Ride report: 500km in on Spinergy RevX superstiffs.
So my wheels have been taking me back and forth from work. And all I can say is that they are handling great. I read that some people had said that they warp a bit when taking high speed corners, but i have bombed hills at around 50km/h with turns and not felt any weirdness. I have been riding them pretty hard, commuting, hitting all kinds of rough surfaces and the occasional potholes and so far no problems. I do feel the effects of side winds, but so far nothing extreme, just a little nudge. I guess if I was running really narrow bars (knuckles to the stem) then I would worry a bit more, but my bars are 40cm wide and I have quite good leverage/control with them.
Due to the concerns of riding 7-8 year old carbon wheels, I have been checking for any cracks in the rivets, but I have found none.
The first few rides I took with them, I was a little worried due to the infection of people saying they will explode, but after a good bit of time and distance on them I feel very safe and comfortable on them.
They are very nice wheels, they seem to take away a bit of that nasty road buzz as well. I think the worst thing about them was having to pay ¥13,000 to Kalavinka to make a part to make the surly fixxer actually work properly with the wheel. But it is worthwhile paying because the wheels can be bought quite cheap and so in total it's not that much.
The only concern I do have for them is the blades getting knocked by other people when I park my bike. I parked in the communal parking area in my mansion (Japanese apartment building) and a neighbour managed to take a little ***** out of a blade, I checked the Spinergy FAQ and they said that it can withstand quite large chunks out of the blade, but to just seal the carbon with nail polish. I did that about 300km ago and it has been perfect since.
All in all I am happy. They genuinely feel faster, look good and ride well.
If you have any questions or want to add your own RevX experiences please post!
For those interested in the part that Kalavinka make for the conversion, here are some close ups I just took with my new camera!
Basically, it's a threaded piece that slots into the inner diameter of the bearing. Thus holding it securely. It also has notches so that it can be tightened into place and also to help hold when tightening the locknut on the end of the spacer(long silver tube).
Sheldon Brown didn't prove anything, he just posted a study that someone else did on his page. You're right though, it does appear as though, ten years ago, a 650c Spinergy was the stiffest wheel in the study, but that was ten years ago, and materials have changed a lot since then. There is absolutely no way that the Rev X is still "the stiffest wheel out there," or is any stiffer than a modern deep-section carbon rim (and considerably less aerodynamic).
Originally Posted by doofo
the main cause of fit problems is riding your bike
you should have just stopped riding so you could focus on color coordination
Whilst you hold some valid arguments, I must digress.
The RevX is very aerodynamic. It's blades are still highly regarded and in the competitions that they are still legal in, they are used. Of course I agree that they are probably not the stiffest wheel out there, but they are stiff and they are very aero. The first iterations of the wheel were not so stiff (and prone to implosion), but the superstiff were much stiffer and are just a bit less stiff than the 650c versions that held the stiffest acclaim.
Of course Sheldon "just hosted" that data, but if you read the methods they used and look at the variety of wheels, including traditional spoked wheels. They did a very good job of showing the differences (even it is was with non-real world pressures).
That is all besides the point. I am posting the results of my last 500km riding since getting the wheels. i know they are old, I know there is better now. But they fit my budget, and I had always wanted a set because I loved their look.
(talk of aero performance is kinda mute in a SS/FG forum anyway, where we will never ride as fast as we can as if we were on geared bikes. Which is why I have kept my old axel and freehub from the rear wheel, so that if I get a road frame in the future and my wheels are still going strong I can bring them with me)
bianchi brava 1988. fuji track 2007, 2006 Bianchi Pista, 1987 Miele and a strida knock off
good stuff with the wheel, if you need more info, you can check out my blog.
I have some older posts with pretty much all the documented history on the wheel, and newsgroup copied postings from kraig willet and damon rinard - two very respected bicycle engineers.
I also have posted a quick DIY on how to stiffen the wheel further.
it is fact that a fair number of the spinergy REV-x wheels did go soft due to loss of tension in the spokes, but seeing as u have the version of the hub that prevents self-collapsing between them, you are fine.
there was one road rider that claimed he could not even hold the wheel flat agasint the ground (axle facing the ground) and do a push-up on it with his own body weight since the spokes would bow out against his weight.
nice to hear a good ride report tho, lots of these wheels have very low mileage on them and work well, for at least as fast as a fixed gear will ever get.
here is Mr Rinard's (the author of the structural wheel stiffness test that is hosted on sheldon's site) rebuttle to that website regarding "exploding carbon wheels of failure"
From: Damon Rinard ...@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: Spinergy Safety
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Association for Cycling Safety (ACS) John Unsworth, Director wrote:
> The issues
> raised [on the ACS web site] involve design and comments regarding those issues would be most
I believe you've made some mistakes about composite construction. On
your web page, you say the epoxy between the spokes is a spacer. I
believe it is what holds the wheel together: a structural bond.
