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Thread: Berd spokes.

  1. #1
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    Berd spokes.

    Maybe a year ago I became aware of a new technology being used to make bicycle spokes.


    By and large spokes are made from steel these days, primarily because steel makes for such a great blend of weight, cost, and durability. Experimentation with aluminum and composites has happened and will continue to -- that's how the breed improves.


    Spokemakers have, in recent years, embraced straight pull spokes (of steel and aluminum) for reasons of, um, marketing, best I can tell. They haven't been proven to do anything better than j-bend spokes, other than introduce a confounding choice onto an unsuspecting and largely uneducated public. I think the conversation probably went something like this:


    Marketing hack A: "How do we sell more of something without actually improving it?"

    Marketing hack B: "Divide, confuse, and conquer? Oh, plus new colorways!"


    My perspective is that straight pull spokes are a "solution" to a non-existent problem.


    Ahem. Did I digress?!


    I'm writing today about Berd spokes. You can read their shpiel here -- it's the same stuff I read when I first heard about them. The reading isn't particularly compelling, but it's informative enough if you pay attention. Basically, these spokes knock a good chunk of mass off of any wheel when compared with steel spokes, they don't give up any strength or stiffness in so doing, and they add a measure of dampness to a wheel.





    Lighter, stronger, and more comfortable? What's the catch?


    Glad you asked. The catch is in cost per spoke, as well as in increased labor time to build each wheel. Which also adds more cost to each wheel. Basically, a wheelset built with these spokes is expensive relative to any other spoke available.


    Your next question is undoubtedly some variation on "How much?" immediately followed by "Are they worth it?"


    The answers are "quite a bit" and "it depends".


    Let's not get ahead of ourselves...


    My ears perked up when I learned that the source material is Dyneema, which I know and trust from the HMG packs that Jeny and I have used for years. The stuff is incredibly light and unbelievably abrasion resistant. I know there are a lot of other attributes that are important in a pack, but for me those are the big two. After years and years of abusing our HMG packs -- bushwhacking through alder and devils club in AK, grinding and dragging them through dry scrub oak and wet slot canyons in the Colorado Plateau -- and them being dirty but otherwise none the worse for wear, I've come to think of Dyneema as an incredibly impressive material.


    "Sure", you're saying, "for a pack". But, good enough for bicycle spokes?


    Read on.


    It takes a good chunk longer to build a wheel with these spokes. Some of that is in the lacing process, as the loop at the head of the spoke needs to be pulled through the spoke hole in the hub, and this isn't as easy as it sounds. Then you slip a little 'rod' of Dyneema through that loop, pull the spoke tight by hand, then move on to the next one. It isn't complicated -- is actually anything but -- it just takes a little more time than you're used to. Home builders that love the process of building their own wheels will get to spend more time enjoying that process.





    There is additional time required in the tensioning process, because the material these spokes are made from has inherent stretch. Basically you need to bring the wheel up to ~final tension, do some stress relief cycles, tension it again, stress relieve again, tension once more, then hang it up for a few days and let the spokes elongate. You do not finish a wheel built with these spokes in one sitting.





    Come back to it a few days later, get it true/round/dished to spec, *then* balance it out at final tension. The guys at Berd will help you with the nuances of your spoke calc, and they'll also provide numbers appropriate to whichever tensiometer you're using. Expect to take 2+ hours on your first one, then maybe a little less on each subsequent. I can't see how you'll ever get build time equivalent to a steel spoked wheel, nor do I think it's important that that happens.





    I only have hundreds of miles on these spokes, on two different bikes, so the jury is still out on long term durability. Once I have thousands of miles I'll feel more confident in saying what they can and cannot handle as far as abrasion and impact.





    I did take a sharp shears to one, under tension, just to see how it would react, as sort of a crude abrasion test. It took several hacks at the thin section of the spoke to get it to cut, and even then it wasn't like you could cut immediately through the whole thing -- there were several strands that just wouldn't cut completely without several hacks and a lot of effort. In the video above I am not 'lillydipping' with the scissors -- I'm really cutting hard. The result of this crude experiment is confidence inspiring when considering sharp schist or shale plates that get thrown up, or even just incidental contact with the local square-edged sandstone and granite. Just one indicator, but an impressive one.





    The ride is subtly different from anything else I've ridden before. I should clarify that on my first build with these I took an existing wheelset using DT 240s hubs, Derby carbon rims, and DT SuperComp spokes -- a wheelset that I'd ridden over 2k miles already -- and cut out the SuperComps, then relaced with the Berd's. I even re-used the same tires, at the same pressures, such that the only thing that had changed was the spoke material. This single change created a net loss of 110g per wheel. Not a misprint.


    I could call them "damp" but you might get the idea that that means "slow". I could call them "quiet" but you might misconstrue that as "muted". Nothing about the ride is extraordinary relative to a normal steel spoked wheel, it's just a little different. I am princess and the pea when it comes to minutiae like this, and it's possible that what I feel when riding the Berd spokes just won't be noticeable to you. Put differently, there is no discernible difference in overall wheel stiffness in any plane, no change in how the overall package handles what you're throwing at it. They are still stiff, strong wheels -- they just got a lot lighter and now seem to absorb more vibration from the trail.


