Here is a wheelset you need at a price you can afford
What Is It?
The Oozy 26AL EVO wheelset is an All Mountain, Enduro wheelset from the innovative folks of Spank Industries. Spank is known for products that hit the segment perfectly, work and look good at a price that most of us can afford. The wheelset we tested is a 27.5 wheel size model weighing in at 1690 grams. It is a bare aluminum creation that is perfectly true with even spoke tension. It retails for $599 in 27.5, which is the same for the other wheel sizes.
Why You Want It
If you’ve ever used a Spank product before, you will understand that they create products with great pride and precision. Based in Taiwan, the folks in charge, Gavin Vos and Mike Dutton, instill the same problem solving approach found in many US bike firms and tech start-ups. They are very far removed from the many ‘catalog parts’ Asia products that are just rebranded and re-stickered.
Spank looks at a problem or opportunity and sees if they have the ability to design and manufacture something with a competitive advantage. Being close the suppliers, Spank has the unique opportunity to work with the best manufacturers and control the building and testing process every step of the way.
Given that background, we admired the Oozy EVO wheelset as we unpacked the uniformly light aluminum colored wheel from the box. The finish was flawless and the wheel was as true as can be. We plucked the spokes and the tension was tight and even all around. There was no play whatsoever and the bearings were a bit tight when the axle was turned by hand. Points of engagement seemed normal at 12 degree engagement.
We then mounted a set of tires tubeless and proceeded to ride, jump, and flog the wheels for the next two months.
The front axle is swappable between QR15 and regular quick-release (QR), with 20mm adaptors. The rear is 142x12mm is ready but can also be swapped down to regular 135mm QR. Our wheelset came with QR15 Front and 142×12 rear cups.
The 28 hole EVO Dynamal alloy rims are laced to Spank’s own oversized SSL (Single Spoke Length) flanged hub bodies with straight-pull spokes. The Fratelli rims are all constructed from a single length of material for greater consistency and strength. They are also sleeved and bonded at the join for strength and durability.
All wheels are hand built and each individual wheel is then pre-stressed overnight before being re-trued the next day to ensure the materials settle to their relaxed positions.
How Was The Ride?
The ride was flawless and the wheels disappeared in the riding experience. That’s all we really need to know right?
Ok, we’ll try and analyze it a bit deeper. These wheels worked well with our test Norco Sight 140 mm travel bike, as there was no discernible side-to-side play. Points of engagement were normal and although not quick, it never slipped or popped. The coasting ratchet sound was quiet as well, as we never really noticed it during a ride.
The tubeless seal held up well as we never experienced a burp or loss of air with our brand new Kenda Nevegal X and Michelin Wild Rock’R 2 tires.
We were even confident enough to bring these wheels to Nice, France as Fabien Barrel toured us around on his secret trails. The wheels again performed flawlessly in the rock strewn trails of the Alps in the South of France. We destroyed a rotor somehow in the rocks, but a quick check on the wheels verified that they were unphased.
After two months of riding, we checked the wheels for lateral play and there was none. The bearings are looser now, but still a hair tight but with no rough spots at all. The wheels are as true as day one and the ratchet is still as reliable as ever.
We give these wheels the thumbs up for performance and another pair of thumbs up for value. Spank did not concede to the temptation of carbon, points of engagement race and $1200 wheels. Rather, they went with the coveted triad of strong, light and cheap (relative to the competition) that is. So we commend them for having the vision and the design and manufacturing expertise to execute a product like the Oozy 26AL EVO wheelset.
Q&A with Mike Dutton of Spank Industries
Mtbr:How many points of engagement in the rear hub ratchet?
Mike Dutton: This is a 30T hub, so 12 degree engagement.
Mtbr: Does it come in other colors?
Mike Dutton: Sure, the Oozy 26AL EVO wheels come in black and silver, or if customers want to custom build a set, the rims come in blue, white and red too. It’s also worth noting that we offer the aftermarket rims in 28H and 32H configurations in case people want to use more traditional hubs.
Mtbr: Are there options for different axle sizes?
Mike Dutton: Yes….absolutely…keeping the number of wheel sku’s to a minimum for our dealers is a key point for us, so on all our wheels we make sure you can adapt to just about any bike. We offer the wheels standard 15mm front and 12x142mm rear….but include front and rear QR adapters in the kit. For 2014, we will remove the front QR and replace with a front 20mm option.
Available separately are 10x135mm and 12x135mm adapter kits for rear.
We can also help to supply QR,15, or 20mm front adapters if anyone ever needs.
Mtbr: Is the XD1 hub body for XX1 available?
Mike Dutton: OF course, we have 11-speed XX1 freehub bodies for all our wheels. Have since the fall of 2012. They can be purchased from all Spank distributors in 32 countries, or direct from Spank Industries…or our new sales and service office in the USA, the Gravity Cartel. The Gravity Cartel offers both consumer and dealer services on all Spank components! Contacts can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mtbr: Anything to add, Mike?
Mike Dutton: One thing I did not clarify in our information package below, was that the Oozy 26AL EVO wheels, although moderate in their width (to provide a race profile with almost all tires) and extremely light, are truly built up for serious pro level abuse. For the “prosumer” trail rider, who might be looking for a little added comfort (air volume) and confidence (traction), and an even lighter over all weight, we will offer the all new Oozy Trail285 Bead Bite rims and wheels starting Feb 2014, in parallel with the racier Oozy 26AL EVO rims and wheels. The new Oozy Trail285 Bead Bite rims are a 24mm inner spread, 28.5mm outer width, remarkable 400g (26″)/425g (27.5) profile. Although not as highly reinforced for frontal impacts as the Oozy 26AL EVO, they show incredible stiffness and further enhanced tubeless properties. Spank has the right option for everyone!
- MSRP $599
- Complete Weight (F/R): 1650g (26″), 1690g (27.5/650b), 1800g (29″)
- Rims: Oozy 26AL EVO Dynamal Alloy Rims (420g/rim 26″)
- Rim Width – *26mm outer width / 21.5mm inner width / 28H
- Rear: 9/10-Speed 12mm x 142mm, 30T engagement
- 28H Straightpull
- Standard QR Front and Rear Hub Adapter Kit Included
- Japanese Bearing Upgrade
- Super-Lite CNC Optimized Alloy Freehub Body
- Oversized SSL (Single Spoke Length) Flange Design – means one spoke size Front/Rear/Left/Right
- 6 Bolt Disc Mount
- XX1 11sp freehubs available
- 10x135mm or 12x135mm adapters available
- 20mm front wheel adapters available
- Hand Built and Trued – 3 Cross Lacing
- Sandvik T302 Triple Butted 2.2/1.8/2.0 SP Spokes with alloy nipples
For more information visit spank-ind.com