Spinergy GX Wheels: Checkpoint – by Guitar Ted
Spinergy’s latest wheels for gravel are here and being ridden in various conditions. The technical aspects of these wheels, measurements, and first impressions can all be found here. Let’s jump in and check out how things have been going so far.
Ride Performance: Okay, so PBO spokes, aluminum rims… how does that work? It actually works out really well. I think the common thought most folks might have is that if the spokes are not steel, then they must be flexy. Well, that just isn’t the case with this design. In fact, the lateral stiffness is really pretty good here. In my opinion, the Spinergy GX wheels are some of the stiffest wheels, in a lateral sense, that have aluminum rims that I have ridden. I have torqued on them pretty hard in deep mud, landed crooked off curb launches, and have hit some ruts that twist the bike in strange ways. Through it all the wheels not only have stayed true, but I could not detect any unwanted flex or weirdness of any sort from the lateral stiffness standpoint.
Now putting the power down does feel different. I wasn’t quite able to put my finger on it for quite a while. It is a subtle thing, but it seems to me that their is a tiny bit of wind-up and release. Again, this is very subtle. Splitting hairs. But I thought it is something that gives these wheels a certain feel that, say a high end carbon set of wheels, doesn’t have. Is it what Spinergy says is the vibration damping aspect of PBO spokes? Possibly. And by the way, these wheels do happen to handle vibrations a bit differently.
The vibrations that do get through are muted, and of course, this is completely my own opinion, since tires, handle bars, seat posts, saddles, etc, all have an effect upon ride feel. But that said, after changing tires, it seems to me there is something to this claim of Spinergy’s. If anything, I would say these wheels aren’t at all harsh feeling. What level of vibration reduction there is probably is a debate with no resolution short of a large injection of scientific testing.
So, they are laterally stiff, have a slight, springy feel to them, and seem to be quite smooth in ride feel. Are they versatile? What can I put these on without much fuss? Well, the axles are convertible from quick release, to 12mm front and rear, and there is even a 15mm through axle front conversion available. These end caps are sold separately. The free hub body is also easily convertible from Shimano/SRAM 11 speed to Campagnolo or an XD Driver for SRAM cassettes with the 10T small cog. Again, those free hub bodies are sold separately. So, these wheels could cross over to your next bike, or between bikes with different axle and free hub standards.
I have mounted tubeless WTB Resolute tires to the Spinergy GX wheels and this process was pretty easy. Nothing out of the ordinary as far as set up went there. The nice, 24mm inner rim width meant that the 42mm WTB tires plumped up nicely and this allows for better sidewall support and lower pressure riding shouldn’t be vague or squirmy feeling as it might be with a narrow inner rim width. More on this in the final, “At The Finish” post coming in a few weeks.
So Far…. The Spinergy GX wheels were lighter than expected and they seem to be well put together. The unusual PBO spokes are claimed to be stronger than steel, so strength and the integrity of the structure is expected to be top notch. In fact, these wheels have proven to be quite stiff laterally. They look cool with their 8 choices of colors for the decals and spokes, and they have versatility built in with axle end cap choices and free hub body choices available separately from Spinergy. Tubeless performance is quite good, and the vibration damping qualities are there, but at what level that is would be hard to ascertain with so many variables. Stay tuned for the final verdict on the Spinergy GX wheels coming in a few weeks.
Check out more on the Spinergy line of wheels at their website here: https://www.spinergy.com/
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.