For many, the name Spinergy will conjure up images of futuristic-looking composite wheels from the early days of mountain biking, but the brand has continued to make wheels in its own idiosyncratic way and we've got a set of its new gravel wheels, which combine their synthetic Zylon fibre spokes with their own hubs and carbon rim.
It's hard to miss the fact that these wheels are very different to your conventional steel spoked designed, with fat synthetic fibres sitting where skinny steel usually would. They're certainly attention-grabbing, but there are a couple of reasons why Spinergy has ditched conventional steel spokes for these synthetic PBO items.
The first is that the steel spokes are much, much heavier than the special composite fibre, with our complete front wheel weighing 690g and the rear 800g, for a sub 1,500g all-in weight. For comparison, the material is said to be three times as strong as stainless steel but at half the weight. Some of that weight saving of the spoke material is negated by the fact they need special nipples and flanges on the hubs - you can't put a thread directly on the flexible spoke, after all - but it's still impressive for a 700c carbon wheelset.
The second and arguably more important feature of their spokes, according to Spinergy, is the way they transmit vibrations. The brand claims that a conventional steel spoke transmits road buzz at a higher frequency and volume than their PBO spokes, meaning a much more comfortable ride. It's a technology that's been put to use in wheelchair wheels with great success but would also seem ideally suited to the demands of gravel riding.
Spinergy makes a complete range of road and mountain bike wheels, but the gravel wheelsets are a comparatively recent addition. We've got the top-end GX Carbon wheelset in and as the name suggests, it gets a 700c carbon fibre rim that's tubeless-ready and is designed for tyres from 32-40mm with a 19mm internal width. At $1199 (around £920, though import duties will be on top) they're not too ruinously expensive either.
For those with slightly less deep pockets there's an aluminium rimmed lineup too, with the GX wheelset coming in 650b or 700c with a 24mm internal width or the deeper section GX 32, which is 32mm deep with a 19mm internal width. Both cost $799 and all share the same Spinergy hub that's available with 15mm, 12mm or QR front axles or 12mm and QR rear, with SRAM XD, XDR, Shimano HG and Campag driver bodies on offer.
We'll be thoroughly riding and reviewing these wheels soon, so check back for more updates soon. In the meantime, you can check out Spinergy's gravel range below.
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