Back to the mountain bike & a flashback to the 90s, Spengle is aiming to transcend traditional hub & spoke construction with their new European-made, full carbon enduro mountain bike wheel project. Twenty years in the making, Spengle Carbon brings together engineers who’ve been developing more innovative wheel building, and now have their one-piece monocoque carbon enduro wheels ready to hit the trail.

Spengle Carbon Monocoque tri-spoke mountain bike wheels

Dropping standard hub+spokes+rim mountain bike wheel construction conventions, Spengle has developed a new carbon bonding technique, using methods ported from motorsports & aerospace industries. That allows them to create a one-piece monocoque wheel with a three spoke design that allows for more continuous carbon fibers and better transition of loads throughout the entire wheel. The overall design is aesthetically not so different from aluminum wheels that the company developed in the 1990s, but the carbon construction and performance improvements are all new.

Tech details

For now Spengle’s new tri-spoke wheels are only available in 27.5″, being targeted at all mountain trail & enduro riding. But this is apparently a first step to return to wheel building, and Spengle says more carbon mountain & road wheels are in development. Their development timeline seems pretty defined for the next 18 months or so, with a tease of other new products in that timeframe. But a 29er enduro wheel is slated for the second half of 2019, at earliest.

Their fully carbon rim section uses a hookless UST tubeless bead with an internal width of 24mm. While that’s at the more narrow side of the current trend for aggressive trail riding, Spengle does rate the wheels for everything from cross-country up to proper enduro riding. They say they’ve run tires on the wheels from 37mm up to 62mm (1.5″-2.5″), with 2.35″ Magic Marys hitting right in the sweet spot.

Part of that wheel durability comes from the tri-spoke’s one-piece design & their carbon construction that Spengle claims to eat up impacts and improve long-term durability. Spengle also says the hookless design allows them to use a wider bead with continuous fibers, making the rim significantly more impact resistant. Spengle also says that their reinforced hookless bead works especially well at super low tubeless pressures, going so far as to call it ‘Failsafe’ tech that even makes it possible to ride home on a shredded tire.

And with that, they also offer a lifetime warranty on the wheels, and a claim of premium level customer support.

The wheels are built around their own alloy hub internals, with either standard or Boost spacing and a Centerlock rotor interface, but 15mm front & 12mm rear thru-axles only. For now the wheels only get Shimano style cassette bodies. But Spengle confirms they are working on a SRAM XD driver body solution, with XD wheels launching in summer 2018. Total wheelset weight is claimed to start at 1750g.

The wheels carry a 120kg/265lb recommended weight limit. And while that sounds like more than most trail wheels, Spengle includes rider and gear, plus the bike, effectively bringing it closer to a more common 100kg rider figure.

Pricing & availability

A set of entirely made in the EU, 650B tri-spoke Spengle Carbon wheels will set you back 1490€ with VAT, including direct shipping worldwide. That’s actually cheaper than most normal carbon trail wheels, and half the price of Bike Ahead’s albeit much lighter carbon spoked Biturbo wheels. They also come with a 30 day no-hassle return policy, taking some more risk out of the equation.

Or if you want to avoid the hassle of setup altogether, Spengle will sell you a ‘Plug & Play’ wheel setup for 1790€ that includes the carbon tri-spokes, a Shimano cassette & chain, premium Shimano RT99 rotors in whatever size you need, a pair of tubeless Schwalbe Nobby Nic, Hans Dampf or Magic Mary tires already installed, and a bottle of sealant. Drop them into your current bike, squeeze the sealant through the valves,  set your tire pressure ,and ride off.

You do still have to wait a bit for the wheels. Spengle is finalizing their production facility as we speak, so wheels are a pre-order now. Delivery is slated rather vaguely for ‘early 2018’, but Spengle quoted to us that these wheels would be hitting the market “in the coming weeks”.

Spengle.com

19 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve had a branch get locked in my front wheel at high rate of speed… it was a bad day. This wheel would be much more susceptible to this very real issue.

    • Way back when Shimano used paired spokes on mtb wheels I saw a front wheel get ‘peeled’ by a stick going down the gap. Lucky the guy riding it was fine but his front wheel was ruined.

  2. these look cool, but are silly in the real world.

    look at motocross. look at enduro motos. look at dakar rally motos. in any area of 2-wheeling where durability matters, the spoked wheel still rules.

    • Yeah, ultimately a high spoke, high tension wheel will be more durable. But comparing moto tech is not exactly apples-apples as they are heavier, faster and still tend to be on Al rims.

      The real question is this durable enough while eliminating some issue with spoke construction (maybe non-issues to most)
      I have no idea.

  3. It seems to me that getting a stick caught in the wheel will be a lot more likely and a lot more expensive than with traditional spoked wheels.

  4. That’s a lot of bling for the buck.

    I’d rock a gravel version, with kamikaze sticks making them entirely unsuited for mountain biking.

  5. i like how the post make it sound they invented hookless and other things. seriously lol.

    besides, 24mm inner, probably stiff as hell and 1750gr.. enduro rated.. or.. or.. my 900usd wheels with dt240 hubs, also 24mm inner, also hookless, asymetric spokes, but 1420gr, also enduro rated.. but also only stiff laterally..and i can adjust how stiff i like them.. and i can change the spokes.. did i mention 900usd? hey it also doesnt cut body parts into separate pieces (though maybe its a feature!)

  6. FYI: there is no such thing as hookless UST. There is hookless and there is UST but UST uses a very specific bead hook geometry.

  7. I won’t lump on this as many before have already done so. But I do have questions about the stiffness of the wheel (vertically and horizontally) in different sections, and whether that might lead to any weird resonance when railing a corner. Spoked wheels still look like the most efficient package structurally.

    • I don’t think I’d worry about resonance. Given what I’ve seen in testing vibration modes in CF turbine blades, I think the resonant modes fro these wheels are unlikely to be excited by any riding.

  8. Eventually, one-piece composite wheels will be lighter ans stiffer than spoked wheels, along with being cost-competitive.

    I’m sad about that, because I don’t like the look. I want to everyone to stick with this brilliant, old-fashioned spoked technology.

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