Keeping Our Promises; Delivering Only The Best.

Right from the very start we have never wanted to be like the other brands, we looked at the wheel with a different perspective, knowing that there was more technology could offer than the humble spoke.

We wanted, and still do, to bring a sense of joy and fun to the humble bicycle, to have every ride accompanied by a sense of freedom, of curiosity, and to put a smile on the face.

And we made a promise to you the readers of our journal, and to the subscribers to our newsletter; we made a promise to keep you up to date with developments.

We’ve been quiet for a few months, during which our engineers have been working hard in our research facility in Austria, our craftswomen and men have been refining what they do in our manufacturing facility in Slovakia, and we’ve seen fabulous work from our purchasing and logistics teams, and now we can share the results with you.…

The wheel.

We’ve forensically re-examined all our processes, tweaking, experimenting, and evolving the internal structure of the wheel, and the results are in… We’ve reduced the weight by 15%, and at the same time increased its strength by 24%.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? read more here

 

The price.

Because of the efforts of our buying teams, and our focus on quality improvement, we also made big gains in efficiency within the manufacturing department – and we are passing those savings on to you! (like we said, we think differently to our competitors!)

Effective immediately, we have lowered our prices below the €1,000 mark! With our Classic black wheelset coming in at just €950, whilst our coloured varieties can be on your doorstep for just €990 (this doesn’t count for the strictly limited, hand-painted Collections sets though – they are still priced to support the artists that work on them!).

“This is not a sale, this is not a promotional price, this is our commitment to offering the best possible product at the most competitive pricing we can!”

We are now partnered with the good people at Klarna so are able to offer forms of finance on our wheels, from 30 days, through 3 months, up to 24 month payment options – offerings depend upon geographical location, and may be subject to credit checks.

New sizes of wheel.

Yes, they are coming!

We have been working on a 700c Road wheel, and also a 29” MTB wheel, if all goes to plan we will complete final testing in January and February, and they will be available for pre-order late February!

We will be giving out more details as they solidify, suffice to say that they look incredible, and they will represent the most advanced wheels on the planet!

 

E-bike compatibility.

It’s always been possible to ride our wheels with an e-bike – if you were prepared to attach an external motor sensor to the blade… But now we’ve developed our own custom enclosure inside the blade to accommodate the sensor that would normally attach to a spoke!

Incredible performance, same great style!

When you purchase your new wheels simply add a note to the order form and we will be in touch to confirm the sizing that you need for the sensor – it will add an extra couple of weeks to the process, but these will be custom made for you and your bike!

The safest, fastest, and most stylish wheels just got the added bonus of being ready for the E-bike revolution!

 

So that’s what we have been up to these last few months; our progress has been remarkable, our focus relentless, the passion inspiring.

2020 is going to be a busy time for SPENGLE!

Wheel Updates

We’ve forensically re-examined all our processes: tweaking, experimenting, and evolving the internal structure of the wheel, and the results are in… We’ve reduced the weight by 15%, and at the same time increased its strength by 24%.

Those are the numbers – but what do they mean?

This means that for you, the rider, it accelerates quicker, rolls smoother, and turns faster – with all the safety features you would expect from us backed up by our lifetime guarantee.

By altering the layup of the carbon fibres we have been able to increase strength in the rim walls, making them even more resilient against a rock-strike type of sideways impact.

So whether that is a low-pressure trail impact, or a high-pressure kerb impact, the wheel itself is now stronger than ever, with the structure of the carbon able to distribute the impact forces away from the site – and away from the rider – giving you a smoother, more comfortable, and ultimately safer bike ride!

We’ve done this whilst also trimming off 15% of the total wheel weight.

By removing fibres from areas in which they were redundant, and changing alignments in some areas where they were required, we have been able to reduce the weight to 1950g.

Because of how the wheel is constructed in comparison to spoked wheels, we have more mass in the centre, and less on the edges.

This means that the SPENGLE Carbon Monocoque is more responsive to rider input, able to turn faster with less effort, and as RedBull said “makes them ride lighter than we thought they might”

We swapped out a pair from an early customer and gave them a new set to see how they got on with them, the result?

“The wheels are incredible…with great feelings on rock gardens and jumps”

So there you have it; a focus on continual improvement in the product and processes has led to increased strength, reduced weight, and a drop in price to pass some of those efficiency savings across to you!

Get your hands on the fastest, safest, and most exciting wheel on the planet!

And now you can also spread the payments with Klarna!

