Berd Bring Their String Spoke Technology to New Hubs

Feb 28, 2023
by Henry Quinney  
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You may well have seen Berd's take on the mountain bike wheel on this site before. We have reviewed the concept previously, as well as featuring their latest release - the bold 1400 gram enduro ready Hawk30 wheels, which we hope to be testing here in BC over the summer.

Calling them string spokes is perhaps somewhat unfair. The polyethylene spokes are at the core of Berd's wheel ethos, but now the company is branching out - first to include their own rims and now their own hubs. You could of course opt for the spokes and hubs laced to a different brand's rim.

Previously, you could use standard eyelet hubs with Berd's spoke system, but that required drilling out the spoke holes to remove any sharp edges, which might compromise manufacturers' warranties. These new Talon hubs are ready from the get-go, and have a unique flange design intended to make lacing up the hubs with Berd's spokes as quick and easy as possible.

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Berd say these hubs are designed for durability, and have done extensive in-house testing to verify that claim. It should also be noted that these hubs are center-lock only. I imagine if you aren't put off by these unorthodox spokes, this will seem inconsequential but it is worth a mention.

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The hubs weigh 156 g for a front and 306 for an XD freehub equipped rear. They are also available in Microspline and 11-speed freehubs.

In regards to engagement, initially there will be a run of hubs equipped with a 36t dual sprung ratchet before a 54t ratchet system will be available in four to six weeks. The hubs have a retail price of $495 USD, and they're also available on Berd's complete carbon wheelsets, with prices starting at $1,995 USD.

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For more information please visit their website.

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Member since Jun 3, 2014
324 articles

170 Comments
  • 210 0
 Well twist my nipples and show me your flange gap, that looks interesting.
  • 47 0
 Great Oden's Berd
  • 18 0
 @mininhi: Greg Oden's Berd
  • 3 1
 What against forest ninjas???
  • 18 0
 I think this is more of a tie-you-up and drill-your-holes type of product.
  • 1 7
flag andrewfrauenglass (Mar 1, 2023 at 8:15) (Below Threshold)
 those spokes need to be encased in some sort of tough shell, like ride wrap or something. Because if one gets cut or frayed, it is two that are gone...
  • 8 0
 @andrewfrauenglass: Naw man, I have a set of their wheels and live in the Iron-Range of northern Minnesota where sharp rocks are aplenty...I'm going on 3 seasons now with the same wheels, zero issues. Idk maybe I've gotten lucky but they've taken many rocks to the spokes and zero signs of losing a spoke. Also did Breck Epic last summer and CO rocks couldn't phase them either...Breck Epic did claim one of my buddies DTswiss spokes on his wheels tho...
  • 1 8
flag andrewfrauenglass (Mar 1, 2023 at 16:28) (Below Threshold)
 @kev-in-so-stoked: ...they're just not for me. I live in the Rocky Mountains...
  • 2 0
 If I did this I’d end up with a stoopid knot in one of my spokes.
  • 3 0
 @andrewfrauenglass: I wonder about this. I climb and trust my life to fabric and ropes, the ropes have a strong kernmantle core with an outer sheath which protects the core against abrasion, there are videos online of ropes failing (breaking) when they rub over a sharp edge under high tension. Slings on the other hand are either nylon or dyneema, these don't have a protective sheath, but aren't often used in situations where there's a risk of continuous rubbing on rocks... Anyway I'd be interested to see a video of these spokes under tension having a sharp rock rubbed against them, I think at the very least it'd be good marketing (or scary viewing!)
  • 5 0
 @andrewfrauenglass: I'm in rocky mountain area, and my berd spokes, as well as someone's spokes who I ride with have held up great. Never broken one.
  • 2 5
 @lucaj: they have been around for thirty years, there is a reason they are not popular, don't care if you like them or not, just sayin'...
  • 2 6
flag andrewfrauenglass (Mar 3, 2023 at 9:29) (Below Threshold)
 @ILv2MTB: couldn't find any pictures you've posted of you riding them, you live 2 MTB but have no pictures to prove why you ride them...
  • 2 6
flag andrewfrauenglass (Mar 3, 2023 at 9:31) (Below Threshold)
 @lucaj: couldn't find photos of you on a bike. Another pb poser, sorry, just callin' it out...
  • 2 4
 @kev-in-so-stoked: nobody rides fiber spokes downhill. Wouldn't trust that shit off a drop, you go first...
  • 3 0
 @lucaj: I've ridden them for years in an area with predominantly limestone mountains (very sharp). Some spokes are showing a little fraying or "fuzzing", but Berd has had a look and says it's at a level that's cosmetic, not structural. I can only take their word for it.

