The new Spinergy GX MAX Wheels are light, tough aluminium wheels that play nicely with wide tyres and are super easy to set up tubeless. The fat PBO spokes still stand out but less evident in this tasteful colourway. They're good looking, tubeless-friendly, hard-hitting, gravel adventure wheels that, as a bonus, could also work on your mountain bike.
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The GX MAX is the new wheel from Spinergy designed to be ridden hard off-road. Their width is perfect for fitting larger gravel tyres to gravel bikes; even a whopping 2.25" XC G-Ones work well to take on the most demanding gravel routes.
Wheel construction and specification
The rim is made from an unclassified ultra-light alloy measuring 24mm internally and 28m externally, and only 20mm deep, producing a wide shallow profile. The rim's hooked design enabled mounting the 2.25" Schwalbe G-One Allround tyres an absolute joy with a track pump, only slightly more difficult with an Airforce can system.
One caveat to mention is the GX MAX wheels we had on test feature Spinergy's Force 10 tapered hub design with a Hadley-derived freehub and a 3-pawl, 24-tooth ratchet ring design. This means 72-points of engagement, equating to only a small movement from the pedal before the hub is engaged. This hub has been tested before on the GXC wheels I reviewed last year, and they proved extremely reliable. However, the production GX MAX wheels will come with Spinergy's new '44' hub set.
I cannot comment on how that hub will work. Still, Spinergy claims that it is a "beefier hub with bigger internals, featuring 108 points of engagement, to help you generate more torque and transfer of power for out of saddle efforts." They increased the ratchet system and the axle diameter to cope with more brutal hits on your adventure / XC bike.
It's a shame that we didn't get to test the hub, but hopefully, we will on the next set we get. You can check out more info here on it.
Back to the GX MAX wheels, the 28 fat spokes are unique to Spinergy and are made from polyphenylene bensobisoxazole – PBO for short. Spinergy uses PBO spokes in all their wheels, whether on motocross bikes, wheelchairs, or bicycles due to their low weight (half that of steel) as well as being 3x stronger.
Spinergy also claims a vibration-damping effect from the spokes, and whilst I'm sure it is much easier to tell on a high-pressure, narrow road tyre, on a gravel bike, you'd need a mobile data recorder and a tech wizard to tell if they provide vibration dampening greater than the low-pressure wide tyres you're using off-road. I can say that they are light, strong, and funky looking depending on colour choice, of course.
So, how do they ride?
Whatever I have ridden down, along, or up, the wheels have performed faultlessly. Give it a bit of rough gravel singletrack and the decent width tyre of the Halo GXC at 47mm, to Schwalbe's G-One Allround 57mm (2.25"), and you barrel along with a wicked smile on your face. The extra width of the rim supports large tyres and allows you to lower your pressure to the point where grip is fantastic, and you can winch your way up silly stuff with little risk of burping when you push hard on the trails. Put a bit more air in and the comfort provided on the smooth gravel or road is fantastic.
The GX MAX wheels respond well to stomping on the pedals for quick acceleration blasts;. However, the freehub is not as quick to engage at its best, although it is at least reasonably quiet and not off-putting.
What is clear is that the wheels can cope with a lot of punishment. Repeatedly hamming the roughest trails and hitting large potholes at speed has produced no drama for the wheels (unlike the rider). The rim supports wide tyres at a lower pressure, which absorbs a lot of the rough stuff you would normally feel. It's hard to quantify, but the wheels definitely improve ride comfort, but is that a function of running large rubber, the spokes or the low running pressure? As a whole system, they produce a lovely smooth ride.
They're strong – definitely – and unlike a lot of their lightweight competitor's wheels on the market, these GX MAX wheels have no weight limit for the rider. In fact, they're used as standard on tandems, so there is no need to worry about how much you ate or packed for the ride. Spinergy offers this same wheel to their mountain bike customers with the same rim and the same number of spokes, so that's a bonus for those with the same mountain bike frame and forks standard. Unfortunately, that's not me.
While we don't suggest you go to the local downhill track on your gravel bike, mostly because your bike is unlikely to be suitable for that style of riding, it does give you oodles of confidence that when you bang into the square edge pothole you saw too late at high speed, your wheels will be fine.
The GX MAX has so far remained completely unphased by my 'deliberately' poor piloting decisions and my general, 'let's got lost in Wiltshire approach'.
I'll mention the Silver Spinergy decal as well here, as it is almost luminous in specific lighting and looks fantastic on the rim. The GX logo, I'm afraid, is less attractive and has begun to peel already, which is not what you would expect at this price.
Back to that caveat - I'm happy to say that the Force hubs ran beautifully, and they look great with their turreted design. I would expect, but cannot confirm, that the new 44 design is at least as good with its polished finish and Spinergy 44 etched on the centre of the hub.
The good news is that the new hub will be compatible with all current formats from Campag 13, Sram XDR, Shimano Microspline, and HG! It is also available in just about every conceivable axle system from QR to 15mm Front Boost and Non-Boost. Different end-caps and axles are available, so if you do have that mountain bike that needs a set of wheels, these ones are truly adaptable.
What's the value like?
Let's get to that price, shall we? They are expensive for alloy rims in this sector, and whilst taped, they don't come with the 'welcome valves & spares pack' that several of their competitors provide. You do get a spoke key, though, which is handy as it's unique for the PBO spokes, although I've never needed to use it on this or the previous set I've hammered.
For riders who have ridden carbon wheels and had expensive accidents on them, these alloy ones at only 1,532g (Ft 698g / Rr 834g) might provide a better solution if you're hitting the rough stuff regularly, as you are more likely to dent than crack the rim, and if you do destroy one, a new rim is 'only' £120.
At £829, they are priced against some tough competitors from the likes of Hunt's Carbon Gravel X-Wide and Scribe Carbon Gravel Wide+ both of which are lighter for the money but carry weight limits on the wheels, and both suggest regular checks to the bike shop if you are nearing the limit. There is no such requirement from Spinergy.
If you are looking for a set of wide, light, strong, good-looking wheels for your gravel (and mountain bike) that can be specced to stand out, or blend in, then these GX MAX are well worth a look. Even with the old hubs, these are recommended wheels – we look forward to trying the new 44 hubs on a set asap.
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