 

 

 

 

 

ROADBIKE PARTY SPENGLE CARBON

Our friends over at Bike Party take some Spengle wheels for a test run around the gravel tracks of Berlin.

“In dieser Folge Roadbike Party geht es mit Jan und Moi auf eine Gravel Fahrrad tour Rund um Berlin. Endlich konnte ich auch meine neuen Spengle Carbon Laufräder im Gelände auf herz und nieren testen und ich bin hellauf begeistert. Die Laufräder sind steif wie ein Brett aber trotzdem komfortabel genug und damit über alle Unebenheiten hinweg zu bügeln.”

In photos: Kolektif Berlin

For those of you that weren’t able to see us in Berlin, here’s what you missed.

You’ve always been able to buy the classic black wheels on our website, however very shortly, you’ll have the choice of a range of colours to enable you to match your ride to your personality.

After considerable requests, we’ll be releasing a limited edition urban bike #DesignedForSPENGLE in the coming months. Pre-order will be available soon.

First review: Redbull and SPENGLE give you wings

We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to get our wheels out there for the world to see and we’re now starting to see reviews in the media, the first of which has come from Redbull. And it’s good!

The reviewer, Stuart Kenny, is an experienced mountain biker based in Edinburgh, Scotland so we wanted him to put a set of our Carbon Monocoque wheels through their paces. He spent time on them around some of Scotland’s enduro trails as well as more locally in the Pentland Hills.

Photo: Stuart Kenny

Before Stuart could get going, he first had to wangle them off the bike mechanic mounting them to his bike. In our experience, SPENGLE wheels turn heads whether they’re in a bustling city or out in the wilds of a MTB trail centre.

“The striking aesthetic, at least, is pretty indisputable.”

“Whizzing down more flowy singletrack though, and the distinctive sound of the wind whistling through the Spengle blades, you’d allow yourself to be convinced that they might be on to something after all.”

“The wheels feel manoeuvrable in a way that makes them ride lighter than we thought they might…but it’s the indestructible feel of the wheels, and that promise of reliability…that may be Spengle’s biggest selling point.”

CEO of SPENGLE, Pius Brauchart, backs up Stuart’s review with our vision for the future: we have hard-working engineers pushing the boundaries of what’s perceived to be possible in the wheel market. We’re expecting to see the wheel on the top steps of podiums in the not too distant future because we know it works, we know it rides well and now and the Redbull team can back us up.

Check out the full review here and keep your eyes peeled for the latest reviews from the cycling media and beyond.

Follow us on Instagram to be the first to know about exciting SPENGLE news.

MTB: why skills training and coaching matters

MTB skills training is one of the best investments you can make. It’s a great way to get out of your comfort zone, build new skills – and break bad habits.
By Adele Mitchell

Those wonderful long days in the saddle on fast, dry trails are so close you can almost smell them. So, in order to get the very best out of what is to come, now is the perfect opportunity to do a little skills training.

When I first started riding ‘skills training’ meant tagging along on the wheel of someone who had lots more experience and trying to do what they did whilst keeping up and not screaming too loud. If you reached the bottom of the trail in one piece – despite not knowing how you actually managed to stay upright – you could consider yourself to have improved. Or, more accurately, to have got away with it. In other words, it was largely a question of trial and error until you found a way that worked for you.

But ‘progression’ is now a big buzzword in MTB, and coaching is becoming an increasingly popular way of improving your skills both safely and quickly. As a result, mountain bike skills training has become a flourishing success story, with courses available to teach everything from basic skills to cornering, drops and jumps for groups or individuals.

Like many of us out on the trails, I’m no newbie: and if anything that is a disadvantage because it’s often a question of having to unlearn bad habits – and things you do automatically – in favour of something more effective, but that initially feels unnatural (you can of course, try denying the aforementioned bad habit – but as most coaches will video you whilst riding, it’s impossible to fight the evidence!).
My worst habit, for instance, is not looking where I am going. Rather than looking down the trail, reading what’s ahead and anticipating it for a smooth, fast ride, I tend to peer over the front wheel the minute I hit a technical rooty section or series of drops. I actually had no idea I was doing it until I paid someone to coach me and he pointed it out.

By looking down I put weight over the front wheel where I don’t need it and slow myself down so I’m more likely to topple over. It also means that in effect I am riding ‘blind’ when it comes to choosing a line. It took moments for my MTB coach to point this out, and then weeks of practice on the trails to unlearn the habit. So don’t expect to walk away as a changed rider: you’ll need to put the work in over the following weeks as well.