One spoke has broken under exceptional circumstances. My rear axle broke in a high load and high speed situation, putting one spoke into the derailleur. The spoke ripped the derailleur in half through both parallelogram plates; presumably, once the intact spoke had destroyed the derailleur and exposed a sharp fracture surface, the jagged metal cut the spoke. I feel that's a fair situation for a spoke to fail.
  • 3 0
 @andrewfrauenglass: If you really want, I'd be happy to upload some pictures. Had never seen a reason to put pictures on Pinkbike before, but I just uploaded a photo now if your curious. (It's a picture from a before work ride I did this summer.) Right now, all the trails are covered with snow here, so if I want to bike, I have to (try and) ride a trail that's been compacted by the fat bikes on my 27.5+ bike, so these haven't been getting much use recently.

Not saying that these spokes/wheels are for everyone, but I haven't had any problems with them in my own experience. I'm curious, have you had any bad experiences with these?
  • 2 5
 @ILv2MTB: bogus, nobody in their right mind would put fiber spokes on their dirt jump bike. Nobody in their right mind would put fiber spokes on their downhill rig, nobody that actually rides more than just simple trails would even consider it... sorry. My bikes regularly see drops to flat, you've never done a drop...
  • 2 2
 @ILv2MTB: dude, you're 20. I'm 64. I've was racing downhill and XC before you were born.

www.pinkbike.com/u/afrauenglass

put up real photos of yourself... I'm not an anonymous poser...
  • 4 1
 @andrewfrauenglass: This is an odd comment, I'm actually a MTB instructor (and instructor of other outdoor activities), but I personally reject the modern trend to upload photos of ourselves everywhere. I'm just happy doing stuff for me and don't feel the need to post it online. But it's cool, you can think I'm a 'poser' due to a lack of photo's on Pinkbike.
  • 4 0
 @R-M-R: Thanks for the considered response. Sometimes in my work I'm responsible for checking climbing equipment, we consider light to moderate fuzzing (I call it furring) to be acceptable, so what you describe fits in with my understanding of fabric in crucial scenarios.
  • 2 0
 @ILv2MTB: Dude, you're good, be a MTB'r and enjoy riding your bike. You have nothing to prove to anyone with photos.
  • 4 0
 @andrewfrauenglass:

Are you doing bigger jumps than Barry Nobel? Maybe watch his review video below:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKYIQACqgqw

Also, a little lesson on material properties, a berd spoke will out perform any metal spoke in tensile strength, hands down. When you land to flat, you are putting your spokes into either compression or tension. Once again, a metal spoke will not out perform a polymer spoke in this test.

But keep believing what you want. Don't let 5G get you down...
  • 49 0
 Berds with Talons, eh? Not bad.
  • 52 0
 Do the chickens have large talons?
  • 10 0
 Derm berds aint real!
  • 5 0
 String theory
  • 5 0
 Yikes these puns are unraveling already...
  • 10 0
 @sjma: eat your food Tina!
  • 6 0
 @sjma: I don't understand a word you just said.
  • 7 0
 @barp: six dollars…that’s like a dollar an hour!
  • 4 0
 They should name the spokes feathers now and make a stem called the beak.
  • 8 0
 Too bad they don't have Shimano's marketing team, they could have come up with a much better name like "Talg" or "TH-3628a".
  • 7 0
 @sjma: im a frayed knot
  • 16 0
 Onyx is going to have or already has these "hooks" on their hubs for berd spokes too
  • 3 0
 already do. @az-shredder3 aka evansmtbsaga used them
  • 1 0
 @mior: Ya thats where I saw them lol. Didn't know if they were for sale yet
  • 1 0
 Mine had to be drilled a bit to fit them through and lace them.
  • 18 2
 The whole thing looks like a berd's nest
  • 4 2
 I don't get the down votes? This was another stupid pun comment. I thought this is what pink bike was about.?
  • 8 0
 @OzarkBike: Puns are important, but inconsistent expectations are even more important. Salute
  • 13 0
 "....if you aren't put off by these unorthodox spokes..." put off by what? they look amazing.
  • 17 9
 As a long time fan/rider of Spinergy wheels, the ride quality and strength difference of tensile-only spokes is real. The proprietary lock-in issues have held this idea back for decades. Hopefully this is a good step towards less proprietary, cheaper access to a great wheel technology.
  • 55 0
 all spokes are tensile only
  • 13 1
 if anything, spinergy "spokes" are unique in their ability to transmit compressive loads from rim to hub
  • 5 0
 @alienator064: not when you hold them in your hand
  • 5 0
 What is proprietary about standard spokes?
  • 14 0
 @inthenude: They are only found in standard wheels
  • 7 15
flag Mtmw (Feb 28, 2023 at 13:51) (Below Threshold)
 @alienator064: I thought steel spokes were more resistant to bending than fabric spokes but maybe that comes from me rolling up spare fabric spokes in my jersey pockets. You should roll up a steel spoke into a jersey pocket and update us with pics
  • 27 0
 @Mtmw: You're right that steel spokes have a greater degree of compressive strength than fabric spokes, but a standard spoke nipple and rim interface is only ready to support loads in one direction. As soon as you put a compressive force on the rim (reducing spoke tension to zero), the nipple will separate from the rim at the eyelet and prevent the rim from transferring any of the compressive force to the spoke.
  • 3 7
flag Mtmw (Feb 28, 2023 at 15:01) (Below Threshold)
 @TEAM-ROBOT: Why do you think riders of fabric spokes claim to experience a different feel that's more compliant? Is it all placebo?
  • 6 6
 @TEAM-ROBOT: Being more specific, why do you think that a re-lace of an existing wheel that controls for all other variables creates the perception of additional compliance?

