Towards the end of the summer I got my hands on one of Sun Ringlé's newest wheel sets, the Charger Pro SL. Previously I have had the Charger Expert wheels and they lasted me a good length of time, so I was looking forward to the new Pro SL.
The Charger line has four different models in its lineup. Comp / Expert / Pro & the Pro SL. While they say that the Charger line is designed for people that want a durable wheel that can withstand a beating, the SL is skewed more towards the lighter end of the line and has some features that you tend to see on more expensive race wheels including a 27mm rim width & straight pull bladed spokes.
The Pro SL come in a variety of hub configurations, which will fit almost everything on the market currently, including: QR, QR15 & 20mm Axles up front and 135 or 142x12 rear axles. Swapping out end caps is quick and easy, just remember that one side of the rear is threaded, not pressed on. (You only make that mistake once). Best part of the package in my mind is that it comes with Stan's NoTubes, all setup and ready to go.
The Charger series is available in all wheel sizes: 26", 27.5" & 29" with weights at: 1550g, 1650g & 1700g respectively,
In preparing for a heli drop at the top of Rainbow mountain, I mounted up the Pro SL's with new rubber and a complete new drivetrain on my trusty 160mm bike. Almost 4000 ft of descent through some alpine flowers, single track and a couple technical sections was in store and I was betting that the Charger's would be right up for the task. They did very well and I made it all the way home, in one piece, missing only a little bit of skin from an untimely endo on a technical section.
When I got home, I did notice that I had lost some spoke tension in the rear wheel. This isn't the first time that has happened to me, but in hindsight taking a fresh set of wheels on a 4k ft. Descent without a shakeout ride, or tension test before leaving might not have been the best decision that I made all summer. A quick 10 minutes on the truing stand had it all sorted out and we were back in business and on the ensuing 30ish rides since that point they have been absolutely perfect.
Pro Tip: Always do a quick shake out ride before a major one to make sure that you won't have a surprise mechanical.
The Charger Pro SL has lasted through many hard rides, with minimal maintenace needed. When you look at the price for the wheelset ($725 ish, online) it becomes one of the most affordable, durable wheel sets that I have used. It is a great value for a wheel that can take some punishment, while not beating you up on the climbs.
DT Swiss XM 1550 Tricon - $1100
Easton Haven 26" - $995Novatec FlowTrail 16" - $900
SRAM ROAM 50 - $850