    I'm not a hard-core numbers guy so I can't say that they make me feel x% fresher at the end of a ride. And I'm not fast so I can't say they make me faster. But I can say that I like the feel -- enough that I'm lacing another set for myself. The absorption of trail vibrations is noticeable enough that, were I still an endurance nerd out chasing sunsets, I'd emphatically be using these for both training and racing.


    I'm building with them for customers effective immediately. Expect to gasp audibly at the price -- $8 per spoke plus extra labor time, on top of hubs, rims, and (probably) shipping.


    Don't hesitate with questions.


  2. #2
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    I've been looking at these for a while now. When they originally came out, before they were really on the market, they were saying that they'd be offering them at CX-Ray/Aerolite prices.

    I saw their recent updates, have seen some of the German brands starting to build wheels with them, etc. Saw the prices, too. Obviously the weight loss was compelling, but the price was hard to swallow.

    Might try building up a single front wheel with them to see how I like them. If all goes well, maybe build up a matching rear.
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    New question here. Threaded connection...how is this attached to threads and what's max tension spec??

    Looks like "special" string...can you say something more on the build peculiarities pls...looks quite a bit thicker than any hub drillings. Some of the photos didn't show up, do these use nip's, if not how is tension controlled??
    ...

  4. #4
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    Why not rear first? I say that simply because I think you'd notice the benefits (both weight and dampness) more there.

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    Cool idea. Looking forward to the price coming down

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    you need better scissors

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    Quote Originally Posted by dundundata View Post
    you need better scissors

    You need better reading comprehension.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Looks like "special" string...can you say something more on the build peculiarities pls...looks quite a bit thicker than any hub drillings. Some of the photos didn't show up, do these use nip's, if not how is tension controlled??

    Normal nips, although because of how/where you have to hold the spoke to control windup, you more or less need to true/tension with a thru-the-rim spoke wrench.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Why not rear first? I say that simply because I think you'd notice the benefits (both weight and dampness) more there.
    Got a front 240 laying around.

    Although, I also have a 240 laced to a tubular road rim that hasnít touched a CX course in many moons...


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    Ok I can see the photo now...rigid or ht ride back to back swapping wheels would clear up any questionable "spoke damping" affect, if any.

    The stainless steel-to-Berd connection is where I'm still scratching my head a little. What is max tension? edit- and are they saying only carbon rims for these Berd? Aluminum rims over carbon seem the way to go for a more compliant ride imhe
    ...

  11. #11
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    @mikesee Great write up, tempting to try out on the rear of my ht. Have you built up any wheels using Otsos rims? In particular their LITHIC CARBON 27.5+ RIM?


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    Say a rear d killed a coupl'a spokes...do you think these could be threaded in there trailside, w/o removing cassette?
    ...

  13. #13
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    I like the light weight. When they are $2 per spoke we can talk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Say a rear d killed a coupl'a spokes...do you think these could be threaded in there trailside, w/o removing cassette?
    Just looking at the pictures its hit or miss as to which spoke you break. Since cassettes have aluminum spiders and there is some space but if you get one thats inline with the spider you may not be able to.


    If they were $2 a spoke Id have ordered some lol. $8 is insanely steep but looking close at the pics (mike has been discussing with us in another thread) I can see why. Not one part of these is made by readily available equipment. Its all specialized which is why. Probably talking an easy $100k in the tooling to produce these and the time it takes to make each spoke to desired length. My guess would be that a full wheel set of spokes can be rolled and cut faster than it does to just get a set of these cut to length. Then install the ends.

    So I can see the costs, painfully steep but not unjustified.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Say a rear d killed a coupl'a spokes...do you think these could be threaded in there trailside, w/o removing cassette?

    I suppose it's possible if you have some tools with you, but not easy and not quick.

    edit: On second thought, no -- not without removing cassette and maybe rotor, depending.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geraldooka View Post
    @mikesee Great write up, tempting to try out on the rear of my ht. Have you built up any wheels using Otsos rims? In particular their LITHIC CARBON 27.5+ RIM?

    Nope, no Otso's yet.

  17. #17
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    Last year's thread: Polymer Berd Spokes
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Oh boy, I can't wait to get my wheels relaced with Polylights. @mikesee, you mentioned several stress relief cycles during several days course, which does not align with the building manual that only suggest to stress relief spokes before final pass and to tension the spokes one day later. Did you find Berd's instructions insufficient or decided to play it safe and go along with your wheel building experience?

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    Glow in the dark..

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I suppose it's possible if you have some tools with you, but not easy and not quick.

    edit: On second thought, no -- not without removing cassette and maybe rotor, depending.
    A bigger loop could make for a trailside wheel fix in bfe(loop over top of the flange), so the spoke could tie thru the loop and hold itself in place w/o the little piece. Just need to poke the loop thru and fish it out...they definitely have an interesting look, wonder what colors will be available
    ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    wonder what colors will be available
    You can have any color as long as it's white. At least for now.

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    Tangentially related, I've used a Fiberfix emergency spoke a couple of times on road bikes. https://www.adventurecycling.org/cyc...iberfix-spoke/
    Do the math.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Tangentially related, I've used a Fiberfix emergency spoke a couple of times on road bikes. https://www.adventurecycling.org/cyc...iberfix-spoke/
    I thought of this immediately when I saw the Berd Spoke. Never thought of building a whole wheel with the stuff.
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    There is a huge difference between that repair kit and these spokes, completely different material.

