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  1. #1
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    Sun Ringle BlackFlag Pro/Expert VS. Charger Pro/Expert

    I will be upgrading the wheelset on my 29er very soon. I am looking to save a lot of weight with this new wheelset which should not be hard because I am currently running stock GT wheels. I am looking the most at Sun Ringle mainly because those are what I get can get the best deal on. My biggest question is; Are the Pros worth the extra money over the Experts (in either wheelset)?

    Numbers From Sun are attached (I threw the comps in there as well).

    If you look at the numbers, the only difference between the Pros and the Experts are the Bearings and the weights. Would "premium" sealed bearings really save that much weight?

    Does anyone have real world weights?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sun Ringle BlackFlag Pro/Expert VS. Charger Pro/Expert-sunchart.jpg  

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  2. #2
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    I would think that the difference is in the hubs and the rim(possibly). From what I hear the hub is a different model between the comps and the pro. I have a set of the 26" Black Flag Pros and love them. Good friend has the 29 BFP and says they roll so fast he has to check the brakes often to slw his bike down. Great deal on wheels. Can't be beat.

  3. #3
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    I own a set of Charger Pro wheels. It is my impression that the hubs are the same on the Pro models, Charger and the Black Flag. According to SUN the weight difference for 29" wheel sets is 125g. (1725g. and 1850g.) The difference is in the weight and width of the rims. The Black Flag is 24mm. and is listed as XC. The Charger is 28mm. and is billed for AM/trail use.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  4. #4
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    He was noticing the difference between the Expert and the Pro models. The hubs are different between the models, not the rims. There's a difference in width and weight between the rims on the Black Flag and Charger models.

  5. #5
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    Another thumbs up for the Pro model hubs. They spin for days.
    No moss...

  6. #6
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    My understanding is, the main difference between Pro and Expert is alloy freehub vs. steel freehub. You may need to upgrade your cassette to work with the alloy freehub.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the responses, their chart doesnt really tell much.

    I ended up with a Hope/Arch setup in the rear with stock wheel upfront. I figured I would try this setup and if I dont like it I can sell it to get the sun's. So far I like it, and I think my complete hope/arch set will weigh less then either the charger of BF's.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

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  8. #8
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    I weighed my set of Charger Pro's, which I bought last January, (the current ones should probably be the same I suppose) and they came in at 1900 grams with the yellow tape, and without skewers. Great wheel by the way.

  9. #9
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    I see you've already chosen a different set of wheels (nice choice by the way) but I figured I'd share my experience with my Sun Ringles in case other people click this thread and are interested in the wheels. I've been racing all season in New England on a pair of Black Flag Pro 29s and haven't had to true these wheels once. For what it's worth I weight in the high 150's though.....this may not be the case for a heavier rider. As other folks have mentioned, the hubs really do spin forever and haven't given me any issues in the 7 months I've had them. When changing tires for the first time (tubeless) I noticed that the stock yellow tape had ripped on each wheel. I re-taped the wheels and haven't had any issues yet. I'm guessing it was a bad install from the factory. I've run Ikons, Ignitors, X-kings and rampages on these rims so far; all tubeless and all aired up without any problems with a floor pump. They're a nice weight as well.....on par the mavic crossmax. Anyways, a great set of wheels for a great price. I think I paid less than 400 for them.

