets.
They're an excellent choice for racing, and general xc use. I weigh 150 and am not afraid to throw myself down the trail as my buddies can attest. I've bunny hopped logs, ridden jumps and drop-offs, and even crashed and have noticed no deflection in the rims. You can probably throw in some trail and a little AM riding remaining confident that these wheels will carry you without complaint.
The black rims with gold hubs look great. The stickers looked a bit cheesy at first, but I don't mind. They could probably be removed easily enough. There are two white spokes at on either side of the valve hole. The spokes are straight-pull laced two cross without touching. The resulting appearance is spectacular. As a bonus they came with hub spacers for 9mm QR, 15mm QR, and 20mm (Maxle). I've already had them on the DMR, which sports a Maxle fork. I'm not sure which hub they use, but I'm perfectly satisfied with the engagement and the loud ratcheting while freewheeling.
Go and get yourself a pair already!
I will update my review if my opinion changes or I have even nicer things to add.