Riders shopping for a solid, affordable and dependable wheel set for trail or enduro thrashing would do well to consider Spank Oozy Trail Wheels. We’ve been hammering ours since November of 2014, and although these wheels have over two seasons of abuse, they’re still going strong.
They’re not the lightest, cheapest or strongest, (ok, I could argue they are the strongest) but they sure as hell have been dependable.
As I have accumulated over two years of riding these things, I had to dig deep to locate my notes and find my initial impressions. That said, I’ve found them to still be accurate.
The Oozy Trail 295 wheelset is currently available in 27.5″ & 29″ configurations. Hubs are classic 32 hole with three cross lacing, using a triple butted straight pull spoke and alloy nipples. The non-boost hubs can be utilized with a number of adaptors to fit QR, 15×100, 20×110, QRx135, 10×135, 12×135 and 12×142.
The freehub on our set is the alloy Shimano version, but XD is also available as an option. Listed weights currently are listed at 1900g. and 1970g. for the 29″ version.
The original specs pasted from 2014 vary slightly from the current listing; here’s what I have pulled from way back when:
Rims: Oozy Trail295 Bead Bite Dynamal Alloy Rims (420g/rim 26″)
- 29.5mm outer width
- 25mm inner width
Rear: 9/10-Speed 12mm x 142mm
- 28H Straightpull
- Standard QR Rear Hub Adapter Kit Incl.
- Japanese Bearing Upgrade
- Super-Lite CNC Optimized Alloy Freehub Body
- Oversized SSL (Single Spoke Length) Flange Design
- 6 Bolt Disc Mount
Front: 15mm x 100mm O.L.D.
- Japanese Bearing Upgrade
- Oversized SSL Flange Design (adaptable to 20mm)
- 6 Bolt Disc Mount
- 20mm Front Hub Adapter Incl.
Hand Built and Trued – 3 Cross Lacing
- Sandvik T302 Triple Butted 2.2/1.8/2.0 SP Spokes
- Alloy Nipples
- Tubeless Ready
Solid feeling. Stiff. I feel like I can really edge the bike in turns, and engage in a bit more hooliganism on the trail than before. While the wheelset adds almost 200 grams over the wheels I was previously running, it is a good match for my Santa Cruz Nomad, as I no longer feel as though I need to hold back, unleashing cutties, sloppy whips and the like without a care.
I didn’t feel any difference from the rims I had before in regards to width, but there was a considerably less flex.
Initial tire installation
Tire installation began by pulling the stock, non-tubeless rim strips and replacing it with Stan’s Tubeless tape. Although the wheels include tubeless and valves, I picked mine up via the Gravity Cartel at a bike swap, and it was missing some key accessories, so I utilized Stan’s Valves. Using a dental pick heated with a candle, I punched a hole at the valve stem hole to keep it airtight.
Notes from 2014: Apparently Spank has their own valve stems that work best for a tubeless setup. They don’t include them with the wheels, or the tubeless tape. (unlike Sun Ringle Wheels)
According the Spank’s website, current models now include tubeless tape and valves.
My initial tire set up consisted of a Bontrager XR4 front and XR3 rear.
The tire/ rim combination was a favorable one, and I rode the crap of the it until I blew a hole in the rear XR3, detailed in our Bontrager tire review. It had a good run though.
Since then I’ve experimented with a few different tire setups, but mostly going back and forth between a Hans Dampf and Minion for the front, and a Dampt and Ardent for the rear, based on conditions and region.
In the two years on these wheels, they’ve been completely trouble free. When performing some touch up wheel truing (which I didn’t have to do often) I never encountered issues with the spoke spinning as I have with other wheels using straight pull spokes. They’ve been completely plug and play, and while they’re certainly heavier than the carbon test wheels I’m currently running, they’ve been one of the most trouble free components I’ve used on the Nomad. In comparison, the front and rear shock have been rebuilt, I’ve gone through two full fluid flushes on my brakes, swapped out new cables and housing at the beginning of each season as well as chains and cassettes, and all I’ve done with these wheels is check them over.
Usually at this point, my back rim is beat to hell, hub bearings have play and my freehub body is pitted and chewed up. Here’s a photo of my freehub body from last week.
I’ve never weighed the wheels, so I can’t speak to actual weights (I do have a Feedback Sports scale coming for future reference) but when I acquired the wheels, their listed weight on Spank’s site had them listed at 1700g (27.5/650b). They’re now listed as coming in at 1900g; assuming that’s their true weight, that could explain why they’ve been so bombproof. I’ve been riding up and down mountains thinking they weighed less, a placebo effect I’m fine with.
There was a time when I was pleased to get a season’s worth of use from a wheel before having to replace a rim. I’ve evolved as a rider considerably since then, and while I’ve toned down in terms of hucks and abusive riding, my skills have increased as well. I might not be seeking out rooftop drops, stair gaps and loading docks any more, (and if I was, it would be on a bike dedicated to this type of abuse) but I’m railing turns harder than ever.
For the time being I’ve retired the Oozy Trail 295 wheels, and replaced them with a lighter, prettier model with carbon hoops. Once those go back to the manufacturer, I’ll be looking to replace them with a wider model like the set we recently reviewed in a 29″ version, and delegating these as back up wheels. That said, replacing a set of wheels because they’re no longer in fashion is quite the compliment to the Oozy wheels, and I’ll never forget all the adventures they accompanied me on.
The Oozy Trail 295 wheelset lists for $649. Check them out at Spank-ind.com.