  10. #10
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    I love my black flag pros but am disappointed with their durability. I weigh 195 and have had stuff break 3 times. The first thing was breaking a rear axle. Then a rear spoke broke at the nipple, then a front spoke broke at the nipple. I've also had to true the rear wheel several times. I am not an abusive rider either. Mostly fast xc riding and racing is all they go through.
    If I have anymore issues I may try to push the issue with Sun and see about replacement Charger Pros. When I got the black flag pros I called sun ringle and asked if there was a weight limit. I was assured by them they were plenty durable for my weight. They said they had an employee there that is 250lbs that uses them and has never had any issues. Maybe I just got a bad set..who knows. Btw, they are still under warraty ...less than a year old. Sun ringle has been good about replacing all the broken parts..but I've still had to pay the lbs labor costs for the repairs.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSumner13 View Post
    I see you've already chosen a different set of wheels (nice choice by the way) but I figured I'd share my experience with my Sun Ringles in case other people click this thread and are interested in the wheels. I've been racing all season in New England on a pair of Black Flag Pro 29s and haven't had to true these wheels once. For what it's worth I weight in the high 150's though.....this may not be the case for a heavier rider. As other folks have mentioned, the hubs really do spin forever and haven't given me any issues in the 7 months I've had them. When changing tires for the first time (tubeless) I noticed that the stock yellow tape had ripped on each wheel. I re-taped the wheels and haven't had any issues yet. I'm guessing it was a bad install from the factory. I've run Ikons, Ignitors, X-kings and rampages on these rims so far; all tubeless and all aired up without any problems with a floor pump. They're a nice weight as well.....on par the mavic crossmax. Anyways, a great set of wheels for a great price. I think I paid less than 400 for them.
    Where did you get Black Flag Pros from for less than $400?

  12. #12
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    I have a set of Charger Experts on my DiSSent. Great wheels. The front spokes are talking to me a little bit and making some pinging noises since the last time I cleaned the wheels but otherwise they have been completely trouble free. I'm about 225 geared up and I ride them pretty hard. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another set.
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  13. #13
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    Anyone know if the 15/20mm front wheel is also convertible to 9mm QR with an adapter or do you have to buy the QR specific wheels?

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    The front is convertible on the pros of both the Black Flag and Charger to 9mm. They include 9mm(how they come set up), 15mm and 20mm.

  15. #15
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    i was thinking about black flag pros for my new frame, but was concerned about the width. what's the widest tire you guys have successfully run on the black flag?

    the frame is a salsa fargo, and there might be some bikepacking. i weigh 155#, hopefully the load will not be an issue.
    In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by thechez View Post
    The front is convertible on the pros of both the Black Flag and Charger to 9mm. They include 9mm(how they come set up), 15mm and 20mm.
    Thanks. I forgot to mention that I am looking at the experts. This is what the Sun Ringle web site says about the experts:

    Quick Release Front Specific; or 15mm / 20mm convertible Front
    (both end caps included)
    (Note: Front QR specific is not convertible to 15mm/20mm)

    For the Pros it says:

    Quick Release, QR15, 20mm Thru-Axle Front Axle Options
    (All end caps included)

    I have an e-mail into their tech support but I was wondering if anyone here knew while I wait for the official response.

  17. #17
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    I found the Black flag Pros weights were VERY optimistic on Sun Ringles website. They were about 75gr lighter per wheel than my standard Giant wheels.

    They were also VERY hard to get tyres on.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by weeksy950 View Post
    I found the Black flag Pros weights were VERY optimistic on Sun Ringles website. They were about 75gr lighter per wheel than my standard Giant wheels.

    They were also VERY hard to get tyres on.
    So then why don't you post the actual weights. Also did you weigh them with or without QR skewers?

    Black Flag and Charger wheels are tubeless and designed with No-Tubes BST technology. It is well known that some tyres are difficult to get onto Stan's rims. It is not very helpful making sweeping statements. Rather tell us which tyres you found difficult to install. I can get most of the tyres I've used on and off by hand.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by weeksy950 View Post
    I found the Black flag Pros weights were VERY optimistic on Sun Ringles website. They were about 75gr lighter per wheel than my standard Giant wheels.