www.mtb-mag.com/en/tested-berd-spokes-re-lace-program
  • 11 1
 @Mtmw: no, their just less stiff in tension.
  • 13 2
 Most steel spokes will handle at least 650 lb in tension before breaking, and less than 1lb in bending or compression before bucking out of the way. Compressive and bending load on spokes is a non-factor in any wheel build. The fabric spokes are likely just less stiff in tension. This will result in a softer wheel in all directions.
  • 13 0
 @Mtmw: It's true that steel spokes have some compressive and bending strength, but only in the most literal sense of the term, the same way that the air in your tires has mass. Both are negligible to the properties of the wheel.
  • 13 0
 @R-M-R: @UtahBrent so the consensus here is that all spokes affect the wheel using tensile strength only, but that fabric spokes (both berd and spinergy) have a different tensile spring rate that affects compliance, and that compressive and bending forces while present don’t influence the properties of the ride/wheel at all?
  • 15 0
 @Mtmw: Essentially correct, but to preempt any quibbling, I'd change the "at all" phrase to "significantly", "to an extent that could be reasonably felt or measured", or "to any extent worth discussing". And before anyone brings up the issue of tied and soldered spoke crossings: yes, I'm saying tying and soldering has no meaningful effect on wheel properties.

The spring rate of purely tensile spokes is not necessarily different from that of steel. Berd spokes happen to have a slightly lower spring rate than the thinnest common steel spokes (⌀1.5 mm), but there's nothing stopping Berd, Spinergy, etc. from making a fabric spoke with the same spring rate as a steel spoke - or stiffer, if they wanted to.

There's also the question of coefficient of restitution and damping properties. The fabric spokes have a lower coefficient of restitution (slower rebound), though I'm uncertain whether that has a significant effect on wheel properties. I can attest that Berd wheels feel nicer than the same wheels with steel spokes, though I can't say how much of that is due to lower stiffness vs. rebound properties.
  • 3 0
 @R-M-R: I’m in the same boat as you on feel- I had a steel hardtail with Spinergy spokes and it just felt better, but I couldn’t tell you why to save my life. Rebound is as good a theory as any I’ve heard.

Any idea about how I could refer to this category of spokes without starting a forum war? “Tensile-only” appears to create some sort of giant misunderstanding. I don’t think I can call Spinergy “fabric” spokes because of their composition and sheath- and there are also carbon spokes out there in the mix.

Maybe “nonmetallic” or “knotable”?
  • 2 0
 @Mtmw: you could call them dyneema.
  • 6 0
 @Mtmw: Haven't tried Spinergy, but yeah, Berd spokes feel a lot nicer than steel. In the case of Berd, I know the stiffness is less, so there has to be more deflection, which has to be at least a significant part of the difference in feel. Beyond that ... I don't know. It would be interesting to know the spring rate of Spinergy's spokes so we can estimate whether their wheels are also less stiff. If so, it could be stiffness or some other property; if not, the other properties must be significant.

