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Spinergy MXX 30 Wheelset

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Spinergy MXX 30 Wheelset
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Vital First Look - Spinergy MXX 30 Carbon Wheels

When compliance meets durability and lighter weight.

Rating: Vital Review
Vital First Look - Spinergy MXX 30 Carbon Wheels

When it comes to carbon wheels, manufacturers are all faced with the same conundrum. Carbon fiber rims can be lighter and stronger than their aluminum counterparts, but that strength comes at a cost; ultra stiffness. Spinergy offers a unique design solution to help take the harshness out of carbon hoops. Their patented spoke technology, PBO for short, is not new. Their intended purpose is two-fold: to reduce weight and damp vibration. Spinergy has long applied this Zylon fiber technology to their lineup of road bike wheels and more recently to gravel and XC options. Vital got a first look at them and then took them out for some proper ripping to see if the MXX 30 wheelset lives up to the hype.

Strengths

  • Forgiving ride quality
  • Lighter weight
  • Quick rear-hub engagement
  • Lower priced than competitors

Weaknesses

  • Centerlock rotor mount only
  • Not the strongest warranty

Highlights

  • Carbon rims, PBO spokes, aluminum alloy hubs
  • 29-inch or 27.5-inch offerings
  • 30mm inner width
  • 27mm rim profile
  • 28-spoke, two cross layup
  • Two year warranty against defects
  • Intended use: all-mountain
  • Weight: 1690 grams (as tested)
  • MSRP $1,399 USD

Initial Impressions

Polyphenylene Bensobisoxazole fibers. Say that 30,000 times. That’s how many of these lightweight durable fibers compose a single spoke on Spinergy’s latest release, the MXX 30 MTB wheelset. The latest addition to Spinergy’s lineup is an all-mountain style 30mm internal width carbon wheelset that Spinergy claims is both lightweight and bombproof.

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PBO spokes are made from clusters of threadlike polymers encased in composite sleeves that are available in nine different colors. Spinergy claims that a single PBO spoke, composed of 30,000 Zylon fibers, is twice as strong as a stainless steel spoke and weighs half as much. In addition to being lightweight and strong, the Zylon fibers also transmit vibrations differently than steel spokes and effectively damp chatter. Roadies have long appreciated how PBO spokes absorb road chatter.

The MXX 30’s sport an in-house hub design deemed the “44”. The aluminum hubs feature an upgraded 44mm ratchet ring, 108 points of engagement, and can be ordered with a SRAM XD or Shimano Microspline freehub. It is worth noting that the MXX 30’s hubs are only compatible with Centerlock rotors and are only offered in black. The carbon fiber 30mm internal width rims have a 27mm profile and a clean aesthetic in flat black.

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On The Trail

Reno, NV and the surrounding area offer plentiful opportunities for testing in diverse terrain and variable conditions. After a very dry and smokey summer in the region, five inches of rain in 48 hours is exactly what the doctor ordered to get our local trails back in shape. It’s also enough to make some of them unrideable until they have time to dry.

Fortunately for us, the skies opened up and dumped record amounts of rain the same day that the Spinergy wheel box arrived at our door. Seeing as how the rain was biblical, we took the day to get the setup dialed. We went with a 2.4 Maxxis Dissector with Double Down casing in the rear and a Maxxis 2.5 Assegai in the front with EXO+ casing. Luckily, finding the Centerlock rotors was not difficult. We had those ordered and on hand. We were surprised that Spinergy did not include Centerlock lockrings or valve stems, so we visited our local bike shop and they hooked us up.

...our first impression was how well the wheels tracked downhill. They wanted to stay on our chosen line.

Despite the torrential rain, not riding the MXX 30’s right away just didn’t feel right so we headed for the well-drained DG at Sky Tavern bike park first. As you may have seen in Vital’s recent long travel Test Session, Sky Tavern offers a nice mix of features and natural terrain including granite rock gardens, expert drops, and wooden features. We threw it all at the MXX 30s. This place is all about sending it on short downhill runs and then pedaling up a smooth climbing trail. Maybe it was the brand new set of tires, but our first impression was how well the wheels tracked downhill. They wanted to stay on our chosen line.

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Next, we headed down Carson City to sample a mix of rocky and largely decomposed granite on the Kings and Ash Canyon trails. It was a quintessentially wild day in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. It was cold and windy when we started, then so hot we were riding in short sleeves. Moments later, it was snowing and when we finished it was raining. Like many of the rides that we do around here, Kings to Ash is one long climb followed by a long descent. Where the Spinergy MXX 30 spoke to us (pun intended) was in the high-speed rocky sections. The PBO spokes actually work to damp the feedback from the trail. It felt like we had lowered the PSI in our tires, but we hadn’t.

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Eventually, the sun did its thing and dried the clay on Peavine into epic local conditions that lasted for weeks. Peavine Mountain in Reno has a nice variety of trails ranging from fast and flowy to rocky straight-line speed that tests the integrity of wheels. If you plan on pinning it down the advanced trails, this is a place that calls for more tire pressure to avoid flatting, burping, or damaging a rim. Again, we noticed the softening effect that the MXX 30s had on trails that we have ridden hundreds of times.

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DH/Technical Performance/Fun Factor

The MXX 30’s definitely felt damped on the descent. They smoothed out the harshness of rough sections and had a quieting effect through repetitive hits. This effect was very apparent. The damping properties may come at the cost of loosening up the wheels' lateral stiffness, but this was hardly noticeable. We’re not sure if this is the wheelset for the gnarliest enduro courses, but for most riders, the vertical compliance and lateral stiffness properties felt great; not too harsh and still responsive to pop out of turns and change direction easily.

