Spengle Wheels return

The blades are back in black

Photos: Simon Nieborak
Video: Nico Turner

Iconic (if not totally successful) 90s wheel brand Spengle are coming back swinging with a totally new set of their unmistakable wheels.

So what’s wrong with spokes? Ask someone from Spengle and they’ll tell you that spokes directly transfer the impact from the ground to the rider. The Spengle wheels, with the three curved arms, dissipate the impact evenly around the wheel for a smoother ride. Apparently three spokes is the golden number for this effect with Spengle’s chief engineer saying: “anyone who has four, went for three but wasn’t good enough.”

A quick Google reveals reams of forum posts asking if the wheels are still available. Despite their flaws, the look alone of these wheels made them a highly desirable product. The company is now owned by the son of the original manufacturer in the 90s and he’s been itching to make a come back since he took over.

Last time around the aluminium wheels were generally thought to be too heavy, too expensive and untruable if they got a ding (especially crap as this was in the era of v-brakes). Well, now the wheels have moved to carbon, the game has changed. Developed in Austria with some super high tech carbon production, the desired looks, quality and performance that was previously unfeasible can apparently now be achieved.

The weight is quoted at being 1750 grams for a pair with a built in hub, this puts them a bit heftier than a Stan’s Bravo (1,650g) but about the same as a set of Enve M730s. That weight includes the inbuilt front hub that is totally custom made by Spengle and the rear hub with Shimano internals and a Spengle built casing. Spengle have to be able to spec their own hubs because they have to be built to within nanometres of tolerance to fit into the rim, meaning there’s no option for swapping these out.

Results from deflection tests apparently indicate to Spengle that the wheel is plenty stiff enough all the way round to keep the wheels true and strong. The gaps in the rim are slightly less rigid than the the blade portions but apparently only deflect by less than 1mm more the bladed sections in their tests. In real terms they claim that no test rider has been able to tell the difference in 20,000 miles of riding.

Spengle say: “Being a ‘Monocoque,’ it is comprised of just one piece. This means that when exposed to stresses, the forces are distributed and absorbed across the entire structure, via the carbon. This results in no one area of the wheel being prone to failure, even when exposed to the most demanding forces.” Plus there’s a lifetime warranty so if something does go wrong, at least you’re covered.

Spengle are promising a smoother, more responsive and safer ride on these wheels and heralding them as the most advanced wheel in the world. Big talk. We’ll try and get some in for testing asap to see how those claims stack up and if they last longer than their predecessors. It would be rude not to when they look that good!

The wheels are currently 27.5 only, tubeless ready and cost about €1,500 (£1,325) for a pair. More info here.

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