Aimed at the all-mountain / agresive trail riding crowd looking for a sturdy wheelset at a good price
Looking for the ultimate wheelset, one that will fit different riding styles is not an easy task.
Especially a set which will be very light on one hand you can take a beating on the other hand, this is never simple in real life.
The South African/ German brand Spank new wheelset looked just like that on paper.
The brand is very well known veteran in the aftermarket mountain bike components view, with a vast line of product ranging from entry level to exotic. Spank’s goodies are always offered in vivid colors, a fact that made the brand very popular with bling factor crowd.
Spank is also one of the world’s biggest rims manufacturer, making rim for a lot of other brands and names out there.
For this test we have got the popular Oozy trail295 wheelset for review, 27.5” wheelset based on a 29.5mm outer width and 25 mm internal width. Compared to the rising trend of wider rims this width is positioned at the middle of the range between more traditional 23mm rims to wider more modern 28-30mm rims.
25mm is a good size for those who are looking for a little extra traction and confidence needed for aggressive trail riding and enduro style riding.
Every wheelset is enclosed by the signature of the wheel builder, a quality mark that shows the company understanding of the significance advantage of handmade built wheels.
At the trails:
We tested the wheels over several months at different conditions, starting with light trail riding to super aggressive enduro riding.
The rim extra width have caused the tires threads to “open up” comparing to regular 23mm rims, this boosted traction and confidence without a dubt.
One of the major advantages according to Spank is their unique “Bead Bite” patent for fixing the tire’s bid to the rim. Except for the usual hook, Spank have added 6 more additional hooks, 3 vertical and 3 horizontal across the rim. A trick that should boost the tire rim seal and reduce tire burps and pressure loss over time.
From our experience it allowed us to be more comfortable with running our tires lower pressures, not worrying about getting the tire of the rim completely at extreme conditions.
During the test period the wheels felt very stiff during hard turns, increased our stability and confidence while hitting rock gardens with no concerns of getting those annoying dents more delicate rims will get on lower pressures.
The wheels hold true during all the test period without any significant play and loss of spoke tension. Despite of effort to give them a good hard beating, combining jumps, drop and square edged rock gardens.
Using triple butted spoked saves on weight, increases stiffness and according to expert wheel builders helps to maintain spoke tension over time. The hub spokes interface is a straight pull method and not the traditional j bend spokes. It looks good, increases strength and makes it easier to replace a spoke. It might be a little harder to get a spare spoke though.
The hub is built using sealed japanese bearings, it worked seamless through the test and we didn’t experience any issues whatsoever.
The sexy buzz of some of the more pricey competition might be missed by few of you, but didn’t mind keeping focused on the natural sounds of animals and our friends blubbering about gear.
The wheelset weight fit the need of the all mountain / enduro styles, but it can handle wide range of disciplines and riders weights. Considering the total wheelset weight, the rims are very sturdy and it’s a hard job to dent or damage them. We were sure these got dented on several harsh landing but when we stopped to inspect the damage it was just not there.
Pros: Durability weight ratio, looks, allows riding at lower pressures.
Cons: Getting some of the tubeless ready tires was a little tough.
This article was originaly published on magazine
Spank know their work around pretty and high quality components, those wheels delivered both performance and looks with a very affordable price tag.
If your are looking for a build wheelset with reasonable weight and price the oozy trail 295 are definitely a great option to keep in your short list.