I usually refer to them as fabric spokes, but if you're talking to people who don't understand that bicycle spokes are effectively purely tensile members, then it's probably a lost cause. Maybe you've seen the massive replies I sometimes provide to help people understand; our time and energy are finite, and I recognize I sometimes spend mine poorly on such people.
  • 4 0
 @R-M-R: Spinergy and Berd spokes are made from very different materials, the PBO polymer used by Spinergy is actually very rigid, even more so than steel (PBO Young's Modulus is 270 MPA, 304 Stainless Steel is 200 MPA). They make the spoke as a bundle of 30,000 PBO fibers wrapped in a composite jacket, so you can bend it easily, but it still has a high tensile strength and rigidity along its long axis. Considering how Spinergy claims their spokes are 3x stronger than steel spokes, it's possible that they are also stiffer than steel as well. Kinda cool how dissimilar they are from the Berd spokes in that regard, at least on paper.
  • 8 3
 Hi, I'm Mr Pedantic and I'm here to point out that most of the spokes (not rear drive-side) on a Mavic R-Sys wheelset are effectively pillars and hold form under compression. Maybe not when dorping to falt from 15ft though....

www.theproscloset.com/products/mavic-r-sys-slr-aluminum-tubular-700c-wheelset
  • 8 0
 @wake-n-rake: how does one go about dorping to falt?
  • 1 0
 @samsq: Thank you for the additional information. The actual spring properties will depend on how much material is used, of course, If the 3× strength claim pertains to specific strength of the fibers, then it would be conceivable to use one-third the mass, which would make each spoke less stiff. Or maybe the as-built strength is 3×, though that seems excessive.

In any case, it's still not clear to me how the as-built wheel stiffness of Spinergy compares to Berd or steel spokes, nor is it clear to me the significance of coefficient of restitution or damping. Anecdotal evidence - my own included - indicates the fiber spokes may have a nicer ride feel, though I'm not aware of any blind testing to eliminate placebo effects. It would also be valuable to test the fiber spokes with weights to hold constant the unsprung mass.

There's a lot of testing to be done before we make any conclusions!
  • 3 0
 @wake-n-rake: I was hoping no one would remember these and muddy the waters of this conversation!

Pretty sure there was a recall on the first generation of that wheel, as the spokes could shatter if they were loaded in the middle (ex. a stick or derailleur got into the wheel), hence the change of spoke material on the rear drive side.

I remember some test to determine the contribution of the spokes under compression; my recollection of the results is almost nonexistent, but I think it was found to be small, relative to the tensile contribution ... ?
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: ha ha. I can't remember the finer points of the wheels anymore, just enough to be pedantic Wink

The armchair engineer in me thinks that the spokes would probably flex to the side under any significant compression as they weren't that wide, but I could be wrong!
  • 2 0
 @wake-n-rake: My friend used to have those Mavic wheels and I was always super jealous. Super light and the machined rim track made the coolest sound when he was braking. One question, though: are the nipples on the Mavic wheels able to transfer load from the rim to the spoke in compression and tension? A typical bike nipple pushes out of the rim if you push up on (compress) the spoke. Unless the nipple has flanges on both sides of the rim eyelet, I don't think there would be any way for the rim to transfer compressive forces onto the spoke.
  • 4 0
 @wake-n-rake: I'm actually glad you brought it up. It was a bold experiment to produce the lightest possible wheel with aluminum rims, and is a great opportunity to go deeper into wheel dynamics.

You must have a good armchair, because you're correct that something with the slenderness ratio of these spokes is vulnerable to buckling. Unfortunately, TraComp ("traction and compression") spokes couldn't bow much before breaking, therefore the compression load couldn't be anywhere near the maximum tension load.

TraComp spokes were overbuilt for their tension loads to ensure they were stiff enough to handle sufficient compression loading, preventing them from being lighter than thin steel spokes; their purpose was to allow thinner rims due to reduced spoke tension. Traditional spokes would go slack at low loads if they were used at such low tension.

The TraComp design succeeded in creating a stiff wheel at a very low weight (for an aluminum rim), but it introduced many other issues, such as the brittle spokes, difficulty of spoke replacement, fragile compression ring inside the hub, and poor aerodynamics of the large spokes - not to mention the cost. Modern road bike design places far greater emphasis on aerodynamics, favouring thin, steel spokes with aerodynamically sculpted rims.


@TEAM-ROBOT: Yes, the nipples of many Mavic wheelsets thread into the rim. TraComp wheels also have an internal ring to support the spokes at the hub end.


Edit: Here's a good article on the R-SYS wheels with TraComp spokes.
  • 4 0
 I have a set of spinergy wheels and a set of wheels with berd spokes. Both are fantastic wheelsets. The spinergy wheels have an even more damped feeling, though the nerds feel a bit lighter and faster to acclerate. I'm not sure if it's the foam core in the spinergy rim, or if it's the spoke design, or the fact that they only have 24 spokes, or something else going on with the rim, but it's noticeable. Regardless, I'm a huge fan of these non-traditional spokes from berd and spinergy.
  • 1 0
 @samsq: not sure about the values for Young’s modulus but for 304 steel, it is more like 200 GPa not MPa and I found a value of 180 GPa for a single PBO fiber.
  • 2 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: The nipple threads into the rim, but the nail head can still float on the hub side, so any compressive load would just cause the nail head to push out of its seat.

