News of this weird wheels hit our desks yesterday as Swiss brand Spengle announced their new mountain bike wheelset, calling them simply the Spengle Carbon Monocoque. They say they are the most advanced wheels in the world - bold words about a design that looks so similar to others that have failed. What makes Spengle different?
We've seen a few radical wheel designs in the past, Spinergy for example back in the 1990's produced the Rev-X wheels with eight carbon bladed spokes. The wheels aren't around anymore and the company call them their 'classic wheels' whereas we'd probably have a different name for them! Spengle were also at it in the 90's too with their own carbon bladed wheel design and after 20 years of experimentation, they've decided 2018 is the time to resurrect it.
Spengle says they have literally reinvented the wheel with their new design saying "We went back to the drawing board to craft a unique tri-blade design, which optimises stability and durability, whilst adding failsafe technology and a striking aesthetic."
So what exactly have they designed? Well, it is a one-piece carbon wheel designed with careful and meticulous consideration of the properties of carbon fibre which they say has been manipulated effectively. Spengle say they use cutting-edge aerospace technology to provide safer handling, superior shock absorption, and the strongest tyre bed of its type. They also told us that a regular wheel struggles manage stresses through the spokes, rims and hubs where these three separate parts mean the forces are typically distributed across the wheel disproportionality, which results in the rim and spokes being prone to bending and buckling. They say their design distributes these forces evenly leaving no single area prone to failure.
A wheel with just three 'spokes' is pretty radical even something such as the hub casing adopts a new method for bonding it to the carbon body of the wheel. Spengle reckons as well as providing excellent strength and rigidity, these advances significantly reduce vibration, keeping you feeling connected to the trail without ruining your ride. Will they be too stiff though, a little bit of compliance in a wheel offers grip in return, how will the Spengle wheelset ride?
The wheels are available as 27.5in only at the moment and will be sold with the correct adaptors for whatever kind of set up you are running, Boost, non-Boost or QR. They have a hookless rim tubeless design and also a lifetime warranty with a 30 day return guarantee.
You can expect shipping of these wheels in early 2018 at a price of €1,490 for basic ‘Naked’ wheelset which includes the wheels, hubs and adapters or €1,790 for ‘Plug & Play’ wheelset which also adds a cassette, chain, rotors and Schwalbe tyres.
Will we be looking at this design as 'the norm' in the future or are these soon to be resigned to a mantlepiece classic? It'll be interesting to see if the wheel really has been redesigned....
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