WTB Stryker AM Race vs. Sun Ringle Charger Pro (26")
So I'm having a tough time making a choice between the Stryker and Charger. Both these wheelsets are at the top of my list. Why - they're know to be tough enough for AM (technical) riding and are quite light weight as well. Also, I can get both for around the same price.
Its not really the rim itself that I'm concerned about but rather how tough the rear hub (freehub body, bearings, engagement system, etc) is.
The Stryker uses WTB LaserDisc Lite hubs which have been on the market for quite a while, unlike the Sun Ringle Rear (red) hubs which are quite recent.Therefore, more people have experienced issues with the WTB hub and reported. However, many users have been quite happy with them. IMO, I don't think the Charger Pro hubs have been tested on the long-term enough (unless I missed a great review somewhere).
Any thoughts on the WTB hub (most recent version of the LaserDisk Lite) and its dexterity to stand up to abuse on the trail ? Anybody put the Charger Pro to the test for 2 or so years yet?
I have been running the Charger Pro on my Cannondale Moto for almost two years now. When I first got them I lost a total of like 5 spokes on the rear wheel over a three month period. The spokes did not break they just came loose and basically fell off the wheel. After some research I learned that I was not the only one with this issue and it appeared that a batch of wheels left Sun that where defective. Something to do with oil and blah blah. I sent the wheel back to Sun Ringle and they replaced it with a new wheel.
Never had any issues with the front wheel. I have been running it with zero issues sine they replaced it. I have beat the crap out of them and they have remained true and no issues with the rear hub. I run them with Conti Mt Kings and Stans with no issues.
They seem to be decent wheels and take a lot of abuse for the money. As far as the rear hub I have had no issues with the hub. Overall they seem like a decent set of wheels for the money.
If I had to do it over again I would use the money towards a custom set of built wheels instead. I did that on two other bikes I own and was worth the money I spent on the wheels.
Both are good, but I would give the slight advantage to the WTB wheels. They use a UST compatible rim so it's a simple setup for running tubeless ready and UST tires. The Chargers use the Stans BST which is more geared towards standard tires being converted to tubeless but also work well with SOME tubeless ready tires (I've owned the Charger Experts and currently own a Stans Flow wheelset). But the real advantage is the spokes and hubs IMO. The WTB uses standard J-Bend spokes, 32 of them, and the WTB hubs are basically American Classic hubs complete with the steel face inserts on the freehub body. This means if you need to rebuild the wheel you can grab an easy to find 32h rim and J-bend spokes and get it done quickly. The Sun-Ringle wheels use a not common 24h rim with strait pull spokes. Having to repair or rebuild will require shipping them back to Sun-ringle in many cases.
Former bicycle mechanic for 8 years, current soil scientist.
Hey guys, thanks so much for your input!
@TXTony - Yeah, I heard about the spoke problem with some Charger pros. I guess its not really a big deal as it has nothing really to do with their performance. I'm kind of not surprised your rear hub is holding up well. I realized that the Black Flag Pros on my GF's bike have the same hubs as the Chargers and all feel great after a season of riding. But with the tech riding I do, I'm not confident that the alloy freehub body will hold up well. Also, I prefer to buy a manufactured wheel since the overall cost may be much less. But if I had a unlimited budget, CK with race-light spokes and a stellar AM rim.
@Bike Whisperer - I have the same thought as you whereas the WTB's may have the advantage. Like you said, it would be easier to get replacement spokes for the WTB wheels. Something gives me the feeling that the WTB are tougher overall then Chargers.
I think I'm gonna pull the trigger on the Strykers and see how they are. They're $460 CAN a set from CRC at the moment. That's a steal considering MSRP is around a grand. Charger Pro's are $400 CAN. Only thing, I wish the Strykers had convertible front hubs - darn!