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    How can these build a wheel as stiff as one built with stainless steel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee View Post
    How can these build a wheel as stiff as one built with stainless steel?
    they cannot be as stiff

    but it is largely irrelevant, wheel will stay centered, just feel a tad more forgiving
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    they cannot be as stiff

    but it is largely irrelevant, wheel will stay centered, just feel a tad more forgiving
    What about side loads? Would the wheel/rim bend? Seems to fly in the face of boost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee View Post
    How can these build a wheel as stiff as one built with stainless steel?
    Tension
    It doesn't seem like it should work (in my brain) but if you've ever laced a wheel and felt how loose things are until the spokes are tensioned (and it doesn't take much)

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    Lightweights are some of the stiffest wheels made (and most expensive) and they use a carbon/Kevlar spoke.

    I see no reason these canít be as stiff as a steel spoked wheel.


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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Lightweights are some of the stiffest wheels made (and most expensive) and they use a carbon/Kevlar spoke.

    I see no reason these canít be as stiff as a steel spoked wheel.


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    I can't read German. If they use carbon in their spokes, carbon is stiffer than steel; kevlar not.

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    You realize spoke material means absolutely nothing in that regard right? Its all about the tension compressing the rim and how the loads are spread through the spokes/rim. The only way spokes would effect the wheel build in that way is if they were stretching and contracting during riding. All that matters is that when wheel build is completed the spokes no longer elongate and cause loss of tension on other spokes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee View Post
    I can't read German. If they use carbon in their spokes, carbon is stiffer than steel; kevlar not.
    Saying that carbon is stiffer than steel is not true. It CAN be stiffer than steel.

    But, weíre also talking about bodies under tension. Not chain stays or down tubes.


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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    You realize spoke material means absolutely nothing in that regard right? Its all about the tension compressing the rim and how the loads are spread through the spokes/rim. The only way spokes would effect the wheel build in that way is if they were stretching and contracting during riding. All that matters is that when wheel build is completed the spokes no longer elongate and cause loss of tension on other spokes.

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    Dude, you realize that you can only tension spokes so much. The rim has to be able to take the tension else it will crack.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee View Post
    Dude, you realize that you can only tension spokes so much. The rim has to be able to take the tension else it will crack.


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    And spoke tension, after a certain point (well below rim or spoke failure) has no impact on wheel stiffness.


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    ^ exactly. After a certain point it doesnt effect stiffness to any noticeable level. Once that point is reached all you are doing is pulling harder on the rim, the "stretch" of a spoke stops at a certain point.

    Even rider/bike weight can matter. A 150lb rider can run a lower tension to get the same feel and strength of a said wheel than a 250lb guy can.

    Bicycle wheels are like a cable suspension bridge. When you put weight on the axle, the load is actually carried by pulling on the spokes at the top. The spokes at the bottom actually loose a little bit of tension. Basically spokes are nothing but a bunch of support cables.

    Also why when you install and inflate a tire to fully pressure if you check spoke tension it is actually lower.

    So material used doesnt matter as long as its strong enough for the task and its fatigue life is long enough be useful in the application.

    Technically you could build a wheel with large deep sea kevlar fishing line and it would be as stiff and strong initially as anything else. But its useful life is really short and almost no abrasion resistance. Same with using just basic steel cable. But same problems. Fatigue life as well as just service life in general.

    Thats why stainless is the go to. Cheap, lasts a long time, corrosion resistant, any elongation during use comes returns to normal (elasticity) for its working life and is rather resistant to impacts and abrasions.


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    Berd spokes.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    ^ exactly. After a certain point it doesnt effect stiffness to any noticeable level. Once that point is reached all you are doing is pulling harder on the rim, the "stretch" of a spoke stops at a certain point.

    Even rider/bike weight can matter. A 150lb rider can run a lower tension to get the same feel and strength of a said wheel than a 250lb guy can.

    Bicycle wheels are like a cable suspension bridge. When you put weight on the axle, the load is actually carried by pulling on the spokes at the top. The spokes at the bottom actually loose a little bit of tension. Basically spokes are nothing but a bunch of support cables.

    Also why when you install and inflate a tire to fully pressure if you check spoke tension it is actually lower.

    So material used doesnt matter as long as its strong enough for the task and its fatigue life is long enough be useful in the application.

    Technically you could build a wheel with large deep sea kevlar fishing line and it would be as stiff and strong initially as anything else. But its useful life is really short and almost no abrasion resistance. Same with using just basic steel cable. But same problems. Fatigue life as well as just service life in general.

    Thats why stainless is the go to. Cheap, lasts a long time, corrosion resistant, any elongation during use comes returns to normal (elasticity) for its working life and is rather resistant to impacts and abrasions.


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    Yeah. If the Berd spokes are made of typical UHMW polyethylene, they should be ~15x more abrasion resistant than carbon steel. Thatís huge.

    The problem with it is that itís really hard to tie into knots. Which is probably some of why the cost is so high.


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    From what I can see in the pics (mike needs to chime in on this though)

    Its not knotted though unless it is on the threaded end. Its ran into a loop with what appears to be a little nub that goes in the loop to hold it into the spoke holes on the hubs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Its not knotted though unless it is on the threaded end. Its ran into a loop with what appears to be a little nub that goes in the loop to hold it into the spoke holes on the hubs.

