First Look: Gulo's New Wheels Have Carbon Spokes - Pond Beaver 2020

Apr 15, 2020
by Daniel Sapp  

Gulo Composites have given us a preview of their new GMX-25 and GME-30 wheels that use carbon rims and spokes, which they claim provides a reduction in weight along with an increase in strength and ride quality. The spokes are triaxial braided carbon, which Gulo claims hasn't been used in this application up until this point. They're laced into a rim designed by Gulo that allows the spoke to enter straight in instead of at an angle.

Gulo is a brand of KEIR Manufacturing Inc, a company that has been working in manufacturing composites for the industrial world for over ten years.

The photos here are of an early production wheelset and there are some changes on the final product in finishing and where the spoke threads into the hub. I'll be testing the more refined final version over the coming months.

G1 Spoke Details

The center of the system and obvious point of interest for everyone here is the carbon spoke. Gulo claim that it took hundreds of test runs to settle on their production spoke. The result, which Gulo is calling their "Gulo Integrated Spoke" is a triaxially braided composite made up of a blend of different materials. In developing the spoke, the team at Gulo claim there were two main goals, low weight and impact resistance. The G1 spoke was formulated to absorb large impacts without failure, yet retain tension for longer than traditional spokes, which weigh significantly more.

The spoke starts out as multiple reels of fiber on Gulo's triaxial braiding machines that are made into spools of spoke braid and then molded into the final spoke shape. The aluminum ferrule end pieces are then attached using aerospace grade bonding agents to create a complete spoke. Gulo claim that the spokes can take multiple harsh impacts without losing tension or structural integrity.

Wheelsets

There will be several different wheelsets offered, both road and mountain. We'll focus on the two mountain wheelsets here, the GMX-25 and GME-30.

The GMX-25 is designed for XC racing and is made to be lightweight and strong. The 25mm internal width rim utilizes an asymmetric offset and 24 spokes. The wheels have Gulo's ETI system hubs with 6.66-degrees of engagement and can run either XD or Shimano Microspline. The spokes on this wheelset weigh 2.6 grams each. The wheelset has a 100kg weight limit and weighs 1,300g with rim tape and valves installed.

The GME-30 is designed for trail and enduro use. The wheelset has a 30mm internal width rim, and use a Gulo system hub with 6.66-degrees of engagement and 2.6g spokes. The wheelset weighs 1,475g with valves and rim tape installed.




Now, these wheels are some of the more interesting ones we've seen lately and they tick the boxes of light weight and a high level of engineering. How do they hold up? Time will tell - I have a set of their GMX-25 XC Race wheels in hand and will be putting them through the paces in the coming months, with a full review to follow.




