Luxury Bikes

The lab: Long-term test of the Stan’s Flow MK4 wheelset – chased by a swarm of bees

Stan’s – one of the inventors of the MTB tubeless tire system – also has a range of wheelsets in its portfolio. That alone was reason enough to take a closer look at the Stan’s Flow MK4 aluminum wheelset, which was specially developed for tough enduro use and is available in all common wheel sizes. Read the full review to find out how they fared over the last 7 months.

Stans Flow MK4 | tester Felix, Mike & Simon | Length of time 7 months | Price €949.99 | Weight 1,882 g (with rim tape) | Manufacturer’s website

In the past, most mountain bikes rolled along the world’s trails with tubes. Then, in 2001, Stan’s had the brilliant idea of ​​putting a special sealant in the tires that rendered traditional tubes useless. With this experience, Stans decided to develop his first tubeless-specific wheelset. A few decades later, the entire MTB world is rolling on tubeless wheels, and the Americans have now expanded their portfolio to include a whole range of tubeless wheels, including the Flow MK4 alloy model we tested. They are available in both 29-inch and 27.5-inch versions, making it easy to put together a Mullet wheelset. You also have the choice between a Shimano or a SRAM freehub, paired with 6-hole or Centerlock brake disc mounts. Our 29″ Flow MK4 test wheelset weighs 1,882 g (with rim tape) and costs €949.99.

Stan’s Flow MK4 wheels are available in all common sizes and with either 6-hole or centerlock rotor mounting.

The Stan’s Flow MK4 wheelset uses a Flow MK4 rim that is constructed from durable 6069 aluminum with a welded joint and a reinforced spoke bed. Like most Stan wheels, the Flow MK4 is based on the proprietary BST Asymmetric rim design. As the name suggests, the asymmetrical rim shape and offset spoke holes ensure better stability compared to a traditional rim. In addition, the asymmetrical profile allows the use of spokes of the same length on both sides, making maintenance much easier. The rims are equipped with Stan’s in-house M-Pulse hubs, which feature six pawls equipped with neodymium magnets for optimal alignment. According to Stans, this is intended to reduce drag and improve pawl engagement. Because the pawls engage every 1.66°, the hub transfers power to the wheel almost instantly, minimizing the dead center in the pedal travel. The hub and rims are held together by conventional J-bend spokes, which get their name from the 90° bend in the spoke head and are designed for higher tensile and compressive loads.

Stan’s in-house M-Pulse hub features six pawls equipped with neodymium magnets instead of traditional springs for optimal alignment.
The asymmetrical rim shape makes it possible to use spokes of the same length on both sides.

Stans provided us with three Flow MK4 alloy wheelsets for this test, which we put to the test over several months and with a variety of bikes, from nimble trail rockets to potent enduro brutes. First of all, not even the strongest wheelset in the world is guaranteed to survive a landing in a casing or an ugly rock garden with a flat tire. All of the wheels we tested took a lot of punishment, both on our home trails and in countless bike park sessions – and even had to take part in one or two enduro races. With the exception of one rear wheel, which exploded during an awkward landing, all of them survived this test unscathed and emerged on the other side with only a few superficial scratches on the rim, evidence of months of use. However, none of the rims have dents or loose spokes. We have always combined the wheels with robust tire casings such as the DoubleDown from MAXXIS or the Super Gravity from Schwalbe. On the trail, the Stans Flow MK4 impressed us with its discreet driving feel, while the small engagement angle ensures direct power transmission, especially when pedaling. The freewheel sounds like a swarm of bees, but the buzzing isn’t too intrusive on the trail.

On the trail, Stan’s Flow MK4 wheelset impresses by blending into the background and has survived months of exertion largely unscathed.

Our conclusion about the Stan’s Flow MK4 wheelset.

With the Stan’s Flow MK4, the godfather of tubeless offers a wheelset that was specially developed for tough enduro use. Even after many months of use on the toughest trails, our test bikes still run smoothly and without any major damage. Thanks to the small pressure angle, the hub transfers power directly to the wheel when pedaling. The Stan’s Flow MK4 alloy wheelset may not be the cheapest, but it delivers strong performance on the trail.


  • Excellent trail performance
  • Small pressure angle
  • Available in all common wheel sizes


For more information, see

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Words: Mike Hunger Photos: Mike Hunger

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