CyclingSite Logo  
Stories & Humor



  CyclingSite > Stories & Humor > Don's Wheels
    Don's Wheels  
    Interesting tidbit on sidewalls. I've had tread intrusion issues up the wazzoo using the Specialized Team Tear-bo tires and have just purchased a set of the Conti 3,000 s to evaluate on my triple.

I've been thru some nasty gravel and haven't had sidewall problems to date, hope that doesn't change with the Conti's. My favorite tire I can't find anymore.. Advocet Criterium K 700-25 they run small for their stated size but now all I can find are the 20s which are jan-u-whine pizza cutters. (Just a bit too thin for those close encounters of the gravel kind).

Don "grabbing the front wheel to a full layout front flip" Bolton


This sort of takes the size issue to the other extreme, but if the Avocets really do run small, you might want to take a look.

Found this on one of the sites that Andrew put up the link for:

They only list 32s... maybe they fit like 28s?
Scott Saulsbury

I mounted the Conti 3000s last night and was delighted. The Specilized tires were always extremely difficult to mount on my Spinergey wheels requiring the final section to be "ironed" on using a "quik-stik".

These 3000s slid on by hand wonderfully. Post mount inspection showed a nearly perfectly round tire, with a consistent bead surface, none of that having to check to see it its just inconsistent edging or a poor mount.

But for me the *big* bonus was the tires trueness, virtually no side to side wobble!. If these things ride as well as I've heard I'm a convert. Being foldable makes a spare easy to have along too.

From the shop side these are a class act, judging by tread surface thickness I expect about 1,500 miles without front to back rotation. Probably extend these to close to 2,500 miles with proper swapping schedule. (assuming I don't continue my recent spate of riding thru tire shredding debris fields)

Looking forward to the rubber meeting the road.

Don "all that and the color matches my wheels too" Bolton

I'll open by saying that I'm taking the Continental Grand Prix 3000 COLORED SIDEWALL (not the standard gumwall) tires back because they simply won't stay seated on my Spinergey SPOX wheels. (Yes I had another <*BOOM*> last night in the weight room fortunately I was in the garage and was spared further ear damage).

The problem appears to be a compound one. The SPOX wheels feature a SUN rim with a shallow tire cavity having a distance from the inner rim wall to the inside bead edging on the sidewall that is less than 1/8th inch. This is about half the space you will find on a MAVIC wheel (I checked my Open Pro, CXP 10, and CXP 14s and verified) (my measurement statements are approximations and not precision).

Anyway, this shallow rim cavity has always made it difficult to mount or unmount a tire on the wheels usually requiring I "iron" on the last several inches of bead.

The wonderful supple Continentals appear to snug on the rims surface with the bead edge rolling inward toward the center of the cavity (the rim surface is radiused so that its centerline is appx 1/8 inch lower than its outer edges) instead of the bead edge swelling out under the rim wall and catching the bead retainer lip it appears to remain turned under toward rim center. Upon inflation *some* of the bead catches properly but some doesn't quite set in completely (bead width on the tire is part of this issue as its as wide or even marginally wider than the clearance these rims allow).

End result is the tire may or may not seat correctly and when it does slip off, the tube explodes leaving one in total lack of control if riding at the time.

I do not know if the standard skinwall version of this tire has a more compatible bead surface or not but for now I'm probably going back to the Specialized Team "Tear-bo" tires as I've not had explosions with these...


I still think the Continentals are a superior tire, the consistency, trueness, suppleness, etc are very impressive. On a standard rim I do not see these tires as having any problems. They simply are too dangerous given the wheel bead clearances given on my SPOX wheels.

OK. If you've read this far, I'm going to make a few statements about the SPOX wheels themselves...

Best ride quality I've ever experienced. The fiber spokes soak up bumps and road vibration and really make for a smooth ride. I was given a pair to evaluate one weekend last year and ended up buying that demo set. Later when Performance had a new set on sale at almost half price I bought a second set for my second bike. All was well with the world... Or so I thought....

I noticed problems with the freehub skipping and clunking on the demo set a few months ago and it was shot with grease, retightened and I was back on the road. Then a month later on the workstand I noticed a swishing sound in the hub so I took it in for a replace... The mechanic found cracks in the rim where the spokes pull through. Now the good part...

It’s less than one year since I have taken ownership of these wheels, I sent in the warranty card upon purchase. Spinergey claims these cracks are probably the result of overtensioning the spokes when truing. I did have several spokes loose tension at one point on the rear and have had ONLY THEIR AUTHORIZED DEALERS work on these wheels. Upon examine my front wheel also had cracking so now both the front and rear are back at the Spinergey headquarters in CT and I'm awaiting to see if they are going to honor warranty or if I have a fight on my hands...

In the meantime I'm now concerned about the life expectancy of my new set and add in the tire rim incompatibility problems... This makes me even more concerned about the overall safety of these rims...

My advice... If these rims are attractive to you to consider my woes before you plunk down your money and end up in the same space. The ride quality is amazing, all the technical stuff about them is awesome, however I'm questioning their overall safety and longevity. Also the company itself isn't real easy to contact.