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    Sorry, what I meant to say is that, in order to make the loop on the hub end, they couldn't use a knot like a bowline or something; they had to weave it back into itself to make the loop. Which obviously makes manufacturing more difficult on their end.

    If it was simply cutting lengths of cord and tying knots in the end, it would be a lot, lot cheaper.
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    Ya that makes sense. I dont know anything about how they do that with any form of thread or cable. But would make one question the strength at that one location, the loop. Basic knowledge would be the loop is made simply, thus only half as thick at that location than the rest. But we cant see whats under the outer layer. If it is indeed layered as it appears.

    But what little reading Ive done on the material since mike started these threads it seems, though costly, they can do things standard steel cable or rope doesnt respond as well to in a design and manufacturing sense.

    Rather intriguing just trying to get a clue what these guys did. But mike's been hammering on them and they are holding up. Even if the marketing is only half of the improvements they say, still could be the future of spoke design. Especially if they deal with crap getting in them like sticks and such better than steel spokes do.

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  39. #39
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    I'm still curious how the threaded "spoke" attaches to the string part of the spoke. Also, what's the threaded part made of? I suggested to Berd that these be made black instead of white so they'll stay looking new longer. White Spinergy PBO spokes get stained black easily.
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    Check out the Wiki entries for UHMWPE. It's pretty amazing stuff.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-...t_polyethylene
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt View Post
    I'm still curious how the threaded "spoke" attaches to the string part of the spoke. Also, what's the threaded part made of? I suggested to Berd that these be made black instead of white so they'll stay looking new longer. White Spinergy PBO spokes get stained black easily.
    Looking at pictures in some articles, it looks like it's actually the end of a spoke.

    No clue on the other question, though. Fixed with some epoxy, perhaps? And, under tension, the woven part should grip the "spoke" portion with incredible force. Think Chinese finger trap made out of crazy strong fiber under 120kgf.
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    Quite a bit of extra grip it has on the flange there, I'd like to see how abrasive it is on the hub after some solid ride time
    ...

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    so they work out at the same or depending on length a similar weight to the old Pillar Ti spokes. I assume their inherant flex will not be as good as the Berds and durability. So we are looking at 1g max savings per spoke over say the Sapims Supers, which are less than 1/2 the costs. Will wait a bit and see reviews and for the black ones to appear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Check out the Wiki entries for UHMWPE. It's pretty amazing stuff.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-...t_polyethylene
    I meant the metal part. It looks like a piece of a normal spoke to me too but stainless or Ti? I'm a sailor and kite surfer so familiar with Dyneema.
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    Quote Originally Posted by poynt View Post
    so they work out at the same or depending on length a similar weight to the old Pillar Ti spokes. I assume their inherant flex will not be as good as the Berds and durability. So we are looking at 1g max savings per spoke over say the Sapims Supers, which are less than 1/2 the costs. Will wait a bit and see reviews and for the black ones to appear.
    Are Sapim Supers lighter than CX-Rays? When I calculated weights I came up with saving something like 2g per spoke. Cutting a 1/4lb out of an already very light XC wheelset is impressive.
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  46. #46
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    They are less than 2g a spoke. Thatís (less than) half of a CX-Ray.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    They are less than 2g a spoke. Thatís (less than) half of a CX-Ray.




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    I thought cxrays(bladed) were 4.5g, supers were 3.5g and there is also a cx-super(bladed) as well at 3.6g. The Pillar mega SS are 3.5g as well. Berds seem to come out at 2.3-2.8g depending on lengths.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt View Post
    I meant the metal part. It looks like a piece of a normal spoke to me too but stainless or Ti? I'm a sailor and kite surfer so familiar with Dyneema.
    The two key things here are the mechanical connection between the two materials, and their maximum tension specification...to me these are the 1st two bits of information that would get end user's/builders interest. Hopefully someone can shed some light
    ...

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Saying that carbon is stiffer than steel is not true. It CAN be stiffer than steel.

    But, weíre also talking about bodies under tension. Not chain stays or down tubes.


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    Just in case there is noob confusion:

    Chain stays are usually under tension, as are down tubes unless you're cramming your front wheel into something.

    I'm guessing LD meant seat stays and top tubes.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    Just in case there is noob confusion:

    Chain stays are usually under tension, as are down tubes unless you're cramming your front wheel into something.

    I'm guessing LD meant seat stays and top tubes.
    Now, Iím no engineer, but:

    Isnít a chain stay being pulled, or compressed, towards the BB by chain tension?

    Serious question. Genuinely curious.


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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Now, Iím no engineer, but:

    Isnít a chain stay being pulled, or compressed, towards the BB by chain tension?

    Serious question. Genuinely curious.


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    Yep, the right chain stay is pulled towards the BB if the force you put on the chain is greater than the tension exerted by your weight on the bike, at least as I understand it.