    They were also VERY hard to get tyres on.
    The weight of them is accurate. They are a nice light wheel.
    I've never had a problem getting any tires on them either. With an air compressor they go on and seal quickly and easily.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zakman View Post
    Thanks. I forgot to mention that I am looking at the experts. This is what the Sun Ringle web site says about the experts:

    Quick Release Front Specific; or 15mm / 20mm convertible Front
    (both end caps included)
    (Note: Front QR specific is not convertible to 15mm/20mm)

    For the Pros it says:

    Quick Release, QR15, 20mm Thru-Axle Front Axle Options
    (All end caps included)

    I have an e-mail into their tech support but I was wondering if anyone here knew while I wait for the official response.
    I got my answer. For the experts you need to special order part: ED2FCAPQR. They said you have to go through your LBS and it should be about $20.

    For anyone that is interested Jenson USA has the Black Flag Expert 15/20mm for $299.99. With the coupon code 25off200 you can get them for $274.99.

  21. #21
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    I'm around 150 lbs and run 2.3 WTB Exiwolfs without issues on the BFP.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by broeli View Post
    The weight of them is accurate. They are a nice light wheel.
    I've never had a problem getting any tires on them either. With an air compressor they go on and seal quickly and easily.
    Remind me to carry one of them in my Camelbak next ride out.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
    So then why don't you post the actual weights. Also did you weigh them with or without QR skewers?

    Black Flag and Charger wheels are tubeless and designed with No-Tubes BST technology. It is well known that some tyres are difficult to get onto Stan's rims. It is not very helpful making sweeping statements. Rather tell us which tyres you found difficult to install. I can get most of the tyres I've used on and off by hand.
    I did once upon a time post the figures, i'll have a look through my old posts later, but it was on a Sun Ringle thread about 5-6 months ago. I posted this first comment when at work so never really had time to get all my old posts up, but i will.


    The tyres i found impossible were Bonty Mud-x's. They're a tight fit on my Giant rims, but impossible on the S-R's.

    I also get the impression from other places that my technique installing tyres may have been lacking

  24. #24
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    [QUOTE=weeksy950;9483658]Remind me to carry one of them in my Camelbak next ride out.[/]

    If you had trouble getting tubed tires mounted on these rims then you are definitely lacking technique on installing tires. Mine are mounted tubeless...that's why I use an air compressor. If a get a cut that the stans can't seal it is no problem popping the tire off and putting in a tube...and it wouldn't need an air compressor.
    Also, even doing tubeless doesn't require an air compressor on these rims. In a pinch I've mounted up a tire tubeless on these wheels with just a co2 cartridge.

  25. #25
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    Apologies, i only kept the figures in a relative context to the Giant wheels.

    They came in at 250gr per wheel lighter than the Giants when all said and done.

    (Honestly, i recall them figures being more than the manufacturers weights though)

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSumner13 View Post
    I see you've already chosen a different set of wheels (nice choice by the way) but I figured I'd share my experience with my Sun Ringles in case other people click this thread and are interested in the wheels. I've been racing all season in New England on a pair of Black Flag Pro 29s and haven't had to true these wheels once. For what it's worth I weight in the high 150's though.....this may not be the case for a heavier rider. As other folks have mentioned, the hubs really do spin forever and haven't given me any issues in the 7 months I've had them. When changing tires for the first time (tubeless) I noticed that the stock yellow tape had ripped on each wheel. I re-taped the wheels and haven't had any issues yet. I'm guessing it was a bad install from the factory. I've run Ikons, Ignitors, X-kings and rampages on these rims so far; all tubeless and all aired up without any problems with a floor pump. They're a nice weight as well.....on par the mavic crossmax. Anyways, a great set of wheels for a great price. I think I paid less than 400 for them.

    I'm 195 lbs. I bought mine to lighten up my bike for some races this summer. I liked them so much I left them on and have been riding without issue since mid-May.

    Like you I also had some holes in the tape on the rear wheel. Re-taped with Gorilla tape and all is good.
    No moss...

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zakman View Post
    Where did you get Black Flag Pros from for less than $400?
    Zakman....One of the online retailers had the previous years model on closeout last year (gold hubs). I can't remember which site it was though. Maybe someone else will remember?

