Spengle! That’s a name we’ve not heard for a long time. They were known for making tri-spoke carbon fibre wheels in the 90’s. They may look equally cool, but these were never just an enlarged version of those injection molded nylon mag wheels that emerged in BMX. Now they’re back with a fresh, redesigned mountain bike wheelset: 27.5, boosted, disc equipped, and rebuilt with modern carbon fibre production processes.
Because they’re a monocoque design, they’re tubeless by default and there are of course no spoke holes to tape over. At the outside of Spengle’s new wheels are hookless beads, which greatly increase the impact resistance of any carbon rim. The company also claim the spoke design makes the wheels more comfortable, absorbing shock and vibration before it gets to the rider. They seem very committed to their design, having adopted the motto “spokes suck”.
They’re built around Shimano hub internals, so CenterLock discs only, plus cup and cone bearings for all you small ball enthusiasts. Okay, they may require more regular maintenance than cartridge bearings, but Shimano argue that cup and cone bearings can spin more freely when optimally adjusted, and many riders will state they’re better at taking side loads when cornering too. These are things that might matter to you if you’re considering a high end lightweight wheelset.
Spengle say these are for anything from gravel up to enduro riding. Prices range from €1490 to €1790, and the company has put together a little video to show the new wheels off. No lycra or cartoon sheep anywhere in sight:
(No video? How about this link?)
What’s the difference between these and their 90’s editions? Well, for a start they don’t have to accommodate rim brakes now (visible in this video on YouTube). Secondly, they’ve brought the weight in line with modern wheelsets with a claimed weight of 1750 grams (we were unable to find a claimed weight for their 1990’s MTB 3 wheelset, but it was sometimes referred to as “a bit heavy”).
“Every aspect of the SPENGLE Carbon Monocoque has been optimised to offer the highest performance, without sacrificing strength or rider comfort. In addition to being constructed from industry leading materials, the SPENGLE Carbon Monocoque introduces radical new ways for fusing them together; such as the hub casing, which adopts a revolutionary new method for bonding it to the carbon body of the wheel. As well as providing excellent strength and rigidity, these advances significantly reduce vibration, keeping you feeling connected to the trail without ruining your ride.”
Video by Nico Turner, photos by Simon Nieborak.