Spank is a downhill bro company, and gravel riders and tourists tend to steer clear of the flat brim crowd. That's too bad, as Spank is secretly making some of the nicest disc rims around. In fact, for a few applications, we reckon they make the best rims around. Side note, they also make one of the very best pedals, the Spank Oozy 2.0.
The Flare 24 and Flare 24 OC rim are great examples of Spank's excellent manufacturing. When most folks think gravel rims, they think Velocity or HED or they think about those crappy Stan’s rims which have been popular for way too long. I'd argue that the Spank rims are the best made of the lot, and offer a true performance advantage. More on that in a few paragraphs.
Spank emailed me to ask for my input on the Flare 24 rim, and they didn’t listen to anything I said. It’s a nice rim anyway, even if it would have been better with those integrated googly eyes I recommended, for ‘aero purposes’. There are a few unique features on the Flare 24 that lacketh on other rims in this category.
They’re shallow. Not like that girl in high school who dissed you ‘cause you wore an off brand Starter jacket. But they’re not tall in profile. Rim height adds stiffness, mainly in a place where you don’t need it: radially. Rim width helps add lateral stiffness, and that’s what helps a bike track well in the rough bits. The Flare is wide and un-tall, so the theory goes that it has more radial compliance. I don’t buy that, personally, because the spoke tension is too high for the rim to really flex. But it does mean the rims don’t have an unduly harsh ride.
Spank fills these rims with foam, which they call Vibrocore. It’s a special foam, made by melting down Yeti coolers and adding Cherry Pop Rocks and Crystal Pepsi. The resulting mixture is shot into the rim, where it is said to provide vibration damping and extra strength. Both of these are probably true to an extent. Think about a bell. If you wack a bell with a hammer, it goes ‘BONG’. But if you fill a bell with that expandable foam stuff that comes in a can, and then wack it, it goes bonk with a lower case b. That’s because the foam is damping the vibrations. Not dampening. Dampening is when you see a hot bike or a hot dog with all the fixings and the back of your neck gets wet and your shirt gets moist. That’s dampening. Damping has to do with suspension and filters. Wikipedia that. Stop looking at me funny.
Candice and I did a really unscientific, Bicycle Quarterly style test that you should not buy into as actual science but it bears mentioning. We both rode the same frameset model on the same dirt road on the same day, while wearing matching onesies. I built a pair of these rims up and stuck them on my bike with some 44mm tires from WTB. Said tires I ran at about 35 psi. Candice’s whip has beefier wider and taller Blunt 35 rims, but the tires are 2.8 inches wide and she runs them at about 15psi. The 15psi set up should have been remarkably more squishtastic. However, after switching back and forth a few times on the bike, we couldn’t feel a big difference in ride comfort between the two rims. Bonker socks, am I right?
Here’s why you should consider these rims: Nice riding, relatively (for Spank) subtle looks, easy peasy tubeless conversion (you can run them with tubes too), impeccable construction, light weight, and something else I forget. As a wheel builder I like rims that build up easily, with minimal fuss. Shoot for 130 kgf of tension, and if you don't have a calibrated tenisometer, don't build these at home. Take 'em to an expert, like Mark here at Analog!
Use the OC rim for rear wheels and the standard flare 24 for front wheels.
24mm wide inside, so they’re good for tires betwixt 32mm and 2.1” wide. Sure you could go wider, but there are better rims for wider tires out there, like the Blunt 35 from Velocity, or the Spank Oozy Trail 345.
Ideal for riders under 200lbs.
Spank Flare 24 Rims $149, 32h Black with dark grey labels
Spank Flare 24 Rims OC, $149, 32h, Black with dark grey labels
27.5 or 700c. 405 grams for 27.5/650b 430 grams for 700.
CART TOTALS :
CART TOTALS :