Pinkbike Pond Beaver 2020






75 Comments

  • 85 1
 6.66 Degrees of engagement - Hell yeah
  • 24 1
 Satan approves.
  • 13 1
 and gulo gulo is genus and species for wolverine.
  • 1 1
 @h82crash: Nero, anyways.
  • 15 1
 6,66 engagement of the beast
  • 4 0
 @Chickenwithshovel: 6, 66 the one for you and me.
  • 3 1
 I don't see any reason not to trust these wheels...aside from the whole master of deception thing.
  • 45 2
 I actually like the idea of carbon spokes. I bet they will hold tension much better than steel while also dropping some weight. But I forgot this is PB and we are supposed to hate anything new.
  • 51 1
 Pick a material and be a dick about it.
  • 11 0
 I’m intrigued by the idea of light & stiff carbon spokes laced to an alloy rim vs steel spokes laced to a carbon rim. It makes sense in my mind, at least.
  • 2 1
 Seems like a great idea for xc. Gravity riding you might float 15 feet too far. Still like the slight forgiveness of steel.
  • 1 1
 Not if they are honest about the news being just a press release!
  • 45 4
 Compliance has left the chat
  • 7 0
 Not necessarily - they’re in tension line normal spikes, so quite different to the rigid carbon spoke you see in Lightweight, for example. It’ll depend on the weave how much elongation and compliance you get.
  • 11 0
 I love the idea and the Tech. These are super cool and that weight......BUT.... I loath specialty wheel anything. Blow and spoke or a rim and you're stuck. I use Mavic for road and buy spare spokes are soon as I order the wheelset so im not stuck without wheels mid season. Give me an alloy 32h any day. I can fix it in the back of my jeep with parts I can likely get an any backtown shop even if its not a perfect match of what I wanted
  • 14 0
 Wher the fk is the super sentinel. Lift your game transition. Let's do this pond thing with a bang!
  • 3 0
 I heard rumblings that COVID disruptions have 'em pushed back until summer. But I feel you.
  • 2 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: You'd think they'd still show her off and say "coming soon"... Shit bike companies do that even when half the world isn't sheltering in place.
  • 3 0
 @stiingya: Agreed. I don't know. Seems like they still have Sentinel and Patrol stock they're trying to move as well. Once the new bikes drop, that stuff will just sit.
  • 1 0
 I can't wait to see it! I suspect its coming fairly soon as sentinels (and patrols) are 20% off right now.
  • 3 0
 Cascade components posted a pic on their IG of testing a new link for the sentinel. Should make it lore progressive and have more travel. Think there is a thread on mtbr about it
  • 1 0
 @Jcmonty: wouldn't be surprised if they're working on a bunch of mullet links too.
  • 2 0
 If it looks like the new Scout, I'll find it VERY difficult to resist. That is one good looking bike.
  • 1 0
 @oldmanfalling: I'll struggle if it comes in that outlaw orange matt colour. God Damn!
  • 11 2
 Not so sure about this. If I wanted exotic spokes, I'd be more likely to look at Dyneema spokes such as what Berd is offering. Those would very likely be lighter than these carbon spokes (both due to Dyneema's superior density and less structure needed to attach to the hub/wheel) and will work with almost any hub on the market. Finally, my dream of an Onyx Racing Hub without a weight penalty can be achieved.
  • 2 0
 That's what I'm running and it's a nice combo. Still no lightweight wheelset but entirely reasonable. But I like Onyx hubs enough I would run them with rebar spokes if that were my only choice.
  • 1 0
 They are actually about the same weight (2.6 vs 2.5) but I agree the Berd spokes are very strong and probably very reliable (try to cut one!). Weight savings however are not that great. a Sapim Cx-Ray is 4.5 grams, so you are looking at 50 grams/wheel for 24 spokes.
  • 15 2
 And they come in three unique colors- (Snap,Crackle, and Pop,)
  • 13 3
 You can just build a custom wheelset that comes in at this weight as long as you get some DT240 hubs or something similarly light.
  • 7 0
 My i34mm wheelset with Syntace boost hubs, carbon rims, and 28 dt aerolite spokes is 1446g. With dt 180 hubs that would be 1350g. With these 2.6g spokes it would be exactly 100g lighter at 1250g. That's attractive. I do like this idea. What they need to do is, 1. trim the rim and hub weight to better appeal to the weight weenie demographic, 2. put in 28 spokes, 3. ensure availability of replacement spokes. Mountain biking is a contact sport. People are going to need to fix things.
  • 4 0
 @JohanG: All that headache of having ultra expensive and proprietary spokes for just saving just 50g a wheel on an i34 or i30 wheelset (not Nino's WC bike) seems...a bit odd doesn't it??
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: Well you save 100g in the hubs, and 100g in the rim, and 50g in the spokes, and that's how you make a superlight wheelset, which is part of a superlight bike.
  • 3 0
 @JohanG: Yeah of course but we've been able to have super light hubs and rims already. Have ultra proprietary spokes made of carbon is jumping the shark in my opinion. Especially for an aggressive trail/enduro type wheelset. XC racer, sure it makes sense I guess.
  • 7 0
 finally your wheels will cost more than your frame
  • 2 0
 ENVE's been doing that for a LONG time... course the last year or so frames have caught up!

30 is $2360, the 25 is $2525

So I'm sure you can find lots of frames that cost more than those these days! Smile
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: no price breaks from ENVE then...
  • 6 0
 No price, so expect Orthodontist level.
  • 6 0
 Firmly in between dentist, and groundbreaking neurosurgeon. Right about at psychiatrist range....or even heart surgeon.
  • 5 0
 @takeiteasyridehard:

Definitely orthodontist money.