  28. #28
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    For anyone that's interested, my Black Flag Pro's came in with the following weights, including yellow tape but excluding the value and skewers...

    Front 855g
    Rear 965g

  29. #29
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    My experience with Charger Pro and Black Flag Pro have been very good. They do spin forever and look great doing so. I would not hesitate buying another set. Here are my thoughts based on my experience with them. I weigh 175 lbs and raced XC on the BFP and rode the Charger Pros on a Niner RIP9.

    1. Have the spoke tension checked out of the box. One might reasonably assume this was done when they were built, but it never hurts.
    2. Get the extra 142mm rear end caps. They are extra, unlike the front which comes with all the endcaps. This makes your wheelset more versatile and easier to sell if you sell them later. Also order an extra spoke for each side of each wheel. It never hurts to have a spare just in case, and these are straight pull.
    3. If you use the 20mm front end caps and occasionally have the need to switch to 9mm or 15mm, you might want to use some emery cloth or fine grit sandpaper to buff down the edge of the retaining rings. Those things are a TIGHT fit. I used a Dremel with buffer wheel to remove enough material along the edge of the rings so they press in snugly with your thumbs, and will pop out easily with a rubber mallet.

    geek

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    I hadn't thought about the 142 caps simply because none of my bikes have it. But for futureproofing it's a great idea.

    Geek, you are right about the 20mm caps. My god is it a pain in the ass to get those installed! I might have to try the buffer wheel on the dremel if I ever have to take them off for some reason.

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    No problem with my set in over 150 hard trail miles. Small jumps. 210lbs. Very happy given the price.

    Getting ready to use the 20mm TA adapters for the front. Set up Nobby Nics tubeless easily.

    My fiancée runs them on her bike too now got a smoking deal at $260/set. Hers also set up easily tubeless on Panaracer XC pros.

  32. #32
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    I have the Charger Expert in 26 for my Titus Mototlite. I have only put in five days on them (I've had them for 6 months). They have been faultless. A friend got Black Flag Experts 26 for his single speeed and has maybe 20 days on them in 10 months.

    We both weigh around 200lbs and ride aggressive XC. No issues with the wheels at all.

    Some points:

    1) The skewers are the sort that use an external plastic washer for the cam to slide on. I have replaced these with XTR-960 skewers with the internal cam. I've never had good luck with the external cam skewers. My friends BFE skewers loosened on him. I highly recommend using shimano skewers (XT are great, but even Deore are the same mechanism).
    2) I wanted Pro's, but they weren't on special (my wheels were from ChainReactionCycles, and worked out to less than $US300 delivered, which includes 20% VAT). The Pro's can be converted from QR to QR15 and 20mm thru axle. That would have been really nice to have, but not worth spending an extra $200.

    Great wheels for the money so far, and I'd buy again for sure.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by stillkeen View Post
    I have the Charger Expert in 26 for my Titus Mototlite. I have only put in five days on them (I've had them for 6 months). They have been faultless. A friend got Black Flag Experts 26 for his single speeed and has maybe 20 days on them in 10 months.

    We both weigh around 200lbs and ride aggressive XC. No issues with the wheels at all.

    Some points:

    1) The skewers are the sort that use an external plastic washer for the cam to slide on. I have replaced these with XTR-960 skewers with the internal cam. I've never had good luck with the external cam skewers. My friends BFE skewers loosened on him. I highly recommend using shimano skewers (XT are great, but even Deore are the same mechanism).
    2) I wanted Pro's, but they weren't on special (my wheels were from ChainReactionCycles, and worked out to less than $US300 delivered, which includes 20% VAT). The Pro's can be converted from QR to QR15 and 20mm thru axle. That would have been really nice to have, but not worth spending an extra $200.

    Great wheels for the money so far, and I'd buy again for sure.

