Stan’s NoTubes Baron S1 27.5 wheelset review

Plus size wheelset that will lighten your bike but not your wallet

27.5 Plus Wheels
Stan's Baron Full Wheel

These wheels use a three-cross lacing pattern with standard J-bend spokes. It’s a classic, easily maintained design.

What is it

Stan’s NoTubes Baron is a plus size wheelset that aims to improve tire performance and decrease rotational weight. The Baron uses all of Stan’s newest tech and can add a little extra to your plus riding experience.

  • Reasonable price
  • Low weight
  • Wide rim width
  • Easy to spin up
  • Durable build
  • Dent resistant
  • Bearing life
Mtbr’s Take

Stan’s NoTubes has evolved in the past years from tubeless sealant manufacturer to producing wheels and rims, too. The Baron wheelset is designed for heavy duty plus size romping, but weigh closer to a high-end all mountain wheel. Our 27.5 test set came in at 2000g with an XD driver and boost end caps.

These wheels feature 32-hole drilling and are laced to Stan’s NEO hubs with Sapim double-butted spokes and brass nipples. They use a regular three-cross lacing pattern with standard J-bend spokes. It’s a classic, easily maintained design. Tubeless setup was a breeze, as I used this wheelset with many tires and it was always the same — a few blasts from the floor pump, no hassle, no tricks necessary.

Stan's Baron

The Barons have an internal width of 35mm and an external of 38.7. Rim depth is 18.5mm, making them shallow and wide.

This easy setup is attributable to Stan’s BST rims, which match the shape of a tire’s bead, securing an airtight interface. However, the flat design of the rim can make it hard to fasten down the valve. I eventually switched to Problem Solvers Super-P Nut and had zero problems removing valves after that.

Stan's Baron Tire

Stan’s new S1 WideRight profile increases tire volume without negatively affecting tread shape or sidewall height.

Most of our testing was done during fall and winter on trails and some gravel roads. Though these Barons saw their share of different tires, performance was constant. I could not complain about lack of purchase and flex in any condition. When quick accelerations were required, the Barons were right there, no extra effort, all power transferred. When the Barons rolled up to speed every small bump was smoothed over, allowing for pedaling through rocks and long stretches of rumbling roots.

Cornering on flowing trails was a treat. Running lower air pressure let me surf the dirt and feel the trail — but not in my bones. Stan’s new S1 WideRight profile increases tire volume without negatively affecting tread shape or sidewall height. All of the tires mounted were 27.5×2.8, and all maintained integrity in form.

The short bearing life was expected considering the wintery test conditions, but I would like to have gotten more life out of them before they started feeling gritty. This bearing deterioration was mainly noticed in the rear wheel, less so up front.

Stan's Baron Valve

Problem Solvers Super-P Nut is an upgrade for winter valve removal.

After miles of rocks, roots, and drops, I put the Barons on the truing stand and they were not a millimeter out of line. I was surprised but not shocked, as other wheels from Stan’s have behaved similarly. This resilience is also true for rock gardens and sliding down shale off cambers. The Barons were pelted with rocks with zero dents to report.

Considering that most 27.5 plus wheelsets are either 2500-plus grams or super expensive carbon, the Stan’s Baron hits right in the middle. If you are building a plus bike or looking for an upgrade with benefits you can feel, this is your wheelset.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers
Price: $499 (available in 26, 27.5, and 29)
More info:

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Jordan Villella

Jordan comes from the steep streets of Pittsburgh PA, where he learned to dodge cars and rip single track. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the cycling industry: from turning wrenches, store design, clothing production and bike park creation. Jordan spends his free time racing cross country and cyclocross around North America, though he has been know to enduro every now and then. His love of cycling is only second to his love of his family and punk rock.

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  • gg says:

    Jordan not sure where you got that link, but the correct one is: NOTUBES.COM

  • Evan says:

    Stan’s NEO hubs are crap. Had 2 of them fail in less than a year, both with the same issue. The entire freehub assembly came loose and I couldn’t pedal; both times involved getting stranded with a long hike out. Same thing happened to 2 friends. Great rims, horrible hubs.

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