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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
ZTR Valor wheelset, reviewed

first, some context:
150 lbs, single speed XC racer. I ride about 5000 miles/year on a mix of hardpack Michigan trails with some roots and the occasional rock garden, plus dirt roads with lots of pot holes and washboards.

Last year I rode a pair of Crest rims on Hope Pro2 hubs, ~1750g. I had to true the wheels a few times throughout the year, broke a few spokes on the rear wheel, dented the rear rim, and eventually some cracks started to develop around a few spoke holes on the rear rim.

bike setup:
-frame = Planet X Dirty Harry carbon
-fork = Niner RDO carbon
-front tire = Racing Ralph 2.40, ~20 psi
-rear tire = Specialized Renegade Control 2.3, ~22 psi

========================================

onto the Valors...

front wheel = 610g including yellow tape and valve stem, 15mm end caps installed, no skewer or rotor
rear wheel = 730g including yellow tape and valve stem, QR end caps installed, no skewer or rotor

total weight = 1340g

rim notes:
-measured internal width at 21.3mm using digital calipers
-uniform matte finish, logos seem to be painted on and look way better than the normal cheapo NoTubes rim stickers
-rim sidewalls look much shorter than on my Crest rims
-spoke holes are not offset, i.e. all holes are in the center of the rim
-spoke holes look like they are drilled straight, perpendicular to rim surface, not at an angle. this results in the nipples exiting the rim holes at an angle
-I noticed some "pitting" on the inside edge of the rims in a few places. it's minor and not visible with the tire mounted, but not the flawless quality I was expecting

50 miles on them so far, including Michigan's famed Potawatomi trail with plenty of rocks, roots and climbing. I didn't hear any spoke pings or pops, and the wheels are still perfectly true.

-first thing I noticed is how ridiculously light they are, nearly a pound lighter than my previous wheels. reduced weight was especially noticeable on climbs, maybe because of the more surge-like nature of mashing big gears at low RPM on a SS.
-front wheel didn't feel any different than my Crests
-rear wheel felt like I had a little bit of suspension back there. definitely took the edge off of harsh bumps

other notes:
each wheel also included a cloth Valor zipper bag with a very cool spoke plot printout showing vertical runout, horizontal runout, and spoke tension for each spoke.


pics to come
post updated 4/21/14
 

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Mine showed up yesterday as well. I will be picking them on Sat.
 

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Mind me asking why you chose the Valors over similar custom carbon wheels costing much less? Not trying to be inflammatory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mind me asking why you chose the Valors over similar custom carbon wheels costing much less? Not trying to be inflammatory.
my team buy price was pretty good IMO... how much are "custom" builds going for? and I'm assuming you're referring to Light-Bicycle rims or equivalent? ENVE stuff is $$$$
 

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my team buy price was pretty good IMO... how much are "custom" builds going for? and I'm assuming you're referring to Light-Bicycle rims or equivalent? ENVE stuff is $$$$

Same reason here my team buy was really good. Plus an Enve custom build is was much much more.
 

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Ah, the team buy. That'd probably make sense. Warranty, crash replacement, etc. Plus getting something new and exciting.

I found new Stan's 32H hubs and had them built with the same spokes and nips the Valor uses (but not in 24/28 configuration obviously). Rims are LB which could be a whole other thread....wait, it is, ha. Weight is about 100 grams more for the wheelset but price was about $600. Again, no warranty.

But if the Valor claims of "comfort" from the rim is true it could add value, but on an FS I don't see it being a selling point....or even on a HT.
 

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Again, no warranty.
Consistency, quality, q/c, and support all add value.
Also, people have been paying $80-$90 for aluminum Stan's rims for years when you can buy other aluminum rims for $35... probably even less if you get direct-from-china, never-been-tested copies of other companies' designs.
:arf:
 

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I picked my 29er Valor set up today. Mine came in at 1313g (f: 588 w/15mm and r:725 135/QR
with team discount it was a bargain for the weight savings.. These things are very light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
about 240 miles on them so far.
I rode them to a 10th place single speed finish at the Cohutta 100 this weekend... the reduced weight was a huge help. At the race there were a few rough singletrack descents, and with my fully rigid setup they were taking a beating for sure.

HOWEVER, I've concluded that they are flexy. In hard cornering I can feel a little squishiness in the back. At first I wasn't sure if it was the rear wheel flexing or if my tire pressure was too low. There were slight tire rub marks on the inside of my non-driveside chainstay, so I put 2 layers of electrical tape over it before Cohutta, and after the race I noticed the tire had rubbed all the way through the tape. With the bike in the stand, it doesn't take much force to push the wheel ~6mm laterally with my thumbs such that the tire contacts the inside of the non driveside chainstay. pushing towards the drive side is much harder and I didn't see any tire rub there, probably because of the wheel dish (10 speed hub).


I'm also not a huge fan of the ZTR hubs so far. the end caps take minimal force to remove, and there's a slight amount of play between the caps and hub body when the wheel is off the bike. when it's in the frame and clamped down with the QR it's not an issue and doesn't move around... but definitely not as secure or well sealed as the DT 240s or Hope Pro2s I'm used to. When I took the new wheels out of the box there was a zip tie through the rear hub to hold the end caps in place, so NoTubes is clearly aware of the loose fit. The end caps for the front hub seem a little better, still looser than DT or Hope though.


In my opinion, the best thing would be a set of these rims on better hubs, with 36 thicker rear spokes instead of 28 thin ones. you'd still have the weight savings at the rim, and you'd have a stiffer, more durable wheel.
 

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Great notes. Aren't they trying to sell the flex as a "feature" though? at least that's what I remember seeing/reading
Yes, supposedly they are more "comfortable" then the ENVEs.....

After that review I am glad I went with the M50s w/ DT240 hubs.
 
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