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Perceived Weight

At 1,690 grams, the MXX 30s are rather light for a 30mm internal width wheelset, but they don’t feel flimsy. Other manufacturers like We Are One and Santa Cruz offer wheels that weigh in at 1860 grams and 1750 grams. Our 2020 Kona Process 153 CR/DL test bike enthusiastically welcomed the weight loss. Do they feel lighter? Yes, they feel a little lighter, but not in a massive performance-altering way.

We smiled a lot while riding these wheels and that is measurable.

The wheels don’t feel like they accelerate particularly fast, but when we got them up to speed on some sweeping high-speed flow they felt stable, responsive, and initiated berms with ease. When we sent them over gaps and natural trail doubles they left the ground with ease. We felt that our personal stiffer-feeling carbon wheels pop a little more, but these qualities are hard to quantify. We smiled a lot while riding these wheels and that is measurable.

Climbing

Logic holds that lighter wheels would climb with less effort and that is true for the MXX 30s. As we noted earlier, our test bike is big-boned and having lighter wheels lightened it up a bit. With 108 points of engagement on the 44 rear hub, we were negotiating techy climbs with precision.

Things That Could Be Improved

It would be nice if the wheels were offered in a six bolt rotor option and if the center lock rotor option came with the necessary lockrings. In either option, including a set of valve stems couldn’t hurt. Another area of concern is their two-year limited warranty that does not cover wear and tear or damage incurred while riding. It is easy to find other wheelsets with better warranties.

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Long Term Durability

Did we mention that we sent these wheels off of everything we could find? Not so much as a wobble. They may be bombproof. We only had the MXX 30’s for 30 days but managed to ride them plenty and were given no cause for concern about their durability or reliability. Again, Spinergy only offers a two-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects, that does not cover damages incurred from use. However, they do have a no-fault replacement policy allowing customers to return wheels, damaged or not, for a discount on a new set.

What's The Bottom Line?

After a long hiatus, Spinergy has reentered the mountain bike market with a lightweight and very capable 30mm carbon wheelset. The proprietary PBO spokes undoubtedly improve the ride characteristics and could reduce fatigue so you can take an extra lap. We rode these wheels hard and they did not waiver a bit. The damping might not be all that necessary on a bike that has 160mm of front and rear travel. On the other hand, they might be the perfect wheelset to compliment an all-mountain hardtail. At $1399 they are priced competitively and are available in all kinds of spoke colors.

Visit www.Spinergy.com for more details.


About The Reviewer

John Armbruster - Age: 42// Years Riding MTB: 20 // Height: 5'11" (1.77m) // Weight: 160-pounds (72.5kg)

John has spent enough time mountain biking to witness the technical evolution of our sport and its bikes. Fads have come and gone but the fun never dies. He won't say no to a new trail or another lap, and when the bikes are clapped, John has the mechanical experience to revive his rigs from the ground up. Once resuscitated, he's back on the trail, clocking the miles, vert, and shenanigans.

Specifications

Product Spinergy MXX 30 Wheelset
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b), 29", Other (Mixed)
Rim Material Carbon
Rim Full carbon fiber clincher, foam core, 29mm external and 26mm depth profile
Inner Rim Width 30mm
Hole Count 28
Tubeless Compatible Yes
Rear Hub Spinergy 44, radial/2-cross lacing, stainless steel bearings, CNC machined hubshell, 44mm ratchet ring, 108 points of engagement
Rear Axle 10mm x 135mm, 12mm x 135mm, 12mm x 142mm, 12mm x 148mm (Boost)
Front Hub Spinergy 44, radial/2-cross lacing, stainless steel bearings, CNC machined hubshell
Front Axle 15mm x 100mm, 15mm x 110mm (Boost)
Disc Mount Type Centerlock
Spokes Spinergy patented PBO Fiber
Nipples
Colors Black or white spoke colors standard
Optional spoke color choices: red, green, orange, yellow, blue purple, and pink
Weight
  • 3 lb 11.6 oz (1,690 g)
  • 3 lb 9.1 oz (1,620 g)
Miscellaneous 2021 model year

Comes with Spinergy's new "44" hub design
  • Include a slip-fit endcap system to easily swap out end caps to accommodate, 15mm,12mm or QR axles
  • Compatible with Shimano/SRAM 11-speed, SRAM XDR 12-speed, Shimano MicroSpline 12-speed, and Campagnolo N3W 13-speed
  • Larger 44mm ratchet ring with 108 points of engagement
  • Hadley Racing alloy cassette bodies
  • Laser etched logos

    Carbon foam core rims
  • Proprietary urethane foam is light weight, adds structural stiffness, impact strength, vibration damping, and is sound deadening
  • Resistence to harsh impacts, riding with less fatigue and more control
  • Rim requires a 60mm presta valve stem

    PBO Fiber Spoke Technology
  • Every PBO spoke contains over 30,000 strands of Polyphenylene Bensobisoxazole fiber
  • Encased in a chemical resistant, water/UV-proof composite
  • Delivers 3-times the strength of stainless steel at just half the weight
  • A flexible spoke with incredible strength that absorbs impacts more efficiently while staying in true
  • Lighter than traditional steel spokes which result in less rotational weight and a faster responding wheel

    Included: QR skewers, rim tape, truing tool

    2-year warranty
  • Price $1,399
    More Info

    Spinergy website

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