Tag Wheels now Offering Carbon Wheelsets

Here’s the latest news about Tag Wheels.
tag wheels

The new 26″ TR3 wheels are tough and built to last with a proven shock absorbing hollow formed design and reinforced aluminum rim. The wheels provide a sturdy and responsive ride due to an integrally molded rib inside each spoke and the load-dispersing wheel design. A reliable industry-recognized 4-pawl drive hub provides precision engagement and sealed cartridge bearings make for a smooth ride. The wheels require no truing as the hub is factory aligned and permanently bonded creating an extraordinarily convenient ride for today’s riders.

The TR3 wheels come in both carbon fiber composite and an advanced impact modified composite material. They are available in disc brake and caliper brake models. Plus, riders can personalize wheels by selecting from a range of vibrant colors. In addition the “Molded-In” color process ensures colors won’t chip.

“Our wheels provide long term value in a classic stylish look,” says Mike Thomas V.P of TAG Wheels. “The wheels are extremely easy to use, offer a great ride, and with MSRP starting at just $429 per set our TR3 wheels are affordable for any rider.”

Read More.

I spoke to Mike Thomas, VP of Tag, he’s setting us up with some wheels to test out!

SRAM Dual Stunt Show at Sea Otter Classic 2008

This was the first event that SRAM put on that basically was this race where anyone could enter. We all sorts of people like the toothless Jordie Lund to kids that were 14 years old racing against factory riders from the likes of Specialized.
sram dual stunt

Jordie Lund

We were hanging out with Mike Thomas and Yanni of Tag Wheels when they told us that one of their riders, Omar “Endo” Romero was competing in this event. So Jeremy and ran over to get some photos and a short video of the event.

We also got a quick video of Yanni doing some tricks on this “ROAD BIKE!” He’s doing stuff that you should be doing on bmx or dirt jump bikes…

Oh dang, I just realized I used the same song for both videos…aye, we’ll give that one to being tired.

Tag Wheels Review

The Tag Wheels review was a victim of our hacker attack, here it is again, enjoy.(Ed)

TAG Wheels, FRX5 is a relatively new product that I noticed at Sea Otter last year. They are a one-piece wheel made from a composite material that looks like, well plastic. Their recommended applications are freeride, downhill, all mountain, dirt jumping, and urban riding.

$1120 MSRP($949 Introductory Offer). Here are the specifications.

Testing Grounds: Fullerton Loop, Santiago Oaks

Special thanks to my riding bud Rye H. for taking pics.

Tester: That’s me. I’m 5’10? 160lbs. These wheels were hooked up to a Santa Cruz Heckler with Manitou Minute 2 fork and rear Manitou Swinger 4 way rear shock. The wheels definitely pushed the fork to it’s limits.

Weight: As I stated in my first impression, these wheels are heavy. Here is a weight comparison to other wheelsets, all of which are specific to downhill and freeride(total wheelset weight):

Tag FRX5- 3756g (8.28 pounds without QRs)

Mavic Deemax- 2450

Transition Revolution- 2750g

Sun Ringle A.D.D.- 2438g

To give you an idea, Deemax are used by many of the best freeriders in the world. At almost 1,000g more, these wheels are obviously built for the most serious abuse.

Tires/Tubes: I used WTB Motoraptor 2.4 front and rear. I’ve never used a wheel that was easier to get a tire onto. The composite material is slick and makes sliding a tire on by hand very simple. Just be sure to buy Schrader tubes that have a long valve neck since the wheel is pretty thick. It was tough getting the pump head on the valve to inflate them but I managed it with minimal trouble.

Hubs: Tag uses DT Swiss 440 Freeride hubs which come in many different sizes to fit your ride. Also they have the option of QR or thru axle. Most people who will use these wheels will most likely opt for the thru axle for the added strength. The quick releases on the wheels I had were top notch and the ergonomic handle was easy to pull in and out. All hubs are disc specific.

