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  1. #1
    Senior Member Pibber's Avatar
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    Spinergy Rev X road weight limit

    I've been looking for a wheelset to throw on one of my builds and I'm wondering what the weight/power limit on these would be. Clearly, used and possibly 15 years old, conservatively. I weigh 220(dropping pretty fast) and i think that's probably too heavy for these, but they'd look dope on my blue Caad. Besides, they come with an old DA 8spd cassette which is extremely fortuitous in that i'm actually building that bike with an early 600 tricolor 8spd group.

    Should i just accept that i'm too fat to ride these?


    cross posting in 41.

  2. #2
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    IIRC, limit was 200ish, when they were new. They are likely older than 15. They had a reputation for delaminating. I had one friend who spun the hub assembly out of the shell. The shop I used to hang it (now long gone) had one they used as a gate between the retail space and the work area. It wasn't much good fro anything else at that point. I would avoid.
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  3. #3
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    Senior Member Pibber's Avatar
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    yup, i'm aware of the failures. was never conclusive that the wheels were defective, but, yes, that thought would be in the back of my mind. i won't be racing on them, they just look so cool.

  5. #5
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    I would not buy them at any price, but if you already own them then it's up to you.

  6. #6
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    I think they are cool looking but that is it. I would never ride one even if I was 125 pounds. Its sad but everything I have read is that they are a timebomb. Yeah, yours might never fail but then again, they might. http://pardo.net/bike/pic/fail-020/index.html

    I wouldn't say that you are too fat to ride the, I would say that those Spinergy wheels have proven themselves to be not exactly the most reliable and when fail, will fail catastrophically.

    Its different than when say even a normal low spoke count wheel has a spoke failure. When a spoke breaks on a low spoke count wheel, the wheel will probably start rubbing like crazy but you hopefully should be able to coast to a stop. The wheel probably won't collapse under your weight. When one of those Spinergys breaks something, it seems like the whole wheel then fails, like a domino effect.

    I would never want a critical bike part that has a reputation for failing in a spectacular fashion and has a requirement that the wheels be checked before every single ride to look for cracks. Each time you ride the wheels and hit something out of the ordinary, you are going to be nervous and get paranoid. I wouldn't want to ride on a bike like that no matter how cool it looks.

    Honestly, I would just offer the seller 30 dollars for the Dura Ace cassette and be done with it. Its not the weight limit that you need to be concerned with, its the reputation those wheels have.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Pibber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
    I think they are cool looking but that is it. I would never ride one even if I was 125 pounds. Its sad but everything I have read is that they are a timebomb. Yeah, yours might never fail but then again, they might. http://pardo.net/bike/pic/fail-020/index.html

    I wouldn't say that you are too fat to ride the, I would say that those Spinergy wheels have proven themselves to be not exactly the most reliable and when fail, will fail catastrophically.

    Its different than when say even a normal low spoke count wheel has a spoke failure. When a spoke breaks on a low spoke count wheel, the wheel will probably start rubbing like crazy but you hopefully should be able to coast to a stop. The wheel probably won't collapse under your weight. When one of those Spinergys breaks something, it seems like the whole wheel then fails, like a domino effect.

    I would never want a critical bike part that has a reputation for failing in a spectacular fashion and has a requirement that the wheels be checked before every single ride to look for cracks. Each time you ride the wheels and hit something out of the ordinary, you are going to be nervous and get paranoid. I wouldn't want to ride on a bike like that no matter how cool it looks.

    Honestly, I would just offer the seller 30 dollars for the Dura Ace cassette and be done with it. Its not the weight limit that you need to be concerned with, its the reputation those wheels have.

    so, over the ten + years that they were produced, how many failed? 1000? 3459? 200? it seems that a handful experienced failure under what may have been user error or just simple failure, as some components do regardless of origin.

    does anybody have an answer to my question?