    Also sounds like a great explanation of why the right CS tends to crack right in front of the dropout, but I was already digressing so I'll stop.

    edit: I should point out that with the 'noob' comment I wasn't referring to you, but someone who may read this but not feel like jumping into the pool with us weirdos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by poynt View Post
    I thought cxrays(bladed) were 4.5g, supers were 3.5g and there is also a cx-super(bladed) as well at 3.6g. The Pillar mega SS are 3.5g as well. Berds seem to come out at 2.3-2.8g depending on lengths.
    Correct CX-Rays are 4.5 - 4.6 grams.
    Superspokes - 3.6 grams.
    Super CX-Rays - 3.7 grams. Scale pic.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Berd spokes.-img_9093_1.jpg  


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    So $500+ to save say 55g, that's a $10/g. Fine if they are the last possible upgrade on an already ww bike, but I can think of other parts before to change. We will have to see longer term how they behave, stretch, slacking, re truing abrasion etc.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by poynt View Post
    So $500+ to save say 55g, that's a $10/g. Fine if they are the last possible upgrade on an already ww bike, but I can think of other parts before to change. We will have to see longer term how they behave, stretch, slacking, re truing abrasion etc.
    Well...

    Sort of. If youíre comparing them to Sapim Super Spokes, the retail price of those is similar, at least for the black ones.

    So, instead of spending that same amount of money on Super Spokes, you could get spokes that appear to weigh 2.2g a piece, and might exceed steel in some desirable qualities.

    Seems to me that you'd save most of 100g over Sapim Super Spokes for not much more money. If someone is spending $5.75 to $8.25 for spokes already, I think the Berd spokes would receive consideration as well.

    Sapim Super Spoke - Bladed - Black

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    True I am not saying I wouldn't be interested, as that is why we are all here in this thread. I have two sets of existing wheels with supers so spending that much to loose that much is harder than if I was starting a new wheelset from scratch, which if I did then I would like to maximise the benefits of weight loss and no doubt end up with new rims and lighter hubs as well. $$$$$

    super spokes black are equivelant to $3.90 and cx supers are $4.80 online in Germany.

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    Curious to know how the interface to the steel bit at the end works. Will also be waiting for the price to come down.

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    maybe in the near future we may see progression when other companies that see this solution and adapt or add their expertise to possible weak areas and improve say the thread interface or where the spoke interfaces the rim/hub etc. We all know 1st gen stuff always have their problems and over time solutions are found and prices drop..usually!

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    I dont think the super spokes to berd spokes comparison is apples to apples. Super spokes in general are limited use, tiny spokes. They sacrifice a fair amount of strength to save weight. And not widly use in mountain bike applications due to overall smaller size.

    Berd spokes are, even by a small amount, stronger than any butted spokes. No info on comparison to good straight gauge. But all tested the same way and testing proves stronger. Having seen how materials are tested for that application its very standardized so no falsifying that.

    Need to look at the big picture. The only matter we are awaiting reports on is longevity.

    Of course room for improvements, but if you look into any products that use the material, none are budget minded. I agree $8 a spoke is ridiculously steep. But waiting for prices to come down doesnt help. Actually quite the opposite. These have been around 2-3 yrs with no change in price.

    How many of you though have wheel sets that are over $1000 a set? Full higher end bikes pushing $4-5k range? How many spent the insane price for Eagle 12s just to have 4 more teeth in the back?

    I dont fit any of those questions. Too rich for my blood. So many went crazy over eagle 12s, which was pushing $1000 for no real improvement except 4t bigger cog and shiny gold color.

    But $500+ to save a lot of weight in the spokes without sacrificing strength????? The most important place to be a weight weenie, the wheels.

    May not apply to any posters in this thread but I bet at least one will stop and think for a second. Especially if weight is always one of their biggest considerations for parts they buy.

    As I said. There is important info we are waiting on that will take time. But price versus the weight shouldnt even be an issue considering the location of the weight. Im seriously considering saving up for these though and little has to do with the weight. Lack of vibrations being transmitted is enough to get my attention.

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    Very cool. Similar in many ways to a design I've been working on for some time, but mine's not ready for introduction quite yet...

    Fred

  60. #60
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    Iíd be curious to know if wheels built with these would require more maintenance.


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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by geraldooka View Post
    Iíd be curious to know if wheels built with these would require more maintenance.


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    Why would you think they would?

    The spokes should be just as, if not (far) more resilient than steel.


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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Why would you think they would?

    The spokes should be just as, if not (far) more resilient than steel.


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    each spoke itself can 'inhale' if you will, dust dirt and water, and each individual spoke will see different levels of this

    each spoke water load or dirt load will change the characteristic of that spoke

    you rail a corner and some spokes will loosen and the wheel flexes, some dirt and dust will be able to settle into the weave on certain spokes and not others. once side load is removed, the spoke tensions back up again but now with added dirt inside. that tension is gonna be different than the moment before.

    will it matter on one ride or ten or a thousands rides, maybe not but maybe yes.

    got a wet spoke and it freezes, or dries out differently than the spoke next to it ?
    all these little micro and macro changes, will change spoke tension in subtle ways. will they affect wheel ? maybe no, but maybe yes.

    just a ton of variables in real world use of dyneema rope. if single strand on a reel used for hauling, or lashing, fine. who cares. but a system of 24 to 32 individual ropes, as part of a system (one trued wheel) exposed to dirt, dust, water...etc. all set up to a specific tension (and retensioning) I forsee a lot more maintenance vs a solid spoke or solid spoke cover (like spinergy spox) which won't allow ingress of contaminants and therefore hard to quantify system variables.

    strong spokes sure, light sure....gonna change characteristics over time if used in mountain biking you bet. it is that the amount of change over time will be different depending on how the wheel is ridden and what each spoke is exposed to, unlike single strand spokes (single wire, or single coated strand pile like spox)
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  63. #63
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    Having used Dyneema rope in other applications, Iím going to guess that a spoke under high tension is going to absorb far less water, if any, when compared to the same length of cord under no tension.


