Berd spoke might be the “wheel” deal

Berd spokes are made from a polymer, strong and light. Berd photo.

Ninety-nine percent of new technology isn’t new and it isn’t an improvement, but the Berd spoke might buck the trend. The jury is out.

Berd, based in Minnesota, specializes in polymer technology. I’d bet a few employees used to work for 3M.

The spoke looks like a piece of string, literally. It’s called PolyLight, a marketing term. Whatever it is, it isn’t steel or carbon-fiber.

I’m drawn to it for two reasons: 1) it works with today’s hubs and rims and 2) wheels using Berd spokes absorb road shock better than steel-spoke wheels. They’ve been approved for use in international bicycle racing.

Looking around, I found a wheel with three-cross configuration using Onyx hubs, which look like they have traditional drilled holes, standard construction.

I don’t know if they’re more durable than DT spokes, which I consider the best in the business. If these spokes turn out to be as good as advertised, I’d consider rebuilding my wheels and giving them a try.

One Response to “Berd spoke might be the “wheel” deal”

  1. Jon Blum Says:

    I would think elastic behavior as well as strength might be relevant. But I have not read Jobst’s book, it probably sheds light on such issues. One of the nice things about steel spokes is their resistance to damage from minor impacts, even from sharp objects. I’d worry a little about the risk of cuts to fiber spokes. They might be quite cut-resistant, I have no idea. Given the nasty things that have happened when other novel wheel materials failed, I don’t think I’ll be the first kid on the block to try these. Thanks for the interesting (as always) post.

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