  8. #8
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    I think you are missing the point. Yes, you are over the weight limit of the wheels when they were new much less 15-20 years later. They were early tech CF wheels that had some issues. Even Spinergy's website has special mention of the Rev X wheels: http://www.spinergy.com/catalog/tech/tech_v2.php They appear to want riders to really REALLY check the wheels all the time looking for cracks. To me that is pretty damned telling, when a manufacturer is specifically mentioning a wheel and telling you to check it all the time because there might be issues with it.

    Why would someone want a set of wheels that are prone to failure just for looks is beyond me unless the bike is going to sit in a shop window never to be ridden but who wants a bike that will never be ridden?

    There are much better wheelsets for the same money as a used set of Spinergy Rev X wheels.
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

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    No hard info, but if they were great they would still be making them.

  10. #10
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pibber View Post
    so, over the ten + years that they were produced, how many failed? 1000? 3459? 200? it seems that a handful experienced failure under what may have been user error or just simple failure, as some components do regardless of origin.

    does anybody have an answer to my question?
    I'm your weight. I would not ride Spinergy Rex-X wheels under any circumstances. Virtually every one that I've inspected has had cracks around the rivets that hold the two carbon halves together. As the cited article says, riveting a composite structure together simply creates a failure point.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Pibber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
    I think you are missing the point. Yes, you are over the weight limit of the wheels when they were new much less 15-20 years later. They were early tech CF wheels that had some issues. Even Spinergy's website has special mention of the Rev X wheels: http://www.spinergy.com/catalog/tech/tech_v2.php They appear to want riders to really REALLY check the wheels all the time looking for cracks. To me that is pretty damned telling, when a manufacturer is specifically mentioning a wheel and telling you to check it all the time because there might be issues with it.

    Why would someone want a set of wheels that are prone to failure just for looks is beyond me unless the bike is going to sit in a shop window never to be ridden but who wants a bike that will never be ridden?

    There are much better wheelsets for the same money as a used set of Spinergy Rev X wheels.



    i guess my take on all CF components is this; why even make it? even now i have to use a torque wrench to install CF components, so i don't think it's a matter of iteration(i mean, steel frames crack, aluminum dents, treks asplode.....). Spinergy mentions other wheels, not just the rev x. bikes are delivered with cracks in the chainstays, even.

    it's not solely the aesthetics, they would be time period correct for my 99 Caad along with having the right cassette already on the rear.

    checking over a bike pre-ride is de rigueur, no?


    i haven't laid hands or eyes on the wheelset i'm contemplating, yet. i'm just looking for as much real first hand experience/information as i can get.


    Thanks all!
    Last edited by Pibber; 02-25-14 at 12:25 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pibber View Post
    i guess my take on all CF components is this; why even make it? even now i have to use a torque wrench to install CF components, so i don't think it's a matter of iteration(i mean, steel frames crack, aluminum dents, treks asplode.....). Spinergy mentions other wheels, not just the rev x. bikes are delivered with cracks in the chainstays, even.

    checking over a bike pre-ride is de rigueur, no?
    The Rev X wheels have a specific design flaw apparently, the rivets holding the spokes in place. The Spinergy website says this on their website: "On older models, specifically the Rev X series of wheels, please inspect the entire wheel on a regular basis." Kind of interesting how they specifically point out that particular wheel. They warning you because of the potential for failure. Rev X wheels have a design flaw, not a defect. A defect is the things you are mentioning, cracks in new bikes, etc. The Rev X wheels have a flawed design that creates a high stress point for a carbon failure to occur.

    I am well WELL above your weight and do not hesitate to ride carbon forks and I have a nice alloy road bike with carbon stays as well even though the listed weight limits are quite a bit lower than my weight. I would probably not even mind riding an older bonded carbon frame with alloy lugs if the frame doesn't have a reputation for becoming unbonded. However I will draw the line at certain known components with design flaws. Example, I could have gotten a very pretty Vitus 979 mid eighties bonded alloy race frame that was beautiful for next to nothing but those frames are known to become unbonded especially at the BB area so I passed. But most Trek/Giant bonded CF frames with alloy lugs are considered to be quite durable and I would ride one. The Trek/Giant bonded CF tube frames don't have any Achilles issues other than being fairly heavy compared to modern CF frames.