As far as the rest of this conversation, a difference between the Berd and the Spinergy spokes "feel" could have to do with the (as mentioned) construction, the Berd spoke is 12 strand braid vs. the Spinergy's PBO construction. The braid will allow for a tiny amount so stretch (necking), even when tensioned, the PBO shouldn't. I recall from my sail boat rigging days when PBO was starting to make it's way in that it was chosen since the shroud lengths were great enough that using a braided shroud would cause a tiny amount of stretch even when tensioned. Most of the boats I race these days use Dynema check stays, which can be tensioned on the fly, and are more flexible than PBO.
  • 3 0
 @R-M-R: TraComp wheels also have an internal ring to support the spokes at the hub end.

My bad, I forgot about those.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: Thanks for the link about the old Mavic R-SYS wheels. Super interesting! I didn't realize Mavic had done all those things (carbon spokes, thread-in nipples, and an internal ring on the hub) to prevent the rim from deflecting laterally. Interestingly, mountain bikers are obsessed over lateral flex for cornering, whereas road bikers are obsessed with lateral flex for sprinting, but it's all the same forces for the wheel builder. And because they're using a super stiff lacing pattern, they can also go with a lighter rim. Now I'm wondering why Mavic moved away from that design.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: Sorry, just reread your explanation as to why they went away from the TraComp spoke design- brittle spokes, fragile compression ring, and aerodynamics.
  • 3 1
 @TEAM-ROBOT: What people are worried about is not always what they should be worried about.

Few road riders even sprint - ever - yet that's a common explanation for why someone would want lateral stiffness. My road wheels have terrible lateral stiffness; I don't mind sprinting on them, though they have reduced my cornering speed due to a less precise sensation that reduces my confidence, even if it may not reduce the upper limit on cornering speed - might even improve it due to increased traction.

It quickly became clear that the extra cost of the TraComp design would've been better spent on carbon rims with traditional spokes. The weight is likely to be for the same price and lateral stiffness (whether that level of stiffness is necessary is a separate conversation), but the overall performance and safety would be higher.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: Also... AERO!!
  • 1 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: As much as I love to mock marketing departments, the attention to aerodynamics really has improved road riding. Mind you, most of that comes from better-fitting jerseys, most of what's left comes from better tires and tubes (or lack thereof), and we can skip the other $10,000 of the equipment package they're trying to sell. Amusingly, commuter helmets can have great aerodynamics, so that's another worthwhile gain that doesn't cost much.

Wider tires have improved comfort and handling as much as every "laterally stiff and vertically compliant" innovation, but only a super wide rim - inevitably made from carbon if we don't want them to weight as much as a Mag 30 - can have a useful aerodynamic interaction with such a tire, so tires that provide modern levels of comfort & traction largely exclude aero gains for anyone not into dropping $1 - $2+ K on wheels.

After that's it's things like hidden cables and Kamm tail tubes, which are usually small, relative to the other factors.
  • 3 0
 @R-M-R: I thought I needed 50mm deep dish aero rims to ride on gravel roads? Instructions unclear, buying a Rene Herse.
  • 1 0
 @Mtmw: You need to simultaneously hold the belief that rims can only be aero if the widest point is 105% of the width of the tire, and you need 40+ mm tires with deep rims.

René Herse must be combined with a wool jersey (it's okay if closer inspection of the tag reveals 10% wool content), and anything with a chainring larger than 48 T must be combined with an aero helmet - but only on gravel; maximum-ventilation helmets are acceptable on pavement.

