NoTubes rims have been a staple for a few years now. They are pretty pioneering in a number of respects. They normally set the benchmark when it comes to weight, they have pushed boundaries when it comes to width and they have very much made tubeless mtbing the standard across the industry. I think they are a great company and their rims should be taken seriously.
The lightest readily available in the range. A pretty weak rim and their first real success. It is a little narrow and cannot handle proper spoke tension. I would not recommend it.
Again, not so strong when it comes to spoke tension but stronger and wider than the Alpine. It works for some builds but I think there are better options out there.
26″/650b/29er, 32h, £63
The ZTR Crest Rim – Wider and stiffer than the Alpine, lighter than the Arch, the ZTR Crest is built for cross country and light trail use. Next generation BST provides the tire stability and tubeless seal. Wins at the Tour Divide and BC Bike Race have established the Crest 29er as the leader in light, reliable big wheels.
Tape Width 21-25mm
New updated graphics for 2012!
The crest is the rim that everyone thinks they want. It gives you such a light weight that you would think you are running carbon fibre. It isn’t that flexy because it is still a very wide rim. However there are a number of reasons why you should probably consider the Arch as an alternative. The Arch is much stronger, much stiffer and importantly can tolerate 125kgf rather than a mere 95kgf. Because you can run such higher tensions, the wheel will be significantly stiffer and strong as well as more stable and spokes are less prone to breaking. You could probably, as a result get away with a lighter gauge spoke and so negate some of the weight disparity on the wheelset. The Crest also does not have the extra wall internally that you find on the Arch or Flow rims. Nevertheless, the crest is still a good rim for a light rider on a light XC course.
I do not sell the Alpha because the crest is such a significant upgrade with no significant weight penalty.
32h, black, £63 (26″, 650b, 29er)
The ZTR Arch EX Rim – New for 2012 the Arch EX is now lighter, wider and tougher than the previous Arch model! Inspire confidence in your ride with the ZTR Arch EX. Once again, Bead Socket Technology construction provides superior tubeless compatibility. The internal arch design lends durability and stiffness, two assets especially important for all 29er wheels. Although lightweight, the Arch EX can handle almost any type of riding. Fully tubeless compatible with yellow rim tape and valve stem.
The Arch is a very sensible rim. It is less flimsy than the lighter rims in the range and it can also tolerate very high spoke tensions. This will build into a stiffer, stronger and more stable wheel as a result.
Black, 32h, £65
The new Flow EX: the strongest, fastest rolling, and best sealing tubeless rim available for 26-inch, 29-inch and 650b tires sizes just got even better.
With multiple World Cup and World Championship victories already in the books, improving the legendary Flow wasn’t easy, but input from the best riders in the world and countless hours spent sweating even the smallest of details has led to a rim that redefines what even we thought was possible.
The new Flow EX is lower, wider, and meaner, offering a lower profile sidewall and redesigned Bead Socket Technology for maximum durability and tire seal on even the most punishing of technical trails. We kept the weight low, but the new EX offers 14% thicker sidewalls for maximum dent resistance and a 33% thicker spoke bed for added pull-through strength. Increasing the outside width of the rim to 29.1mm and the interior width to 25.5mm let us reshape the bead socket for an even tighter seal and allowed our internal arch to add even more stiffness to the rim’s structure.
This is a hugely wide rim, great for taking really chunky tyres. NoTubes are among the great pioneers or wider rims. Their shallower beds and sharper hooks also make their rims ideally suited to tubeless systems. Their welded joints help to keep the weight down as well as carefully optimised profiles. 490g isn’t that heavy for a rim generally but considering the applications this rim is capable of undertaking, it is remarkable.