Wheelworks Journal: Our Berd Of The Year

Berd Spokes: Game Changer?

I’ve been running a wheelbuilding company for nearly 17 years now.  I’ve seen ‘fads’ like ebikes, disc brakes and Boost hubs become mainstream norms.  I’ve seen other ‘gamechanger’ trends like fat-bikes and tubular tyres not catch on and remain in the fringes of cycling.  I don’t have a crystal ball but I like to think I’m pretty good at predicting what new stuff will last the test of time.

For years bike frames were made from steel, and they were good.  Advancements in the aerospace industry led to new aluminium alloys and carbon fibres being developed, and in the 2000s these new materials arrived en masse into the bike industry.  All of a sudden, steel wasn’t the best material for every bike.  Aluminium was better for some types of bike, and carbon fibre for other types of bike. Now, we see Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene enter the bike industry – is steel still the best material for every spoke?

I think Berd spokes, or more specifically spokes made from high tech string, are here to stay. Berd spokes allow us to optimise and tune a pair of wheels in a new and unique way. The physical properties of the UHMWPE translate into unique-feeling wheels which have some very tangible benefits for some (but certainly not all) types of bikes and riders.

We’ve added Berd spokes as an option for all of our handbuilt wheelsets so please take a look around the Berd resources we’ve put together (we’re calling it the Berd’s Nest) here, and especially the rider feedback stories here, and reach out to myself and our team if you’d like to discuss if these revolutionary spokes are right for you and your riding.

I’m really excited to be partnering with Berd to build wheels as we enter this new phase of wheelbuilding (plus the nearly limitless number of bird puns now available to us).

Until nest time, - Tristan