    My whole point is why bother with components that have Achilles heel issues especially wheels. Even if I had the Vitus frame and rode it and the seat tube became unbonded, probably at worst, the bike would just become super noodley and flexy but I could probably at least slow the bike down and safely stop it. Most of the time, frame failures aren't catastrophic.
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

  13. #13
    Senior Member Pibber's Avatar
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    i guess i'll just use CF/Ti derailleurs. everything else will break, eventually.

    http://www.bustedcarbon.com/

  14. #14
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    I will also say just no don't on these they are 20 year old race wheels intended to last for a couple of races with a 160-180 rider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pibber View Post
    i guess i'll just use CF/Ti derailleurs. everything else will break, eventually.
    You posed a question, got reasonable answers based on both experience and good judgment but apparently refuse to accept them. It's your bike and your body. Do what you want.

  16. #16
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    I agree that using RevX wheels is a questionable choice. If their failure mode was less catastrophic I might say otherwise. But the loss of control isn't a slow process with enough warning for many to observe before the failure. It's a sudden loss of the wheel's structure and function.

    Even when these wheels were new i had my druthers, never sold then and only rode the repairs that came into the shop with them.

    Any one else remember the TV footage of one of the early TdF races where after one of the inevitable group crashes the mechanic is carrying away a bike with RevX hubs in one hand and the rims with fractured blades in the other hand.? This image stayed in my mind for a long time (I just mentioned this story a few weeks ago at the shop). I know of no traditionally spoked wheel that can suffer the same complete structure failure, even in an accident. I've seen dozens of bent wheels, broken rims, broken spokes, rolled or blown out tires, broken axles. BUT I have never seen ALL the spokes fail at the same time (and on both wheels at that). Andy.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Pibber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    You posed a question, got reasonable answers based on both experience and good judgment but apparently refuse to accept them. It's your bike and your body. Do what you want.

    as i said, i haven't even laid hands or eyes on the wheels in question. probably won't buy them considering age and reputation, but the fact is that there were far more successful rides on these wheels than not. i can find reports of frame and wheel failure for other bikes and wheels even now, but we still ride them; i.e. Mark Cavendish's wheel failure:





    what i find funny is the fearmongering among a bunch of people that routinely ride CF bikes with CF handlebars, seatposts, stems, rims, shift levers, pedals etc that have all failed at one point or another on any number of bikes from any number of manufacturers. i've gotten responses from people that completely ignore what i'm asking to post, mostly, what they've heard, or read, from an out of date website. so far, very few responses from people that have actually ridden them, and then they're still contradictory. one will attest to their weaknesses while another never had a problem.

    yes, it's a crap shoot, but it's a crap shoot everyday i get on the road and i figure that wheels that are actually still together years later might be up to the task of the occasional 20 mile ride with friends on a day off. maybe.

    and, after a lot more research, when failure specifics are brought up, it's a resonance/vibration problem that disassembles the wheel. at least that's what i get after reading through various old threads getting trolled and finally someone cuts to the chase.

  18. #18
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    Design flaw vs properly engineered. That is what you seem to be glossing over. I don't mind riding CF parts (I would not do CF handlebars/steerers though at my weight) because they are designed well and CF is extremely strong. Those Rev X wheels have a riveted construction that creates a stress point where the CF starts to crack, that is a design flaw, not an inherent weakness in the CF. The other notable issue is the CF delaminating which is another design flaw that is probably not present in the majority of CF parts.

    Those wheels have a reputation deserved or not and reputations have a history usually based upon truth. Same thing with death forks and death stems.