You seem to imply that it is the rivets that hold the two halves
together, but I expect that is true only for the hour or less while the
epoxy cures. Riveting bonded joints during cure is a common form of
tooling for composite manufacture. The rivets in this kind of
construction, though permanently part of the wheel, are in function
merely temporary, and are not usually intended to bear any significant
load once the epoxy cures.
I also disagree with the direction of deflections shown in your
illustrations. You seem to believe the spoke bends sharply near the rim
on the tension side during a turn (the spoke on the outside of the
turn). I think there is probably little change in shape in the spokes
during use. If anything, the outside spoke will increase in tension, and
thus be more firmly held straight. Possibly the inside spoke may become
more slack. This is the reverse of your hypothetical drawing, and of
course of a much smaller magnitude than your illustration.
Also, your theory that the aero rim section acts as a lever to increase
the stress at the spoke joint is based on faulty understanding of just
how stiff that rim is. According to my measurements it is not capable of
flexing locally as you seem to imply. See
for the method and some results of my wheel stiffness test. Not included
there is the fact that I measured one Spinergy's lateral deflection both
at a spoke and between two spokes. The deflection was the same.
So I believe the dual lever effect you propose is not significant, and
may not exist at all.
> At the time I was working with a group at the University of Toronto,
> Institute for Aerospace Studies.
> The group included leading experts on composite structures and designs
> utilizing carbon fiber. They examined the wheel and their observations
> formed the basis of the report.
These leading experts must not have been familiar with how a bicycle
wheel is loaded, or they would not have proposed such unrealistic bends
and deflections. And I hope you simply misunderstood their structual
explanations, since they are so far from typical composite construction
It all seems a bit rhetorical to me. He makes a few analogies and talks about things people have said to him, but there is nothing solid in there and there is nothing to back up his claims. It is a weird article, it starts off supporting RevX's, but devolves into practically calling the engineers who built it liars.
I know that the X-beams make little difference. that was proven in the testing that was posted in the sheldon brown site. They said the improvement in stiffness was nominal. But the superstiff model themselves have been clearly and empirically proven to be a stiff wheel with little flex.
Trueno: Thanks for the link. I researched these wheels for a long time before i bought them and made sure to get the super stiffs. They are great wheels and I am really happy with them. The typical response on this site to questions about them is a ticking bomb, with links to that site with a few reports of early models that had the 'bad' hub design. I wanted to let people know that there is a good option for getting the rear converted to fit a 120mm dropout and run FG. I only found a posting on the roadbikereview forum of someone who converted his with a fixxer, but had had to use his original axel due to the bearings not matching on the fixxer. After i bought the wheelset and fixxer, I found a small post from years ago on the surly site saying the fixxer will not work for the revX.
Luckily Kalavinka is close to my work (I walked there) so I could get them to make the part. (they list this service on their website.)
They also accept this service to be done via mail, but it requires you to ship them your rear wheel and them shipping it back to you. I don't know how economically viable this would be, but it seems the best option.
The track drops are cool, I still have them and can switch over to them or my cut down risers whenever I like because I have another front brake set up already for using other bars.
If you don't like the wheels, then fair enough. They are miles better than aerospokes (light and actually aero). They are a bit lighter than Hed3s, but I don't know which is more aero. the Hed3 makes a cooler louder swish swish noise though.
Anyway, I am glad you disapprove of my bike. I like it, I like the position the bars give me. It rides great!
Next to change is clipless road pedals and nice road shoes and a Specialized Toupe saddle.
Scroll to the bottom of the link http://www2.bsn.com/cycling/WheelAerodynamics.html for some (vendor supplied) drag comparisons. I haven't found any other sources comparing a rev x with a aerospoke, but the chart I linked seems to indicate that they are comparable with regards to drag. Weight and lateral stiffness are another story...
Thanks Adrino. I relooked at the chart. I had a quick look before and saw the side force column and thought that it was all about the side force.
It shows that the RevX at 0 yaw does indeed produce 5 grams more drag than the aerospoke. But at 5 degrees it produces far less than the aerospoke and falls into line with the other aero wheels. At 15, and 30 degrees, it produces far less drag than almost any other wheel tested. Only the Specialized ultralight and Nimble wheels produced less drag at a variety of yaws.
So I am sorry that I misread the data, but thanks to you, I have looked at it more closely and seen the RevX is actually a pretty good wheel! Thanks.
Also of note is the range of error, which is plus or minus 20 grams, which is the range of variation in the top selection of the wheels, so it is very hard to say this data actually proves anything.
Also on the same page it shows a chart of rotating drag measured in grams of various other wheels. the best gets 95g. The chart that shows the RevX is vendor data and the best wheel gets 52g drag at zero degree yaw. Or are these completely different data sets showing completely different things? Please help explain these charts for us oh masterful Adrino.