For more than a decade, Spank Industries has strived to create reasonably priced performance bits. Spank’s Subrosa line (rims, handlebars, grips and saddles) is said to be all mountain light, but freeride and downhill strong. We put this marketing to the test on the Intense 951 EVO downhill bike featured in the upcoming Issue #176.
The $80 Subrosa rims employ Spank’s Dynamal aluminum alloy, which Spank has brought to the bike realm from Aerospace technology. This virgin (non-recycled) alloy is highly enriched with magnesium and silicon as well as some other “special sauce” materials that are said to deliver better hardness than 7-series alloys with better ductility and yield strength than 6-series alloys. Thus, this work hardened alloy offers increased tensile and yield strengths without reduction in fatigue life. According to Spank, this alloy offers stellar resistance to bending, which should keep your wheels running true and round for longer.
Spank’s OohBah rim profile inverts the center of the bead well, which is said to greatly increase strength thanks to a more tubular profile. Though I can’t comment on outright strength, I will say this rim profile complicated tire mounting due to the lack of a deep center trough. I had a hell of a time installing my dual-ply Maxxis High Roller II tires, and I’m not looking forward to future tire swaps. Diligence is required to get each bead down in its respective recess.
BeadNip, like many of the dual barb technologies on the market, employs both the traditional bead hook, and a secondary barb on the bead shoulder to prevent the tire’s bead from moving side-to-side at low tire pressures. This helps keep the tire in place on tubeless application and helps to prevent pinch flats.
The 30mm-wide, 24mm-deep Subrosa rims are sleeved at the joint for strength. According to Spank, the non-eyelet spoke holes offer much higher pull-through resistance courtesy of their Dynamal alloy.
Building these wheels was a pleasure. Both rims were acceptably true and round from the factory, and they tensioned up very nicely. Throughout the tensioning and de-stressing process, they held true and felt impressively stiff.
On the trail, these rims performed transparently, meaning I didn’t have to think about them a bit. I wasn’t able to push these wheels to a point where I noticed any flex. Granted, I’m a mere mid-pack Cat 1 DH racer. But, that said, the 951 EVO is a fast and aggressive bike, which certainly facilitated me pushing these wheels hard.
Our local gravity trails at Seven Springs Resort feature one particular rock garden that puts a serious hurting on wheels. The Subrosa rims faired better than average, with only minimal runout on the rear rum at the end of the testing period. For perspective, I’ve destroyed rear wheels in one weekend of racing on this track.
All things considered, I like these Subrosa rims, particularly because they’re offered in 26-, 27.5- and 29-inch sizes, with weights at 520g, 540g, and 610g respectively. On a trail/all mountain bike, these rims will last many years. On a DH race bike, I’d expect to get two or more seasons out of these rims unless you’re terribly abusive.