BERD has released a hubset designed specifically for use with their “world’s lightest” spokes, making it easier than ever to build a custom BERD Spoke-laced wheelset with the rim of your choice. Made from an Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) that has 12x the strength-to-weight ratio of steel, BERD Spokes are said to have an improved fatigue life over their steel counterparts. The material is also said to confer vibration damping benefits to any wheel build. In keeping with that, the new BERD Talon hubs are relatively lightweight too, aimed at XC and Trail riders.
Rob at BERD gives us an amusing insight into the challenges that can be overcome with the use of the Talon hubset.
BERD Talon Hubs
Why do BERD Spokes need their own specifically-designed hubset? The answer is that they don’t, but it’s more complicated than that.
While there is seemingly a long list of benefits to be had with BERD Spokes, their widespread use has been limited not only by the high price, but also by a hesitancy to modify one’s hubset in order to be able to use them. To lace up a wheelset with BERD Spokes and a J-Bend Hub, one must take a drill to the hub flanges, chamfering the holes to accomodate the UHMWPE spoke. The chamfering is necessary to remove any sharp edges around the hole – edges that could compromise the integrity of the spoke. That will undoubtedly void the warranty on the hub.
The new BERD Talon Hubs provide hooked flanges to make wheel building a more straight-forward, faster process. We’ve seen this design previously on Onyx Vesper hubs made specifically for BERD wheelsets. While those hubs use a nigh-on instant engagement sprag clutch mechanism, the new BERD Talon hubs see a more ubiquitous ratchet mechanism.
The BERD Talon hubs launch with a 36t dual-sprung ratchet offering up a 10° engagement angle; a 54t ratchet option with faster pick-up is winging its way to production very soon.
BERD tell us the Talon hub is extremely durable. The maximum system weight limit (rider + bike) is 300 lbs (136 kg).
BERD Talon Claimed Weights
- 148mm x 12mm Rear & 110mm x 15mm Front (Set) – 466g
- Front 110mm x 15mm – 156g
- Rear 148mm x 12mm – XD 306g – Microspline 308g – Shimano 11 Speed 316g
Pricing & Availability
BERD Talon hubs are now available in Boost Spacing only (15mm x 110mm front and 12mm x 148mm rear), exclusively in black, with XD, Microspline, and 11 speed freehubs. Retail price is $496 USD for the set with the 36t ratchet which is in stock now; the 54t option is set to ship in 4-6 weeks. BERD offers a two-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
Complete wheelsets with the BERD Talon hubs are also available now. The HAWK27 and HAWK30 wheels are priced at $2,095 USD; that’s $100 cheaper than the Industry Nine equivalent.