When I bought the demo set the dealer said something about it being an older version and that he couldn't tell any differences between them and the then current production. I'm hoping the rim cracking can be attributed to that...

Don "its giving me the red ass" Bolton

Back to Top


I use the Conties G P 3000 (grey) on my Heliums & Mavic Open Pros haven't had any problems just love them they are so supple I don't mind replacing a tube they are not cheap will definitely buy them again! Had the chance to buy a set of SPOX wheels (demos) for $150.00 yikes.......glad I didn't!!! Look forward to CO hope to meet and ride with you (please, no booms) and the rest of the HERD!

Barb the Floridian

Glad to help. I'm a bit more wary of such things since my recent spate of explosive mountings.

Good NEWS on the Spinergey front... They are replacing the rims! Apparently they saw fit to honor the warranty after all. I'm hoping they'll be the new spec and have more clearance on the beads like the R2 rim does.

Don "soon to be off the Open Pros" Bolton

I've sent a polite but scathing note (Ie: I left out the swear words cause I really want him to help me) to my contact within their organization and taken the wheels back to the shop for return. This time the shipping boxes came home with me and I saved them for just this occasion :-(

Once this is all finally resolved I'll post the trail of events. I believe we have a company serious about doing the right thing but has some serious quality control issues on their warranty repair process.

Both sets of failed warranty repairs have had differing issues both of which could have been prevented by an "active" inspection process instead of some "Mongo" just popping stickers on them. "Mongo look wheel, wheel look round, here stikr".

SO how was the "unrelenting" hill? I ended up throwing my Open Pros on the bike and literally hammering out a 16 mile loop. Not the same as a herd event but at least I worked the anger out :-(

Don "Factory wheel recycling my specialty" Bolton


In the Fall edition of 'Bicycle Paper', there is a letter to the editor re: Spinergy Rev-X-Rocks. Are these the wheels you have been having such good luck with? Cos' this guy that wrote the letter is PISSED at the company for their terrible product and their complete lack of customer service. Very interesting. If that is your nemesis, pick up the paper. Let me know if you can't find one!!

Stacey 'Always willing to fight for the underdog...unless they're incarcerated' Gray

Don and the Wheel Problem, chapter 1

Right company, right scenario, wrong product line. I purchased not one but two sets of their 99 spec SPOX wheels. It would appear there were some design issues in the rim that appear to have been rectified in the 2000 spec rim.

Lack of communication a big YUP!

Piss poor er workmanshi er ah Quality Control issues on the warranty repair side another bug YUP!

My first set went in July 15 came back Aug 30 deemed unsafe by their warranty coordinator so I rode CO on my backup Open Pro wheelset.

Second set went in Aug 19 came back Oct 13 lasted seven miles before untensioning to a point of being unsafe to ride. Email sent, phone communication to mechanic at BG prior to him actually seeing wheels was sposed to follow up next day once he'd seen wheels unable to get hold of warranty coordinator, no call back, no confirmation on e-mail now sent twice.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel... See they are owned or financed by a parent company and we do have a contact there that will begin things rolling (possibly heads) ;-) Back in July when we couldn't get response on the initial warranty attempt one phone call there yielded several returned calls from the factory (perhaps the root of my dilemma?). At this point I'm just letting out sufficient rope for the hanging.

Busy, short handed, had to replace a worker etc won't apply to a pattern of ignored communication attempts and shoddy workmanship.

Don "man the lawn darts this is war" Bolton

I am trying the Conti GP 3000s again (first try had to do with beads blowing off the rims on my 99 (warranty (read recycling)) spec Spinergy SPOX wheels). I really like the construction of those tires, and their true shape. Many other tires (including Specialized) don't run very true even out of the box.

If you like the Conti's stick with them. Differing manufacturers have total different ideas what a certain size tire is. ON my bikes clearences are at a premium a Specialized 23 won't fit on the rear, the Conti 25 fits perfectly.

Don Bolton

Don and the Wheel Problem; chapter 2

Also titled "the Year We Make Contact" :-(

The warranty coordinator for Spinergy returned the BG's call today just hours before we were headed over their heads. My warranty replacement set for the botched warranty repair started 07/15/00 was sent out on the 18th (thats 10/18/00 can you say three months? I knew you could) sposed to have been second day air. I'm thinking sent out on the 18th hole by second class camel.

Anyway I'm slated to receive their new 2001 Xaero wheelset. New design, new materials, high end Swiss made hubs, less SPOX (16 front 20 rear), more aero (30 mm rim crown), slices, dices, make mounds of Julianne fries. Same crap the 99 SPOX wheels were sposed to have done. "Tested by Tour de France Teams". Really tested by thousands of consumers.

Yep, another first year production product test. I think now that I know the drill I'll insist on replacement when these go bad er ah if they go bad. ;-)

As to the latest botched warranty set I have options on a second set of the Xaeros which is on hold pending acceptance of the first set given their history to date. I could also go for their new conventional wheelset offering in lieu of..