Coaching also introduced me to the joy that is sessioning: riding the same section of trail over and over until you have perfected your technique and – crucially – built your confidence so that you are ready to progress onto trails that are more challenging.

Going backwards and forwards over the same two hundred yards is surprisingly challenging physically so if you don’t consider a ride a ride unless you’ve journeyed through at least two counties then don’t worry – you’ll still get a workout. Sessioning with friends is also lots of fun – particularly if you are of similar ability – as you can learn and grow as riders together. And yes, I know sessioning is what teenagers do and you’re a grown up with a swanky bike – but this is why teenagers turn out to be the ones with all those ‘natural’ skills!

Training for long-distance

SPENGLE’s Head of Marketing, Martin Cox, is a life-long cyclist but relatively recent convert to the endurance world. There is a whole calendar of long-distance events including unsupported races and this year Martin has put his name down to enter the Silk Road Mountain Race (SRMR). Here, he discusses how he goes about training for an event so gruelling.

I’ve done my fair share of long-distance riding and racing having entered the Transcontinental Race a few years’ back, but my next challenge takes me off the beaten track and into remote wilderness of Kyrgyzstan this September. This gnarly race will have me wandering around some of the least populated places on the planet over a total of 1672km. There’s very little like it on this planet of ours and unlike events like Race Across America, the SRMR is wholly unsupported, meaning that riders have to take care of themselves, exercising self-sufficiency in all aspects.

So how do you prepare? Where do you start?

First off, some maths

Each day has 24 hours, each hour has 60 minutes, therefore each rider will have 1440 minutes to use each and every day. This is key, crucial in fact, because the clock never stops as soon as riders cross the start line. Even if a rider stops to sleep, it’ll be counting the seconds ticking rather than sheep as they get their heads down.

Get rid of the TV

….or at the very least limit how much time you spend watching TV, films or browsing (wasting time) on the internet. Every minute spent doing these things are minutes you could spend on the bike, at the gym or planning your next training session.

Get to bed early

The old adage of “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, happy and wise” wasn’t said in jest. Sleep aids recovery, both body and mind, allowing for better performance and more focused efforts (this is good for work as well).

GET UP

Set the alarm for an early start. During the SRMR, time is miles; the more time sleeping you have, the less time there is for riding. Every ten minutes of time not riding equates to a mile that someone else has ridden. The aim is to get to the finish line (ideally with an admirable position among fellow competitors) and you won’t do that if you are spending too much time asleep, relaxing or scrolling through Instagram (if you even have reception out there!).

I aim for a 6am ride start during normal days, especially as SRMR gets closer. I will set the alarm gradually earlier as well going all the way back to 4am. I’ll mix up my pre-dawn training between road and MTB to get a good balance of technical skills and a solid cardio workout. If you have an accommodating workplace speak to them. Can you shower there? Can you start at 10 perhaps, and get in an extra hour on rough stuff before you start?

Recovery is vital: eat well, rest well, live appropriately

If my sole goal this year is to finish the SRMR race in August, then it’s not wise to be moving furniture the week before. I’ll be doing my best to remain injury and illness free around a month out from the race.

I broke a collarbone and rib just at the peak of my base training one year, which meant no riding for 10 weeks. The damage it did to me physically and psychologically was tremendous. I lost huge amounts of fitness and strength. To make matters worse, I hadn’t recovered my descending confidence by the time my event came around. Descending the Finestre in Italy, I lost over an hour over some of my competitors due to my timidness. Staying healthy is super important.

Ride your bike

Ride as much as you can. The winner of the Transcontinental Race took time off work for 3 months to ride around Asia before sitting at the top of the podium after 4000km. Whilst it’s not officially training, it certainly gave him a massive amount of base mileage.

Commute, in all weathers!

Of course, we can’t all afford to take a block of time like that away from work and family, but we can commute by bike more, take the long way home and prioritise training so that we’re in better shape come race day. Mix up base fitness work with power efforts. There will be mountains – over 26,000m. Be strong: the stronger you are the easier you will find it to get over them.

Practice being tired, how do you cope?

It’s not a good idea to practise sleep deprivation to the point of hallucination, but ride tired, work on a strategy to keep focused. Ride long double days over a weekend to get your legs used to riding weary. How will you keep your speed up? Music? What works best?

Go exploring

This is awesome! As the days get longer and the race gets closer, take a day off work, and make for a long weekend of riding. I rode from Nottingham down towards Lands End and back to test my bike and kit one year to find out what worked and what didn’t. Don’t be afraid to make changes and test them out.