    Modern Spinergy wheels probably don't have negative reputations because they are properly engineered and constructed.
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pibber View Post
    ... but they'd look dope on my blue Caad. Besides, they come with an old DA 8spd cassette which is extremely fortuitous in that i'm actually building that bike with an early 600 tricolor 8spd group. cross posting in 41.
    The Rev X's - AKA: "Spinergy Death Wheels" clutter up our Craigslist regularly. I don't know anyone who is brake enough to actually these. Perhaps the incessent reposting of these wheels will eventually draw in some oblivious newb.

    I recommend you do buy these, only so that you can smash them up into to little bits (not while riding) and then stuff them deep into the trash. This act will eventually save someone facial reconstruction surgery - or worse.

    As far as the cassette - 8 speed cogs are 8 speed cogs. The original Dura-Ace cassettes were made of hard hard metal, but otherwise are compatible with every other 8-speed cassette (except Campy).

    I can scrounge up a relatively fresh 8-speed cogset from my local bike coop for about 5$.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pibber View Post
    as i said, i haven't even laid hands or eyes on the wheels in question. probably won't buy them considering age and reputation, but the fact is that there were far more successful rides on these wheels than not. i can find reports of frame and wheel failure for other bikes and wheels even now, but we still ride them; i.e. Mark Cavendish's wheel failure:



    what i find funny is the fearmongering among a bunch of people that routinely ride CF bikes with CF handlebars, seatposts, stems, rims, shift levers, pedals etc that have all failed at one point or another on any number of bikes from any number of manufacturers. i've gotten responses from people that completely ignore what i'm asking to post, mostly, what they've heard, or read, from an out of date website. so far, very few responses from people that have actually ridden them, and then they're still contradictory. one will attest to their weaknesses while another never had a problem.

    yes, it's a crap shoot, but it's a crap shoot everyday i get on the road and i figure that wheels that are actually still together years later might be up to the task of the occasional 20 mile ride with friends on a day off. maybe.
    Alternatively, the reason the wheels are still together is because they were never ridden. This is actually fairly common with older bike stuff.

    If you look at the image above, Cavendish's wheel didn't fail, another rider rode over it. Al wheels would likely have had spoke failures and a crash.

    You're trying to compare 20 yr old carbon to modern carbon. They aren't remotely the same.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Pibber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
    Alternatively, the reason the wheels are still together is because they were never ridden. This is actually fairly common with older bike stuff.

    If you look at the image above, Cavendish's wheel didn't fail, another rider rode over it. Al wheels would likely have had spoke failures and a crash.

    You're trying to compare 20 yr old carbon to modern carbon. They aren't remotely the same.

    of course, that's very possible. it's also possible that those wheels weren't abused or were actually as sturdy as thousands of other wheels they sold.

    at least we know the context of that wheel failure, so to speak. researching the wheel, of course, led me to all types of anecdotal evidence of failure, but rarely any real evidence of what actually broke the wheel. i've seen one video of a delaminated wheel, allegedly, from over inflation of a tire, maybe?

    though, all of this is kinda moot, as the ad has been deleted, so i can't contact the seller anyway I understand the tech is farther along, now, i just figured a period correct set for my 99 or 95 would be nice.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pibber View Post
    of course, that's very possible. it's also possible that those wheels weren't abused or were actually as sturdy as thousands of other wheels they sold.
    Boy, are you hard to convince. Yes they may be as sturdy as "the thousands of other wheels they sold", which is not saying much. Many of them broke and splintered. At some point "anecdotal evidence" accumulates to the point that it's established fact.

    If the cosmetics of having period correct wheels offsets concern for safety, keep looking and another set will show up.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Pibber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Boy, are you hard to convince. Yes they may be as sturdy as "the thousands of other wheels they sold", which is not saying much. Many of them broke and splintered. At some point "anecdotal evidence" accumulates to the point that it's established fact.

    If the cosmetics of having period correct wheels offsets concern for safety, keep looking and another set will show up.