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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Having used Dyneema rope in other applications, Iím going to guess that a spoke under high tension is going to absorb far less water, if any, when compared to the same length of cord under no tension.


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    the thing is, real world riding will be de-tensioning spokes constantly, to some degree. all wheels do this. stand up steep climbing is an example....it will relax some of the spokes some percentage and then they go back to normal and the wheel rotates under power. since these spoke are woven and exposed, some dust and dirt is gonna work it's way in over time

    just saying there is a greater chance of variables changing the spoke characteristics since these are exposed weaves where crap can get in

    first time I actually saw spokes loose tension while climbing was spinergy Rev-X
    4x2 bladed murder wheels. on a climb you could hear the whop and see the pair of each set of 4 blades, one side would bow inward enough (loose tension) that spinergy added a little plastic i-bar to stick in between the spokes so when they flexed so much they wouldn't make the whop noise. so, a 32 spoke wheel or 4 spoke wheel, spokes are losing tension all day long depending on load. solid spoke, no matter, grit cannot get -inside it-...fabric spokes with exposed weave = tension loss = weave relaxing = ingress dirt or mung = slight changes over time
    Last edited by 127.0.0.1; 04-17-2018 at 09:02 AM.
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    the thing is, real world riding will be de-tensioning spokes constantly, to some degree. all wheels do this. stand up steep climbing is an example....it will relax some of the spokes some percentage and then they go back to normal and the wheel rotates under power. since these spoke are woven and exposed, some dust and dirt is gonna work it's way in over time

    just saying there is a greater chance of variables changing the spoke characteristics since these are exposed weaves where crap can get in

    first time I actually saw spokes loose tension while climbing was spinergy Rev-X
    4x2 bladed murder wheels. on a climb you could hear the whop and see the pair of each set of 4 blades, one side would bow inward enough (loose tension) that spinergy added a little plastic i-bar to stick in between the spokes so when they flexed so much they wouldn't make the whop noise. so, a 32 spoke wheel or 4 spoke wheel, spokes are losing tension all day long depending on load. solid spoke, no matter, grit cannot get -inside it-...fabric spokes with exposed weave = tension loss = weave relaxing = ingress dirt or mung = slight changes over time
    You're assuming a spoke goes from 120kgf tension to 0kgf tension during a ride. If it went to 0kgf tension every rotation or every time the wheel flexes, it'll fail very quickly. They go from high tension to lower tension and back. So the likelihood of it going slack to the point it can absorb that much dirt and water, the wheel isn't properly tensioned.

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    There's a lot of incorrect information in this thread, so here's some facts.

    A properly tensioned wheel has every spoke always in tension. The tension only increases and decreases every rotation of the wheel.

    A wheel does not hang from it's upper spokes. The portion of the rim in contact with the ground flattens, putting the spokes closest to the ground under slightly less tension, and the spokes immediately surrounding the deflection under slightly higher tension.

    When looking at a singular spoke - tensile strength and stiffness are two different material properties. Stiff does not equal strong, strong does not equal stiff. (Stiff tends to be brittle).
    Yield strength = the amount of stretching a spoke can take before it starts to stretch permanently. Below this point it will spring back to it's original length. (This happens to a spoke under every rotation).
    Stiffness (youngs modulus) = the amount a spoke will stretch for a given load.

    For more reading, Google "stress strain curve" and "Young's Modulus".
    Last edited by visser; 04-18-2018 at 08:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by visser View Post
    Tensile strength and stiffness are two different material properties. Stiff does not equal strong, strong does not equal stiff. (Stiff tends to be brittle)
    You're saying that as if the amount of tension on the spokes of a wheel doesn't affect it's stiffness.

    Fact?

  68. #68
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    You guys can argue the pros and cons all you want...but $512 just for the spokes? No way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    You're saying that as if the amount of tension on the spokes of a wheel doesn't affect it's stiffness.

    Fact?
    Not at all. Spoke tension definitely affects wheel stiffness.

    I was referring strictly to a singular spoke from a mechanical properties point of view. But I see how my comment could be easily misinterpreted, so I'll edit it for better clarity.

  70. #70
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    How much are you willing to pay for a set of carbon rims? And to drop how much from the weight of a wheelset?

    Enve mtb wheelset = $3,000

    Stans Crest rim = $100 x 2
    Spokes = $500
    Hubs = $300-800
    = $1000-1800.
    Probably just as light, if not lighter, and depending on the material properties of these spokes, could be stiffer / stronger.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by visser View Post
    There's a lot of incorrect information in this thread, so here's some facts.

    A properly tensioned wheel has every spoke always in tension. The tension only increases and decreases every rotation of the wheel.

    A wheel does not hang from it's upper spokes. The portion of the rim in contact with the ground flattens, putting the spokes closest to the ground under slightly less tension, and the spokes immediately surrounding the deflection under slightly higher tension.