Thank you for observing these rules and "grind safely"!
  • 3 0
 @R-M-R: Diamonds in the rough comments on PB.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: I will pair it with my leather aero handlebar bag and rolling resistance enhancing generator hub. Wool is aero because sheep spent a lot of time standing in the wind as they evolved. It all checks out.
  • 1 0
 @Mtmw: I think you're on to something with that sheep theory!
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: If you pay attention, you'll see that sheep all turn their backsides to the wind, in order to get the best aero enhancement from wool, it'll have to be your underwear.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Maybe the key to aero is to ride backwards. Let's see how the UCI feels about this.
  • 4 0
 @R-M-R: As long as you're not sitting on the top tube and your socks are the right length, I don't think they'll care, unless they're wool socks, then it may an unfair aero advantage.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: How do they measure saddle position and tilt when riding backward?
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: you have your partner do it.
  • 10 0
 Giving a whole new meaning to “holding on by a thread.”
  • 3 0
 by 28 threads, rather
  • 8 0
 ....Not 300TC Egyptian cotton - unrideable
  • 11 4
 Berd keeps pairing their lightweight rims and spikes with super heavy hubs. It's just stupid at this point, their 1,400g enduro wheelset would be 1200ish with decent hubs. Why do they keep shooting themselves in the foot
  • 1 0
 *spokes
  • 1 0
 Rims are made by We Are One I've heard
  • 5 0
 Fair point. I built mine up with Extralite hubs. Considerably lighter wheelset with wider rims. Slightly heavier hubs at far more reasonable prices exist, which would be a better showcase for Berd-spoked wheels.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: Nice, my budget of $1,100 wouldn't allow Extralite. Went with Newmen hubs instead. Heavier but nearly silent and a lot lighter than Onyx hubs.

What is the weight for your wheelset? Mine should be ~1525g. Not bad for enduro.
  • 1 0
 @wburnes: Good choice. My previous wheels had Newmen Evolution SL hubs that were barely over 300 g for the pair and not terribly expensive.

Current rims are Race Face ARC 36, which aren't the lightest, but they've been durable and the offset was the highest I could get at the time, which helps balance the tension when I don't have the option to vary spoke diameter on either side. Complete weight is ... I forget, somewhere in the mid-1300s. Current rim options could go well under 1200 g while maintaining enduro-level durability and 35 mm inner width.

I'm usually the first one to say weight is overrated, but it's not trivial to drop up to a kilogram off the wheels without having to get sketchy.
  • 6 2
 The amount of mind f*ckery in these dyneema spoke threads is unbelievable. This shit is not new cutting edge technology. Its just a simple splice. Or a glorified Chinese finger trap. Everything stretches, everything. The soft spring feel or more compliance that guys say they feel is the dyneema stretching more than the previous alloy spokes they were riding. Dyneema stretches more than lets say rod metal spoke. Dyneema is plenty strong, just like alloy there are different grades and build methods resulting in different characteristics. What Berd have done is they have figured out exactly how long the bury needs to be in order to get the lengths right. It takes time to splice each end of the spoke. As far as I know there are no machines that "splice" so each of these spokes is getting built by hand. You guys comparing the raw material cost are not taking into account the time it takes to turn them into a spoke. Dyneema is very chafe resistant your stick in wheel would destroy a alloy spoke wheel just as fast maybe faster. Blasting through shale or obsidian rock is a different story. The sharp edges of that type of rock could easily damage a dyneema spoke, but honestly I think the same impact would damage an alloy spoke. the prep on the hubs needs to be really good. I think that we can all hopefully agree that modern bicycle wheel spokes operate under tension and not compression. This shit aint rocket science.
  • 3 0
 So who makes the hubs for them. If the hub and the ratchets fail, then the wheels are useless. The ratchets look like dt swiss. If they are dt swiss, then BERD should state this fact. I love my dt swiss hubs. But I'd want to know if these are comparable hubs before laying down the money for BERD. The hubs are pretty heavy. For the weight conscious, these are not ideal.
  • 1 0
 Yea I also want to know who's the OEM. Did you see pics of said ratchets/drive mech? I mean, if it's a copy but authentic DT Swiss ratchets can drop in... then...
  • 2 0
 @titaniumsprucemoose: I went on their site and had to watch a couple of their youtube videos to see the internals.

They look like dt swiss internals. 1:14 into the video. youtu.be/cc16PT2G-c0
  • 1 0
 @deanw: Thanks for that.

Yea, thinking if they are DT Swiss ratchets, it would have been stated and advertised. So... probably not.
  • 5 0
 Wonder how these will compare to Onyx's version which are only a $100 upcharge.
  • 3 1
 You figure they would have a faster engaging hub for such an expensive wheelset. The only folks I have seen with these wheels/spokes have been using I9 hubs, just seems that would make more sense.
  • 2 1
 And the super heavy clutch hubs with almost no engagement lag.
  • 4 8
flag wburnes (Feb 28, 2023 at 13:16) (Below Threshold)
 @somebody-else: The Onyx and i9 hubs are both unnecessarily heavy. Bad hub choice for Berd spokes. These talon hubs are too heavy as well. DT Swiss 350 and Newmen Fade are much better choices.
  • 6 2
 @wburnes: i9's heavy? They may not be DT 240 weight, but they are lighter than Onyx and even Chris King options. 'unnecessarily heavy' isn't something I would label i9 with
  • 4 1
 @bman33: They're heavy for the price at least.

