Spinergy GX Wheels: At The Finish – by Guitar Ted
The Spinergy GX gravel wheels have been ridden in a variety of conditions and on a variety of road surfaces so far. It has become apparent what these wheels are all about which means it is time for the final verdict on these wheels with the unusual spoke material. You can check in with the previous updates to this review by following this link.
The Changes: In the last update I told you all that I swapped out tires on the Spinergy GX wheels so I thought I would relay a few more thoughts on tubeless set up, since the previous tires used were tubed.
I used a set of WTB Resolute 700 X 42mm tires and the installation couldn’t have gone more smoothly. The tires were relatively easy to mount and airing up with an almost 20 year old floor pump was a breeze. Since then the tires and wheels have remained sealed up and air loss over time has been a bit less than normal, so very good in terms of tubeless set up here. As I mentioned, the Resolutes plumped up nicely on the internal 24mm width rims. This is an internal width that I feel is really spot on. Anything from 23mm-25mm is right in the pocket for today’s gravel tires and the needs of riders. Spinergy hit this dimension right on target with the GX model.
Ride Performance: The conditions finally came around to becoming more “normal” and dry, so it was a great time to check out how these wheels stack up against more traditional wheels in terms of ride feel and performance.
With varying levels of rock and road beds ranging from pure dirt to soft, sand like surfaces and finally to hard pack base, it was apparent that these wheels are perfectly suited to use on gravel roads and rural byways. Even in the deepest rock, freshly dumped on some roads I was on, it was easy to see that these wheels outperform some wheels costing hundreds of dollars more than the $849.00 Spinergy GX’s. The wheels did not waver or vibrate excessively side to side as some wheels in this price category have exhibited in my observations in the past. Is this due to the unusual PBO spokes? I am assuming that is the case.
Regarding the spokes and how they feel on gravel, I still feel the PBO spokes lend a feel that is noticeable and that is smoother than many other wheels. I also still am feeling that there is a bit of wind up and release when sudden power or surges in pedaling are applied. It isn’t that instantaneous forward leap I associate with some stiff wheels I have ridden, but neither is it something I feel that takes away from the rider’s input. Rather, I feel the energy gets returned as the spokes seem to rebound a tiny bit. As I stated before, it is a subtle thing, but noticeable. Plus, the vibration damping effect seems to be there also, which is a welcomed benefit of the Spinergy GX wheels.
At The Finish: So, are these wheels all they are cracked up to be? Well, as far as the marketing claims, there is some truth there. I feel that the PBO spokes do offer something in terms of vibration damping effects, yet they do not make for a flexy wheel, and they seem to have the necessary strength for the job, although a much longer termed test would be the only real world way to prove that out.
While the PBO spoke is a radical departure from traditional steel spokes, the spokes can be replaced and the wheels can be trued. Of course, you are not going to probably be able to walk into just any bicycle repair shop and purchase a PBO spoke, and truing these is a different process involving two tools. So, there is a bit of compromise, but overall, I think the benefits are great enough that these inconveniences can be acceptable.
So, to recap- The GX wheels use PBO spokes which can be had in various colors, are stronger than steel spokes, and offer a ride feel that is smoother than traditionally spoked aluminum wheels. All this at a lighter weight and lower price than many high performance gravel wheel sets. (The tested set of wheels weighed under 1500 grams) The wheels are easily configurable to various axle and free hub standards with aftermarket parts from Spinergy. The inner rim width is spot on for today’s crop of gravel tires and tubeless performance is very good. Spinergy uses a Hadley free hub which lays down the power well and is very smooth feeling. At $849.00 MSRP I find all of that to be a good value for the dollar.
While the PBO spokes may cause you to raise an eyebrow, keep in mind that these spokes have been around for two decades and have a good reputation for durability. The rest of the Spinergy wheel from the hubs to the rims seem to be top notch stuff now. I see no reason to fear the technology and I would gladly ride these wheels off into the Sunset if Spinergy would let me.
NOTE- Spinergy sent over the GX wheels for test and review to Riding Gravel at no charge. We are not being paid nor bribed for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.