Okay, you knew that’s not true. But Stan’s wheels is one of those brands I used to see all over. Online, at races, they were often in most any discussion when it comes to wheelsets. Now I’m not talking about their sealant, that’s a different type of thing. But the wheels. The rims. Not so long ago, I lusted after and ultimately purchased a set of their Podium SRD XC race wheels. They were very light, 1290 grams on my scale, for the set of 29” rims, spokes and their hubs. Taped, ready to go. They retailed for around $2000 which still blows my mind. How are we all so conditioned to paying $2000, or more, for a set of mtb wheels? Really? Full disclosure, I did not pay full price. I believe I paid $1300 delivered through a friend. But still.

Anyway, they were on many elite athlete’s bikes, and some were not considered lightweight XC types. Jeff Kabush was rocking Podium SRDs on his mid travel Yeti bikes for example. They were on several professional teams bikes as well. 

I ended up selling them off since I also found a deal on some DT Swiss XMC1200 wheels for even less. They weighed 150 grams more, but they cost less, and I knew I could sell the Stan’s for $1500, so I came out a few hundred ahead. And that’s the last I really paid attention to Stan’s as an XC wheel supplier.

A few years ago I did have a custom wheelset built for my fatbike. I wanted regular 29er rims so I could ride my fatbike during warmer months. The builder said he’d use Arch rims, and DT 350 hubs, and I said great. Those were and are, as I still have them, my only alloy Stan’s wheels. They’ve held up just fine. 

What brought this post on you say? I saw a 35% off all wheels email from Stan’s in my inbox this morning. I thought, hmm, I wonder what some Podiums are going for nowadays? So I log on, and see no more carbon lightweight XC wheels. I found some alloy wheels, but when I tried to spec them out, for some reason I could not get a rear hub with Centerlock and XD driver…the front Centerlock yes, the rear no, and only XDR and Shimano drivers. Who knows. But it made me curious, and sure enough, what Stan’s is calling a 2021 model, the Podium SRD is toast. Nada.

Now, I know Stan himself bowed out and sold his company a few years back, and it’s about that time I think that they fell off my radar. Coincidence? Who knows. One thing is for sure, they haven’t seemed to make any inroads in the wheel game in some regards. Never do I hear of Stan’s mentioned when the discussion turns to light mtb wheels…or any other wheels for that matter. 

Are they just not interested in this market? Supply chain issues still that bad? I find it all a bit strange. Maybe the sealant and tape business is solid enough as to not make wheels so important to survival. 

I didn’t like the hubs on the Podium SRD wheels, they were loud, and the rotor interface was not great, I had to pound the centerlock rotors on as the splines were kind of “off”…the DT wheels were perfect and dropped right on. But Stans has new hubs the last few years, and I assumed those would be implemented on new XC carbon uber light wheels.

So no free wheels I’m afraid…