    Oh, i'm hardheaded, certainly. I'm not convinced I should or shouldn't buy them. I was looking for information. If i was really looking for someone to buoy any preconceived notions i would have ran out and bought them based on carpediem's post on the 41 thread. I really don't want this to turn into the helmet thread. Some people are dead set that wearing a helmet lulls people into a false sense of safety, and others see them as an integral part of riding, now. I sometimes don't wear a helmet, and i feel just fine. At my age, i'm not doing any racing, but i will go on small group rides, rides with my friends mainly, and go at it a little.

    Yes, i need information to base my decision upon. Nobody can say, "X happened and this is why the wheel failed". did they fail during a training ride? Is their use during CX races indicative of their actual strength? Are they simply TT wheels that have been misused by roadies? Is there really a resonance/vibration problem with them? I suppose these questions can't be answered; i'm sorta fine with that. Some say the rivets cause the structural weakness issues, but some have said that this was the actual fix for the same issue.

    I ride Cannondales. I've had several people walk by my bike(s) and call them "crack n fails", which i find humorous considering i was hit while riding my 87 and it's fine, structurally. So, in my experience, the crack n fail jokes are BS. Yeah, there have been frame failures, but same with trek, Spec, and others. I will say this, I'm happy I was wearing a helmet the day i got hit. So, the ad is down, and it's passed me by, no skin off my back, yet

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pibber View Post
    Oh, i'm hardheaded, certainly. I'm not convinced I should or shouldn't buy them. I ride Cannondales. I've had several people walk by my bike(s) and call them "crack n fails", which i find humorous considering i was hit while riding my 87 and it's fine, structurally.
    There we agree. However, frame failures (except forks) are usually benign and mostly result in riding home very gingerly or a cell phone call, not a trip to the ER. Wheel failures, particularly massive ones, aren't so benign. As I said earlier, it's your bike, your money and your body.

  25. #25
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pibber View Post
    as i said, i haven't even laid hands or eyes on the wheels in question. probably won't buy them considering age and reputation, but the fact is that there were far more successful rides on these wheels than not. i can find reports of frame and wheel failure for other bikes and wheels even now, but we still ride them; i.e. Mark Cavendish's wheel failure:





    what i find funny is the fearmongering among a bunch of people that routinely ride CF bikes with CF handlebars, seatposts, stems, rims, shift levers, pedals etc that have all failed at one point or another on any number of bikes from any number of manufacturers. i've gotten responses from people that completely ignore what i'm asking to post, mostly, what they've heard, or read, from an out of date website. so far, very few responses from people that have actually ridden them, and then they're still contradictory. one will attest to their weaknesses while another never had a problem.

    yes, it's a crap shoot, but it's a crap shoot everyday i get on the road and i figure that wheels that are actually still together years later might be up to the task of the occasional 20 mile ride with friends on a day off. maybe.

    and, after a lot more research, when failure specifics are brought up, it's a resonance/vibration problem that disassembles the wheel. at least that's what i get after reading through various old threads getting trolled and finally someone cuts to the chase.
    Intersting that you'd mention Cav's crash as an example of carbon wheel failure. It was the type of riding (sprinting in an aggressive pack) that caused this wheel's collapse. Also interesting in that the reports i remember after tis crash were of a wheel that returned to almost perfect state of trueness. No spokes broke, no rim cracked, no loss of structureal integerty after the forces were removed (the crash was over).

    The reports of the RevXs that have failed that i've read about all involve crashes that are the result of failure, not the other way around.

    Another example of poor desing is the 4 spoke/blade pairings. If one fails and this failed pair rotates to the top of the wheel then the bike has no ability to hang from the top section of the rim any longer. As the bike begins to drop to the ground the, now no longer round, wheel jams on the brake bridge if you're lucky. If you're not lucky the wheel that failed jams on the fork crown. So pray that the rear is the one that fails. Andy.

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