    When looking at a singular spoke - tensile strength and stiffness are two different material properties. Stiff does not equal strong, strong does not equal stiff. (Stiff tends to be brittle).
    Yield strength = the amount of stretching a spoke can take before it starts to stretch permanently. Below this point it will spring back to it's original length. (This happens to a spoke under every rotation).
    Stiffness (youngs modulus) = the amount a spoke will stretch for a given load.

    For more reading, Google "stress strain curve" and "Young's Modulus".
    Actually right and wrong. My wording of "hanging" might be an incorrect term from an engineering standpoint but by definition it is correct. The spokes between the hub and sides/top of rim are carrying the load. The spokes face toward the "bottom" of the rim are doing little

    Spokes from bottom loose a small amount of tension from point of contact up till close to 90 deg around the wheel from either side before the tension increases in relation to the loss at the ground contact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Actually right and wrong. My wording of "hanging" might be an incorrect term from an engineering standpoint but by definition it is correct. The spokes between the hub and sides/top of rim are carrying the load. The spokes face toward the "bottom" of the rim are doing little

    Spokes from bottom loose a small amount of tension from point of contact up till close to 90 deg around the wheel from either side before the tension increases in relation to the loss at the ground contact.

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    Agreed.

    Here's the excerpt from Jobst Brandt on that section.

    Berd spokes.-wheel-load-mechanism.jpg

  73. #73
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    you could build a sub kilo wheelset for under $1700-1800, still less than a lot of the standard off the shelf big manufactres wheelsets. Enve, DT etc.
    Carbofans rims $385/pair, Carbon-Ti, Tune or Extralite hubs $850+/-, Berds $500+.

  74. #74
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    Fascinating. Instead of spending boku bucks on the ends of the spokes why didn't they use cord half the strength tied into a loop? Both ends could use the little rod and lacing would be easy as pie
    Last edited by Darth Lefty; 04-18-2018 at 11:53 AM.

  75. #75
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    From the website: "On the hub side of the spoke, an eyelet is pulled through the hub hole and secured with a small rod or interlaced with another spoke. " There's a fun idea. Woven wheels!

    Or maybe knit
    https://www.ropeinc.com/sp11_sbraid_eye_tuck.htm

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by visser View Post
    How much are you willing to pay for a set of carbon rims?
    About $300-400.
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    Iím really considering a wheel set with these spokes, but my primary concern is the modification required to the spoke eyes on the hubs. Would this modification render the hubs unusable with regular J bends if at some point you decide the Berd are not working out? Would it be better to build off J bend or straight pull hubs from the stand point of rebuilding with metal spokes down the road?

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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    Iím really considering a wheel set with these spokes, but my primary concern is the modification required to the spoke eyes on the hubs. Would this modification render the hubs unusable with regular J bends if at some point you decide the Berd are not working out? Would it be better to build off J bend or straight pull hubs from the stand point of rebuilding with metal spokes down the road?
    There's no hub modification.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt View Post
    There's no hub modification.
    Its not a significant mod, but it appears that you need to chamfer the spoke eyes on the hubs before lacing. I cant tell from the video how much material is being removed, so it may or may not affect the ability to re-lace with conventional J bends.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvWmdghWE-w&t=59s

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    I worked with Dyneena (a.k.a. "Spectra")...

    ...quite a bit when I was in the archery industry, as it's a popular material for bowstrings. While it's very strong, it has some undesirable properties:

    • It has a low melting point (<300 degrees F).
    • It's very heat-sensitive and will "creep" when it gets warm, well under its melting point.
    • It will creep over time when it's under high tension, though this eventually stabilizes to a degree.
    • It's not particularly abrasion resistant.

    "Creep" is permanent elongation which cannot be reversed.

    The upshot of this is that your wheels are likely to lose tension if you leave them in a hot environment, like the inside of a car on a sunny day. Keep your bike well away from campfires, as an errant spark could damage your spokes.

    BTW, if you want to test this, take a rag (so you don't burn your fingers) and wrap it around one of your spokes. Rub it back and forth until the spoke gets warm. I'll bet your wheel will go out of true. Granted, this is not something that you'd be doing out on a ride, but it illustrates how heat-sensitive the material is.

    While you're testing, take that same pair of scissors to a spoke that's under tension and you'll cut it in a heartbeat! The cut test as you conducted it would likely produce similar results with cheap nylon cord.

    Dyneema spokes are an interesting concept, but I don't see them as a practical solution, especially on mountain bikes, particularly when their only advantage is a few grams in weight savings. And at the price they're asking...forget it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    You need better reading comprehension.
    for a video?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dundundata View Post
    for a video?

    For the text that accompanied it.

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    If abrasion resistance is the big concern not why not add some epoxy? They become more spoke-like in the process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    If abrasion resistance is the big concern

    Having fondled, built with, and ridden these a fair bit, my only concern is coming up with the coin to put them on all my bikes. I/we won't know long term abrasion resistance until they've ben ridden/gacked on a lot longer. My preliminary $.02 is that they're more resistant to rock scuffs than metal spokes.

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    A few months in now. I've ridden these wheels on three different bikes. They bring an undeniable compliance to the ride. Whether that's desirable is personal.