Newmen Fade:
245g and $200
DT 350:
240g and $300
I9 hydra:
290g and $345
  • 2 0
 @wburnes:

Then all we need is DT to make the 350 with hook flanges. C'mon DT... dooooo iiittt......
  • 3 0
 @wburnes: I'll take a 50g for the engagement, weight at the hub isn't nearly as noticeable as the rim or spokes. That being said, heavy wheels hold up.
  • 1 0
 @titaniumsprucemoose: DT with colors and better engagement Smile
  • 2 0
 @titaniumsprucemoose: Until DT comes up with "fabric" spokes themselves...I can't see them offering hubs that use a spoke technology that DT dominates in market with their steel spokes.
  • 1 0
 @neons97: Fair point... back to reality...
  • 2 0
 Just never put your berd-spoked bike near a fire, or anywhere else where the spokes get near 80°C. Ultra-linear PE doesn’t like even mild heat. It tends to become less linear PE.
  • 3 0
 Pinkbike should do a super slow-mo huck to flat video of these spokes compared to regular spokes. I'm curious. Do it on a hardtail.
  • 4 1
 Starting to get some Tension Disc vibes from these - Tension Disc 2.0: Electric Boogaloo
  • 8 4
 But what was wrong with normal spokes? The prices are absurd
  • 4 3
 Weight, durability, and profit margin.
  • 7 0
 The return on investment is always low at the top. A $12,000 isn't three times as fast as a $4,000 bike.

To be fair to Berd, their spokes really do improve the ride. I've been on them for years and what I notice most is the ride quality. Light weight is great, but I can't say with certainty I can perceive 100 - 200 g less weight; the ride is definitely smoother, though, like reducing tire pressure without the downsides of actually doing so, or getting the reduced handlebar deflection of an inverted fork without the reduced steering precision.
  • 4 1
 I would love to see Berd wheels in test vs a big stick being tossed at them.
  • 8 0
 A big stick can do plenty of damage to a conventionally spoked wheel too!
  • 3 1
 That's nice but PiRope can now do you string spoke wheels under 1000 grams. www.mtb-news.de/news/pi-rope-light-mtb-laufraeder
  • 3 1
 True, though the PiRope rims are very XC. We could debate whether Berd should've also gone with light rims to maximize the weight savings or if it's better to provide a more versatile option, but one thing is certain: Berd has done themselves a disservice by spec'ing hubs that negate the weight reduction potential of the spokes.
  • 3 0
 I have a set of Berd equipped wheels under 900g. Extralite hyperboost 3 hubs, Berd spokes, BTLOS M22ia rims, 896g for the set.
  • 4 1
 I can't wait for a Chinese version of Berd spokes at half price on Aliexpress when the technology gets copied.
  • 3 0
 Nothing new here, been using that on boat to replace my rod rigging
  • 1 0
 Well they've already copied DT Swiss hubs, just add in the hook flanges
  • 1 0
 i'm already making these... 900 bucks all in for a wheel set
  • 3 0
 I'm kinda interested in the aero properties. Does the texture diffuse drag like a golf ball, or does it create drag?
  • 2 0
 Ryan builds wheels did a nice video on working with these spokes. youtu.be/yLy1JdSTHAo
  • 4 1
 No mention of onyx hook flange hubs that have been around for months?
  • 2 1
 So do we still call them spokes ?if it works I guess they are very easy to carry with the rider if something went wrong ,or use a shoe lace ?
  • 5 1
 They should be called Feathers, it's Berd- word..... Ooma mow mow, papa ooma mow mow
  • 1 0
 Has anyone who rides these spokes had a nipple failure yet? Seems like it would have the tendency to try to take other things with it.
  • 3 0
 a piece of art
  • 5 2
 a piece of fart
  • 2 0
 A piece of tart
  • 2 0
 Are these about the same as Pi-Rope or are they different?
  • 1 0
 Different material and different solutions for how to connect a string to a hub and rim.
  • 2 0
 Why make a heavy hub to pair with ultralight spokes?
  • 2 0
 These spokes are $8 a piece
No opinion, just some objective data
  • 8 7
 Quite pricey for strings.
  • 14 3
 You’re welcome to lace up some twine from the hardware store and see how far you get.
  • 8 0
 @pisgahgnar: jokes aside there's a dedicated thread on mtbr that has replicated these with some success.
  • 2 0
 @pisgahgnar: It would be cheaper to pay a trash panda, to dumpster dive, behind a body armor plate manufacturer, for the scraps they throw out.

