Sun Ringlé Charger Pro Review
I got a spanking pristine set of the new Sun Ringlé Charger Pro wheels in the late winter, and I have put them through a beastly thrashing, and they are light, fast and amazingly tough. The Charger Pro is an All Mountain wheelset which is available in 26″ or 29″ sizes, featuring tubeless ready aluminum rims that come with swanky labeling that screams, “Go Fast”.
Sun Ringlé partnered with Stan’s No Tubes to license their patented BST (Bead Socket Technology), to give the Charger Pro rims proven tubeless compatibility. The BST system allows rims to have a wider inside dimension than other designs, offering a wide base for the tire. The design has shorter sidewalls, that help reduce pinch flats and rim denting from running low pressures.
The wheelset comes with Stan’s yellow tape installed, and valve stems and mini bottles of sealant in the box, so everything is ready to go. The rims are 28mm wide, and use Wheelsmith double butted spokes connected to direct pull hubs, using 24 holes on the 26″ version (alloy nipples) and 28 holes on the 29er (brass nipples). The kit also comes with 9mm, 15mm and 20mm adapters for the front hub, which is really unique, since most companies offer additional adapters only as an option. The rear hub comes with standard QR 135x9mm (as tested), but can be optionally ordered in 135x12mm or 142x12mm versions.
- Valve stem – 6.4 grams
- Adapters – 9mm: 39 grams, 15mm: 35.2 grams, 20mm: 30.4 grams
- Front- 9mm: 792.7 grams, 15mm: 788.9 grams, 20mm: 784.1 grams
- Rear – 900.4 grams
- Total- 9mm: 1693.1 grams, 15mm: 1689.3 grams, 20mm: 1684.5 grams
- Outside – 28mm
- Inside – 22.6mm
I installed a set of normal tires on the rims, and initially tried 40-50 psi to get them to pop, but it took 80 psi for the beads to seat. (Note: this was the line in pressure, tires were only filled to 40 psi). I let the tires sit as long as possible to stretch out the carcass, and then pulled the valve core and filled them with the supplied 2 ounce bottle of sealant. I re-inflated, and shook the tire while rotating it to get the sealant up into the sidewalls. After a couple of minutes laying on each side (after doing the shake step) the tires were topped off to 40 psi to sit overnight. I tried a couple of UST tires, and they popped on without any problems, though some of the sealant from the previously installs made the job easier, and kept them sealed better (and longer).
I was easily able to install/remove the 9mm and 15mm adapters on the front hub, since they simply slide into the slot, but I was a bit confused on the 20mm set? It turns out to be a very simple, albeit primitive, process. Just place the 20mm adapter into the slot followed by the ring, then using either a 1 inch PVC coupler (my fave) or a socket, give it a good couple of hits with a mallet, and the ring seats nice and tight! To take it off, insert a 20mm axle into the adapter about a 1/2 inch, and ever so slightly lever it sideways and the ring pops off. Thanks to Scott at Sun Ringlé for the pointers on what he calls the Caveman approach, which I happen to find effective, “Simple is, is simple does.” I think it’s really nice that the front wheel comes with all the adapters you could need (9, 15 and 20mm), while most manufacturers charge you extra for additional versions.
The rear hub came as a 9mm x 135mm, but you can purchase an adapter kit for 12mm x 135mm or 12mm x 142mm, for $20 each. The non drive adapter slide off and on, while the drive side is threaded on. To install/remove the drive side adapter, mesh the adapter kit tool into the notch on the non drive side axle. Then use a 17mm cone wrench on the slot of the drive side adapter to tighten/loosen, while holding the opposing non drive side tool. It is a simple and innovative idea that allows their hub to be used in the vast majority of the rear axle system on the market today.
They are a light wheelset (1690 grams) for their intended usage, offer excellent acceleration, quick steering, and the 28mm rim width provides good stability and negligible flex. I like the graphics and red hubs, but they might be a bit much for some tastes? I have been amazed how stout these wheels have been, and I have thrashed them through some pretty rough terrain, and they have only belayed a micro hint of flex, at the very extreme end of their usage zone. The wide rims, strong spokes, and the direct pull hubs synergistically create an amazingly low flex wheel, especially considering their weight. They have stayed true, which is again amazing for a 1700 gram wheelset, and being tossed into heavy duty AM terrain. If you are going to do huge hucking sessions, or spend all your time in freeride terrain or park, I would look elsewhere, but for anything for anything else they are pretty stout beasts! The pawl system is somewhat primitive, being the generic 24 points, but I never found it a hindrance in any of my riding, and I love ugly long climbs and technical terrain.
Having the ability to change (with ease) the front to 9, 15, 20 mm or the rear to 9 or 12 mm makes them an ideal candidate for swapping between the multiple bikes that many of us have gathered over time. This wheelset is an incredible generalist, and one of the best wheelsets I have ever used. Their new licensing of the Stan’s No Tubes BST tubeless system was a gold mine for them, and I must say it works pretty darn good. Saving rotational weight, really makes the wheel accelerate and turn on a dime, and can make even a sluggish handling bike comes to life. The rear hub pawl system might be a bit primitive, but it has been reliable, and easy to maintain when required. The direct pull hubs have really helped the rigidity, as I didn’t feel much of any sort of flex.
The Sun Ringlé Charger Pro is light, robust, tubeless ready, strong as an Ox, an excellent generalist for Cross Country to All Mountain riding, with an abundance of adaptability for most any frameset and fork made (outside of pure downhill). The best darn wheelset I have ever used.
- Front hub adapters (9,15,20mm) come standard
- Plethora of hub adapters
- Good price
Overall Rating: 5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
- MSRP of $650.00.
- Stan’s No Tubes BST™ Tubeless Technology.
- Premium Direct Pull Hubs with Japanese Precision Bearings
- Wheelsmith Double Butted Spokes
- Wheelsmith allow nipples
- Lightweight AM Wheel – 1699g / Pair
- Colors – Black rims w/ White stickers or White rims w/ Black stickers
- 26 inch and 29 inch sizes
- Front hubs are easily convertible to today’s axle standards – 20mm, 15mm and QR end caps included*
- Rear hubs – standard QR or optional 135×12 and 142×12.
- Wheels include Stan’s No Tubes Yellow Sealing Tape, Sealant, and Valves*
Available at Tionghin now!