    IMO people riding rigid bikes will benefit most from the compliance. Not sure whom *wouldn't* benefit from the loss of mass.

    Checked tension on them this AM and can't see where they've deviated at all since being built.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Berd spokes.-img_1667.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    If abrasion resistance is the big concern not why not add some epoxy? They become more spoke-like in the process.
    Because epoxy won't stick to it, not much of anything will. It's polyethylene.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    A few months in now. I've ridden these wheels on three different bikes. They bring an undeniable compliance to the ride. Whether that's desirable is personal.

    IMO people riding rigid bikes will benefit most from the compliance. Not sure whom *wouldn't* benefit from the loss of mass.

    Checked tension on them this AM and can't see where they've deviated at all since being built.


    Any comments on abrasion resistance, or lack of?
    Quote Originally Posted by me View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Any comments on abrasion resistance, or lack of?

    Nothing to report, as yet.

    Every one of my bike-geek friends, upon seeing these wheels, has stepped off their bike, walked over, gotten down on a knee, run their fingers up and down at least one spoke, then absentmindedly uttered "crazy...".

    I think they may be in more danger of over-polishing (via bike gloves) than abrasion. But I'll check back in if that changes.

  91. #91
    transmitter~receiver
    Reputation: meltingfeather's Avatar
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    Great write up, as usual, Mike.
    Interested in following your results.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    ^ exactly. After a certain point it doesnt effect stiffness to any noticeable level. Once that point is reached all you are doing is pulling harder on the rim, the "stretch" of a spoke stops at a certain point.
    Tension doesn't affect stiffness because the stretchiness of spokes doesn't change with the load that's on them. Force:elongation (aka stress:strain) in this realm is linear.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    the load is actually carried by pulling on the spokes at the top.
    This is incorrect. The spokes that change in state, the one's doing the work of supporting the load, are the handful at the bottom.

    Quote Originally Posted by visser View Post
    There's a lot of incorrect information in this thread, so here's some facts.

    A properly tensioned wheel has every spoke always in tension. The tension only increases and decreases every rotation of the wheel.

    A wheel does not hang from it's upper spokes. The portion of the rim in contact with the ground flattens, putting the spokes closest to the ground under slightly less tension, and the spokes immediately surrounding the deflection under slightly higher tension.

    When looking at a singular spoke - tensile strength and stiffness are two different material properties. Stiff does not equal strong, strong does not equal stiff. (Stiff tends to be brittle).
    Yield strength = the amount of stretching a spoke can take before it starts to stretch permanently. Below this point it will spring back to it's original length. (This happens to a spoke under every rotation).
    Stiffness (youngs modulus) = the amount a spoke will stretch for a given load.

    For more reading, Google "stress strain curve" and "Young's Modulus".
    all dead on

    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    You're saying that as if the amount of tension on the spokes of a wheel doesn't affect it's stiffness.

    Fact?
    yep
    Damon Rinard put is about as simply as possible:
    "Some believe that a wheel built with tighter spokes is stiffer. It is not."
    link

    Quote Originally Posted by visser View Post
    Not at all. Spoke tension definitely affects wheel stiffness.
    nope (see above)
    somewhere between your crisp, clear facts and this (and the below) conclusions you've gone haywire.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    The spokes between the hub and sides/top of rim are carrying the load. The spokes face toward the "bottom" of the rim are doing little
    This is incorrect and has been exhaustively modeled in FEA software as well as measured empirically.

    Quote Originally Posted by visser View Post
    Agreed.

    Here's the excerpt from Jobst Brandt on that section.
    The figure and the book state exactly the opposite of what you guys are saying. The last sentence of the caption in your picture is, "It does not make the hub hang from the top spokes as is sometimes suggested."
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  92. #92
    mtbr member
    Reputation: One Pivot's Avatar
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    Can we fight about lasers and stiffness yet?!

    Standing on tensioned spokes is fun to think about.

  93. #93
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    Got my wheels built, gonna test them in several days. The HyperFront driveside O-ring doesn't fit with all the plugs around.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Berd spokes.-img_20180526_091526.jpg  

    Berd spokes.-img_20180526_104826.jpg  

    Berd spokes.-img_20180526_104735.jpg  


  94. #94
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
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    Spent the weekend bikepacking on this bike/these wheels. Really rough/disused trail on the Uncompahgre Plateau. Lots of fist-sized rocks flipping up -- sometimes from my front wheel into my rear wheel, other times from the rear wheel of the rider ahead, into my front wheel. Lots more superficial scuffs/scratches on the rims now. Can't see any markings on the spokes.

    Color change: the ends of some spokes -- where the threaded metal bit exits the white dyneema -- are a bit dirty. Not sure if it's permanent or if it'll wash off. I don't tend to wash my bikes unless I get into bad mud, so it could be awhile til I have that answer.

  95. #95
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    those BERD spokes are gonna fray and fail eventually, that is a guarantee

    but I am gonna bet
    you'll die of old age before normal riding will bust one of those.

    barring accidental heat from a 'bike rack in front of an exhaust pipe'
    (likely the biggest real world risk), or
    rock dingers, those BERD spoke will need to physically appear to be furry and
    frayed, and will still hold up. it'll take a lot to make them fail.

    metal spokes will just eventually crack
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

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