The bike is a tool, you are the engine

While the bike I ride will have some obvious features that others won’t, the same can be said for each and every setup. Some will ride steel bikes, some aluminium or carbon. It doesn’t matter. Ride what works for you, it’s far more important to be fit and comfortable on the bike than worry whether you’ve made the right bike choice.

We’ll be checking in with Martin throughout the course of his training and keeping you up to date. Sign up to the SPENGLE newsletter to be the first to find out where his journey takes him.

5:30 alarms and why you should

Photo credit: Rob Bates / Unsplash

 

It feels like training: Preparing kit the night before and setting the alarm for 5:30am, clambering around the house looking for USB cables to charge my lights, filling bottles then heading off to bed. For a large chunk of the year, the sky is still dark at that time, and the birds have yet to wake. The world still sleeps and the roads are quiet. The only noise is that of the hum of the tyres on the road, the odd gear change and the heavy breathing of exertion. The glow of street lights fades with each turn of the pedals as the sun slowly rises.

I’m not really sure why I’m up and riding so early – I’ve not set any plans for the year ahead – but I know it’s good to be up. The early mornings require an early night and sufficient sleep – otherwise the snooze button becomes both my best friend and my worst enemy. The sun will be up soon, the birds will be singing and the roads will start to get busier, but for now it’s just me and the village milkman who share the lanes.

If you’re not a morning person (and I’m not) then it’s not always the easiest thing to do to get up at and be out by 6, but I’ve never regretted an early morning bike ride! At this time of the day, I find it useful to know why I’m up and at ‘em as opposed to the rest of the world.

Three motivators to get you moving

Start as you mean to go on

People who exercise in the morning get a host of benefits that can last for the rest of the day, including a surge of energy to last well beyond the 8-10 hours at the office due to the cardiovascular kickstart and an increase of endorphins to power you through.

Eat and be merry

Before exercise, I tend to eat a fairly healthy breakfast compared to my usual snoozed mornings. It not only fuels my early morning ride, but helps to keep snacking at bay throughout the day. Afterwards, my metabolism is busy at work burning up to 20% more calories than an equivalent evening workout, so I don’t feel the need to top up again come 10am.

Focus on what’s important

Concentration is improved by the early energy burst and the mornings provide time to work through the tasks of the day ahead often from the comfort of my saddle. Whether it’s work, family, or simply trying to fit in some personal time, the quiet and calm of the morning will help solve the world’s ills!

You can’t beat a sunrise ride

That’s the logic sorted, now what?

Pack early

I always get my kit sorted the night before, lay it out on the sofa downstairs so I can simply roll out of bed and tiptoe through the house without waking anyone. The last thing I want to do is wake up my other half and get ‘the look’ at 5:30!

Fasted exercise

There are plenty of words written out on the world wide web about the benefit of early morning fasted exercise to stimulate fat burn. Do it! But be prepared to refuel afterwards! If you are heading straight in an office, have it packed and ready. If you are back and the house is still quiet, have it ready on the counter top so there’s little risk of making additional noise.

Find a buddy

Have you got a cycling/running buddy who is willing and able to get out with you? A workout shared is a workout more intense! But it also helps to develop more commitment to the cause and stops you from bailing/hitting the snooze if you know someone else is out there waiting for you.

 

Next time you go to use the excuse of no time, set your alarm for 5:30 and you’ll realise there’s a unique part of the day when you can feel like you have the whole world to yourself. Ditch the TV, limit late night social media, stop reading blogs in bed and get an early night. You know what they say: early to bed, early to shred!

 

What’s in a name – reflections on the rise of bikepacking

The rise of Bikepacking

What is it?

What does it mean? It’s a word that only sprang into the collective consciousness of bike-riding people in the last few years. Old schoolers may argue it’s just fancy marketing-speak for cycle touring, a pursuit as old as the bicycle itself, but there are definite differences between the two. You could almost think of bikepacking as a sub-genre of touring, like punk music’s relationship to classic rock. Different, but the same. I’ve done both bikepacking and touring trips, although I wouldn’t claim to be an expert on either. The main differences to me are of comfort level and philosophical approach.

Bikepacking is geared towards speed, and there’s an ever-present ticking clock in the back of your mind; a small voice saying ‘go!’ While with touring, it’s the inverse. Almost a competition with myself to see how few kilometres I can actually cover in a ‘whole day’ of riding.

What you need

The defining aspect of bikepacking is the lightness of equipment. Most bikepackers eschew tents, in favour of lightweight and smaller ‘bivvy bags’ – large, waterproof plastic bags that fit one person inside. It’s basic, less comfortable, but allows you to ride faster and cover more ground. Similarly, a bikepacker will tend to splurge a bit more on their kit to ensure it’s light, packs down small and can be quickly, easily packed away.

