Woodman Components known for manufacturing trick lightweight parts for our weight weenie needs did not disappoint this year in Taipei. Their new carbon wheelset with their own “made in-house” carbon rims, spokes, and hubs felt like it would float away if I let go of it. Also wheel building nerds that want to take precision to the next level will love their new spoke tensiometer and for even more geeking out… spoke tensiometer calibrator?
As seen in the top pic, their new carbon wheel uses carbon straight pull spokes with bonded aluminum ends that pass through their proprietary hub. The wheels will be available with SRAM/Shimano, Campagnolo, or even XD cassette bodies and will be available in 25mm & 40mm tubulars, as well as a 40mm clincher. The prototype 40mm tubulars on hand weighed in at only 1200 grams for the set!
The carbon spokes weigh in at about 3.5g each. Woodman say they tried several options to bond the aluminum ends before finally finding one they were satisfied with. Though the spokes will only work with their own hubs they mentioned that they can make custom lengths in case someone wanted to build a set of wheels on a particular rim of their choice.
Though not particularly a consumer product, we have a good amount of shop-based readers, and being a long time wheel-builder myself, I got a kick out of their Spoke Tensiometer. Easy to use and doing just what it should (measuring a spoke’s tension) a couple of things that stand out are that it has nicely tapered lugs that help guide the tool into position on the spoke (when you have to do this many times per wheel, it adds up) and that there is a small knob you can turn to adjust the little “marker” to where each spoke should line up.
But how do you know where that marker should be set you ask?
Yep, they have a calibrator for your calibrator! Though it may seem like overkill, “If anything is worth doing, it’s worth over doing”… am I right? First, the same size spokes from different brands will vary a little, and even within the same brand, spokes may vary a bit between batches on how much tensile strength each has. So, when you build a wheel with a set of spokes from one batch or manufacturer, the tension may be a little off with that same build with spokes from another batch.
What the Spoke Tensiometer Setter does is let you tension a spoke to a set amount then calibrate your tensiometer on that very spoke. Once the desired tension is on the display put the tensiometer on it and set the adjustable “mark” where you want it. For those who’s eye’s are not glazed over right now, the rest of
you us are probably considering where on the shop bench we’ll be putting this gadget next to this other little gem.