Lesse now take a thousand dollar wheelset or a four hundred dollar one as a replacement for my eight hundred dollar set hmm. Tough call :-)

When Michael at the BG Beaverton was on the phone with the factory it was one of those "EF Hutton" moments, all the staff was listening. They think I should buy what I can sell the easiest :-)

Now, as the longevity of these wheels is anyone’s guess, should we start a pool? I'm hoping I get better than seven miles this time :-(

Don "Putting their factory number in my speedial" Bolton

Back to Top

Hey Don,

Ambrosio Escellence. Not sexy but darn good wheels. I didn't ride them on CO because they were new this year and I have a 23 cluster on them and I was worried about being far from home and repair problems and things that go out of round and things that go out of true. So I chose my Campi Atlanta 96 wheels. My ambrosios have over 3000 km and are not a bit out of true which is pretty good since I've hit some darn good holes. (One time this Chinaman pokes his head out of the hole and sez... aw forget it.) I'll ride them next year. You'll recognize them. They'll be the ones on the grey Macaronni ridden by the old fart trying to catch up to the young buck on the yellow Macaronni.

Steve "Steven Francis is a Canucklhead too" Heim

Thanks. I bought the SPOX because of supple ride quality. The Vectran spokes soak up the bumps and road vibration in a truly amazing fashion.

As to the young buck on the yellow pasta machine... Right before the ride fill his seat bag with lead shot. This may help equalize things unless of course he catches on and swaps bags with you.

Now that you mention it I don't ever recall Drew Carey and I being in the same place at the same time ever...

Don "That Chinaman gets around" Bolton

The Spinergy Saga Continues With A High Note

For those of you who have kept up, I had had some bad experiences with the Spinergy R1 (99 spec) road wheels. Rims were cracking at the spoke holes.

Spinergy warranty replaced rims from both sets using the 2000 spec rims and my hubs/spokes which clearly would have resolved the problem. However they had some interesting QC (Quality Control) issues in the warranty works that saw my first set returned to me after 45 days repaired but unsafe due to the Vectran spoke core stretching past its containing Rislan jacket on several spokes.

My second set (also gone 45 days) returned only to lose its spoke tension after only seven miles of riding.

As compensation for my troubles I was offered a set of their new 2001 Xaero road wheels as replacement for my first set, and have subsequently been made the same offer for my second set. Coincidentally, this too seems to take 45 days :-(

I received my first set of the Xaeros about a week and a half ago and now have put 150 miles on them with no issues. They are based on the same concept as the R1s but with different materials and a completely different rim profile. (extruded fiber spokes now "PBO")

It's a deep aero (30mm) rim with 16 spokes radially laced front and 20 cross 2 laced rear. The hubs are Swiss made "Edco" (high end Euro hubs) and are "normal" sized not those big bulbous orbs the R1s had.

The ride quality of these is just amazing! The R1 wheel isolated the rider from much of the road vibration and impact harshness at a price. The wheel had some deflection which made its handling qualities a bit vague at the extremes, not enough for concern but there nonetheless.

The Xaeros are 100% precise. Feeling much like a highly tuned racing suspension. It still dampens the vibration and harshness but with no perceptible deflection. Steering input response is amazing and the aero profile seems to work well.

My only complaint to date is the amount of water the rims can absorb during a rain ride :-(. After last Wed I did my normal post ride wheel inspection and the sounds were eerie. There is a small drain hole on the rim sidewall just above the brake surface by the valve stem. Parking with this at the wheels low point did drain all the fluid out.

They look really cool too! apparently I am one of a very few to have these wheels currently. At appx 1,000 bucks a set I wonder how many will actually be bought.

At any rate I am monitoring them very closely watching for tension, cracking, and trueness. I've had them on some harsh roads with lots of "blam blams" (those hidden drops in the road where the wheels drop in with a *blam*). So far they are holding up just fine.

I am very impressed with the technical engineering of these wheels, their look and feel is nothing short of amazing. If they have durability they are clearly a worthy upgrade in spite of the stellar price tag. Needless to say based on past experiences I will monitor these closely.

I hope to either
A. ride them into the ground while still under warranty
B. discover they are actually durable

Don "cautiously optimistic" Bolton

The Spinergy Xaeros survived the 32 mile pothole fest on Bainbridge Island better known as the Chilly Hilly. I've a little over 500 miles between the two sets with no perceptible degradation of tension or true.

These wheels are sweet and fast but given my history with the original SPOX wheels, I'm still a skeptic on their durability. Only time will tell on that one.

Don "Keepin the Open Pros serviced and ready just in case" Bolton

    Back to Top  
  Page Last Updated: Jan. 20, 2003  
    CyclingSite > Stories & Humor > Don's Wheels  

Copyright 2003, Artist's Touch or by original content developer.

CyclingSite Home Page General Info Photo Album Lists & Articles CO at a Glance CO Collected Wisdom CO History Bike Rides Stories & Humor Guest Book Stories & Humor Home Page Back Up Next Site Map Addition to the CF Birthday Rides Confessions of a BJ Don's Wheels Humbled... The Orange Bike Steve's Helmet TBB Theology True Ore. Roadbike Two Wheels in a Fog Short Stories Humor