Genesis of the Grail was GT's new Grade adventure bike, which needed an appropriate wheel for its top-tier build.
Stan's NoTubes dubbed its new rule bending 6-bolt disc wheels the Grail (as in holy), but Goldilocks might have been a more appropriate name. Knowing that its Iron Cross wheels worked well for bog hopping but couldn't deal with higher pressures, and that its Alpha wheels had no problem with 120psi but required an extra rim strip at 'cross friendly lower pressures, Stan's aimed to cook up a Just Right pot of porridge. The end result is a heaping helping of gap bridging wheel that's claimed to be equally capable at high or low pressures with wide or skinny tires. Gravel road ride anyone?
Turns out the burgeoning go anywhere bikes niche was the main driver behind these new wheels. Bike maker GT actually got the ball rolling, approaching Stan's and asking for an appropriate wheel to spec on its new high end Grade adventure bikes. (More on that in a future post.) Stan's responded with a 24mm outer diameter wide rim that has the company's deepest ever profile at 24.5mm. Stan's claims it's the company's most aero rim to date, thanks to a bulbous shape that's subtly reminiscent of offerings from Zipp.
Grail (left) is wider and deeper than the Iron Cross and Alpha.
The crux, though, is the deeper drop channel that helps fit tight road tires, but also spreads them out, which puts the bead in a more secure position. Same goes for CX tires. Flub that remount and squash down on the tire. No problem, says Stan's. No burping here.
The Grail will be available at the Comp ($645) and Team ($695) level in 10 or 11 speed configurations. Comp's have 32/32 hole counts, Stan's 3.30RD hubs and weigh a claimed 1,720 grams. Team's are 24/28 with Stan's 3.30RD hubs, and get an upgrade to stainless steel bearings to drop weight to a claimed 1,570 grams. Front axles are QR or 15mm thru-axle compatible. The rear's come QR, but can be adapted to 142x12mm. (Wheelset weights are based on QR/QR.) There's no Pro version yet, but if there's enough interest down the road, Stan's will make it.
Rims are in stock now ($105). Complete wheels should be showing up at shops by August. Check out the photo galley below to learn more.