The ride: Okay I’ll comment on climbing, only briefly, since one of the applications was all-mountain. If you do chose to use these for regular hill climbing you’ve probably got a couple screws loose. You better have godly climbing stamina or be a glutton for pain. Climbing shimming…on to the good stuff.

Negotiating steep sections was made easy by the FRX5s as their weight keeps them rolling through dips, and boulders. At the top of this particular section I had to do a stoppie and move my rear wheel into place for the descent. The added weight makes moving the bike around a bit more difficult but not much. Once you get these wheels rolling they go over anything. The thick rim flanges are made to combat pinch flats and it must work because I never had one. In fact I had so much confidence in the wheels I didn’t even bring a spare tube along(not recommended).


The biggest drop I hit on these trails was 5-6 feet. You have to be careful on any wheelie drops or slow speed drops as the front wheel will immediately search for the ground. As long as I kept my weight back I was fine.

Solid is the word that kept popping into my head as I dropped these. My bike or fork would have broken long before the FRX5s even came close to their limits. I’d be comfortable saying you could take these on world class downhill courses and be happy with their performance.

Downhills are where these wheels shine. The weight penalty might slow you down if you’re a pure racer but they get up to speed surprisingly quickly and stay rolling thanks to smooth DT Swiss hubs. As for flex there wasn’t any. At no time did I hear my front rotor rubbing against the pads in turns. This always happens with my regular wheelset. The composite design even has a bracing in the middle of every spoke for added rigidity and it sure shows.

I also found the strength and burliness of these wheels to be an asset while running through several berm sections. The weight of the wheels helped to dig in through the sand and push into the next sections. Whipping the rear end out was also surprisingly easy. It does take more effort than a lighter pair of wheels but I was very happy that I still had a lot of maneuverability while in the air.

Durability: There is no question about it, these are some of the most durable wheels every made for mountain biking. Ballsy statement you say? I dare you to try them and say different. Their lateral strength is highly impressive and they are simply bombproof. The durability and strength of these wheels is what sets them apart from other wheelsets.

There are no spokes so your wheels will never go out of true. You will have almost no pinch flats. The hubs are super smooth and roll willingly. Also the freewheel is virtually silent except for a very faint clicking. I really liked that since some freewheels can be exceedingly noisy. I want to hear the trail not my bike.

After the testing I had it in my mind that I could do nothing to hurt these wheels but I did find that they are not scratch resistant. At one technical turn section my rear wheel slipped off a rock at speed. It was one of those falls where the bike takes all the punishment. I expected to see a large chunk removed from the wheel but, as you can see, I barely scuffed it. Unreal. If that was my regular rim it would have been ugly.

The cool factor is a plus too. I had some guy stop us on the trail and ask me what I was riding. His words were “Those are f*****g awesome!?. Everyone else we rode by was staring at them too. I absolutely loved the look of them. It was like being riding Mags all over again. Smell that nostalgia? Mmmm.

Conclusion:

After riding these wheels I’d have to disagree with their ability to be an all-mountain wheel. All-mountain implies an adequate ability to climb and these wheels don’t have that. I think that was more an effort to wrangle more riders into TAG’s sales demographic. I do, however, think these wheels are perfect for freeriders, downhillers(more recreational than racing due to the weight), dirt jumpers and urban riders. All of these disciplines demand bomb-proof components and Tag wheels fit the bill.

Ya $949 is a lot of green, but the FRX5 is a wheelset that will last you for life. The only maintenance they’d require would be the hub, if and, when you run into any problems. The simplicity and durability of the wheels are unrivaled by any other on the market. Innovation in design is a large reason mountain biking is flourishing and it’s great to see a company like TAG Wheels come out with a product that is fresh and well thought out. If you need a wheelset that can stand up to any abuse and last you a lifetime, go with the FRX5.

KHS DJ300 Build Update

As you may have noticed, we are big fans of KHS Bicycles. In fact this particular build, unlike Moe’s XC Racer project, is sponsored by KHS Bicycles. The great folks of KHS supplied us this bullet proof DJ300 frame. We’re planning on using this to do some 4X and of course dirt jumping.