The luggage is different too. While a traditional tourer would typically have at least one pair of panniers on a front or rear rack, the bikepacker favours the streamlined pairing of a seat post pack and handlebar bag. This setup is more aerodynamic, lighter, but less capacious. Sometimes they’ll add a frame bag, which hangs from the underside of the top tube for extra carrying capacity. And that is roughly where the hard-and-fast distinctions end.

Tourers would be more likely to carry cooking equipment than bikepackers, with the latter tending to eat at ‘petrol station buffets’ more often than not – but then you could easily retort that an old-school travelling cyclist is just as fond of a can of coke, bag of Haribo and sausage roll for lunch as the next rider.

What about a bike?

Bikepacking is closely associated with ultra-endurance races like the Transcontinental, but there’s nothing to stop a rider with panniers on his bicycle entering such a race, nor any reason why someone with a bikepacking ‘setup’ can’t bimble along blithely at their own pace.

The touring bicycle is a codified and classic design. Steel frame, upright riding position, drop handlebars, forgiving saddle and 700c wheels. The bikepacker’s riding rig is far more open to interpretation. The winners of races like the Transcontinental tend to ride racing bikes, with fatter tyres the only real concession to comfort. Bikepacker’s more generally seem to gravitate towards a mid-point between outright speed and long-distance comfort. The Spengle wheel could almost be tailor-made for bikepacking, given its simplicity and reliability.

Why you MUST ride in January: motivation for the New Year.

For reasons that are many and varied – but are mainly Christmas, work commitments, family commitments, and Christmas (because it seemed to be endless this year) I have not been able to ride my bike at all during the last month.

Usually I’m out on the trails three times a week but by the first week of January I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever find the motivation to get back on a bike again. It was cold. I couldn’t find my kit in the pile of family washing. My headset needed greasing.  And I had a pile of lovely new books – Christmas presents – which I could read in the warm instead.

And, having consumed my body weight in Nigella Lawson Christmas cake, I began to fear that I had lost my fitness somewhere down the back of the sofa.  So when my friends suggested a group ride I made excuses in case I couldn’t keep up. It was a slippery slope, indeed.

Clearly it was time to get back into my routine, and quickly. So, as the Christmas decorations went back into the attic, I gave myself no option but to go for a ride, even if I only managed fifteen minutes.

We all know how this story turns out – because this is mountain biking, it’s wonderful and it always wins, right? Two hours later I rolled home, awash with happy hormones having had a fantastic ride AND (despite my lack of faith in my fitness) having conquered a short but very steep and rooty climb that I had never managed before (powered by Christmas cake, I swear).

So I’m back! If you’re in a similar boat and struggling to get out to ride this January, then this little list of motivators may just help put your butt back in the saddle.

 

  1. Be realistic

It’s super tempting to think ‘from now on I’m going to ride every day!’ but that’s just a pipe dream for most of us, especially as this time of year. Being realistic about how much riding you can do will give you the best chance of succeeding. If once a week is more achievable then work towards that instead, then savour the satisfaction of meeting your goal.

  1. Share your intentions

The night before I returned to riding I published a post on Instagram in which I said I would be riding the next day. Once I had made others aware of my intentions then there was no going back, simply because I didn’t want to lose face.  I posted again after the ride to confirm I had done it – and enjoyed all the ‘likes’ that went with it (@adele_writer if you want proof!).

  1. Enter an event

Enter a mountain bike event and your rides will have a purpose as you work towards getting fit and fast ahead of it. Better still, enter two (or more!) events: short term, ‘easier’ events can act as stepping stones to something much bigger later in the year that will really test you, and that you can work towards in the long term.

  1. Make it fun

If you feel daunted by the process of getting fit then switch your focus to building skills instead. Not only will you become a better ride as a result but repeatedly sessioning a tricky descent, testing singletrack or challenging climb will rapidly improve your fitness too (without you even thinking about it!).

  1. Focus on the fringe benefits

There is so much more to mountain biking than riding a bike: from friendships and benefits to your mental health to planning your dream bike build and sharing your ride on social media, there is so much joy to be had so its important to remind yourself of that.

And finally, think how happy you will be to have all those fitness miles in the ‘mountain biking bank’ in summer when the trails are perfect, the skies are big and all you want to do is get out there and ride as far and for as long as you can.

 

Here’s to a great year of riding!