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
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.
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.
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.
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
Price: $499 (available in 26, 27.5, and 29)
More info: www.notubes.com