Dentist makes more than a psychiatrist. Hell most MDs don’t make as much as a dentist. I’m a radiologist and they probably make more than me. And dentists spend more money on bikes than any doctor I know because they actually have time to ride. 4 day work weeks, business hours, only with no call. It’s a sweet gig if you don’t go insane staring into peoples mouths all day.
  • 1 0
 @hkenshin: that could be a Calvin an Hobbs comic strip....
  • 2 0
 @hkenshin: Was a sweet business, until Covid 19 puts all of them out of business.
  • 3 2
 Have you ever wondered why you don't see more carbon spoked wheels around? Because they don't work. Stainless steel spokes have become the industry standard because they have proven to be capable of high spoke tension, resistant to fatigue, economically viable, and elastic enough to withstand the constant changes a spoke faces.
  • 5 2
 circa 1989: Have you ever wondered why you don't see more carbon frames around? Because they don't work. Cro-moly steel have become the industry standard because.....
  • 3 1
 @JohanG: your comment isn't remotely close to accurate. If carbon spokes were as effective as the claims you would see a lot more of them. I'm a wheelbuilder, I own a wheelbuilding shop and I don't build with carbon spokes and I don't know of any other reputable wheel builders that do. That being said I'm a big believer in carbon rims.
  • 1 1
 @craigcanucks: Technologies are created. Life changes. I build all my wheels.
  • 2 0
 Built a wheels once with Fiberflight Carbon spokes. Fiberfright would be a more appropriate name. Knocked a stick in them on a downhill and broke all but one spoke. Steel is real!
  • 1 0
 There used to be a road wheel, I think they were called Topolino. Used a braided/composite spoke but it was molded into the hub flanges. Nightmare to work on. Sounds like these are an improvement for sure.
  • 1 0
 Shhhhh, I think that company is still around....
  • 1 0
 These are early production? So does that explain why the threaded part of the nipple is buried so deep into the hub? And how are these trued, do you have to worry about damage from twisting the spoke, or true from both ends?
  • 1 0
 I still have my spinergy xyclone race wheels on the bike I used to race in the late 90s early 2000s and those puppies were flexy as limp dic in the wind. But those PBO spokes were cool and weight weenie light.
  • 3 0
 Anyone remember Tioga's string spoked disc wheel?
  • 1 4
 We were chatting about that wheel in the past 48 hours.
  • 1 0
 Tension disk. And sugino. Ooohhh that sound....
  • 3 0
 That went so well for mavic back in the day...
  • 3 0
 That b*tch Carol Baskin had carbon spokes laced in het wheels.
  • 5 0
 I bet the Tiger King rides a Mullet Bike...
  • 2 0
 @korev: 20" BMX out back with a coaster brake, 29+ on the front, ape hanger bars, custom tiger-striped Fox 40 DC fork, GT Zaskar frame
  • 3 0
 NC power.
  • 2 0
 Berd (spokes) is the word. I have a set of Berd's and they are awesome.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I don't see where these would have any advantage over Berd spokes other than possibly being easier to build up initially due to Berd's tension settling a bit for the first few days. And I imagine a stick or a rock in the spokes will go a lot better with Berds than these carbon sticks.
  • 2 1
 Ok, i9. Ball is in your court now.
  • 2 0
 Are u the famous guy that broke out of prison?!!!
  • 1 0
 The Hydra hub has 690 engagement points yielding a .52 degree engagement. 6.66 would be horrible.
  • 1 0
 Can't wait to see a full on flat landing on these !
  • 1 0
 Thanks! Their SEO sucks, no hits... but site seems new
  • 1 0
 Imagine what those forking spokes cost.
  • 1 0
 Guess at cost?
  • 1 0
 30 is $2360, the 25 is $2525
  • 1 1
 titanium spoke weight the same
  • 1 0
 No thanks
  • 1 0
 J-bend forever....
  • 1 1
 Where are they made?
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