    Exactly about the skewers, got the Blackflag Expert and the very same skewer came lose twice in a race, definetely let me down... got a set of Shimano Deore skewers I'm using from now on, they might be 10gr heavier but are reliable
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by stillkeen View Post

    Great wheels for the money so far, and I'd buy again for sure.
    So would I. Full season of hard riding on the 2011 Charger Experts 29er that I bought for $300. Easy to set up tubeless, stout for a 28H rim (even for my 215 lbs), and sound good too.

    As for the skewers, I agree, the stockers suck. I'm using a Chromag QR skewer and it's primo!
    konahonzo

  35. #35
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    My experience with SunRinglé

    I had the Black Flag Experts 2011. They are an awsome wheel set. I can also confirm that they spin for ever. Coasting was incredibly smooth and climbing went with incredible ease. Durability is also quite good. I used them for 7 months. Hubs no issues and the rims only very minor untrue, basically neglegible. I weigh about 75kg, maybe for havier riders it would be a bigger issue. The only problem was that I had them on the wrong bike - Marin Nail trail 29" 2011. Valuevise the bike was great, but horrible geometry. Frame flex was really feelable and fork had too steep angle. When going fast especially in terrain it was really unstable and handling was difficult. After about 7 months I sold the bike of course allong with the Sunringlé BFE. Do I miss them. Now I was upgrading wheels on my Trek Superfly AL 2012 (great bike by the way). I was really considering the BFP, but then found a great deal for WTB Stryker XC and bought them. Their hubs are identical as American Classic which really convinced me to go for them. They roll well, but not as smooth as the BFE. I expected more from them. The Srykers are significantly more solid built than the BFE, but the ease of spin is more important - that determines how much energy you must put into pedaling to gain speed.
    Fitting tires into the BFE rim (which is the same as on BFP) was no problem. I had the Continental race king on them. It was only necessary to put some pressure in them and the tires simply snapped into place. Unlike the stock rims on my Superfly AL: Bontrager mustangs - it is impossible to get tires into them properly even with high overpressure using a compressor.
    If the BFE are so great, with even better hubs how good can the BFP be...

  36. #36
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    I'll concur, I have the Black Flag Pros. Two years old, the ones with the gold hubs. They were my race wheels at the time, but I'm relegating them to training duty now that I got some one pound lighter carbon wheels for race day. The BFP's do hold up great. Only issue so far was a rip I found in the stock stan's rim tape on the rear. It took a bit of troubleshooting to figure out why the tire kept going flat. I tried just adding more stan's first, but it was obvious once I took the tire off. Removed the old tape, cleaned, retaped with Stan's again. Good to go. As noted they do spin forever. I was noticing how smooth the bearings were on my new specs, and how long they spun. Then I put the BFP's back on and was surprised that they seemed to just spin forever too. I've been between 160-170 lbs during the time I've had these wheels, and I have the 26'ers. Rocky AZ terrain. Cat 1 speeds. I wouldn't hesitate to get them again. Trying to get hold of some of the 12x142 end caps currently, seem hard to find in stock, but the wheels are great. I'd have no hesitation recommending them for XC/Trail use.
    Fall in Fruita/GJ. F' yeah! Lunch Loops are riding sweet and so is everything else.

  37. #37
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    The black ones are almost always in stock. Red ones seem harder to come by. I bet if you call them that they would order them for you.
    Universal Cycles -- SunRingle Wheelset Hub Axle Conversions

  38. #38
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    So every front Black Flag Expert wheel should be 15mm compatible? my wheels front bearings are so tiny, less than 15mm for sure...
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  39. #39
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    For what it's worth.... the charger pro 29's have the same ERD as the light bicycle carbon hookless 29" rims, so you can do a lace-over using the same hubs & spokes.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevocastro View Post
    So every front Black Flag Expert wheel should be 15mm compatible? my wheels front bearings are so tiny, less than 15mm for sure...
    Post a picture of your hub. Unless you have an older iteration of the Black Flag Expert that didn't have the option you should be able to pull out the end caps and replace them with 15mm. versions.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

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