Love the smell of fresh cut UHMWPE.
  • 3 0
 @j-t-g: what is the material? I quickly looked up 3mm Dyneema sailing rope ams and that seems to be pretty competitively priced compared to steel spokes.
  • 3 0
 @ak-77: they are whale blubber and titanium strings
  • 3 0
 @browner: nah, impossible. Everybody knows whales are really heavy.
  • 4 0
 @ak-77: Whales are actually really light, they are just shit full of water and plankton
  • 3 0
 @ak-77: True, and steel wire is also cheap, but both require a few extra steps to hold your wheels together.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: a True, you need to attach something that will allow tuning the tension, like a spoke nipple. The cost of the wire is 30 cents per spoke at retail price, so it seems there is ample opportunity to get the price down. I understand that Berd is charging what they do, running a business and earning a living on small volume sales means you need to have high margins to survive. I have no interest in making spokes like this myself but I find it interesting to investigate the possibility. I did something similar when Huck Norris first came out with their inserts, and then I actually went ahead and cut my own out of EVA foam using a laser cutter. Still riding those.
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: Possibly, yes, but it's difficult to know the mark-up of any product. There's a lot more manufacturing involved with a Berd spoke than a wire spoke, and it's not being done at the scale of wire spoke manufacturing. They're probably still paying down their factory set-up, plus there's marketing, distribution, etc.

As you said, there are people who need to earn a living from selling a niche spoke, so there's going to be some mark-up. I could barely even get a discount a few years ago when discussing OE pricing - unlike some bike bits that have nearly 10× mark-up from OE pricing.

Maybe Berd will be acquired by a company that already has all the necessary machinery to churn them out by the millions at one-third the price.
  • 1 0
 @j-t-g: A dedicated thread. I feel that pun was underappreciated. Or unintended?
  • 1 0
 @j-t-g: true but you have to factor in the value of your time. Given that, the DIY route is only worth it if your time is worth next to nothing.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: That would be terrible ! How could I feel special about myself and my boutique wheels if every peasant is out there riding them ?
  • 1 0
 @preston67: Custom paint - sorry, colourway.
  • 1 0
 @EdSawyer: That is such a poor argument. It is true only if money is the only reason why you try to make something by yourself AND you are in a position where you could have spent that same time earning money.
DIY is a hobby for me, saving money only a secondary objective. Making stuff, tinkering until you find a way to do it, that is fun. Like bike maintenance. It's a lot cheaper to do it yourself than bringing it to a shop but I like wrenching. If I wouldn't enjoy it I would pay someone to do it.
  • 3 2
 "Do the Chickens have sharp talons???" - Napoleon
  • 10 1
 "Resemble a une session" - Napoleon
  • 3 0
 @HankHank: oui oui
  • 1 0
 Waiting for a mixed wheel set option for the Hawk 30.
  • 1 0
 Berd is the word
  • 1 0
 holy Yo Yo Batmon
  • 2 4
 One sharp stick away from A&E
  • 5 8
 Fun fact , spokes work in compression. The only reason these wheels don’t collapse is black magic.
  • 6 2
 Is that true about spokes working in compression or are you being sarcastic? Honestly curious here. Seems to me a standard spoke nipple and rim interface is only ready to support loads in one direction. As soon as you put a compressive force on the rim (reducing spoke tension to zero), the nipple will separate from the rim at the eyelet and prevent the rim from transferring any of the compressive force to the spoke.
  • 1 5
flag kingbike2 (Feb 28, 2023 at 14:47) (Below Threshold)
 @TEAM-ROBOT: car wheels work on the same principle that’s why you don’t see spoked car wheels anymore.
  • 6 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: He's joking - at least, I hope so. Bicycle spokes have negligible compressive strength or stiffness, relative to their tensile properties. Just find a spoke - a ⌀1.5 mm one, if possible - then pull on it and push on it. You can fold it in half without even causing discomfort to your hand, but good luck doing anything at all to it in tension.

@kingbike2: Wheels can work in tension or compression. Car wheels do work in compression, as do some carbon bike wheels, like the old Spins or newer AX-Lightness. Car wheels can also work in tension, which is mostly true for spoked wheels, though their spokes are so short and so stout that they can take some compression. Not bike spokes, though!
  • 5 0
 So you are saying I need to change my DT Swiss tensiometer for a compressiometer?
  • 3 0
 I'm going to make some concrete spokes to test this theory. Be right back.
  • 3 0
 Really I thought spokes worked on rebound this whole time







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