Stans Arch Mk3 Wheelset Review
March 30th, 2017
Product Full Name | Stans Arch Mk3 Wheelset
Retail Price | £520
Available From | Paligap
Stans Arch Mk3 Wheelset
Stans ‘no tubes’ needs no introduction they’ve been making some of mountain biking’s most popular rims and tubeless conversion kits for many years.
For 2017 they have released three new updated rims, the Flow; Arch and the Crest all boasting stiffer and lighter rims over the previous models. I’ve been riding the Arch MK3 wheelset over the winter on my Whyte G160, and have really got on well with them…
Firmly aimed at enduro trail riding, they have been laced to Stans New Neo hubs, using Sapim secure lock alloy nipples and Sapim spokes. As standard the rims come with rim strips and valves installed and ready for inflation.
The hub quality is excellent, and the super fast 36 point engagement of the 4 pawl rear hub has a positive feel and the seal keeps the weather out, but allows the freehub body to rotate with minimal friction. The Neo hubs are available with either a standard Shimano pattern, or a SRAM XD carrier.
The rim design uses a low sidewall, which has come directly from feed back of World Cup mechanics, who run extra layers of tape around rims to make a low lip – which reduces the chances of burping. The Stans BST ( Bead Socket Technology ) works really well in combination with the low lip, firmly clamping the tyre bead in place.
Stans claim the Arch MK3 is 25% stiffer and stronger than the Arch Ex, and the new rims are wider with 26mm internal and 29mm external width. Rim weight is 425grams each – in the 27.5in size as tested, and complete wheel weight 1697grams. Enve M60 wheels weigh around 1500grams – as a comparison – and cost over triple the price for rims alone…
Out On The Trail
The Stans Arch MK3 wheels have had a serious beating over winter – ranging from our local rocky and rooty muck fest to slamming runs in at Bike Park Wales – and really they’ve been great.
The hubs have never skipped a beat, and the pick up is as perfect as day one – despite the amount of moisture they’ve been subjected to this winter.
Typical conditions locally have been utterly horrible this year, as you can see in the clip below. It always pleases us when bearings survive a harsh winter.
The rims have equally had their fair share of abuse, from super rocky natural terrain, rooty single track and smashing through Rim Dinger at Bike Park Wales.
On a particularly rough day, I did smash the rear rim into a few pretty nasty rocks which ended up with the rim being dented in a couple of places – but it’s not cracked even after a bit of coaxing back with a Leatherman. In all honesty, other rims would have come off with similar damage, but the resilience of the Stans rim material has impressed me. They certainly feel like tough, durable wheels and I’ve not had to touch these with a spoke key the entire time I’ve been riding them.
I’ve mainly been using a WTB Vigilante and Trail Boss combo, which require slightly more pressure than other brands to avoid carcass roll. When run at a lower pressure, the rim shape helped tyre stability, and on the whole they’ve been excellent with avoiding burping.
All in they are great reliable wheel set, with some good tech that won’t make your credit card smoulder.
The Stans Arch MK3 wheelset is an excellent light weight set of wheels, based on a really great set of hubs.
They’re plenty stiff and tough for the needs of most riders, though if you’re on the more aggressive side you have the option at the same price to opt for the slightly wider Flow Mk3 rims.
As they are, the Stans Arch MK3 wheelset will favour anyone riding bikes from 120-160mm travel and prove themselves to be a bargain. Highly recommended.