Here’s the tale of the tape.


Blackspire Bicycle Components.
Tag Wheels, TruVativ crankset, and UNO riser bars.

Going with Tektro and Alivio components. I didn’t want to go with super high end stuff just because this bike will be taking some abuse from us once its done.

But I did go with this XT Rapid Rise Derailleur.

The only thing I need to install would be the Tektro brakes, front rotor, chain and of course the seat post and saddle. Other than that, I think its going pretty well.

Tag Wheels Installed

Ever since we got these Tag Wheels, I’ve been itching to install them and I finally did!

We’re using the Woodstock 707 as the guinea pig for this review.

Moe came by that afternoon and gave the wheels a shot.

Then yesterday I had to come in for a few hours at work. Since my office is only 15 minutes away from Aliso Woods, I decided to drive down to the trail head give the Tag Wheels a short work out.

I ended up only having enough time to go up Lynx and come back down again.

Side profile of the front wheel.

Rear wheel.

These wheels are anti-weight weenie. For all of you guys that measure every gram that goes on your bike, don’t even bother considering these wheels. These wheels are about 4lbs a piece. But they are extremely strong!

I guess you’ll have to sacrifice one for another, light or strong. Personally I’m don’t care so much about the weight of my bike, I always say…�as long as it works, I can ride it.�

Ran the the air pressure at about 30psi yesterday on the rear wheel. I was hoping to hit a few rocks or take a jump where the tire bottoms out and the rim takes a whack. That goal was accomplished as I was heading down Lynx, towards the end of it there is this jump that will launch you pretty high up in the air if you hit it just right.

Well, I did hit it just right and when I landed I felt a big thud! Luckily I didn’t get a pinch flat from it, but once I stopped I checked out the wheel to see if it would wobble or show any signs of it being untrue…guess what…that wheel was straight as an arrow! I was genuinely impressed with it.

I was getting alot of attention from people on the trails as well as people on the freeway (since I drove down there). Tag Wheels are a very unique looking. Some people love it, some hate it. I even got some hate from a local forum where these guys just kept attacking the credibility of the wheels, price and looks.

Here’s what funny about these guys at the forum, I offered them a chance to ride with these wheels…and they kept talking about how they would never ride these wheels and blah blah blah. So I’m here left thinking….how can you have such an opinion when you haven’t even tried them? Oh well, their loss.

Back to the wheels. Sure they’re a bit heavier especially when you’re climbing up a hill like Lynx. But for the most part I didn’t really feel that much of a weight difference while going down. Heck perhaps the extra weight helped in allowing me to gain more speed.

Anyway, that was one of many rides I’ll be doing with Tag Wheels. You notice how they perfectly match the Woodstock 707’s paint scheme?

Mag Wheels are Back!

Tag Wheels, our newest partner sent us a set of the FRX5 Disc Only Wheels.

We first met Mike Thomas of Tag Wheels at Sea Otter and I immediately fell in love with the idea of a virtually maintenance free wheel that are more durable then any wire wheelsets out there. Besides Tag Wheels brought back some nice memories of my old BMX wheels when I was a kid.

Here’s the specs:
Size 559mm / 26″
Weight (without hub) 1597 g
Tire Size 1.95″ to 2.5″
Max. Tire Pressure 45 PSI
Rim Tape Included
Color Flat Black
Tube Only Yes
Valve Type Schrader
Valve Hole Dia. 8mm
Decals FRX5 / DT SwissComplete Wheel Weights

Complete wheel weights include composite wheel and hub without QR, thru axle, thru bolt.
WHEELSET FRONT REAR
110mm / 20mm thru, 135mm / 12mm thru Grams = 1828 g
Ounces = 64 oz
Pounds = 4.0 lbs Grams = 1928 g
Ounces = 68 oz
Pounds = 4.2 lbs

Even the pros use Tag Wheels. Check out the Magura Flow Show from Sea Otter.

Check on the Tag wheels on the Woodstock 707:

Tag and Woody